Rodinal Comforts01. January 2019 | link this post
Since I began to develop my own film years ago, I’ve always used Rodinal as my developer. When I originally learned how to do it, I was recommended this developer and the virtues of getting reproducible results where praised, so I stuck with Rodinal.
Rodinal is a wonderful developer for several reasons: for example, it’s virtually indestructible (you can store it for ages and it still works) and it is wonderfully flexible. You can throw it at basically anything you want and get a workable result. Also Rodinal is simply one of the grat workhorses of film photography, having been around for more then a century by now. However, it of course also has drawbacks like being known to exaggerate grain. This does not have to be a drawback whenever you want to see grain. Lately though I’ve come to distinguish a little more between images where I want more grain and those where I want less of it.
Grain you said? sure thing ... (HP5+ pushed to EI 800)
One way to deal with this is of course to modify my film choice, and that is something I want to mix it up anyways: last year has been almost exclusively HP5+ and Tri-X for me, this year there will be a lot of FP4+. But I also want to get some experience in film-development by working with different developers, so right now I’m taking a hard look at Ilford ID-11 since I’m very happy with the way their paper developer (Ilford PQ Universal) is working out for me. This will be both an exercise in getting out of my comfort zone and extending that very zone to include more experimentation.