Rodinal --- What's it best for ? : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

I should be grateful if you would share your view on the issue - what film Rodinal is best for ?

Up until recently I'd used T-max for nearly all of my work (Hp5+, PanF+, Delta100 and Tri-X) but now i have finally obtain some Rodinal and like to give it a try with the above films and add some new ones.

Thank you.

-- Andrew A (, January 28, 2002


Rodinal can give great tonal rendition and often a look of etched clairity. The downside is that the grain pattern is quite obvious. Unless you like that look all the time, it's not something I'd use to the exclusion of all else. It seems better suited to slower films (in 35mm anyway), unless you're after that grain pattern. Great stuff in MF and LF. You can reduce the grain and retain the look by adding 4g/l of sodium ascorbate (per P. Gainer's writings). I also had very good results with highly dilute Rodinal and TMX. Before you choose a film and developer combination, you should try to define the look you're after- smooth and glowing, hard and biting, large grain, small grain, edge effects, or whatever. That makes it easier to choose both the materials and the processing methods.

-- Conrad Hoffman (, January 28, 2002.

Andrew, I almost always use Rodinal with HP5+. The effect I look for is crisply defined, small, acute, sand like grain. I ofter like the grain and this combination gives me what I want. I was also very happy with Rodinal + APX25.

Never liked the new techn. (T-grain etc) films in Rodinal. I suppose the Rodinal is ok for me with old films and not ok with new films, but I cannot generalize this observation due to the lack of all-round testing.

-- Andrey Vorobyov (, January 29, 2002.

I've seen great results come out of Pan F with Rodinal.

-- Mark Wiens (, January 29, 2002.

You can't have everything. (Where would you put it? asks Stephen Wright.) With Rodinal you get great tonality and acutance at the expense of grain. I love the look of Tri-X in Rodinal. Ralph Gibson and Sabastio Salgado like this combination, too. (Not that I'm putting myself in their league!) But if you look at their work, the qualities lumped in the generality of "tonality" may become apparent. For a good, general purpose developer, I otherwise recommend Xtol. More speed, finer grain, and good acutance, but without that signature tonality.

-- Phil Stiles (, February 01, 2002.

I use 2 developers, XTOL and Rodinal. They are two different classes of developers which produce different looks. Of course, I assume you have used a D-76 type developer which is a good starting place for everyone.

I avoid using Rodinal with small format. With medium format I suggest staying with the Agfa films. APX 100 is the starting point to explore this developer. Dilute to control highlights.

-- Richard Jepsen (, February 07, 2002.

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