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Bill Pierce - Leica M photog and author

 

“Our autobiography is written in our contact sheets,  and our opinion of the world in our selects”  

"Never ever confuse sharp with good, or you will end up shaving with an ice cream cone and licking a razor blade."  

 

Bill Pierce is one of the most successful Leica photographers and authors ever. I initially "met" Bill in the wonderful 1973 15th edition Leica Manual (the one with the M5 on the cover). I kept reading and re-reading his four chapters, continually amazed at his knoweldge and ability, thinking "if I only knew a small part of what this guy knows... wow."  I looked foward to his monthly columns in Camera 35 and devoured them like a starving man.  Bill has worked as a photojournalist  for 25 years, keyword: WORK.  Many photogs dream of the professional photographer's  life that Bill has earned and enjoyed.  Probably Bill's most famous pic is Nixon departing the White House for the last time, victory signs still waving. 

 

Bill  has been published in many major magazines, including  Time, Life, Newsweek, U.S. News, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, New York Magazine, Stern, L'Express and Paris Match.  :His published books include  The Leica Manual,  War Torn, Survivors and Victims in the Late 20th Century, Homeless in America,  Human Rights in China,  Children of War.  Add to that numerous exhibitions at major galleries and museums.  Magazine contributions include  Popular Photography,  Camera 35, Leica Manual,  Photo District News, the Encyclopedia of Brittanica, the Digital Journalist, and now RFF.  Major awards include Leica Medal of Excellence, Overseas Press Club's Oliver Rebbot Award for Best Photojournalism from Abroad,  and the World Press Photo's Budapest Award. Perhaps an ever bigger award is Tom Abrahamsson's comment: "If you want to know Rodinal, ask Bill."

 

I met Bill in person through our mutual friend Tom Abrahamsson.  In person his insight and comments are every bit as interesting and engaging as his writing.  He is a great guy who really KNOWS photography.  I am happy to say he has generously agreed to host this forum at RFF  From time to time Bill will bring up topics, but you are also invited to ask questions.  Sit down and enjoy the ride!

 


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Rollei 400S and Rodinal
Old 07-14-2017   #1
Calzone
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Rollei 400S and Rodinal

Bill,

One of my ventures is exploring 70mm film via a Linhof CINE back that I will use on two Baby-Linhof's: a Tech IV and a Tech V. I was fortunate to find a rare 645 version that allows over 120 645 exposures on 15 feet of film; and know I also have a 6x7 CINE insert for over 60 exposures of 6x7.

I was fortunate to mine out three 15 foot stainless steel reels, and I think I can cut down an early version JOBO Expert tank to create a custom daylight tank for the three 15 foot reels.

I am very interested in using Rollie 400S film because it is available as fresh film and its cost is less than a dollar a foot. In fact 70mm in bulk is cheaper than rolls of 120 here in the U.S. and I figure my cost of 120 equiv is about $2.50 a roll.

I found one reviewer who likes 400S in Rodinal. He mentions that the grain is remarkably small for a fast film, but he also mentions that the film is high contrast. He suggests 1:25 10 1/2 minutes for 400 ISO, but for a compensating effect he uses the same time (10 1/2 minutes and 1:25) for 200 ISO, but he cuts aggitation to every three minutes to get the under development required.

This reviewer does not like the long 22 minute time for 1:50, but normally this is what I would do to soften contrast, raise the mids, and get a compensating effect.

I'm a pretty big user of Diafine, so I use the compensating effect to my advantage. I love Rodinal at 1:50 for slow speed films where grain is not amplified. I wonder if 1:50 is the way to go?

I bought a 5 pack of Rollie 400S in 120 to do my testing. Any advice, help or wisdom would be greatly appreciated. I want to make this work because it is an opportunity to have firepower, shoot mucho film, and moderate costs buy keeping the film price low.

Also Rodinal is both convenient, inexpensive, and gives nice results. I want most of all to exploit it as a compensating developer for long tonal range.

Thanks in advance.

Cal
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Old 07-14-2017   #2
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If Rollei 400S is the same as Rollei Retro 400S I don't think you will get ISO 400 out of it. And with Rodinal you have even less chance of that. I only did 35mm in Rodinal and the grain was harsh and tonal range wasn't anywhere near the films like TMax 400.

I must say that I don't shoot much BW, I just take the first time for film/developer combination I can find (Martin Zimelka if I remember correctly in this case) and can't be bothered to dial in the processing for a particular film, so my observation is pretty much useless...
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Old 07-14-2017   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brbo View Post
If Rollei 400S is the same as Rollei Retro 400S I don't think you will get ISO 400 out of it. And with Rodinal you have even less chance of that. I only did 35mm in Rodinal and the grain was harsh and tonal range wasn't anywhere near the films like TMax 400.

I must say that I don't shoot much BW, I just take the first time for film/developer combination I can find (Martin Zimelka if I remember correctly in this case) and can't be bothered to dial in the processing for a particular film, so my observation is pretty much useless...
B,

Thanks for the response. Martin Zimelka was my reference.

You are the second person who said the film speed is too aggressive and too highly rated.

I am motivated by costs to try and get this to work, and also to learn. For me Rodinal for slow speed films and high dilutions for a compensating effect is wonderful, but at 400 ISO???

I'm prepared to do the testing. I think this weekend I will try and do what Martin suggests and go from there.

For me 160-200 ISO would be ideal. I'm not looking for a high speed film.

Cal
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Old 07-14-2017   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
You are the second person who said the film speed is too aggressive and too highly rated.
And I am the third person .
And I will explain you why:

1. Rollei Retro 400S = Rollei Superpan 200 = Rollei Infrared = Agfa Aviphot Pan 200.
It is all the same film!
Agfa Aviphot Pan 200 is the original.
The Rollei "versions" are just different labels and wrappings!
Maco / Rollei-Film is very well known for their often misleading marketing and product statements.

2. Even the Agfa Aviphot Pan 200 is not a real ISO 200/24° film. Because these aerial films are measured at Zone III for speed, not at Zone I as standard photo films!
Therefore their real effective speed is lower. You get about ISO 80/20° to 100/21° with most developers with Aviphot Pan 200.

The highest speed I've got so far with this film was ISO 160/23° with Moersch Finol developer.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 07-14-2017   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHPhoto View Post
And I am the third person .
And I will explain you why:

1. Rollei Retro 400S = Rollei Superpan 200 = Rollei Infrared = Agfa Aviphot Pan 200.
It is all the same film!
Agfa Aviphot Pan 200 is the original.
The Rollei "versions" are just different labels and wrappings!
Maco / Rollei-Film is very well known for their often misleading marketing and product statements.

2. Even the Agfa Aviphot Pan 200 is not a real ISO 200/24° film. Because these aerial films are measured at Zone III for speed, not at Zone I as standard photo films!
Therefore their real effective speed is lower. You get about ISO 80/20° to 100/21° with most developers with Aviphot Pan 200.

The highest speed I've got so far with this film was ISO 160/23° with Moersch Finol developer.

Cheers, Jan
Jan,

Thank you so much. This is very-very useful. This is why Marten reported fine grain. This Rollie 400S is in reality a slow speed film.

If I get 160 ISO I will be mucho happy. I'm shooting leaf shutters and want to avoid over stopping down to prevent diffraction.

I'll be looking into a local developer that is similar to Moersch Finol.

Anyways this is like doing forensics... LOL.

Thanks again.

Cal
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Old 07-14-2017   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
Bill,

One of my ventures is exploring 70mm film via a Linhof CINE back that I will use on two Baby-Linhof's: a Tech IV and a Tech V. I was fortunate to find a rare 645 version that allows over 120 645 exposures on 15 feet of film; and know I also have a 6x7 CINE insert for over 60 exposures of 6x7.

I was fortunate to mine out three 15 foot stainless steel reels, and I think I can cut down an early version JOBO Expert tank to create a custom daylight tank for the three 15 foot reels.

I am very interested in using Rollie 400S film because it is available as fresh film and its cost is less than a dollar a foot. In fact 70mm in bulk is cheaper than rolls of 120 here in the U.S. and I figure my cost of 120 equiv is about $2.50 a roll.

I found one reviewer who likes 400S in Rodinal. He mentions that the grain is remarkably small for a fast film, but he also mentions that the film is high contrast. He suggests 1:25 10 1/2 minutes for 400 ISO, but for a compensating effect he uses the same time (10 1/2 minutes and 1:25) for 200 ISO, but he cuts aggitation to every three minutes to get the under development required.

This reviewer does not like the long 22 minute time for 1:50, but normally this is what I would do to soften contrast, raise the mids, and get a compensating effect.

I'm a pretty big user of Diafine, so I use the compensating effect to my advantage. I love Rodinal at 1:50 for slow speed films where grain is not amplified. I wonder if 1:50 is the way to go?

I bought a 5 pack of Rollie 400S in 120 to do my testing. Any advice, help or wisdom would be greatly appreciated. I want to make this work because it is an opportunity to have firepower, shoot mucho film, and moderate costs buy keeping the film price low.

Also Rodinal is both convenient, inexpensive, and gives nice results. I want most of all to exploit it as a compensating developer for long tonal range.

Thanks in advance.

Cal
Cal -

My tendency would be to figure out times for the 1:50 dilution with the film shot at a lower film speed. All to be worked out, and you will probably end up with a developing time that is long enough that you will want to take a good book into the darkroom. Medium format (70mm is my favorite roll film because of film flatness issues that can occur with paper backed rolls) should hold up with a variety of developers should you want to experiment with others or just pick a soup that gives you a shorter, more convenient developing time or softer grain pattern.

Bill
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Old 07-14-2017   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pierce View Post
Cal -

My tendency would be to figure out times for the 1:50 dilution with the film shot at a lower film speed. All to be worked out, and you will probably end up with a developing time that is long enough that you will want to take a good book into the darkroom. Medium format (70mm is my favorite roll film because of film flatness issues that can occur with paper backed rolls) should hold up with a variety of developers should you want to experiment with others or just pick a soup that gives you a shorter, more convenient developing time or softer grain pattern.

Bill
Bill thanks for the response. I do think I likely might start with Rodinal 1:50 and try for 80 ISO. If anything be on the conservative side on film speed. Jan's information gives me a start.

I already have some Ilford Microphen mixed so I would be happy if I can get 160 via a push.

The film flatness is a great asset, but for me being able to shoot a lot and having low film costs like the good old days is most important to me.

Since I have those huge 15 foot reels I won't mind long development times. If I can shoot one film at two speeds with two different developers I will be happy.

Cal
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Old 07-14-2017   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
Bill thanks for the response. I do think I likely might start with Rodinal 1:50 and try for 80 ISO. If anything be on the conservative side on film speed. Jan's information gives me a start.

I already have some Ilford Microphen mixed so I would be happy if I can get 160 via a push.

The film flatness is a great asset, but for me being able to shoot a lot and having low film costs like the good old days is most important to me.

Since I have those huge 15 foot reels I won't mind long development times. If I can shoot one film at two speeds with two different developers I will be happy.

Cal
I would be interesting to see what happens in Diafine.
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Old 07-14-2017   #9
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I would be interesting to see what happens in Diafine.
Bill,

I threw away the instructions with Diafine and came up with my own way to use it. First off the ISO's I found to be too aggressive. Next I found that by minimizing aggitation to only two gentle inversions per minute I got finer grain where Tri-X and Acros were comparable, and I needed a 4x loupe on a light table to A-B negatives to actually see that the grain on Tri-X was slightly bigger. With out the A-B test and the loupe you would say the grain was the same.

So here is how I use Diafine for Tri-X and FP4: 4+4 and only two slow inversions per minute. I figure that since I cut back on aggitation I'm accually underdeveloping. For Tri-X I use 640-800 ISO (640 under diffused lighting) and FP4 at 160 ISO. Basically 2/3rd stop push.

I have a gallon kit already mixed that I have been using, so with Rollie at perhaps 80-100 ISO like Jan suggests then maybe I can get a possible 160 ISO with Diafine. Boy would this be good for me. A 2/3rd a stop push is all I need and I can do mucho shooting with big firepower.

With Diafine I only rate Acros at 100 ISO and do the standard 5+5, but with my minimized aggitation of only two gentle slow inversions per minute.

My thinking and logic with Diafine is to exploit the compensating effect to my advantage. The highlights kinda get a stand like development, with Diafine you get enhanced shadow detail over any solvent developer, it is a strong developer so the times are short and the grain small, and pretty much I use ISO to set my midrange.

My negatives kinda look like HDR film or a larger format in tonality and detail. Know that I'm making negatives for wet printing and not scanning so they are denser.

On the MDC they say 4+4 and 640-800 ISO for Diafine. Nutz... I'll try for 160 ISO at my 4+4 (meaning only two slow gentle inversions per minute).

Cal
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Old 07-14-2017   #10
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Hello Again Cal, and Hello Bill!

This is indeed timely info for me. I am presently powering through a 70mm roll of Agfa Aviphot 200 in my Hasselblads. I'm about a third of the way through the roll. I've been bracketing at EI 50, EI 100, and EI 200. Maybe I should forget 200 (that's not going to happen).

Developers I have read good things about are : Pyro PMK, Willi Beutler (Leica) Developer, Rodinal, and A49. My favorite soup is straight Legacy Mic-X replenished and I might try that. Twenty three minutes according to Digital Truth!

Time will tell -Dan
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Old 07-14-2017   #11
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Hello Again Cal, and Bill!

This is indeed timely info for me. I am presently powering through a 70mm roll of Agfa Aviphot 200 in my Hasselblads. I'm about a third of the way through the roll. I've been bracketing at EI 50, EI 100, and EI 200. Maybe I should forget 200 (that's not going to happen).

Developers I have read good things about are : Pyro PMK, Willi Beutler (Leica) Developer, Rodinal, and A49. My favorite soup is straight Legacy Mic-X replenished and I might try that. Twenty three minutes according to Digital Truth!

Time will tell -Dan
Dan,

Good luck.

Perhaps go intermediate and start shooting my magic number 160 ISO.

I figure I don't want to run out of shutter speed and I have to deal with the slow top speed of a leaf shutter on my Linhof's. I also don't want to go much past F11 unless I have to. 160 ISO is good for me.

Oh what fun. Just like the old days in the 70's in art school.

Cal
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Old 07-17-2017   #12
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Bill,

I shot a roll of 400S from my rooftop under a cloudless bright sky yesterday morning. I developed the roll in Diafine. It seemed my 4+4 will likely be better as 3+3, and my limited two inversions instead of the recommended three resulted in traces of Bromide Drag in a 500ml stainless steel daylight tank that lacked any "piston" factor when doing gentle inversions.

Effectively I exacerbated the situation by using a 220 Hewes reel. Understand the tighter spiral more closely resembles the winding of my 15 foot 70mm reels.

So the good is fine grain and full tonality around 50 ISO. Perhaps an honest 80 ISO doing 3+3. Really nice detail.

So somehow I used Diafine to unwind the natural "S" curve inherent in 400S to get nice full tonal range, and somehow I used Diafine to pull instead of push. The bad is the loss of film speed.

The ugly is the Bromide Drag on some negative in the sky. Most pronounced on wet negatives, only a trace, but I know they are there. I know going forward that I need a little "piston" action with inversion to avoid the Bromide Drag. Next time I'll use a one liter tank and load two reels. I'm not far from where I want to be.

I also would like to try Microphen to get 160 ISO. I figure instead of using 8 minutes and 4 inversions per minute, I will do two inversions and increase the time to 11 minutes to get a compensating effect.

Would be great to have one film and two film speeds by just using different developers.

Thanks.

Cal
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Old 07-17-2017   #13
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3+3 , 4+4 , 5+5 , ? Help me here before I make some bad assumptions , thanks , Peter
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Old 07-17-2017   #14
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3+3 , 4+4 , 5+5 , ? Help me here before I make some bad assumptions , thanks , Peter
Peter,

Diafine is a two part compensating developer that is designed to moderate contrast. Works great on some films, but is awful on others. For me works well on Tri-X, Acros and FP4.

One of the main reasons I use Diafine is that the developer gets reused and does not need replenishment. Another reason is that it is "Panthermic" meaning temperture is not a factor as long as it is above 68 degrees F. Diafine also has a long shelf life.

In the past I used mucho D76 and ID-11 as one shots, but this became costly when I was shooting 100+ rolls of film a month. I kinda had to figure out how to make Diafine work for me. I basically threw away the instructions and figured out how to make it work for me as my main all around developer. While I use and take advantage of the compensating effect, I wanted the mid range of a normal developer.

Understand that Part "A" is recommended to soak for "3" minutes and the aggitation recommended is three inversions per minute. During this Part "A" soak no real development takes place and more or less you are just wetting the emulsion. After the initial three minutes this Part "A" is emptied and saved to be reused.

The next step is the three minute soak of Part "B" which activates the Part "A" soaked into the emulsion. The recommended agitation is again three inversions per minute. Part "B" after three minutes is emptied and saved to be reused.

Water rinse as a stop bath and then fix. The above 3+3 is what is recommended for Tri-X and FP4, but for Acros it is 5+5.

What is helpful to understand is that the highlights with Diafine kinda get a stand like development. Basically the developer (Part "A") in the highlights gets exhausted.

Know that Diafine is a very strong developer so the shadow detail is innately enhanced.

The tricky part is getting the right mix of midrange because the highlights and shadows with Diafine development is kinda fixed, and the way I control that is by exposure. For Acros 100 ISO (box speed); for Tri-X 800 ISO; and for FP4 160 ISO. With Tri-X and FP4 you get a push in film speed. Know that although I am pushing the film with FP4 and Tri-X that the contrast is moderate and my midrange is mucho broad.

I kinda learned that if I minimized agitation I got signifigantly smaller grain. With Acros there is almost no grain, and with only two inversions per minute Tri-X has a grain size almost as small as Acros. But since I'm minimizing agitation realize I'm also underdeveloping. Keep this in mind for later...

The effect with Diafine that I get is kinda like HDR film. The highlights are almost impossible to blow due to the stand like development, I get mucho big midrange like a larger format, and I get a shadow detail like a bigger negative. One of my friends looked at some of my 6x9 negatives and said, "With negatives like these you don't need a 4x5."

With Rollie 400S it seems like I am able to unwind an innate built in "S" curve by "pulling" down the film speed to around 50 ISO, but the 4+4 I came up with is what I tend to use on Tri-X and FP4. Know that since I'm cutting back on agitation to enhance the compensating effect (more like a stand development), I increased the recommended time from 3+3 to 4+4 to get a full development.

With the Rollie 400S (really a 80-100 ISO film as suggested by Jan in this thread) 4+4 is a bit of overdevelopment, so I think 3+3 will give me a slightly denser negative.

Know that I'm making negatives for wet printing that would be denser than negatives for optimized for scanning.

Sorry for all the complexity and confusion.

Cal
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Old 07-17-2017   #15
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Cal,

May I ask, where are you buying the Rollie 400 70mm bulk film? I'd be interested in running some thru my Rollei and my Medalist.

Thanks,
-Tim
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Old 07-17-2017   #16
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Cal,

May I ask, where are you buying the Rollie 400 70mm bulk film? I'd be interested in running some thru my Rollei and my Medalist.

Thanks,
-Tim
Tim,

MACO has it for about $98.00 for 100 feet. This is fresh film. This price includes VAT. Not sure how to unwind the VAT since I'm in the U.S.

I have not ordered 70mm yet, and at this point I'm just testing 400S in 120 to see what I can and cannot do. All I have done is shoot and develop one roll, but I can already see wonderful results.

I might load up the truck as they say when I do order. I figure about $2.50 a 120 equiv, even if I write off the VAT. At this point shooting 120 suddenly can become cheaper than shooting 135 on a per roll basis. I still have some Arista Premium and some Arista Legacy Pro (rebranded Acros) when 135 cost no money.

More info on Dan's 70mm thread and a link.

Mucho cheap film that looks great is for me. I still have 4 more rolls out of the 120 five pack.

If Microphen gets me 160 ISO I'm in big time. That will be my next test as well as two rolls of 400S in a one liter tank Diafine 3+3. Looks like HDR but film. Mucho detail, and big time tonal range and shadow detail.

Cal
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Old 07-17-2017   #17
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Cal,

Looking on Digital Truth this film works with a lot of developers. Microphen is OK, but expensive to me, cause it can't be replenished.

I'm thinking about ACUFINE and ACUFINE Replenisher due to the film volume. I already have a gallon kit of Diafine, a gallon of Acufine, and Acufine Replenisher from B&H. That should be enough to fill my Kindermann. This is a lot of square inches of stock and I think replenisher is the only way to go.

As far as I know Acufine is the only developer I have ever used that has honestly boosted shadow detail. It really does raise film speed. Seems like a good match to Rollei 400S.

So maybe you could use Diafine and Replenished Acufine ??


"Not sure how to unwind the VAT since I'm in the U.S". You insist that they deduct the VAT (about 18%) because you are NOT in the European Union.
We pay personal Income Tax, not VAT. Actually their website should make the deduction for foreign purchases, but it's not that sophisticated. SO Rollei 400S is about $80 per roll plus USA shipping

I figured it's really around 100 ISO give or take. I've read that Diafine Part A dosen't easily absorb into the emulsion of 400S, so it is good news it is working for you
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Old 07-17-2017   #18
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Quote:
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...
With the Rollie 400S (really a 80-100 ISO film as suggested by Jan in this thread) 4+4 is a bit of overdevelopment, so I think 3+3 will give me a slightly denser negative.
...

Cal
Dude
You"kinda" mucho confused yourself with the long story)
Overdeveloping gives you a denser neg. if you reduce time to 3 min, you'll get thinner stuff.

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Old 07-17-2017   #19
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Has anyone experience with Rodinal 1:100 and stand/semi stand development for an hour?

I have some 35mm 400s I want to process at home.

Thanks.
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Old 07-17-2017   #20
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Worth mentioning that agitation in Diafine part B should be gentle, as too much action washes the Part A out of the emulsion and results in thinner negs. I think of that agitation as simply a way to float exhausted developer byproducts away from the film surface...
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Old 07-18-2017   #21
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Dude
You"kinda" mucho confused yourself with the long story)
Overdeveloping gives you a denser neg. if you reduce time to 3 min, you'll get thinner stuff.

P,

Thanks for the clarity.

A lot of obsessive thinking going on here. LOL.

My thinking was that I'm pulling the film: overexposing and underdevelopment. Somehow in all this I got lucky with finding the tonality I want.

Pretty good for one test roll of a new film.

Cal
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Old 07-18-2017   #22
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Originally Posted by Nokton48 View Post

So maybe you could use Diafine and Replenished Acufine ??
Dan,

One of the best things about Diafine is that it gets reused and does not require replenishment. I mix a gallon kit to fill a 2 liter tank, and when I run the stock down to two liters from one gallon due to spillage, wetting the film, and pouring off the sediment that accumulates over time, I generally replace that one gallon kit with a fresh batch.

I mix one gallon and tend to use the same batch for 6-9 months before I replace it. One thing to know is that it takes about 25-30 rolls of film before Diafine gets "seasoned." It seems the Part "B" chemistry evolves with the minute amounts of Part "A" over time, and after seasoning/breaking in the contrast softens and the mid-range gets more pronounced. Perhaps I develop about a thousand rolls with a gallon kit of Diafine before I replace it.

Another thing that is great about Diafine is that it is "panthermic" meaning that development is not temperature dependent. As long as solutions are over 68 degrees F you are good. This makes things easy when dealing with big volumes and big tanks.

I also agree with Doug: gentle agitation is best.

Cal
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Old 07-18-2017   #23
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Dude
You"kinda" mucho confused yourself with the long story)
Overdeveloping gives you a denser neg. if you reduce time to 3 min, you'll get thinner stuff.

P,

Thanks again for correcting me.

On my second roll I will play with increasing development to increase density.

A while back Amy (DRabbit) used 7+4 to get 1000-1250 ISO out of Tri-X instead of the usual 3+3.

Dan reported that there was mention that the Part "A" is not readily absorbed, and I wonder if 5+4 would give me the expected boost in film speed. The ugly will likely be more grain.

With Tri-X the grain became rather huge with 7+4.

Cal
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Old 07-18-2017   #24
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Bill,

One of my ventures is exploring 70mm film via a Linhof CINE back that I will use on two Baby-Linhof's: a Tech IV and a Tech V. I was fortunate to find a rare 645 version that allows over 120 645 exposures on 15 feet of film; and know I also have a 6x7 CINE insert for over 60 exposures of 6x7.

I was fortunate to mine out three 15 foot stainless steel reels, and I think I can cut down an early version JOBO Expert tank to create a custom daylight tank for the three 15 foot reels.

I am very interested in using Rollie 400S film because it is available as fresh film and its cost is less than a dollar a foot. In fact 70mm in bulk is cheaper than rolls of 120 here in the U.S. and I figure my cost of 120 equiv is about $2.50 a roll.

I found one reviewer who likes 400S in Rodinal. He mentions that the grain is remarkably small for a fast film, but he also mentions that the film is high contrast. He suggests 1:25 10 1/2 minutes for 400 ISO, but for a compensating effect he uses the same time (10 1/2 minutes and 1:25) for 200 ISO, but he cuts aggitation to every three minutes to get the under development required.

This reviewer does not like the long 22 minute time for 1:50, but normally this is what I would do to soften contrast, raise the mids, and get a compensating effect.

I'm a pretty big user of Diafine, so I use the compensating effect to my advantage. I love Rodinal at 1:50 for slow speed films where grain is not amplified. I wonder if 1:50 is the way to go?

I bought a 5 pack of Rollie 400S in 120 to do my testing. Any advice, help or wisdom would be greatly appreciated. I want to make this work because it is an opportunity to have firepower, shoot mucho film, and moderate costs buy keeping the film price low.

Also Rodinal is both convenient, inexpensive, and gives nice results. I want most of all to exploit it as a compensating developer for long tonal range.

Thanks in advance.

Cal
Thanks, Cal for your input here and also in the 70mm thread. Getting a 70mm back for my Hassy was the idea that immediately came to mind. But of course I picked up a Linhof myself last year, and they were, indeed, very big on both 220 and 70mm. Mine is a 4 x 5" Super Technika, and I'm not sure all the same back options necessarily existed for the 2 x 3" and the LF Technikas (they have different backs and magazines, though I seem to recall there might have been certain converters from Linhof enabling one to be used on the other, possibly). I had a quick look last night, and they made 6 x 7 Cine Rollex 4 x 5" backs, for starters, and recent eBay sales suggest they don't cost very much either. It's certainly food for thought. I'll have to peruse my copy of Linhof Practice to see what other Cine Rollex magazines were available. The 645 type for the 2 x 3" is news to me, I wasn't previously aware of that one, so I think that's a pretty good score you've made there.

I'm often happy shooting Delta 100, Acros, FP4 Plus, Tmax 100 (when I can get it) and even Pan F Plus sometimes, so the true speed of the Rollei wouldn't faze me at all if the grain is fine, as it would seem to be for a "400" speed.
Cheers,
Brett
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Old 07-18-2017   #25
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Thanks, Cal for your input here and also in the 70mm thread. Getting a 70mm back for my Hassy was the idea that immediately came to mind. But of course I picked up a Linhof myself last year, and they were, indeed, very big on both 220 and 70mm. Mine is a 4 x 5" Super Technika, and I'm not sure all the same back options necessarily existed for the 2 x 3" and the LF Technikas (they have different backs and magazines, though I seem to recall there might have been certain converters from Linhof enabling one to be used on the other, possibly). I had a quick look last night, and they made 6 x 7 Cine Rollex 4 x 5" backs, for starters, and recent eBay sales suggest they don't cost very much either. It's certainly food for thought. I'll have to peruse my copy of Linhof Practice to see what other Cine Rollex magazines were available. The 645 type for the 2 x 3" is news to me, I wasn't previously aware of that one, so I think that's a pretty good score you've made there.

I'm often happy shooting Delta 100, Acros, FP4 Plus, Tmax 100 (when I can get it) and even Pan F Plus sometimes, so the true speed of the Rollei wouldn't faze me at all if the grain is fine, as it would seem to be for a "400" speed.
Cheers,
Brett
Brett,

Part of my "Linhof Disease" is an early 50's 4x5 Tech IV.

The Linhof CINE's for 4x5 are abundant and only around $100.00. I bought a black (later version) 4x5 CINE from B&H for $99.99. The back (shell) for the 4x5 will not fit a 2x3 Linhof, and the way to distinguish the two backs is that the 2x3 version uses a circular Graflok back.

This said understand that the "insert" that is the film transport will fit and work on either "shell" and in this way they are modular. Also know that the back plates are modular and can be interchanged.

I presently have a 6x7 insert and a 645 insert, as well as a 4x5 shell and a 2x3 shell, so if I wanted to do something strange I could do 645 on a 4x5 by mixing and matching modular parts.

It seems the 120 6x7 Super Rolliex's are costly, and they too are modular like the CINE's.

On top of that I have 2x3 Grafmatics and 2.5x3.5 double-sided Linhof holders for cut films.

Was lucky to find a Nikor cut sheet reel and tank for $100.00. Interestingly this one tank is easy to load and can do 2x3, 2.5x3.5, and 4x5.

Crazy stuff.

Cal
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Old 07-18-2017   #26
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I picked up a 4x5" Tan Cine Rollex that needed the covering glued down, for $30.
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Old 07-18-2017   #27
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I picked up a 4x5" Tan Cine Rollex that needed the covering glued down, for $30.
Dan,

Nice score.

Did it come with 70mm cassettes? If it did you basically stole it.

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Old 07-18-2017   #28
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Dan,

Nice score.

Did it come with 70mm cassettes? If it did you basically stole it.

Cal
Nope it didn't. But I was not unhappy with that deal. I scored a lot of 70mm cartridges years ago. They were GIVEN to me by a local photo dealer who knew I was interested in 70mm. A color lab in Florida received a lot of 70mm Vericolor III to process, and the customer did not ask for the cartridges back. They accumulated about fifty of them, and GAVE them to the dealer. Later he gifted them to me. I still have about roughly half of them.
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Old 07-19-2017   #29
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Nope it didn't. But I was not unhappy with that deal. I scored a lot of 70mm cartridges years ago. They were GIVEN to me by a local photo dealer who knew I was interested in 70mm. A color lab in Florida received a lot of 70mm Vericolor III to process, and the customer did not ask for the cartridges back. They accumulated about fifty of them, and GAVE them to the dealer. Later he gifted them to me. I still have about roughly half of them.
Dan,

I somehow accumulated 7 cassettes, but two are missing the spindles. I likely have enough to get me by with five cassettes.

70mm requires being dog-headed and stubborn.

Cal
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Old 07-22-2017   #30
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I preferred Rodinal at 1:50. Never tried it with the film you mentioned. I did have some problems with uneven development with thick emulsion based films like TMax. I found with TMax films I need to agitate 2 inversions every 30 seconds to get even dev in areas like skies. This was with 120 films.
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Old 07-24-2017   #31
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I preferred Rodinal at 1:50. Never tried it with the film you mentioned. I did have some problems with uneven development with thick emulsion based films like TMax. I found with TMax films I need to agitate 2 inversions every 30 seconds to get even dev in areas like skies. This was with 120 films.
Allen,

I ended up giving up on Rollie 400S in Diafine. I tried it on a 120 reel and had some piston action to increase the agitation. The clear blue skies still had some Bromide Drag displayed as an artifact.

I tried Rodinal and got great results 1:50 11 minutes, but the best negatives were at 50 ISO. Jan's and others saying that this is really a 80-100 ISO film rings true. The grain is fine, the tonality is great, and it has that Rodinal acutance and sharpness.

Since this film is AKA Agfa Aviphot 200 it seems it like Rodinal another Agfa product. Seems like a magic combination for IQ, but it is a slow speed film with Rodinal.

I'm going to try Microphen in lew of Jan's German push developer. If I coud get 160 ISO or even 125 ISO it would be a real asset to me. This Rollie 400S in 70mm is just so cheap. About $98.00 including the VAT. If I can get the VAT removed even cheaper.

What film speed did you get with your testing. I got 50 ISO under cloudy conditions, and perhaps on a sunny day I would bump the ISO to 80.

Cal
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