Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: First Acros Develop w/ Rodinal - Shadow Grain

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Whitestown, IN
    Posts
    1,318

    First Acros Develop w/ Rodinal - Shadow Grain

    I just entered into the world of B&W developing with the help of the members of this great forum. After many days of reading and research I decided my first trials of Acros 100 4x5 film would be with Rodinal 1:50 (I know of the wide ranging opinions on this developer with respect to grain). Two sheets were exposed at ISO 100 and ISO 64.

    Chemical Mixing Ratios (JOBO 2500 Series tank needs 560ml):

    Rodinal 1:50 - 12 ml Rodinal + 600 ml water = 612 ml
    Kodak Indicator Stop Bath - 10ml solution + 625 ml water = 635 ml
    Ilford Rapid Fix - 120 ml fixer + 480 ml water = 600 ml
    Photo-Flo - 3 ml solution + 600 ml water = 603ml


    I performed the following process at 20 degrees C and timings were done with an Omega Darkroom timer:

    1) Allow tank and chem bottles to sit in water jacket for 10 minutes
    2) 5 minute water presoak while on Beseler roller
    3) Develop 7.25 minutes and flip Jobo 2500 tank on roller every 30 seconds
    4) 1 minute Kodak Stop Bath
    5) 30 second wash
    6) 5 minute Ilford Rapid Fixer
    7) 2 minute wash with 1 liter water (Repeat 5 times)
    8) 1 minute wash with distilled water and Kodak Photo-Flo 1:200 dilution


    Results

    1) Subject was an X-Rite Digital ColorChecker SG card shot in daylight and almost full frame
    2) As far as exposure and tonality the both negs look good with the expected differences of the ISO settings and the film used
    3) I was expecting a bit of acceptable grain from the Rodinal and it looks fine in the dense area and midtones, but it is very, very ugly in the less dense areas of both negatives.

    Question

    Before developing new sheets, I am trying to isolate the reason for the grain issue in the shadows.

    It's possible I did not mix the stop bath and fixer quite thoroughly and since I ran the fixer for the long end of Ilfords recommended time (2-5 minutes) I think it may be related to the weakly mixed and too long time of the fixer, rather than any developer issue, but since I am a newbie I don't have a clue. Of course it may be over agitation, but I doubt it with so many using the Unicolor or Beseler powered rollers.

    Could anyone shed a little light on this grain in the shadows issue?

    Thanks,
    Jim
    www.jimcolephoto.com

    Edit: I added a cropped section of the scanned and inverted image.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails X-Rite Colorchecker Crop.jpg  
    Last edited by Jim Cole; 5-May-2008 at 08:36. Reason: Add Image

  2. #2
    Resident Heretic
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    USA, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,918

    Re: First Acros Develop w/ Rodinal - Shadow Grain

    The proof of graininess is in the printing. That is, it's difficult to nearly impossible to properly evaluate graininess by looking at the film itself. Print it, or at least a small section of it, at your maximum print size, and evaluate the resulting print. The printing process itself, whatever that might be, stamps it's own character on the graininess of the final print.

    Bruce Watson

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,698

    Re: First Acros Develop w/ Rodinal - Shadow Grain

    Hi John,

    I develop FP4+ in Rodinal 1+50 and fix it in Ilford RapidFix and I couldn't be happier with the results. Here are the differences, aside from the film itself:

    1. Intermittent agitation in an HP Combi tank rather than constant agitation on a roller. I do one inversion every five seconds for the first minute, then one inversion every minute.

    2. Two successive 30-second water baths instead of the Stop bath.

    3. Regular water with PhotoFlo, approximate dilution.

    12ml of Rodinal should be enough for 4 sheets of 4x5, so you have enough developer and even if you didn't, the issue wouldn't be in the shadows but in the highlights.

    Your developing time sounds about right for rolling base - mine is about 12 minutes for intermittent agitation.

    I don't believe fixer is causing your problems either, because it would manifest itself differently. I mix mine right before usage in the same proportion as you do and never had a problem.

    So, here's a few questions:

    1. Did you test your ISO?

    2. What is the temperature of your wash (you mentioned that you keep your developer, stop bath, fixer at 20 degrees)?

    3. Did you try exposing two sheets identically and developing them using the same developer but different agitation methods, with times adjusted?

    Rodinal is sensitive to agitation and I suspect that that might be the most likely cause of your problem. It is also the easiest to check, especially with individual sheets. I know that many people use it for rotary development, but IMO, I get more control and more tolerance with manual inversion because the developing time is longer and also because I can easily adjust the agitation routine (make it slower or faster, make it more or less frequent). Too much agitation also reduces the adjacency effects, which is one of Rodinal's main features.

    I hope this helps at least some.

    Marko

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    4,517

    Re: First Acros Develop w/ Rodinal - Shadow Grain

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
    The proof of graininess is in the printing. That is, it's difficult to nearly impossible to properly evaluate graininess by looking at the film itself. Print it, or at least a small section of it, at your maximum print size, and evaluate the resulting print. The printing process itself, whatever that might be, stamps it's own character on the graininess of the final print.

    I will second Bruce's comment about the printing process. Not only is is difficult to evaluate graininess by looking at a negative, the look of grain is also highly output specific. That is, you may get an entirely different look if you print the negative on silver paper, and the look may be different on VC and graded papers, especially if you develop with a staining developer.

    Also, if you scan to print digitally the type of scanner you use, how you scan, and whether or not you use grain noise reduction software, are all capable of a dramatic impact on the final look of grain.

    Sandy

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Whitestown, IN
    Posts
    1,318

    Re: First Acros Develop w/ Rodinal - Shadow Grain

    Bruce and Sandy,

    Thanks for your input. I appreciate the help.

    I agree that printing will be the ultimate test, however I scanned the neg on my Epson 4990 @ 2400 dpi (No NR or sharpening) with SilverFast Ai in grayscale using only the green channel after confirming the excellent quality of scanning this way on 4x5 negs developed in Xtol at the local lab.

    I attached a small crop of the inverted scan to my original message. It is very obvious in the scan. I know grain is more obvious in thin areas, but this seems excessive.

    Jim
    Last edited by Jim Cole; 5-May-2008 at 09:06. Reason: spelling

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Whitestown, IN
    Posts
    1,318

    Re: First Acros Develop w/ Rodinal - Shadow Grain

    Marko,

    Thanks for your help here. To answer your questions:

    1) I did not test my ISO, as I was starting with suggested values for this film from forum members. Hence, my first two sheets were shot at ISO 64 and ISO 100. I know I need to run these tests, but I wanted to just test my proceedure and get comfortable and consistant with that before running standard tests. I am also waiting for my densitometer to arrive.

    2) Wash and all chemicals were within 1/2 degree of 20 C

    3) I cannot at this time try different agitation methods as I have only the Jobo 2553 tank (holds 2 4x5 reels) and I assume I must keep the tank rolling for even development which means constant agitation. I cannot find the non cog lid for this tank so I could try inversion agitation, although that would be impractical with the amount of developer needed. I do not have a darkroom to try tray developing, but I suppose I could get the smaller single reel Jobo tank for testing hand agitation.

    I know a lot of people are successful with rolling agitation with this film/developer combination so I was suprised at the results (good and bad) even though this was my first attempt.

    I added a crop of the inverted scan to my original post if you are interested.

    You suggestion does help, and I may need to invest in the smaller tank.

    Thanks agian,
    Jim

  7. #7
    Resident Heretic
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    USA, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,918

    Re: First Acros Develop w/ Rodinal - Shadow Grain

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Cole View Post
    ...I know grain is more obvious in thin areas, but this seems excessive.
    I don't agree. In my experience graininess is least obvious in thin parts of the negative. Why would this be true? Because density is created by the development of metallic silver -- where there is less density there must also be less silver. Just the laws of physics. It follows then that where there is more density there is more silver. And more silver means bigger grain clumps (which are overlapping grains) which we see as an increase in graininess.

    Tim Vitale wrote a very interesting paper on film grain which he updates as he learns more (currently at version 9, March 2006). This paper will tell you more about what grain actually is, how it's formed, where there's more of it and less of it, etc. than I could ever squeeze into a tiny posting to a thread like this. I especially like the five photomicrograms on page 17 which illustrate exactly what I'm talking about here.

    Bruce Watson

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    4,517

    Re: First Acros Develop w/ Rodinal - Shadow Grain

    Jim,

    Perhaps you should just avoid the Rodinal. Rodinal has a long reputation as a developer that gives golf ball size grain, though many people like it for its acutance. I am frankly surprised that the grain is so apparent with Acros, which is one of the finest grain B&W pictorial films around. However, for sure Rodinal will produce more grain than Xtol, with any film.

    Sandy King

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Pasadena, CA
    Posts
    884

    Re: First Acros Develop w/ Rodinal - Shadow Grain

    Agree with Sandy on trying a dev other than Rodinal...

    Also, the frame part of the color-checker card looks like it is textured rather than grain, because the "grain" stops right at the frame and doesn't continue onto any of the color chips...even the numbers appear to be free of grain...

    Also, I know this is a crop, but how enlarged is this sample?

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,952

    Re: First Acros Develop w/ Rodinal - Shadow Grain

    If you don't intend to make large prints, then the larger grain will probably not be objectionable.

    If you do want large prints, then XTOL works very well with Acros.

Similar Threads

  1. xtol dilutions
    By false_Aesthetic in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 19-Dec-2007, 07:48
  2. Acros in Rodinal - disappointment
    By butterfly in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 1-Jun-2007, 02:46
  3. Rotary Processing Rodinal
    By ic-racer in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 26-Mar-2007, 09:07
  4. Acros 100 tray developing in Rodinal
    By Dawid in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 6-Dec-2005, 20:51
  5. To Develop With Stock or Diluted
    By Jay Staton in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 18-Jul-2005, 06:39

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •