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View Full Version : Modern Rodinal: Adonal, Adolux, Fomadon, R09, R09 Spezial - Which are you using? Why?



Corran
4-Sep-2014, 08:53
A search for "Rodinal" brings up quite a list of different developers on Freestyle. (http://www.freestylephoto.biz/search?q=rodinal)

For those using Rodinal of some sort, I'm interested to hear which formulation you are using, and if applicable, the differences between them that you have found. Also, why did you choose that formula?

There are numerous and conflicting reports about Rodinal and its many iterations. I don't really care about what Rodinal was in 1920 or 1946 or whatever, and I know that many of our older users here might actually bring that up, but what matters to the modern film shooter, is what you can buy today, off the shelf. I wonder if these different formulations might actually be better, or worse, for certain applications, or are they all basically the same?

A project for another day will be to buy one of each and do a comprehensive test, but that'll have to wait as I have no patience for that right now.


What spurred this question was a fresh bottle of Adonal I just opened. It seems to be different than the last bottle of Adonal I had. Usually when I dilute the developer with water it turns a light orange color. This time it stayed perfectly clear. My negatives seemed a bit "flatter" than normal. Wondering if they had changed the formula, I did some Google searching and the best I could come up with is some claims that Rodinal (Adonal) can get "seasoned" over time from exposure to air. I'm wondering if it was due to being freshly opened - my old bottle of Adonal was at least 6 months old. I have made some great negatives with TMX and other modern emulsions in Adonal but if the developer seasons or changes after exposure to air I'm less inclined to trust it for repeatable results.

towolf
4-Sep-2014, 10:03
I just know that the Compard R09 "capri sun"-style softpack is ingenious for avoiding oxidation. I filled 50ml into a tube to give to someone and within two hours the top was browning:

http://i.imgur.com/6J52QOjl.jpg (http://imgur.com/6J52QOj.jpg)

Corran
4-Sep-2014, 14:27
The Adonal I buy usually comes somewhat brownish to start with. The stuff I just opened up almost had a dark bluish tint but maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me.

David A. Goldfarb
4-Sep-2014, 14:37
When I use it, I use Parodinal. I made it once on a whim, because I had a bottle of expired uncoated acetaminophen (paracetamol, AKA Tylenol) tablets, and decided I actually liked it better than traditional Rodinal, and like Rodinal, it lasts forever, so I've had it on my shelf for a few years now.

Ian Gordon Bilson
4-Sep-2014, 20:34
Likewise with Parodinal, though using the capsules avoids dealing with the filler content. Very dark brown with a reddish tinge.
Yields results identical with my 30 yr old Agfa Rodinal ,which is similarly murky.

Corran
5-Sep-2014, 06:52
I've never used Parodinal. What makes it different, or the same?

I'd love to hear from the person who chose Adolux, and how they like that variant.

ArgentixCa
5-Sep-2014, 08:52
Hi Corran
I did not had time to elaborate this morning on your post.
I came accross Adolux APH09 quite by accident. This is the one I had on hand when I wanted to test stand development, and I kept using it for regular processing too.
It has a veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy long shelf-life, and you do not have to wonder if it is good even if it turns to a black-coffee color.
Crystalization at the bottom does not impair it.

It became my work-horse developer, by saving shelf-space in my darkroom.

I distribute other variants of Rodinal, but have not personally tested all of them.

I know, quite biased opinion, but I stick to it!

Michael Cienfuegos
5-Sep-2014, 11:09
I still have an unopened bottle of Agfa Rodinal, not sure how old it is, but I have been working out of another bottle for the last ten years or so. It's dark, but still gives great results.

Tin Can
5-Sep-2014, 11:46
My Adox Adolux APH09 started out clear and now is getting darker by the week and seems to work better as it ages, now 6 months open. I use it only for 4x5 and larger and sometimes over develop for increased grain, as I like grain. My usual films are HP5 and Ektascan. I was mixing 1/100 and now do 1/50 with TF5 fixer.

When developing digital I use it straight dip and dunk on the SD CARD, makes wondrous surprises, once fully dried in desiccant.

Corran
5-Sep-2014, 15:57
Interesting the different variants being used and also how most folks appear to be using one and just sticking with it. And the aging changing the developer. Well I think when I have time (next year!) I need to do some testing with the gamut of varieties, for educational purposes.

David A. Goldfarb
5-Sep-2014, 23:50
Parodinal is a Rodinal-type developer made from Tylenol and sodium hydroxide as the main ingredients. It seems perfectly interchangeable with Rodinal in terms of developing times, but seems to me to be a little less gritty--maybe more like Rodinal with a little extra sulfite to take the edge off, which has been a historically popular Rodinal modification.

As I said, I just tried it out of curiosity, because I has a bottle of expired Tylenol tablets I was going to throw away anyway, but even if you had to buy fresh generic acetaminophen tablets, it turns out to be significantly cheaper than Rodinal, not that Rodinal is so expensive that I'd worry about it.

coisasdavida
6-Sep-2014, 03:04
I use Parodinal as well.

Paracetamol powder costs around 25usd per kilogram here in Brazil.

On the other hand the cheapest way to get any of the other ones is to get it from Fotoimpex in Germany, after Agfa Rodinal disappeared from the stores here.

So I went from Agfa Rodinal to Parodinal and never looked back. It takes half hour to make a liter and it lasts the whole year.

mihag
6-Sep-2014, 03:47
They are all very similar except for the R09 Spezial / Rodinal Spezial / Studional which is a PQ developer.

StoneNYC
6-Sep-2014, 07:38
The representative from Adox posted info on this that sorted a lot of these questions out.

Essentially Adox Adonal (recently they attained the rights to call it Adox Rodinal) is the LATEST and LAST formulation of AGFA Rodinal before the factory shut down.

The R09 versions sold by others are mostly slight (and truly SLIGHT) variants of the SECOND TO LAST formula of Rodinal by AGFA.

Adox also has a 1945 formulation version called "Adox Adolux APH 09" which is older and grainier but people like it as it gives a "classic" old school look.

So if you want to match your last bottle of AGFA Rodinal, then buy Adox Adonal in other countries, and Adox Rodinal in the USA.

If you want an older form use the R09 version by others and if you want the really old version get the Adox Adolux APH 09 version.

I can't speak to the PaRodinal variants but the Rodinal and R09 versions are so similar I doubt you would really notice, but it is comforting to use the Adox Adonal/Rodinal version knowing it's the exact original latest formula by AGFA.

Hope that was helpful.

mihag
6-Sep-2014, 10:08
The R09 versions sold by others are mostly slight (and truly SLIGHT) variants of the SECOND TO LAST formula of Rodinal by AGFA.



How can you possible know this? Maco doesn't claim that their R09 is a variant of the second to last Rodinal by Agfa. R09 is made by Tetenal, transported in barrels to Compared where it's filled to smaller containers. Adox Adonal is also produced by TT but filled by Adox - there is a youtube video showing this. Adox Adonal/Rodinal is said by them to be the last Rodinal version as you wrote correctly.

Corran
6-Sep-2014, 10:17
Stone, if they posted that info, where?

I'm not really debating which formula is what, historically (Google searches will find numerous impassioned posts about such matters). I'm merely interested in the differences between the formulations and now the changes in the developer as it ages.

StoneNYC
6-Sep-2014, 10:46
How can you possible know this? Maco doesn't claim that their R09 is a variant of the second to last Rodinal by Agfa. R09 is made by Tetenal, transported in barrels to Compared where it's filled to smaller containers. Adox Adonal is also produced by TT but filled by Adox - there is a youtube video showing this. Adox Adonal/Rodinal is said by them to be the last Rodinal version as you wrote correctly.


Stone, if they posted that info, where?

I'm not really debating which formula is what, historically (Google searches will find numerous impassioned posts about such matters). I'm merely interested in the differences between the formulations and now the changes in the developer as it ages.

Hey guys, I think his name is "Mirko"? The rep from Adox posted about it directly on APUG and explained it, being that he is the representative, I doubt that he would have lied about the information as he could have gotten sued etc., and he very specifically explained because people were very confused about it of course and had been asking, exactly how it all went down as far as the formulas and splitting up the differences etc. and that's what he explained. I honestly don't feel like searching for it but I'll give it a try and if I can find it easily I'll post a link.

StoneNYC
6-Sep-2014, 10:49
Here...

It starts roughly around the 14-16th post in the thread...

I didn't actually reread it, so if there's any info that was slightly off, please feel free to correct me, this was all from memory and I have a busy day so I can't spend much time I just wanted to get back to you guys. Enjoy reading.

http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=127337

mihag
6-Sep-2014, 11:00
Mirko never said R09 is a variant of the second to last formula of Rodinal by Agfa as you wrote in post #14t. He said that shortly after Agfa went down and Agfa chemistry was still produced by A&O, R09 and Rodinal were identical.

StoneNYC
6-Sep-2014, 11:21
Mirko never said R09 is a variant of the second to last formula of Rodinal by Agfa as you wrote in post #14t. He said that shortly after Agfa went down and Agfa chemistry was still produced by A&O, R09 and Rodinal were identical.

Yes but at some point he said that once the original factory went down, somebody else started producing it and they were using a formula that was older, we're not talking super old but we're talking about something like 1994 instead of 2001 (dates totally arbitrary, just using for example purposes) and that the formula they produce is the only one that is the EXACT formula and that the R09 versions others used were SLIGHTLY different formulas from the previous version (slight just enough to make them not violating patents etc or something).

You don't have to believe me, as I said all of these things are so slight in changes that it doesn't really matter it's all going to give you the same result, except for the very old 1945 version of the developer and the home made formulas.

The one thing that's for sure is that the Adox version is the EXACT formulation used by AGFA before they shut down. So buy that, it's guaranteed to be right and support Adox which is a company that will be around a lot longer than the others (in the grand scheme of B&W photography).

For shits and giggles, I've actually acquired a tiny little bottle of the Agfa formula that was last produce just before they shut down, as well as obviously a brand-new ADOX ADONAL bottle and a bottle that has just a tiny bit left at the bottom that's been sitting around and getting air and looks black as hell, I'm going to develop all three versions and compare. If you want to send me a bit of your compard09 as well that would be great (I live in CT, USA) and I may pick up that 1945 formula as well for kicks.

That will put the debate to rest I hope.

Cheers.

StoneNYC
6-Sep-2014, 11:22
121403

StoneNYC
6-Sep-2014, 11:27
Also...

121404
121405

Ok I'm done.

Corran
6-Sep-2014, 12:04
Interesting stuff.

If you've got those developers on-hand and want to do a test, I would love to see it. I'd rather not order all that developer! I'm going to leave my freshly-opened bottle of Adonal be for a few weeks and then maybe try it...

sepiareverb
6-Sep-2014, 12:58
I use the Compard R09 One-Shot, which I still call Rodinal. DigitalTruth sells this and the Adox version, which they ship interchangeably (http://www.digitaltruth.com/store/cart/Adox-Adonal-Agfa-Rodinal-500ml.html) depending on stock on hand.



I run lots of different roll films in Rodinal, but only HP5+ in sheets, and then only at 800.

I quite like the Spezial as well, for HP5+ and FP4+ at box speed.

StoneNYC
6-Sep-2014, 13:05
Interesting stuff.

If you've got those developers on-hand and want to do a test, I would love to see it. I'd rather not order all that developer! I'm going to leave my freshly-opened bottle of Adonal be for a few weeks and then maybe try it...

Well my normal process for storing developer is once it's opened I move it into one of those amber chemical bottles that they sell like the ones at photographers formulary, anyway this one time I was using up the full 500ml bottle of Adox Adonal (before they changed names but still the original latest formulation by AGFA) and I got to the bottom of the bottle and then I'm not sure if it was a hot day, or just the temperature issue, or I tighten the bottle too much and the pressure ended up cracking the lid but either way the black plastic lid had been cracked open, I didn't actually notice it at first but I did notice that the developer was awful black and I didn't know why, I hadn't use the bottle in about 2 to 3 weeks and so I have no idea what time during that whole process the lid actually cracked, but it was a significant crack, but ironically I didn't even notice that it was cracked open until after I had finished developing the phone, the film looks fine and I went to put the bottle back in the storage container I keep it in and noticed the crack, I didn't realize why the developer was so black, but it works just fine, I continue to use the rest of the bottle and my images came out beautifully. In an interesting twist, I'm not sure if some of it evaporated, but I remember thinking how truly sharp and brilliant the images were, and then following that with a brand-new bottle that I just had opened, the negative seemed less sharp and a little bit fuzzy her, so maybe it was even more concentrated than normal because of evaporation? But either way it certainly didn't make it worse and in fact seems to make it better so that's why I plan to do this experiment anyway, it was more about figuring out if the bottom of the bottle developer was any sharper or any different than a brand-new open bottle, so that was with the whole experiment started from, then I figured why the heck not just also use that older 1945 Version as well just to see the differences, and so the only bottle I don't actually have on hand is the compard09 or FOMA09 as I have no reason to buy it at all, but if someone wanted to send me a little bit I would certainly tested with the others. I only want to do this one says I want to make it as accurate as possible. So I'm basically going to take a whole roll of film, shoot the same frame on every single spot, and then cut cut it up and develop each one in a row exactly the same in the same temperature environment same water same timeframe etc. And now that I am able to access a dark room, I'll make some contact prints so that there's no question about scanning variance in the contrast etc., and then I will scan each one individually to see the sharpness differences if any.

I won't be doing this for another month or so until I can guarantee that the temperature in my household is the right temperature and because it's summertime I don't keep it below 74 because it would cost too much for the air-conditioner to run, so I'll wait until it's autumn, I only have one decision to make and that's about how to process, everything I've been doing the past few months has been with a Jobo rotary processor. Now it's often suggested that this developer does much better with hand processing then it does with a rotary, so I have to decide which to do, and I really don't want to have to do both it just seems like extra work... It's basically going to take me all day to do this experiment anyway. There's also a bottle of the road and all that has been sitting around in the dark room at my school for probably a couple years, it's black as black can be and I'm might end up snagging a little bit of that as well to try that out, it's been open and obviously used by students who aren't exactly careful.

Suffice to say, I will make a separate post at some point when I get around to doing this experiment just to let everybody know how things went.

mihag
6-Sep-2014, 13:29
Sorry Stone, you gave no evidence that R09 is a variant of the second to last formula of Rodinal by Agfa. I'm not disputing anything else.

Cheers!

mihag
6-Sep-2014, 13:32
121403

Exactly what I said in my post #19

StoneNYC
6-Sep-2014, 14:45
:munch:

Jonathan Bourla
10-Sep-2014, 18:04
Hi! What I'm going to say is probably sacrilege, but after having been a long time Rodinal (then RO9) user, I found Ilford's ID11 very dilutely developed at 1:7 at 24 degrees centigrade (75 Fahrenheit) looked to my eyes even better than Rodinal. This was with Bergger BPF200 and then in more recent years with Ilford HP5+ film. I found this a versatile combination, allowing contracting developments (N-3, N-4) still at reasonable development times. I am ready for the backlash! Jonathan.

Nana Sousa Dias
16-Sep-2014, 16:51
I used Agfa Rodinal, now, I use Foma R09 or Adox Adolux APH 09.

They are exactly the same stuff. I use it for MF and LF, with Kodak Tmax 100 and 400, Fuji Acros, Delta 400, Fomapan 100, Adox Art Series 100, FP4+, HP5+and even with Kodak T400 CN!!!

I use it because it's cheap, it gets dark but that doesn't affect performances and it can be used before several months or even years after the bottle is opened. I just love that developer!

Michael Cienfuegos
16-Sep-2014, 17:55
I don't think that stuff ever goes bad. I used the dregs from one bottle and it worked fine, no complaints from this old guy. I still have one sealed bottle, I'll break into it one of these days and have at it with that one.

Donald Qualls
22-Sep-2014, 16:49
Last time I developed any film (it's been a couple years, but if I can get the extra bathroom users out of my house I plan to get my darkroom running again ASAP), I used a homebrew formula I call Parodinal. It's a Rodinal work-alike made from acetaminophen pain reliever, drain opening lye, and sodium sulfite. It's simple to make (though precautions in handling the lye are a Very Good Idea), keeps for many months (and yes, it turns as dark as Coca-Cola after couple months, but still works), and does the same job at the same dilutions and times as published data for Agfa Rodinal.

Nana Sousa Dias
22-Sep-2014, 17:17
Last time I developed any film (it's been a couple years, but if I can get the extra bathroom users out of my house I plan to get my darkroom running again ASAP), I used a homebrew formula I call Parodinal. It's a Rodinal work-alike made from acetaminophen pain reliever, drain opening lye, and sodium sulfite. It's simple to make (though precautions in handling the lye are a Very Good Idea), keeps for many months (and yes, it turns as dark as Coca-Cola after couple months, but still works), and does the same job at the same dilutions and times as published data for Agfa Rodinal.

Nowadays, in Brazil, its hard to find comercial developers, fixers, etc, so a lot of my students, in Sao Paulo, where I go (from Portugal) sometimes to teach Landscape, Portrait and Darkroom workshops, they use that Parodinal formula and they get stunning results with that cheap formula. They use to buy the chemicals and they make the mix. Sao Paulo is a huge town but, in terms of argentic photography shops, it looks like Sahara....

Donald Qualls
25-Sep-2014, 03:06
Nowadays, in Brazil, its hard to find comercial developers, fixers, etc, so a lot of my students, in Sao Paulo, where I go (from Portugal) sometimes to teach Landscape, Portrait and Darkroom workshops, they use that Parodinal formula and they get stunning results with that cheap formula. They use to buy the chemicals and they make the mix. Sao Paulo is a huge town but, in terms of argentic photography shops, it looks like Sahara....

Glad to hear it's doing some good (I didn't invent it, but I've promoted it a bit). A common pain reliever, some pool chemicals (both sodium sulfite and sodium thiosulfate are used to reduce chlorine), and drain opener -- developer and fixer! Plain white distilled vineger diluted 1+1 with water makes serviceable stop bath, if you use that. You could even develop prints in Parodinal, with the right dilution (I think it'd be something like 1:10 to get a manageable tray time), though there might be problems with staining the paper base with fiber papers as the stuff darkens.

And no having to pay to ship water (dissolving commercial chemistry) internationally -- film and paper aren't so bad to buy from the USA or Europe, but who'd want to buy ID-11 or F-76, shipped in a jug, that way?