Discussion in ' Large Format ' started by ian 2Aug 25, For obvious reasons I want to settle on a single dev.
Using 5x4 FP4 and varing dilution rates and dev. I use Rodinal at the moment because it's more readily available but have never been clear technically on the type of dev. I use hc after doing some testing. Your milage may vary so I suggest you do the testing also. Then you aren't just taking someones word for it.
You might also want to search the web as this has been discussed many times before in other forums. Take a look at the prints you are producing. It does not matter what the developer does or is supposed to do if you don't like the results in the final print. Little technical differences happen no matter what you do.
With some developers there are greater differences. It is the print that matters. If your results look good there is no reason to change unless you can actually see an improvement. No matter how long you are in photography you will find others who have "The Answer", and is is almost always something other than what you are using. It works for them but that does not mean it will work for you. I have friends who use combinations that produce stunning results for them but in my use the results look terrible to me.
I use what I have found works for me and let them use what they like. We each turn out good images and prints that work for us. Choose one, most likely the one you have been using already, and learn to use it well. Then you can do a comparison if you want. Given a question of such extreme subjectivity as film developers I usually recommend starting with popular norms' and working your way from there.
HC is a common 'appliance' developer with similiar working characteristics at dilution B as D HC is certainly the softer of the two developers and more flexible via an almost infinate array of dilution values.
Choosing a B&W Film Developer
Rodinal is far more specialized because of it's high alkalinity, sharpness, and compensation effects. Not my favorite developer with Iford films because of grain issues, but in 4x5 format this shouldn't be as big a problem.
I personally don't think any ISO or faster film works well with Rodinal, regardless of film manufacturer. Ian: Both these developers work well with FP4. You don't say what size film you are using, so this may not be an issue, but you will see more grain with Rodinal, though the difference is less with this film than it would be with a faster film like Tri-X.
The difference with faster films is pretty obvious. Many 8X10 prints off 4X5 Tri-X in Rodinal will show grain, whereas HC will give you grain you can't see from a normal viewing distance in a 16X20 print. The difference with slower films is much less. I don't know that anybody else's subjective opinion would matter anywhere near as much as yours. In fact, I know it won't. Shoot a duplicate negative, develop one HC and one in Rodinal and enlarge them to whatever size you prefer and you decide.
You are the only one qualified to make that "right" decision.All have been developed in Caffenol mixtures. Everything has a romance period, but if you still find yourself wanting something after this amount of time then you know you are still loving it for sure.
In Reality, i actually hate coffee with a passion. I had recently accumulated enough off time at my job and had a good solid week out of office to focus on this.
I decided to put it the Caffenol against one of my old favorites and very popular Kodak HC! The following shots are taken using my Leica M6, Voigtlander 50mm f1. As i look at them now, side to side i can honestly say i see the difference. There may be some increased contrast and clarity with the HC but that could be due to the CL formula of Caffenol being a sort of semi-stand development process compared to the HC needing rotation every minute during development which in my experience increases contrast and sharpness.
In either case, i love them both but i think the HC performed slightly better for Kodak Tri-X in this instance. The actual content of the images does matter to me. The various cameras and their styles, the various films and their looks, and the many many different development methods is more than enough reason for anyone to fall in love in my opinion.
Which is the better result in your eyes? Have you ever tried any of the Caffenol recipes? How were your results? Feel free to reach out with any questions and hope all is well with everyone this holiday season! You are commenting using your WordPress.
You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Share this: Twitter Facebook. Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:.
Email required Address never made public.Share This Page.
Thread Tools. Oct 8, 1. Messages: Not a better or worse thread, but differences between the two. I'll probably try it out regardless of this thread but I'd love for you to share your opinions.
Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, Oct 8, 2. Messages: 8, HC is syrupy and is fairly fine-grained. It also seems to work better with a larger variety of films IME. Rodinal is runny and not very fine grained. I have not liked it with some films. I like HC for any film. It is my standard developer. Oct 8, 3. Sorry, no answer, just saying that I have the very same question.
I contemplated doing some in HC But then I felt that I wanted consistency and decided to use Rodinal only. Which left me with the same lingering question that you just asked. Would my results have been radically different had I used HC instead?Kodak HC-110 Vs Rodinal Vs Ilfotec DD-X - Days of Knight 170620-21-054
Less grain for sure. But tonality-wise what difference can one expect? I've always been under the rather unsubstantiated impression that Rodinal is the European preference while HC is the American way of doing things, and that the difference in result isn't all that huge. Could there be some truth in that? That part of the difference in preference is technical in origin while the remainder is more of a cultural thing?
Think Ansel Adams. All my Tri-x is gone now. Would have to buy new stock to try it out with HC Oct 9, 4.Rodinal vs. I like using one-shot developers for the sake of simplicity and consistency. For years I used Rodinal at Films I like are Ilford Delta and Honestly, I am unable to see a difference in the developers. Any thoughts? And there's your answer. Honestly, I'm not being flippant. If you can't see any difference then there is no meaningful difference.
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 for years because I found it to be more reliable than D which, in all fairness, becomes unpredictable in community labs especially when replenished. I may very well eliminate ID and substitute HC again. 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. 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 or But when you nail it with Rodinal, it's hard to beat.
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 sheet film.Choosing a black and white film developer is often a deeply personal decision, but not necessarily. Certain films and developers are meant to work together as designed by their manufacturers and if you stick to the formula, you can expect specific, consistent results.
The fun really begins though, when you start to mix and match for various reasons. It's these combinations that attract an almost religious following.
A comparison of Rodinal, HC110, and D23 film developers
Certainly if you're just starting out you might want to stick with a flexible, trusted combination until you get more experience and start to not only experiment - but learn to appreciate the differences.
Most of the developers available today have been around for a long time and have changed very little if at all. The champion of longevity is Rodinal, which was patented in and is the oldest currently available photographic product.
Others have come along over the years and because of their properties have become staples in modern photography. Kodak D and HC are great examples of this type. Why so many kinds of developers? Much like film of varying speed and grain characteristics, developers are no different.
They vary primarily by the developing agent or type and how it operates on the silver crystals of your film. Some are of a solvent type, which tend to reduce grain by eating away at or rounding the corners of the grain.
The downside is that some sharpness is lost. Other developers are of a non-solvent type which holds sharpness, but as a result tend to be grainier. Then you have variables such as how they're supplied powder or liquidif they can be mixed straight from the bottle or require an intermediary working solution, properties such as contrast and tonality, development times, etc.
Bewildering, no doubt - but it's these options that allow us to express our creativity by accomplishing a particular look - or just getting the job done as simply and reliably as possible.
So why would you want to use non-conventional combinations? This is where it gets interesting. Usually the properties of film and developer are used together to exploit certain aspects and provide a specific "look" to your images. One example is in using high-speed films with a developer such as Rodinal. This makes for grainy, contrasty images that many love and even associate with film itself. Others prefer slower films and a developer such as XTOL to produce exceptionally fine-grained, sharp and smoothly-toned images.
That's not to say you can't make huge prints from grainy negatives - just keep in mind that the grain as well as the image details are enlarged. As you get into more specialized combinations, there's little room for experimentation and must be used with only a few, specific formulas.
These have specific developer requirements and work best that way. Another variation seen amongst almost all developers is the ratio of stock to water, so-called dilutions or ratios. This allows you to fine-tune or exploit development times, contrast, sharpness and other variables. If you push or pull your film exposing for other than their rated speedchanging dilutions is a great way to make for shorter or longer development times.
It is generally preferred to keep development times short for convenience - but not so short that timing is overly critical. It's worth noting that Kodak does not recommend developing times shorter than five minutes.
Caffenol CL vs. Kodak HC110 😵
So if your particular combination requires sub-five minute times, you can use dilutions to control this. With the advantages that modern plumbing provide us, temperature is often easily controlled - but sometimes you're working under less than ideal conditions and must work with particular dilutions due to temperatures that you can reasonably attain.
Though this is more extreme, such as when you're working in the field or in a hotel room.Rodinal is a film developer, the recipe of which was introduced by Agfa in and which has been actively used since then despite the fact that photographic emulsions have undergone changes during this time. It is also worth noting that the formula of Rodinal also underwent some changes, mainly aimed at improving its shelf life. Anyway, Rodinal is based on chemical p-aminophenol. Rodinal is a liquid concentrated one-shot developer that cannot be re-used after processing.
This is one of its big advantages as you always have a fresh developer solution just before the development process. Also, the unused working solution will not keep. And the Rodinal concentrate has a comparatively incredible shelf life — up to several years in an airtight container. Despite its long history, Rodinal still remains a very popular film developer thanks to its advantages: a High edge sharpness and low veil.
Film negatives developed in Rodinal look much sharper than those developed in Kodak D It is believed that the processing with the Rodinal developer results in grainier film negatives.
However, it is a subjective feeling. In fact, the grain is the same but Rodinal makes it more clearly visible because of its high edge sharpness. At the same time, the film grain it reveals has its signature and recognizable structure with a rather beautiful pattern.
Currently, it can be purchased under various names but their formulas may differ. Earlier it was released under the name Adox Adonal. Fresh concentrates of these developers may have different colors: R09 is usually less transparent and has a more distinct reddish hue, while Rodinal is light-pink and more transparent. However, both developers get dark-red with some residue over time being opened. It is known that Agfa reformulated the developer to increase its shelf life. But in general Rodinal and R09 are very similar to each other.
I have used both and have not noticed any great difference between them.To compare these developers, I shot a roll of film in harsh sunlight. I used less exposure than I normally would have, since I wanted to evaluate shadow speed. I developed pieces of the film in all the developers I have using all the times I usually use. I wanted to see how the contrast varied so that I could fine-tune my development time for each developer, plus I wanted to compare the graininess, since I had noticed HC was grainier than D After developing them in a 20C water bath with 3 inversions per minute, I printed them using the same enlarger times using a grade 2 filter.
I found that the D23 was much slower than the other two, so I printed an additional frame for less time so that I could fairly compare the tonality and grain.
I scanned all the prints side-by-side using my basic scanner software and no processing, at DPI to capture the grain. Click for the monstrous full-size version. First of all, Rodinal is the most grainy, clearly, but it's worth noting that the image area shown is less than a frame. It represents about a 2x3 inch piece of an 11x14 print. HC was similar in graininess to the Rodinal, and D23 was much less grainy than either. However, the D23 was much slower.
The difference looking at the negatives was subtle, the different looking at the 35mm contact prints was noticeable, and the difference when printing them at the same time was obvious.
I really didn't know I was losing so much speed with D23, and it's making me wonder if I mixed it up right. I do like that it has very low graininess, yet retains detail well. I don't really see a loss of resolution with the D23 due to the solvent action, if anything it seems a bit better than the 'normal' developers.
But I'll have to remember that since D23 is rather soft-working, in any underexposure scenario, I'd better reach for a different developer.