Part of the reason I blog here sporadically is because I get going on a certain style of shooting and developing and feel like I don’t have a lot of new information to share. In recent times, it’s been shooting Tri-X at 1200 – 1600 and developing it in HC-110 dilution B for 16 minutes. Just the other night, though, I decided to deal with some unfortunate rolls that had not been labeled. I had not followed my own good developing habits.
I figured I could do worse than stand development in Rodinal for them. I had four rolls—two Plus-X and two Tri-X (actually Arista Premium from Freestyle, 100 and 400 respectively)—and with 3.5ml of Rodinal for each roll, I ended up with 14ml Rodinal in 40 oz. of water (I like to mix English with metric) for a dilution of roughly 1:85.
Now that I’ve processed many rolls using stand development in Rodinal, a couple of things I always do: agitate for 30 seconds at the beginning, and agitate at the mid-point. I have not seen any gain in developing over an hour, so that means 30 sec initial agitation, and 3 gentle inversions at 30 minutes. Then at one hour, I dump, stop with water or stop bath, fix, etc. I try to keep water at room temperature throughout.
There seem to be a lot of opinions about stand development and nuances in the technique. Please share your experiences with it in the comments below. I’m always willing to try new ideas. Any thoughts on HC-110 stand development are welcome, too.
At this stage I pretty much do everything as stand development. It seems to suite my temperament.
For HC110 I generally go with:
1 Pre soak for 5 mins at 20C
2 HC-110 dilution G (syrup 1:119)
3 30 seconds initial gentle agitation
4 Put down and don’t touch for 60 minutes.
4 20c water as a stop bath-rinse for 5mins
5 Fix for 5 mins.
6 Final rise for 10 mins
Same as above only 1+100 mix and generally a gentle turn at the half way point.
More here if you are not bored enough yet!!
You don’t get any sprocket artifacts or bromide shift or whatever if you don’t agitate the HC-110 after the beginning? Interesting. As I said, I’ve not tried HC-110 for stand; now I will.
Never tried stand development, mainly because I’m still at noob at developing film. I’m sticking to Rodinal for the time being as it’s the most versatile of the developers (so I’ve been told). Currently shooting Foma 400 pushed to 1600 in my XA 3 (first time pushing film and yet to develop a roll).
I’m loving your blog. Learning heaps from it. It’s easy to follow and your real world tips really really help. e.g. I’ve started keeping a log of my film exposures/developing. Thank you for sharing your methods! :)
Aw, thanks! I’m always happy to get feedback. I’ve got a lot more to share; it just takes time to catch up on the developing so I have photos to go with the text.
There is a lot to be said for sticking with one film, one developer, one camera, one lens, for a long time, then adding another variable. If nothing else, it helps you get really good at that one thing. I’m restless, but I do go for long periods shooting one film, one speed, one developer, etc. It also helps you remember which film you have in that camera if you’re only shooting the same film over and over!
Looking forward to all that you have to share! Currently I’m shooting with the XA 3 (mainly because of the 35mm focal range and it allows me to expose at 1600) but I am beginning to crave more control in the image. All this fetish with pocket-able cameras has it’s downsides. I’ll probably graduate to a manual RF in the near future…
Have you considered the Yashica Electro G/GS/GSN (or GT/GTN)? It’s not fully manual, as it’s aperture priority with shutter speed set automatically, but it’s exceptional. The lens is amazing, and the shutter speed is stepless, as it’s electromagnetically controlled. Try one.
I have played with some of the electros. Very very impressive cameras but I want something completely manual. I have a XA that offers me the same level of control as the electros (without the ease of use of course). I’m eyeing something on the lines of a Bessa L (shooting without a viewfinder is just badass lol) or one of the M mount Bessas (love the R4M – shot a roll with it – simply perfect because of the wide frame lines). I’m just a bit skeptical about their reliability compared to the Leicas because I can possibly get a M3/4/5 or even a classic 6 (if I’m patient and/or willing to sacrifice aesthetics) with a voigtlander lens for roughly the same amount of money. Keeping in mind, within the budget, I’ll be getting a brand new voigtlander body versus a second hand and, possibly, abused Leica body. Pros and cons make it too difficult to decide :(
Think about the lens and body equally. If you want to be badass, get a black Leica III and throw a Super Angulon on it; or a Voigtlander if that’s closer to your budget. I don’t like shooting without a viewfinder. Without a rangefinder? That’s fine for wide angle lenses. One of my everyday setups is a Leica III with either the 21 or 25mm Voigtlander Color-Skopar. I’d love to get a vintage wide but they’re expensive.
If you want to shoot M, also consider the M2 or M4-2; they’re cheaper and they’re easier to trade up, if you take care of them.
A black Leica III = yum! Not the most practical cameras though. I had a real beater with a Russian Industar 50. Absolutely loved it. Really really roughed up from the outside but worked flawlessly. But I had to sell it because it slowed me down considerably. Not a bad thing but it was getting in the way and I was constantly regretting the time I had to change film (cutting the leader and what not). For the Bessa L: I had that as well shot with the 15mm. Even though I had the accessory viewfinder, I hardly ever used it. For some reason it felt natural to me to frame without one (weird isn’t it). One of the best I’ve used so far – was forced to sell it :( But now that I’m done experimenting and wanting to stick to the 35mm FR, I doubt it would be too practical a choice. The M4s and the M2 are definitely choice that I am considering. But their prices have shot up considerably over the last few months for some reason and I don’t want to spend more than a $1,000 on eBay for something that’s coming from overseas due to the customs rip off. Anyway, don’t want to litter your comments section more. I’ll deal with my confusion in more detail once I’m closer to buying one.
I’ve seen M4s go for less than $1000 on eBay, very occasionally. The M4 is my all-time favorite Leica, followed closely by the MP. Obviously a fully custom MP would be best, but that’s not happening on my budget. Research, add a bunch to your watch list, then use Bidnapper. You can bid on 10 cameras (any number, actually) at once and tell the system that if you win one, cancel the other bids.
I think the pre-M Leicas are more practical the more you use them. Loading them is a pain, but you can load them without cutting the leader with practice, or by removing the lens first (I know – pain in the ass and invites dust inside), opening the shutter, and guiding the film in until you can’t see the sprocket holes. Faster than cutting the leader though. I actually started carrying a pocket knife for the express purpose of cutting film. I got a cheap metal guide off eBay that I would carry in my “Leica III” bag.
Also keep your eye on KEH.com; a BGN grade M4-2 might be ugly (that black chrome is very ugly) and some of the parts inside are plastic, but I had one for a while and took care of it and sold it for what I paid for it when I was ready to step up.
Litter the comments all you want – it’s what this blog is for!