Rodinal, vitamin C, grain, & bad weather : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

OK, I have Pat Gainer's magic mix under control now (Rodinal 1:50 plus 4 g/l sodium ascorbate). Times for Ilford FP4+ are at or just under the 1:25 times. This is a great modification- the visual sharpness is fantastic and, depending on subject and lighting, the prints have a real "etched" look. Now my problem is aesthetic. Here in upstate NY the conditions are gray gray gray most of the time. The etched look and sharp grain pattern adds some interest to otherwise rather blah 35mm landscapes. Xtol gave me a much smoother rendition, but no good reason to look at it! Anyway, it's a great modification if you want the Rodinal look, but a bit finer grain. I'm curious, how do you all handle flat gray conditions when the weather won't cooperate?

-- Conrad Hoffman (, December 31, 2001


Shoot closer. Work on smaller parts of the landscape. Photograph ice & snow abstracts. Work on contrast & texture images. Spend some time in the darkroom printing, editing, filing & cleaning.

-- Dan Smith (, December 31, 2001.

Just alter the dilution to get more contrast. Try 1:25. That's the nice thing about Rodinal, that you can adjust contrast much better than with most other developers. What you will also get despite crisper negs is more grain, but perhaps the sodiumascorbate will take care of this.

-- Volker Schier (, December 31, 2001.

I finally got around to running HP5+ through the same brew, Rodinal 1:100 w/sodium ascorbate; it looks good, EI 320, grain looks better than with sulfite. It's a bit hard to tell about acutance since an 8x10 neg isn't all that sharp to begin with...but I think it'll be a good working combination.

I went over to Merritt Island NWR and just tilted the camera downward, looking at the grand sweep of marsh grass from down near my toes out to the horizon....and cropped off most of the grey mucky sky.

-- John Hicks (, December 31, 2001.

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