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T-Max 100 in Rodinal 1:100 - time?

Yaakov Asher Sinclair , Nov 12, 2002; 03:36 a.m.

I decided to try using the dreaded T-Max in Readyloads because of dust problem with regular film holders. I think the only sensible way to use this film is in a JoBo of similar where it's easy to be consistent. I don't have a JoBo and I thought of a different way to control this film. Using highly dilute Rodinal, take the normal dilution and divide by four (or more). Take the normal time and multiply by four (or more - in inverse proporion to the dilution.) I saw this idea in a book about night photography whose name escapes my memory for the moment. Agitate for the 'normal' time and let it stew for the other 75%. This way it should be difficult to get an unprintable neg, even though I'll have to resort to higher grades, but at least the beast will be tamed. Am I right? And what do people recommend as a dilution? All comments, insults, etc welcomed!

Responses

Walter Glover , Nov 12, 2002; 06:08 a.m.

Yaakov,

I recently calibrated TMY in Rodinal 1+100 @ 20ยบ - for a normal range scene the time is 17:20 mins. Contraction is possible and easy but expansion is a worry - N+1 is indicated as being 40:00 mins. TMX would only differ very slightly from this because i have found that due to the compensating effect of this dilution most films require about the same time.

That's tray development and with 10ml of concentrate for every 8x10 sheet that means a litre of working solution per 8x10 or four 4x5s.

After a pre-soak of 2 mins in water I transfer to the developer and give constant agitation for 30 seconds followed by 10 secs every minute. Intervals could be extended to 2 minutes perhaps but I would be wary of bromide drag if the film is vertical and uneven edges if horizontal.

WG

Brian Ellis , Nov 12, 2002; 09:08 a.m.

I recommend testing.

Pete Andrews , Nov 12, 2002; 10:10 a.m.

What you're describing Yaakov, is compensating development, and almost any developer can be used for this. The technique is to give around two thirds of the normal development time, with normal agitation, then transfer the film to a water bath, and let it stand without any agitation for as long again.<br>This, IMHO, is a more consistent and reliable way of compressing the highlights than by using a very dilute developer. <p>Using marginal quantities of developer is always a risky business, whereas any method that uses carry-over of developer in the film emulsion itself is slightly more reliable. I'd opt for 2 bath or water bath development over high dilutions anyday.

kevin crisp , Nov 12, 2002; 10:17 a.m.

Yaakov: No insults, but some comments. I don't think there is a need to dread or tame TMAX. It is not a beast. It will cause some problems for sloppy workers, but you're obviously not one of those. I had tried TMAX 100 in HC110 and didn't care for it. Years later I tried D76 1:1 and I like it very much. I just develop it in trays like other films and my agitation is consistent from batch to batch. While most people, I am sure, carefully measure the temperature of their developer, I use the same basic time every time with a Zone VI compensating timer (adjusts time to the temperature of the solution) and I don't get surprised by the results, which are very consistent. I'm sure with a thermometer at the beginning of the development cycle you will do fine provided there isn't a big difference between the temperature in the darkroom and the solution so that it will drift up or down during the development cycle. The mistake many people seem to make with TMAX is eyeing the negative and assuming it is too thin based on experiences with other films. They have a different look and what appears to be too thin by normal standards will print just fine on normal paper. I think the prior post suggested testing, and there is no substitution for that. Do a film speed test, do a development time test, stop improvising and be consistent and make some pictures. The development time test will tell you what is a proper development time and you won't be fooled by your instinct and the erroneous conclusions you might reach by eyeballing the negative. At the suggestion of several people on the prior forum I have been trying 120 sized TMAX 100 in Xtol 1:1 and the results are remarkable. I have been meaning to try Xtol with sheet film but haven't gotten around to it. Good luck, I think the solution to your issue is easier than you think.

Scott Eaton , Nov 12, 2002; 11:36 a.m.

My tried and true process time for TMX in Rodinal at 1:100 is 20minutes at 68F in a small tank with once a minute agitation. Yields about EI-75 with non-existent shadow detail, long (rather boring) midtones but exellent highlight seperation. Grain in incredible.

Otherwise, I'd use Xtol at 1:1 or similiar.

Joseph Walsh , Nov 12, 2002; 07:27 p.m.

Does anyone else recall ever seeing the following: 100 ISO, 1-100 Rodinal, constant agitation for first minute followed by 59 (!) minutes of dev time (no more agitation). I don't recall if it was a serious recommendation. Maybe for a major N minus contraction at E.I. 25 or so it might work.... Then again, nothing surprises me anymore.

Scott Eaton , Nov 12, 2002; 10:13 p.m.

Letting your film sit in a container of developer without agitation is begging for non uniform process marks. You are much better off agitating 'gently' once every two minutes.

Joseph Dickerson , Nov 13, 2002; 11:21 a.m.

Yaakov,

Rather than changing your time(s) to achieve Plus or minus devleopment with Rodinol, change the dilution.

I use 1:50 for plus dev. 1:75 for normal and 1:100 for minus. Time remains relatively constant (I use 12 minutes at 70 degrees). Do testing for your own preferences but this works for me.

Joe Dickerson

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