View Full Version : Rodinal

ronald lamarsh
9-Jan-2006, 17:34
Just a heads up for those in need of some rodinal right away: the folks at photographers formulary have put their previous "mix your own" powdered product back on their website until they get the packaging bugs worked out in their new liquid subsitute.

Christopher Perez
9-Jan-2006, 21:05
Ah. Salvation is at hand.

Which is another way of saying: I didn't realize someone made a Rodinal replacement.

I just love what this developer does to Ilford PanF+ in 120 work, and what it does to certain subjects on TMax100 in 4x5.

Thanks for the reminder of availability. :-)

9-Jan-2006, 22:09
Doesn't J&C sell the real stuff, in liquid form?

eric mac
10-Jan-2006, 08:17
I saw on the rangefinder forum that A&O, the company that bought the Agfa chemistry division, will continue producing Rodinal. So salvation is near.

It looks like those Rodinal futures I bought are now worthless ;>).

I have never used Rodinal personally, what is the difference between this and HC110, my normal soup.



10-Jan-2006, 08:50
there is rodinal type developer formula here (http://www.jackspcs.com/frodinal.htm) if you want to try making your own.

William Mortensen
10-Jan-2006, 10:46
Christopher- What times/temperatures and dilutions are you using with the Rodinal/Pan-F combination? I need to shoot some with my Pentax 67 next month, and haven't worked with it in over a year. Got the Pan-F in my freezer and the Rodinal on the shelf, and was thinking of introducing them to each other...

Philippe Gauthier
10-Jan-2006, 11:53
I also like Rodinal + Pan F (can't remember the time, but the one given onthe massive dev chart works OK for me). I was considering brewing my own Rodinal in the future, but if it is kept in production, great! One question, however: how likely is it to be distributed in Canada? Less and less stuff is being sold here and importing from the US is often incredibly costly because of abusive UPS charges and the like.

Donald Qualls
10-Jan-2006, 22:05
I've been using a Rodinal substitute that doesn't require any exotic photographic chemicals. I first saw the formula on rec.photo.darkroom newsgroup a couple years ago, and just got around to mixing a batch the end of November 2005.


250 ml water

30 tablets @ 500 mg acetaminophen, aka paracetamol -- generic for Tylenol pain reliever

50 g sodium sulfite (anhydrous)

20 g sodium hydroxide (anhydrous) -- Red Devil Lye works, as long as it's free-flowing and not clumped.

Mix in order indicated -- crush tablets (I used a small hammer with the tablets inside a postal envelope) to speed dissolution. Solution will become chalky white with suspended precipitate on adding the sulfite. Add the lye slowly with stirring; solution will get warm, but only gains about 8-10 degrees F. Solution will remain chalky and opaque. Let stand in a sealed container at least 72 hours. Over time, solution will darken from the color of weak tea to as dark as Coca-Cola (just like Rodinal). Mine is currently 6 weeks old, dark as weak coffee, and still going strong; I have no reason to believe it will fail before I use it up (which will probably take six months). Use dilutions and times same as for Agfa Rodinal (as starting points -- may not be identical, but it's very close).

After standing for a week or so, clear, needlelike crystals will deposit in the container; be sure to keep these with the liquid if you decant, as they're the excess of p-aminophenol sufonate that ensures against rapid oxidation of the developer by keeping the solution saturated.

Of course, use appropriate safety precautions when handling the lye -- gloves and goggles at a minimum. A droplet of lye solution (including this or genuine Rodinal concentrate) too small to notice can permanently damage your vision, but the concentrate after mixing won't burn skin if you wash it off promptly.

When mixed using distilled water at 97 cents a gallon and acetaminophen from Costco at about $6.60/1000 tablets, the above quantity of this developer costs about 55 cents (that's equivalent to the larger bottle of Rodinal that used to cost about $16 before the eBay bidding wars started, and will again once A&O gets their pipeline filled). Your cost may be higher if you don't have other uses for the lye, as it will absorb water and carbon dioxide out of the air, react with them, and both lose potency and clump into very hazardous-to-handle chunks if not completely airtight. If you're really penurious, a one pound container of lye would make approximately 5.5 liters of concentrate, which will make at least 137 liters of working solution (at 1:25). Give the stuff away like zucchini squash... ;)

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
10-Jan-2006, 22:16

That is a great recipe; I'm going to mix some up tonight!

Christopher Perez
11-Jan-2006, 11:40
Christopher- What times/temperatures and dilutions are you using with the Rodinal/Pan-F combination? I need to shoot some with my Pentax 67 next month, and haven't worked with it in over a year. Got the Pan-F in my freezer and the Rodinal on the shelf, and was thinking of introducing them to each other...

I use Rodinal at 50:1, 68degrees F for 11 minutes (I think, I'll have to look at my cheatsheet at home to be certain about this). Sometimes I use Rodinal at 75:1 for 15 to 17 minutes at 68F. Freestyle Photo had a nice cheat sheet once. It was my reference on the topic.

William Mortensen
11-Jan-2006, 23:16
Thank you, Christopher! I'll try one test roll, going with your suggestion. I won't be shooting enough 120 to bother with any serious testing, just want something that works pretty well. I'm assuming you expose the film at the normal ASA.

14-Feb-2006, 13:08
I hope we'll still find Rodinal somewhere:

I use it 1+25 at 20C intermittent agitation 9.5' for HP5+, 400ISO and it's the best combination I've ever had with 400ISO film

15-Feb-2006, 10:55
PS :

Being a professional chemist (and amateur photograper) I would definitely strongly advise anyone not familiar with laboratory work NOT TO MESS ABOUT with sodium or Potasium Hydroxide trying to prepare this (or any other) developer.

1) Mixing these chemicals in water produces heat, it is very easy to get the solution to boil which turns it into a realy dangerous thing as it risks to spill out of control.

2) Even if this does not happen (i.e. you add the powder very slowly and cool well ), these chemicals are badly corrosive and you may loose your eyes in no time if you get even a minor droplet in your eyes. You MUST wear goggles and gloves.

Anyway despite being a Rodinal addict, I am sure HC110 or any ilfotec can yield almost the same results if you take a bit of time to work out dilution + times.

Randall Ellis
15-Feb-2006, 11:05
If you are out of Rodinal and don't want to mix it yourself, you can still get the 'original' formula (R09) online. The results are supposed to be virtualy identical, at least according to the Film Developing Cookbook. You could also give FX-2 a try...

- Randy