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Relatively grainy results with Rodinal and Tri-X

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real photos have grain says:

Dear fellow film-users,
I'd highly appreciate if you could take a quick look at this photo and tell me what I might be doing wrong.

grainy beach by real photos have grain


Thanks in advance!
6:18AM, 4 June 2012 PDT (permalink)

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Fotohuis (Robert) says:

Nothing is wrong with it. Rodinal and Tri-X (400) in 24x36mm THIS is what you get because Rodinal, based on para-Amino Phenol is not a fine grain type developer.

The combination APX 100 and Rodinal is/was very good. But in basically Rodinal is suitable for slow- and medium speed classical type films (iso 25-100).
72 months ago (permalink)

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inetjoker says:

As Robert says That is how Tri-X and Rodinal look. If you want less grain apparent but sill like the idea of mixing for a one shot developer from concentrate I would suggest HC-110.
72 months ago (permalink)

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njp66 says:

Negative scanners seem to exaggerate grain & bung up contrast too.
It can be quite a PITA when scanning Fomapan 400 or Ilford Pan F.
Two ends of the graininess scale, but still challenging to scan.
A sky is usually somewhat over-exposed in a negative, which doesn't help.

Have you had a this negative printed properly (wet print)? There may be somewhat less visible grain. Fotohuis is still right: Rodinal is not for such a fast film.
What version of 'Rodinal' did you use anyway. There are 3 variants.
Originally posted 72 months ago. (permalink)
njp66 edited this topic 72 months ago.

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Hannu_E_K says:

Why insist on agitating so often?

Now, I am no guru on this but I have come to the conclusion that the more you agitate, as in frequency and intensity, the more grain you will generate.
From what I've read all over the place (the net) the grain adding actions/facts you have are:
1. Warmer developer (adds activity),
2. More concentrated developer (adds activity)
3. Prolonged development
4. More agitation
5. Higher film sensitivity
6. Underexposure

From 3+6 you can understand why pushing film creates more grain.

Why not try at least one Tri-X roll in 1:50 and my "standard" agitation: slow swirling the first 30 seconds (as tank lid goes on), then one turn upside and a swirl-back and no more per every two minutes. Might be interesting to see with even less agitation.

Remember to "hit" the tank enough to release any air-bubbles as you agitate.

Now, both Robert and Inetjoker are 'guru's and very knowledgeable, but you haven't told all details about how you handle the development process.
What I'm trying to say is that you need to pay attention to HOW you did it - to get some clues on why you get a certain result. Harsh sloshing will affect the result.

Examples of T-max 400 in Fomadon R09. - Might be this isn't entirely comparable, but it *is* fairly fast film.
www.flickr.com/search/show/?q=%2Btmax+%2Brodinal&w=10...
Also take notice of the notes on the agitation on these saying once per FIVE minutes in 1:80 dilution.

As you scan the negs - I assume you do that - make sure to turn of sharpening in the scanner software; that is a task where to use PC software - nothing else. You need to read up on how to do it in a sensible manner - this is part of the 'darkroom work' of the digital age.
If you wish to have good result, there is no way around it.
Originally posted 71 months ago. (permalink)
Hannu_E_K edited this topic 71 months ago.

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TOM~B says:

Following on from the advice above - you could try stand/ semi-stand development - I use Rodinal at 1:100 for 60mins with 3 very slow inversions at 0 and 30mins - tapping tank down on final inversion to remove any bubbles - i.e. controlling some of the development variables that result grain.

Although as already noted with Tri-X 400 and Rodinal you are always going to get some grain.
71 months ago (permalink)

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Camera Moose says:

I use 1 hour Stand with Tri-x and never had a problem with grain. Invert for first 30 seconds then go watch tv for an hour. I use medium format which does make a difference.

I like foma 400 stand for 35mm - bit of grain but still ok for 9.5X12 enlargements.
71 months ago (permalink)

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Hannu_E_K says:

unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Rodinal/rodinal.html - recipe for less grain by mixing rodinal and XTOL...
71 months ago (permalink)

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real photos have grain says:

Thanks everyone so far!
I initially hoped to achieve results somewhat similar to this:

Tri-X & Rodinal by thewhitedarkroom


I've tried stand-development a few times, but never got satisfying results, so I kind of gave up that idea. But never say never, I might give it another try, probably with a less sensitive film (like APX 100 or CHS50).

When agitating, I usually just flip the tank upside down once and then put it back normally. Using longer intervals than my usual 30 seconds sounds like an idea, though.
71 months ago (permalink)

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Fotohuis (Robert) says:

First 30 S continuous and then every 30S 1x slowly is a regular agitation method for Rodinal/R09 one shot.

And yes slower speed films like APX 100, Efke 25-50, Pan F+ are more suitable for Rodinal development, especially in 35mm format.
71 months ago (permalink)

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thewhitedarkroom says:

I just want to mention that the example shown above is just a negative scan and my scanner kind of smoothes the grain somehow. For printing this negative was too thin, the 13 minutes are not enough for the contrast I need for my enlarger.
But I tried another shot of the same subject with 17 minutes developing which was printable and the grain came out a bit stronger, but still beautiful, especially the tones.

It might be helpful to stay low with temperature, I always try to keep it between 18-19°C and I agitate very gently for the first 60 seconds, followed by 3 inversions every minute.


Edit: Ich sehe grade, dass wir ja schonmal ein kurzes Gespräch darüber hatten. Bei mir ist es allerdings so, dass meine letzten Prints auch körniger als gewohnt rauskamen - was vielleicht an der leichten Überbelichtung liegt, seit einiger Zeit gebe ich dem Tri-X versuchsweise mal etwas mehr Licht - was allerdings die Blichtungszeit beim Vergrößern steigert und scheinbar die Kornstruktur verstärkt - werde ich zukünftig wieder sein lassen und normal bei EI400 belichten.
Originally posted 71 months ago. (permalink)
thewhitedarkroom edited this topic 71 months ago.

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real photos have grain says:

Well, I use a negative scanner as well, so that's probably no part of the problem.

It might however be that some of the frames on this roll of film were just slightly overexposed and thereby became unusually grainy (those who rather were on the border to being underexposed look perfectly fine).
71 months ago (permalink)

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inetjoker says:

Well pulling out detail and reducing contrast from any negative will add electronic grain/noise. But then again I do prefer it with films under E.I. 200.
Duel Carbs
71 months ago (permalink)

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photo_secessionist says:

For what it is worth, this was really helpful to me:

"One thing that I took from Josef Maria Eder "Rezepte Tabellen und Vorschriften" (Halle, 1949) is that Rodinal should be used at lower temperatures than usual, 16°C beeing the optimum.
This unsual recommendation - temperatures of 18°C were the standard at that time - reminded me of a recommendation of a long term user of Rodinal who wrote on usenet that Rodinal will only develop oatmeal-grain when used above 20°C. His work (Rodinal + FP4) can be viewed at www.eak-fotografie.de/ ")

Admitedly using Adonal (Rodinal cannot be shipped here and I live far from a real photo store) I found that by reducing my temperature in both pre-wash (five minutes) and soup to 18C AND using a minimum of agitation (first 30 sec. and then twice in 20 minutes for Ilford FP4+) plus rinsing in slightly warmer water 20C (sounds conter- intuitive and may be unecessary but I got good results this way) so as not to affect the emulsion the grain that I achieved was much more like the classic Rodinal look that I expected, but had not got before. Maybe this helps...
71 months ago (permalink)

lorenzo ferraro [deleted] says:

hi guys, i'm new here.
i'm looking for huge grain...as michael ackerman with holga or but i want to use a leica.
normally i use tx400 and r09 one shot.
so what i have to do? i've tried to push to 25600 but the grain is not so big, i want more!
any suggestion? push, pull, developing time and temperature, agitation...?
62 months ago (permalink)

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inetjoker says:

Well you can push with Diluted Dektol or you can crop an area of the negative.
62 months ago (permalink)

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hagee says:

lorenzo ferraro:

How did you develop this extremly pushed Tri-X in Rodinal? I want to try this!
And maybe it helps to use Rodinal above 20 deg.C / 64 deg F. It is said this will give more grain.
Originally posted 62 months ago. (permalink)
hagee edited this topic 62 months ago.

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gary99099 says:

You can always post process with denoise software. This was shot on Kodak WL Surveillance Film at ISO 1250 and stand developed in 1-100 Rodinal for 1 hour. The top image is normal. The lower was processed with Topaz Denoise.

denoised by gary99099

62 months ago (permalink)

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mattmoy_2000 says:

In my opinion, all the de-noise software has done in the picture gary99099 posted, is up the contrast or change the white point. The shadows have been lifted, but the highlights are blocked out, losing all the detail of the ice.
Personally, I can't see much grain difference between the two and much prefer the top image because you can see all the detail (and it's nicer tonally).
62 months ago (permalink)

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gary99099 says:

mattmoy_2000 (matthewmoynihan.blogspot.com) NEW!:

I like grain myself. People that have never shot film are used to squeaky clean digital images.
62 months ago (permalink)

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Tinfoil Jesus says:

lorenzo ferraro:

Tried HP5+ in Rodinal? It gave me granier results than Tri-X. But I've switched to D76 for fast films now..
62 months ago (permalink)

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Immane says:

photo_secessionist:

Developing using Rodinal or any developer at 16°C is a very interesting idea and worth an experiment. Thanks for the suggestion.

Tri-X in 35mm is troublesome when trying to get low-grain high-resolution shots in my experience. I've done it before so I know it can be done, but nailing down the process is an elusive goal. The emulsion thickness relative to others makes it more temperature sensitive IMO. I've sometimes gotten very fine low-grain results in winter using tap water in the 15-18°C range for post-fix wash.
Originally posted 62 months ago. (permalink)
Immane edited this topic 62 months ago.

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Hannu_E_K says:

+1 to
gary99099, Tinfoil Jesus, Tinfoil Jesus.

I do use Topaz denoise though - nice and easy; but I wont create plastic surfaces.
Originally posted 62 months ago. (permalink)
Hannu_E_K edited this topic 62 months ago.

magnus919 [deleted] says:

Try it again with XTol or D76. It might be more to your liking. Me? I don't mind grain. :)
62 months ago (permalink)

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kitsaplorax says:

Rodinal 1:60 @ 65 degrees for 25 minutes was recommended as a standard in the 1922 American Annual of Photography. This is a weaker solution at a lower temp. than the recommendations found in the 1950's. Of course this was for the Isochromatic and Blue sensitive films of that era. Maybe they were on to something.
62 months ago (permalink)

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Immane says:

kitsaplorax:

That's a good thing to know. I checked and found the 1922 American Annual of Photography is available online:

archive.org/details/americanannualof36newy
62 months ago (permalink)

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Retro Vesuvius says:

Everything. How are you printing your negatives?
28 months ago (permalink)

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