Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Silver Alchemy - Xtol Plus Rodinal

There is a certain modern retro look that I have in my mind for a portrait project I have in the works. The Lomo 120 ISO 100 film AKA Shanghai GP3 looks like a possible film for the project For the developer I would like to use Xtol. Xtol looks good but seem to lack a bit of an edge. Xtol's primary component is vitamin C and vitamin C is compatible with Rodinal.  The idea (from apug) is that a pinch of Rodinal in Xtol adds a bit of edge definition which is normally absent because of the solvent action of the Xtol. So this might be just what is needed.

New update on the process can be found here: silver-alchemy-xtol-plus-rodinal-part-ii

It's a balance between grain and highlights with the Rodinal and shadow detail with the Xtol. The 2 developers just happen to be chemically and PH compatible. But Xtol is a solvent compensating developer while Rodinal is not.

I use around a 2 minute water presoak at the same temperature as the developer and standard agitation (first 30 seconds and a couple of seconds every 2 to 3 minutes thereafter). So far in an unscientific sampling it looks like I'm on the right track. Very happy with the results:

Sunset On High Park's Grenadier Pond
Kodak TMAX 400 "Xtol 1:2 + Rodinal 1:112 for 10.5 minutes 19c"
Xtol was meant to be the dominant component yet with the tmax 400 I can see a definite difference in the highlights over xtol alone. I know by my scanning histograms compared to previous work with xtol and TMAX that the DMAX has increased with more highlights and midtone details then what would normally be seen with xtol alone while the shadows are pretty normal for xtol 1:2.

New Cafe In Cabbagetown
Fuji Neopan 400 "Xtol 1:2 + Rodinal 1:112 for 12.5  minutes 19c"  
It is less clear that there is any benefit to adding Rodinal to Xtol when developing Fuji Neopan 400 at box speed. I suspect that because it is easy to block shadows with Neopan 400 at box speed using 1:2 Xtol instead of my normal 1:1 Xtol the shadows are closing obscuring any benefits of adding the Rodinal. Upping the Xtol to 1:1 seems to give better results.

Neopan at 400 souped in xtol 1:1 plus rodinal 1:112 for 9 minutes19c















In and Out of Focus
HP5 at 400 souped in xtol 1:1 plus rodinal 1:135 for 9.5 minutes19c 
HP5 is a difficult nut to crack The first time was far too grainy. The second time worked much better very sharp maybe even too much acuity.
Columns Hide Smoker
Shanghai GP3 developed in Xtol 1:2 + Rodinal 1:112 for 15 minutes at 19c.


Behind The Columns
Shanghai GP3 developed in Xtol 1:2 + Rodinal 1:112 for 15 minutes at 19c.

Test Bench
Shanghai GP3 developed in Xtol 1:2 + Rodinal 1:112 for 14 minutes at 19c.

Chip Wagon
Shanghai GP3 developed in Xtol 1:2 + Rodinal 1:112 for 14 minutes at 19c.
Hard to see at this resolution but good sharp details with the snow grains and just a touch of blotchyness in the deep shadows.  Looking pretty good but I need to get a better baseline before I can make any conclusions.

Pedestrian Sunday At Kensington Market
Shanghai GP3 in Xtol 1:2 + Rodinal 1:100 for 10 minutes 27c,  pushed +1 shot at ISO 160

Thing in Snow
Tri-X 320p "Xtol 1:2 + Rodinal 1:112 for 12.2  minutes 20c
Tri-X 320P shows good dynamic range and retention of highlight details in this high contrast snow scene with only a slight blocking of deep shadows.

Living Outdoors
Fomapan Action 400 in Xtol 1:2 + Rodinal 1:100 for 9 minutes 19c

Danger Lurks In Toronto Ravines Beware Of The Killer Giant Hogweed
Fomapan 100 in Xtol 1:2 + Rodinal 1:112 for 9 minutes 20c

Little Italy
Tri-X 400 at 500 souped in xtol 1:1.7 plus rodinal 1:100 for 9.5 minutes at 23c

Portrait Of A Jazz Musician - 2011 Beaches Jazz Festival
Ilford Delta 3200 at ISO 3200 souped in xtol 1:2 plus rodinal 1:100 for 11  minutes at 25c
(Pretty smooth for ISO 3200)


Anonymous said...

I loooove the picture of coffee machine. It's simply too wonderful. I admire your work & I've bookmarked your site. Keep up the good work ;)

Anonymous said...

And I also wanted to ask how it's possible that you used fuji neopan and the image is color, not b&w.

Ryan Raz said...

Tim the colour is done during scanning this way

Unknown said...

Hi Ryan,
great work you have done here. I just got a couple of rolls TriX but usually shoot HP5+ or Delta 400.
How can your method be used for pushing 1 or 2 stops higher?

Ryan Raz said...

Dirk Xtol is pretty good for pushing. As you increase the developing time to over 10 minutes either increase the XTOL or decrease the Rodinal or your grain will start to grow out of control, Also invert every 2 minutes instead of each minutes. Tri X likes rodinal even at 1:100 dilution. In HP5 a little rodinal (1:200) goes a long way

Unknown said...

thanks for the info. I'll just give it a shot.