Stand development with paRodinal, negs uneven and striped

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caux

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Hi, I've been lurking here for quite a while but now I think I'm ready to write my first post to ask you guys for some advice. I mixed some parodinal (using crushed paracetamol tablets) and decided to try some stand development. I'm using one of those generic tanks that leaks if you invert, you have to use the stick to rotate the spiral.

So, first try, tri-x 400@400, slowly agitating on the first minute then letting the tank stand for one hour. Result, horrible stains on the negs, coming from the sprockets, and development was really uneven and too dense for me.

After that I decided to try again, reducing the time to 40 min and added a gentle swirl at 20 min. Negs look better, less uneven but I still got stripes coming from the sprockets. Example:

scan0911120003o.jpg


On both attempts I used water at room temperature to do a pre-rinse and to mix the developer and stop bath, and the fixer was at the same temperature. Any ideas? Should I just give up on stand development with this batch of parodinal?
 

David A. Goldfarb

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These look like straightforward agitation issues. Maybe try more agitation, shorter development time, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to get a regular inversion tank.
 

juan

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I had problems when I first tried minimal agitation. I was agitating too gently. For the short time that you agitate, give the stick a good spin - back and forth vigorously. I agitate at 1/3 and 2/3 of the development time. You might try a bit more agitation.
juan
 
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caux

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Thanks! I'll see if I can get a better tank today, and try it.. If that doesn't work I'll try agitating more.. My idea was to keep agitation to a minimum to see if I can reduce grain a little bit, we'll see how that goes..
 

fschifano

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What you got is a classic problem with minimal agitation. I doubt that the technique will do anything to ameliorate grain, and will only cause more problems that it solves. Congrats on getting paRodinal to work though. I've heard some horror stories. Every time I've tried stand development, I've had results similar to yours. I gave up on the practice.
 

Anon Ymous

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Thanks! I'll see if I can get a better tank today, and try it.. If that doesn't work I'll try agitating more.. My idea was to keep agitation to a minimum to see if I can reduce grain a little bit, we'll see how that goes..

Forget about the tank, it doesn't matter. It's purely a matter of in sufficient agitation. The exposure index may also be a problem. I think (I'm not sure) that low EIs can be problematic and my explanation can be found (there was a url link here which no longer exists).
 

df cardwell

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Agitation is useful as a control, like time and temperature. It has a direct influence on grain in that it can reduce highlight densities that were grossly over exposed, or, over agitated. Rodinal grain is finer with 3 or 5 minute rest cycles than with constant agitation. Time was, you could see a difference between 30 second and 60 second intervals with Tri X, but not so anymore. While the primary link to fine grain is the use of a low pH developer, like Xtol or Microdol-X, relative grain is increased by too much exposure or over development. Minimal agitation reduces relative grain.

You've got 3 problems. The first is that you MUST agitate the film.

The term 'standing development' is misunderstood today. Of course you have to agitate the film, primarily to make the density even across the film. With 120, and with real Rodinal, agitation cycles of 3 to 5 minutes are safe, but that depends on the film, and the reels, and the tank. (Goodness knows what paRodinal does.) With 35mm, you can usually rest the film for up to 10 minutes. The thing is, you gain all the benefits by resting the film for 5 minutes, and there is really nothing to be gained by resting for longer times. There is BIG difference between agitating every minute, and agitation every fifth minute. There is a lot of room for fine tuning your film.

Secondly, you need to fill the tank with developer first, then load the reel. Pouring the developer in and out is often a cause for uneven development. I'm just assuming you poured the developer in after closing the tank.

Third, when you agitate, agitate. Move the developer around.

My first teachers learned their craft in the early 1900s, and were proponents of what they called 'standing development'.
What they taught me in the 1960s, however, was what we call today 'minimal agitation.
 
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Good luck.

One comment that might help: When dfcardwell gives advice I listen, because every piece of advice he has given me has worked. There is tons of experience to back the knowledge up. No assumptions. Facts.

- Thomas
 

df cardwell

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Umm, Thomas,

I'm really sorry about those stock tips I gave you last year. Really. Madoff seemed like a sure winner.

d
 
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caux

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First of all, thanks for the replies! It seems to be a consensus that the problem I'm having is agitation, so I'll definitely change that. I thought I'd give "stand development" a try after seeing some very good examples of it, but seems it doesn't like me for some reason.. I'll go back to minimum agitation then.

@df cardwell: Thanks for a very enlightening reply. Yes, you're right, I did pour the developer in the tank, and worse, my tank is quite slow. Takes a while for the chemicals to fill the tank, something like 30 seconds. Do you think that's gonna be a problem? I haven't noticed any uneven development on my 35mm films with D76 like I did with parodinal + stand development, so my guess is that if I change my agitation to, say, 10 seconds (real agitation, moving the developer around) every 3 minutes I should get decent results? Then from that I can change the period between agitation to suit my "graininess" needs?

Also it's my understanding that changing said periods between agitation will have an impact on the contrast. With rodinal (or parodinal) should I use this agitation changes or dilution changes to control contrast?
 
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Quoting dfcardwell:

I'm really sorry about those stock tips I gave you last year. Really. Madoff seemed like a sure winner.


LOL - I appreciate the concern. Well, at least I know how to process film, which makes me happier than money.
 
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Also it's my understanding that changing said periods between agitation will have an impact on the contrast. With rodinal (or parodinal) should I use this agitation changes or dilution changes to control contrast?

Longer agitation intervals will reduce contrast - yes.
Time and temperature are your other two contrast controls. Don't use dilution to control contrast.
I use Xtol, and change agitation interval all the way from every 30s to every 5m to tune contrast in my negatives. I always process at the same temperature.
 

Larry Bullis

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One advantage that using a diluted developer is that the times, being longer, will minimize or could even eliminate the problems you have due to your pouring developer into the tank, etc. If you are going to do that, though, it would be best to use that same dilution as your standard, and use time to control your contrast.

Sometimes, depending on the darkroom you have, it can be very difficult or impossible to put the film into an open tank full of developer. If that's the situation, using an extended time can be very useful.
 

Anscojohn

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I know how much fun it is to play around with new materials and techniques.
But changing more than one variable at a time is not the best practice. At least, that is what I was told. Moroever, there must be a criterion involved: a benchmark of a negs with one's usual film, a standard developer, and a standardized development technique should be established before soaring to the heights of experiment. My2centz.
 
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