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Keith (M)

Delta 400 in Rodinal - Dev Time?

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Delta 400 in Rodinal - dev times? I was given a roll of 35mm Delta 400, a film I have never used before (for ISO 400 I generally use Tri-X). MassiveDev app for Delta & Rodinal 1:50 states 20mins - which seems a rather long time to me. Anyone any experience of processing Delta 400 in Rodinal?

PS - am not in a position to use anything other than Rodinal.

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Ilford’s chart also shows 20 min at 1:50; but 9 min at 1:25.

I haven’t had good luck with Rodinal on Delta films - much better with DD-X.

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My 20-year-old Ilford Data Guide says 18 minutes for Delta 400 at ISO 400 in Rodinal 1:50 - but Rodinal has probably been slightly reformulated since then, in transitioning from Agfa (RIP) to Adox. If Ilford today thinks 20 minutes is better, I'd go with that.

Anyway - yes, at 1:50 dilution there is darn little developer actually in the can - it will take longer to produce a given silver density (TANSTAAFL). Rodinal was originally designed (a century ago or more) for the 1:25 dilution as standard - but many photographers decided that they preferred the longer tonal range (compensated development) of 1:50 or even 1:100, so those have become a "standard" of their own. They work - they just take longer.

Always remember that Delta 400 (like TMax 400) has significantly different physical chemistry of the pre-exposed silver crystals compared to Tri-X. So while the ISO is the same, don't assume the development times will be similar.

In exchange for generally-finer grain, TMax and Delta take longer to develop and to fix - the pancake crystals are just not as responsive to the chemistry. And are much "pickier" about precise development - timing, dilution, temperature. Although my experience is that Delta is sort of "in between" TMax and Tri-X - not quite as "high-strung" but also not quite as fine-grained. Good tones.

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I develop all kinds of film in Rodinal. It is coarse, quick and easy developer at 1:25. Here is my little secret. It doesn't matter which film. The ISO is. If you developed any 400 film in Rodinal before, develop for same time.

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I use Rodinal a lot with FP4 at 8 minutes for 1:25 and find that 8 to 9 minutes is about the right general time for most 125 iso films.

My bottle of Rodinal says 8 minutes for Delta 400 at 1:25 or 18 minutes at 1:50 so that is what I would use.

My friend uses Delta 400 all the time in Perceptol and gets good results.

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Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated!  I searched on Flickr and trawled through lots of images, most of which gave dev details. Of those I looked at, those exposed at ISO 400 and developed for circa 18 to 20mins @ 1:50 had quite coarse grain whereas those given stand-development @1:100 had less obvious grain and were certainly more pleasing to the eye.

This is just a one-off roll that will be interesting to use/develop but then it will be back to using the stack of Tri-X residing in the freezer (alongside my last two rolls of Acros 100!).

Thanks again.

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Loaded the Delta 400 in my Leica R5 on Thursday and spent mid-afternoon (dark & gloomy) walking around Avebury. Dev'd the film Fri afternoon using 1:100 Rodinal stand development (1hr with 15secs agitation at the start and mid-way). Resulting negs are like the afternoon - dark, gloomy and gritty. Example below (scanned on V700 using EpsonScan2 & imported into LR CC.  21-35mm Vario Elmar-R.

Places of worship, millennia apart!

 

Edited by Keith (M)

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