Rodinal vs. HC110B

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by george_l._doolittle, May 16, 2003.

  1. I like using one-shot developers for the sake of simplicity and
    consistency. For years I used Rodinal at 1:25. Lately I have been
    using Kodak HC110 "B" dilution. Films I like are Ilford Delta 100 and
    400. Honestly, I am unable to see a difference in the developers.
    Any thoughts?
  2. And there's your answer.

    Honestly, I'm not being flippant. If you can't see any difference then there is no meaningful difference.

    Too often we get wrapped up in density, base + fog, grain, acutance, curves, toes, blah-blah-blah, when all that really matters is how it looks in print.

    A good example is Diafine. If I'd tried to anticipate how Tri-X souped in Diafine would look in print based on scans from the negatives, I'd have been way off the mark. The negs scanned rather poorly but printed beautifully.

    Use what works for you. I used HC-110 for years because I found it to be more reliable than D-76 (which, in all fairness, becomes unpredictable in community labs especially when replenished). Now I'm varying between ID-11, Rodinal, Ilfosol-S (which I'm phasing out due to short shelf life in concentrate), Microphen and Diafine. I may very well eliminate ID-11 and substitute HC-110 again.
  3. I think the films you list are not the ones where Rodinal shines. I like it with slow, traditional emulsion films. I've played with the T-grain films, but they just never moved me. I like Rodinal with Efke R25 and R50, Pan F, and of course Agfa APX 100 and the incredible APX 25. I'll surely miss APX 25 after I shoot the last 6 rolls that I've squirreled away!

    My experience is that one really has to watch exposure, and when developing, go easy on the agitation. It's easy to get too much density. Try it at 1:50 or 1:100. But when you nail it with Rodinal, it's hard to beat.
  4. Doug is absolutely correct. I have wasted a lot of time (and money) doing super-heroic chemical back-flips in the lab with all sorts of black-art developers and Delta 100 sheet film.

    No matter what I do, I get another neat-and-sweet grainless and happily-unremarkable perfect image.

    So next week I'm turning back the clock and beginning experiments with a few rolls of Croatian lovelies. I'll let you know efke it comes out...
  5. Thanks, gents, for the input. Guess I'll continue with HC110B. Hey
    John, we leave for Croatia this coming Tuesday. Can I look for you
    there behind a camera? Good shooting!
  6. There is a difference between developers, but it's dang small. Thus the recent rash of "shoot the same subject, cut the roll in half, process in two developers" tests that have been done here recently. Invariably, the results are not identical, but so close as not to be a factor in normal picture making situations. Choose your developer for a reasonable developing time with the film, dilution, and temperature you intend to use (longer than 5 minutes). Work out your personal EI and developing times- that will do more to improve image quality than any particular developer decision. Then, if you see a shortcoming with what you're using, certainly try something different. Personally, I went through a very long period of poor image quality. I made many small changes that didn't help. The answer was making larger changes and, ultimately, abandoning the slower t-grain films.
  7. One probably only needs two developers. One for when you need speed and can stand the grain (Microphen for me) and one for the rest (PMK is my choice).

    When tempted to try yet another formula, there is a quote that I remind myself of from time to time from the great Dr. Kenneth Mees of Eastman Kodak who, after a lifetime of research into developers said something like, "We have just discovered 306 ways of accomplishing the same thing". Not quite, of course, but worth remembering.
  8. I have developed (pun intended) my own development scheme for hc110. 1+100 (5ml concentrate hc110 + 500ml water) at room temperature water for all my work. Has been pleased so far.
  9. Travis

    Can you comment on agitation?


  10. Jorge, sure.

    I agitate 2 times mostly. First 10 secs when I poured in the developer. Then a second time at the half way mark for another 10 secs and that's all.

    I tend to think that at such considerable dilute situation, the so -called compensating effect will render the tones more evenly.

    Hence, I don't do the normal agitaion scheme of 5 secs/per min.

    Hope it helps.
  11. Neat image. More proof that HP5 and HC110 get along very well.
  12. I have used HC110 in the past but settled on Rodinal for all the reasons you give. I prefer it generally with films of 200 ASA and below. I rate HP5 at 160 ASA in Rodinal and get fine results. Rodinal works with some faster films but not all. I like it with Tri-X, Neopan 400, Neopan 1600 and Tmax 3200 all at manufacturers' rated speed. I use Ilford Delta 100 rating it at 50 ASA which gives me biting sharpness in Rodinal at 1:50 dilution. Tmax 100 at 50 ASA also gives excellent results - and I believe that Wynn White no less uses this latter combination.
  13. I rate HP5 at 160 ASA in Rodinal and get fine results.
    Please explain how you get 'fine' results with a 400 speed B/W film having to be pulled almost two stops to get decent results.
    HP5 is a 400 speed film. I can understand rating it at maybe 320, but having to pull it to 160 to get decent results tells me something is seriously not typical about the processing. Been awhile since I've run HP5 through Rodinal but the last few times I tried Delta 400 in rodinal at 1:50 the results were a disaster even in 6x7 and obvious in 1600dpi scans with mushy grain.
    Bet you can't tell the difference in TMX and Plus-X either. New fangled films must all be a rip-off and who needs HC110 when my jug of DK-50 here does just fine.
  14. Neopan 400 ei 1250 Hc110 (1+100=5ml concentrate +500 ml water), 33 degress C. 13mins. 2 agitations for 10 secs each at start and at 7 mins..

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