Adox CMS 20 II & HC-110 (Dilution G)

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by willscarlett, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. Once upon a time, I shot a lot of Adox CMS 20 and tried developing it in different dilutions of Rodinal at different times and agitation schemes. While Adox's Adotech developer did deliver beautiful continuous tone, not to mention how fine grained this film is, the Adotech developer was pricy and didn't have a great shelf life. You were best off shooting enough rolls to use the developer up in one shot. However, it also became clear that it was difficult to get continuous tone out of this film using anything but the Adotech developer. The best results I ever got with Rodinal was when I rated the film at 10, diluted the developer 1:200, and developed for 18 minutes using normal agitation. One reason this method worked so well was because it was an overcast day. When I tried this shooting/developing method on a sunny day, it was back to pretty dense negatives.
    However, all that changed recently when I was recently browsing away at The Online Darkroom and came upon Scotty Elmslie's attempts at developing Adox CMS 20 II in Rodinal and HC-110. He was able to get pretty decent results with Rodinal, aside from some bromide drag, but really hit the sweet spot with HC-110 (Dilution G, 1+119), so I decided to give it a whirl. I used the 120 version of Adox CMS 20 II, exposed it at ISO 8 and developed for 15 minutes at 68F with 15 seconds initial agitation and 10 seconds at the halfway point. This method yielded no bromide drag and there was no uneven development from too much agitation.

    Granted you are shooting at ISO 8, but even with the newer Adotech III developer, the instructions say to shoot this film at ISO 12 in normal contrast situations and ISO 20 in reduced contrast situations. I'll post a few shots below. The camera I used was a Mamiya C330. All shots were either f/5.6 or f/8, which also necessitated the use of a tripod. Metering was done using a Nikon D810.
  2. Front Porch
  3. Thanks for the research and varied subject examples of this film developer combination. As you say, there appears to be no evidence of bromide drag as can be caused if there is insufficient agitation. From a qualitative point of view (perhaps subjective on my part, and acknowledging that the sky is overcast and contrasts are less), are you happy with the tonal range? Would you not expect to see stronger whites and especially more widely differentiated grey tones, as seen in your other B&W images with different films and development?
  4. Hi Arthur, thanks for responding. I'd say yes, I am happy with the tonal range. While it was sunny earlier on this day, it had come a bit more cloudy, though not entirely overcast, when I got around to shooting. I'd say if it were sunnier, then yes, I'd expect to see stronger whites and especially more widely differentiated grey tones, as seen in other B&W images with different films and development. Based off the sample shots I saw from the posting on The Online Darkroom, this method of shooting and developing Adox CMS 20 II can yield continuous tone, even on bright, sunny days. I'll link that below so you can see the different attempts with Rodinal and HC-110 as well.
    I definitely plan to shoot another roll under a bright, sunny sky, and I also have some rolls of the original Adox CMS 20 laying around. I'd be curious to see how those respond to this shooting and development scheme. If you do shoot any Adox CMS 20, be warned - this film has an intense curl to it. It made it difficult to put the negatives in plastic sleeves and also to scan it.
    Rolls 1-2
    Rolls 3-4
    Rolls 5-8
  5. I am glad that you found the article useful. If anyone want to see it, it is in the Online Darkroom archive from May 2015.
    I have not actually tried it with 120 film yet. I'm happy to see that the technique translated from small to medium format.
  6. First off I don't have any Adox CMS 20 II so apologies, but have had success with Rollei Retro 80S which is hard to control with Rodinal. I have been using 1ml Rodinal with 1ml HC-110 in 250ml as a stand developer at box speed and like the results. The resulting mix, when it's boiled down, is the addition of ascorbate and borax except the pH is 8.8 - lower than borax.
    I know you didn't ask the question but it may be a help since you appaerntly have both of these developers.
    Here is one I took on a bright day in central France about mid-day.
  7. Hi Scotty, thanks for responding. I'd like to try your developing method with version 1 of Adox CMS 20. I still have a few rolls in 35mm. I wonder if anyone has any in 120 they'd be willing to donate or sell?
    Murray - I appreciate the info on Rollei Retro 80S. Can you give more info on the development process? 1 mL Rodinal, 1 mL HC-110 in 250 mL water? How long did you leave it in the developer for and what was the agitation scheme?
  8. Murray, I've shot one roll of Rollei Retro 80S. I rated the film at 80 and developed it for 7 minutes in Rodinal 1:50 at 20°C. I found that using the method, highlights were a bit harsh, but in shadowless lighting, it was quite nice. I'll post two examples...
  9. Once the sun went away, pretty smooth
  10. John-Paul, you obviously don't need my advice as your samples show. Very nice.
    Mostly I use a stand regime of lots of agitation for 2 minutes. Any less and you risk streaking in the highlights. After that I cannot resist a twiddle or inversion every 20 mins. Total time about an hour.
    I feel I am preaching to the choir.

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