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Thread: Paterson Orbital, ortho film and Rodinal exhaustion

  1. #1
    cyberjunkie's Avatar
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    Paterson Orbital, ortho film and Rodinal exhaustion

    I have various kind of lith and internegative film, new and old (in 18x24cm and 8x10"), plus a few sheets of some old unknown film, that i found in some wooden holders which came together a Kodak 2D 8x10" outfit (quite old version, leather bellows).
    I tried to check the film identification indents against a database of old film, but i could not find an answer.
    Probably the best choice for an unknown film is Diafine, but i don't have it, and i am not willing to pay a huge shipping fee (local vendors don't have it in stock at the moment).
    In the end i decided to do a few tests, one sheet at a time, with the unknown film and with some of the ortho films.
    Once upon a time i had a darkroom, now it is stored at many Km. of distance, so i have to do with a makeshift darkroom set up in a small bathroom.
    Waiting to be ready to develop more sheets together, i bought a used Paterson Orbital processor, plus a Kaiser Duka 5 with red filter, to be used with ortho films.
    I have to do one 8x10" or 18x24cm at a time, but that's not bad for testing.
    I have a large stock of Rodinal, so i am willing to try it at high diluitions, even more than 1:100, which would be good to tame the contrast of lith film, and also not bad to be used with an unknown film.
    I had in mind to start with Rodinal 1:150, in semi-stand development (vigorous initial shaking, to eliminate bubbles, then a small shake every 15 minutes). Then it came to my mind that the Paterson contains a small amount of liquid, and with high diluition the amount of concentrated developer would be very little... possibly not enough to develop the area of an 8x10" film!
    I checked the informations available on the Web, with no conclusive evidence.
    What is the maximum amount of liquid that can be filled in the Orbital, with no adverse effects?
    The minimum should be 75ml, but many people use a double amount. Even 150ml, at 1:150, would be just 1ml of concentrate. I am afraid it's too little to develop 500 square centimeters!
    Should i change my plans?

    As my old darkroom chemicals are too old (although i have to check the powders), i found a stash of Agfa chemicals for a cheap price, which was the right thing at the right time
    Along the usual Rodinal and Agefix, i got a big bottle of Sistan.
    Somebody gave the advice of using it at half strength, with a hint of Agepon or Photoflo. Others say to use it IN PLACE of a surfactant.
    I tend to trust the users of this forum more than other sources, at least as a starting point, so i am waiting for your precious input

    cheers
    have fun
    CJ

    WTB (and pay good monet for):
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    Re: Paterson Orbital, ortho film and Rodinal exhaustion

    The minimum quantity of Rodinal/Adonol concentrate specified for developing 80 square inches of film (what you're planning to do) is 10 ml. Others will post that they use less and it "works fine," but doing so is counting on scene content to be of an average brightness that won't require full developing capacity. Certainly 1 ml of concentrate is far too little under any circumstances.

    One can follow developer manufacturers' recommendations or not. Confidence or crapshoot. The choice is yours.

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    cyberjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: Paterson Orbital, ortho film and Rodinal exhaustion

    You are right.
    After reading countless posts, with a wide spectrum of opinions, i confirm that Agfa reccomended a minimum of 10ml of concentrate for each 135-36 roll (which is nearly 10ml for an 8x10" and nearly 9ml for a 18x24).
    By their own admission (old Usenet post by an Agfa technician), it is what they consider a safe bet, to offset the effects of any adverse condition.
    It is true that more highlights need more developer activity, and even more if an old-style (= more silver) emulsion is used, but the activity of Rodinal seems to be affected even more by the Ph of water.
    With highly alkaline water you need more developer.
    I found many informed posts which express the same opinion.
    I guess that those who reported full success using smaller amounts of developer (5, 3 and even 2.5ml), used distilled or demineralized water to dilute the concentrate... or were so lucky to have tap water with the right Ph.

    I need to find out how much liquid can be filled into the Orbital, with no spillage during agitation.
    If the amount of concentrate is too low, it is still possible to develop in two steps, replacing the exhausted developer with some fresh one, about midway of the developing time.
    I don't see anything wrong in it.
    Unfortunately the Orbital can give development streakings, especially with 8x10".
    The amount of liquid seems to play a major role.
    That's why i am looking for somebody who already did what i want to do:
    Orbital + high diluition + minimal agitation + 8x10".

    have fun

    CJ
    have fun
    CJ

    WTB (and pay good monet for):
    soft back cell for Ilex Photoplastic 5x7
    disks for Imagon 420mm
    5x7 back for Calumet C1
    5x7 conversion for Bi-System

    for sale
    Photographica

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    Tim Meisburger's Avatar
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    Re: Paterson Orbital, ortho film and Rodinal exhaustion

    Hi CJ. You can use an orbital will large amounts of developer, but if you do you have to cut the fins off the lid. Otherwise the film (or paper) will float up and touch the fins and you will get lines or uneven development (because the fins interrupt the flow of the liquid). I use 70ml of D23 in mine for four sheets of 4x5, which seems to work fine, but not sure that is useful if you are using very low concentrations of Rodinal. If you cut the fins off you could use a lot more developer, at least 250ml and maybe 500, as long as it didn't come so high that it touched the bottom of the lid.

  5. #5
    cyberjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: Paterson Orbital, ortho film and Rodinal exhaustion

    Thanks Tim.
    Do you mean cutting the fins completely, or shortening them?
    I found that people are following different routes, depending on the amount of developer and the size of film.
    Did you modify yours? If i find a second Orbital on the cheap, i will dedicate one for experiments and leave the other one as-is.

    If i look at your location, i can't help but feeling a rush of envy, here we have a span of snow, and still snowing hard
    I spent a total of a few years in Thailand, India and Nepal... and i am still in love with those places!
    have fun
    CJ

    WTB (and pay good monet for):
    soft back cell for Ilex Photoplastic 5x7
    disks for Imagon 420mm
    5x7 back for Calumet C1
    5x7 conversion for Bi-System

    for sale
    Photographica

  6. #6
    Tim Meisburger's Avatar
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    Re: Paterson Orbital, ortho film and Rodinal exhaustion

    Hi CJ. No, I never cut mine, and I have never seen one cut, but there are descriptions on the web. When I started using one I followed instruction from this site: http://www.rogerandfrances.com/.../p...20orbital.html , which seemed to work well.

    Thailand is nice, but so is Italy!

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