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I have a film shot with TriX400 pulled at ISO 200. I'm planning to develop it with Rodinal.

What's the good dilution mix, development time at 20C, and - perhaps importantly - the agitation frequency?

My previous experience was with TriX400 pushed at ISO 1600 with Rodinal 1+50 following Massive Dev Chart Iphone App suggestion. The result I get is not good, highlight is too much blown out, e.g the face detail next to the window totally wipe out.

I tried to prevent this with my current processing.

  • Pulling TriX400 1 stop to 200 is not related at all to pushing TriX400 2 stops to 1600. If you want to compare highlights at 1600 then shoot a bunch of test shots at 1600 and try different development times and dilutions of Rodinal. If you want to find the best time/dilution for TriX400 at 200 do the same tests for that speed. – Alaska Man Jul 25 at 18:40
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The rational part of me says that you should go with tfb's answer.

But my own laziness has led me to do a lot of stand-dev. If you'd like to experiment, put 5mL of Rodinal in per roll of film at 1:100 ratio.

Pre-soak your film for ~2min in water at developing temperature. Dump that and immediately put in your Rodinal.

I twist agitate for 1 min at the beginning, then another minute at the 30min mark. Develop for 60min total.

BTW, The phrase "Push" and "Rodinal" should never go together. If you're going to push Tri-X...go with your D76 or XTOL or Ilford's DD-X. I've never found the results all that pleasing when pushing film and developing w/ Rodinal, YMMV.


Stand development basics...With normal development, one uses more developer chemical than is actually needed and controls for the chemical reaction by keeping the developer cool (20C) and agitation under control. Note that it is possible to over develop by either increasing the temperature or increasing agitation while not compensating by diminishing time.

With Stand, one uses a tiny, tiny amount of developer, usually 1:100 ratio where the total volume of developer is 5mL per roll of film. Because this is highly experimental, you will find people that attempt developing with as little as 2.5mL or with ratios of 1:150, 1:200, etc. However, Rodinal recommends no less than 5mL per roll of film!

You are expecting that, at a microscopic level, the local area of developer near the highlight regions will exhaust while shadow regions will continue to develop. This is why agitation is kept to a minimum (or null) while time in developer is extended dramatically.

With Stand, we are expecting to exhaust all of the developer. Because of this, extra time in the tank past the 60min will not actually extend development. If you find that your negs are thin in your experiments, the only solution is to use more total volume of developer.

You're on your own warning:

Stand development should be considered highly experimental. The exact volumes, ratios, agitation, and time is not a standard. There is a good bit of consensus on starting with 5mL at 1:100 for 60min...but after that, anything you'll find online is usually a single person's routine. (For example, I've run across things like 'add 1mL for every stop pushed' or debates on pre soaking vs not)

Until you get a handle on how your film will come out with any given routine, please only use test shots or shots with little importance, as you may really screw up your film.

  • "The phrase "Push" and "Rodinal" should never go together." Is that paradoxal or ironic? – timvrhn Jul 25 at 19:48
  • @Hueco thanks. For using stand-dev is it best for pushing, pulling or box-speed film? – neversaint Jul 26 at 4:15
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    @neversaint Rodinal, in general, should be used for box speed or pulled film (usually 1/2 - 1 stop). – Hueco Jul 26 at 8:40
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    @Hueco ok. So only box-speed and pull, no matter the development method 1+50 or Stand, right? – neversaint Jul 26 at 9:02
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    @neversaint that’d be my recommendation for Rodinal. Again, though, this is art. You’ll need to make up your own mind as to the results of any given process. – Hueco Jul 26 at 16:28
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The massive dev chart recommendation (9 mins) will be fine. I agitate for the first 60 seconds then 10 seconds a minute, all by inversion except for LF film (which tends to come loose in the tank and damage itself). I'm sure agitating by stirring if you have tanks which allow that is just as good: I just don't do it.

It's unsurprising that your previous results were not good: pushing Tri-X two stops is going to result in hard, grainy negs which will inevitably lose highlight & shadow detail: that's what pushed B/W film looks like, especially pushed Tri-X. It then looks from your description as if you took a picture in difficult lighting conditions (in my house today there's about 4 stops difference between the window embrasure and the wall next to it, and far more for windows lit by direct sun), probably using an averaging meter which is going to be just overwhelmed in light like that.

Ther's nothing wrong with what the massive dev chart suggests: you simply got the results you should have expected. No magic is going to make Tri-X pushed to 1600 not lose detail in cases like that.

Might I also suggest that just using Tri-X at its rated speed is probably a good place to start? Perhaps you've already processed lots of such films, in which case I apologise for suggesting something you've already done. (I've exposed probably thousands of rolls of Tri-X: I don't think I've ever used it at other than rated speed.)

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I'll point out that Rodinal is a speed-reducing developer. You'll likely lose between 1/2 and 1 stop of speed when using it so Tri-X at 200 is probably about right.

Pushing anything in Rodinal is a recipe for bad results for the same reason.

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