Rollei RPX 400 + Rodinal 1+50 = Flat Negatives

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baachitraka

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@20°C, I gave three inversions at every minute for 12:30 minutes. It came very flat but I am not worried.

I just want to ask, whether anybody here develop flat and print on higher grades.
 
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Flat negatives with hard papers will give you a lot of grain.
RPX 400 data sheet says 8 min for 1+25.
So 1+50 should be around 16 min.
Cheers
Wolfgang
 
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baachitraka

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I tried again with 14:30 mins with initial 30 seconds continuous agitation and two inversions at every 30 seconds, and as expected negs are bit more contrasty.

Nevertheless, I will try to print this weekend and see how it goes.
 
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I've had similar issues with flat negatives with RPX400 + R09 1:50. I use RPX400 either with R09 1:25 or HC-110 dilB nowadays, since I think that R09 1:50 is a bit too much compensating for my taste.
 
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baachitraka

baachitraka

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After looking the negatives, I felt like an unfinished cement wall with 1+50 developed for 12:30 mins. :-(

Though 14:30 mins and two inversions at every 30s is bit better.

Waiting for weekend to arrive to see the reality on prints.
 

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I've had similar issues with flat negatives with RPX400 + R09 1:50. I use RPX400 either with R09 1:25 or HC-110 dilB nowadays, since I think that R09 1:50 is a bit too much compensating for my taste.

I used Rodinal for about 20 years and only used 1:50 for N-2 development (to reduce contrast) for normal work I always used 3:50 which is gave me superb results.

Ian
 
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baachitraka

baachitraka

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@Ian, I Just wonder about very short development times. Do you over-expose and under-develop the film?

Is 3:50 also sufficient for RPX-400?
 
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@20°C, I gave three inversions at every minute for 12:30 minutes. It came very flat but I am not worried.

I just want to ask, whether anybody here develop flat and print on higher grades.

Two things:

1. I like printing at high contrast grades when I make portraits, using negatives that are of normal contrast and often denser than most people would deem appropriate. Gives me what I want in the print. So yes, I'm at Grade 4 to 5 a lot of the time.
2. If your negatives are flat, develop longer. Or agitate more. Or both. Repeat trial-and-error until your negatives are 'just right'. Or do a film test and avoid trial-and-error.

After you work with a film for a while, you start to realize that the film is capable of many different looks, where a flat and thinner negative printed on high contrast will look different from one that's flat and "thicker" (high density) negative will, also printed at high contrast, for example. Density and contrast are your controls, which you adjust with exposure and development. It really is up to you what you want from your negatives, and how you want your prints to look.

Of course it matters what film and developer you use, but much less than your ability to alter the results will.
 
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baachitraka

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3:50, thats 36ml of Rodinal in 600ml for 120.

Very strong indeed...
 
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baachitraka

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@Thomas, it is a good beginner lesson to witness that increase in development time and/or agitation leads to shift in the slope which is pretty obvious in my case with 12:30 and 14:30(+increase in frequency of agitation).

I have pretty limited facility at home, may be I will do one more classical test with different E.I for SBR of 7 stops.

* I am rather very poor in darkroom magic(dodging & burning) so, I try to get prints with less gymnastics.
 

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Yes 3:50 is the dilution I always found my negatives too flat at 1:50 with Tmax100 & APX100 and too contrasty at 1:25 for normal lighting conditions. I also found it gave me the best balance of film speed, tonality, sharpness and excellent fine grain, that'll differ slightly with the RPX400.

Ian
 
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Yes 3:50 is the dilution I always found my negatives too flat at 1:50 with Tmax100 & APX100 and too contrasty at 1:25 for normal lighting conditions. I also found it gave me the best balance of film speed, tonality, sharpness and excellent fine grain, that'll differ slightly with the RPX400.

Ian

I don't understand that. 3:50 is stronger than 1:25 (2:50). How could you get less contrast with stronger developer?
 
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baachitraka

baachitraka

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18ml in 600ml sounds more of a compromise.
 
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baachitraka

baachitraka

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I try to print the negatives the one developed for 12:30mins with two inversions on every minute and other for 14:30 mins with two inversion on every 30s.

Two test prints were made, one with grade 2 filter and other with grade 3.

Grade 3, is contrasty with lots of punch but with Grade 2 lots of subtle highlights. I personally like the grade 2 prints.

Nevertheless, I am trying to establish 'E.I' for RPX 400 with Rodinal 1+50 with two inversions on every 30s for 14:30. Please help to sort this out...

* Basically I am using Incident meter.

- Dome facing the camera I take one reading in open shadows. Say EV 10 = f/8 1/15 with meter ISO 400.

Then I try to make series of exposures,

EV 14, EV 13, EV 12, EV 10, EV 9, EV 8, EV 7

Try to keep the shutter speed constant, e.g., 1/15 then I change the aperture

f/22, f/16, f/11, f/8, f/5.6, f/4.0, f/3.5(Rolleicord Va)

Develop for the time and concentration mentioned above.

I may need help after this....

If I enlarge then which test exposure should I pick up to establish minimum exposure time for highlights and from there how do I reach personal E.I.
 
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You need a blank frame and a few test exposures using different E.I.s. Expose one or two rolls (I usually go with a 135 roll since I can cut it halfway through and develop both ends differently) should be enough. One 120 roll should be enough as well.

I've read several variations of the same test, using different proceduces, and the one I prefer is the one found in the book 'Way Beyond Monochrome' which I will try to outline below. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.


  1. Find a scene with normal contrast, having both zone II and zone VIII.
  2. Setup your camera on a tripod, and expose for the shadows using advertised ISO (let's say ISO400)
  3. Expose in 1/3 decrements (that is, reduce the shutter by 1/3 of a stop) and after exposing a few frames (for ISO400 I expose 400, 320, 250, 200, 160) take a blank frame and then redo the entire process until the whole roll is used.
  4. Develop normally (I cut it in half described above)

When in the darkroom, place the blank negative in the enlarger (you might want to scratch the negative so you have something to focus on!) and make a test strip. At least one of the exposures should be maximum paper black, otherwise, make another teststrip and make sure you've reached maximum black. When you have established the time to create maximum black on this paper, try to find the first time that is just above this maximum black (I work in 1/3 of exposure increments) and record this time.

Next up, expose one sheet (using the same setting as you found using the above test) for every frame you have on the roll (one for ISO400, one for 320, one for 250...) using the same time, process and dry normally. Write the ISO setting on the backside of each print, and then review the prints in a well illuminated room. Try to shuffle the prints as well. Look at the shadow rendering and decide which one you like the best. Do this a few times. When satisfied, look at the backside of the print to discover your personal E.I.
 
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