Stinky Fingers

Six rolls of Delta 400 @ ISO 800, Xtol 1+1 15:30. Three rolls of TMax 100, Xtol 1+1 9:30. One roll Fortepan 400, Rodinal 1+25 7:30. One roll Acros, Rodinal 1+25 7 minutes. Everything at 20°C, everything spot on. Rodinal and Acros — snappy! Funny that I couldn't find a recommended time until I checked with fujifilm.de...

After running a bit of Rodinal a few days ago, I'm all enamoured with it again, after a long hiatus. The Acros was particularly impressive for the short range and high contrast that the combination delivers, but the TriX had a look that's also hard for any other combo to beat — even with digital hackery.

Scanning all the negs as soon as they're dry has both good and bad aspects. The good ones are that if I'm happy with the Photoshopable result, I can be churning out 8×10's in less than an hour, or blasting them off via the net to all parts worldwide. The biggest downside is storage.

Before I started scanning regularly, I would always make a contact sheet, and store the contacts in three-ring binders. I'd page through them regularly, looking for photos I might have not been interested in one upon a time.

Photoshop can make what it calls "contact sheets," but they are a very poor substitute for a real, silver-paper contact proof. They just don't carry anywhere near the detail of the old-style contact, making photo assesment for the sheet near-impossible.

Yeah, sure, you could open all the original scans — but that doesn't let you see a whole roll at a time, and it takes forever to load all those photos. It's even worse when the scans have been archived to CD or DVD. I've tried slideshows, Extensis Pro, Powerpoint, browsers of all kinds... I'm just about ready to go buy a big honkin' box of 8½×11 photo paper and start getting my fingers full of fixer small, making contact sheets for these scanned rolls in bulk.

If anyone has a better idea for how to manage the digital "contact problem," please let me know.

September 28, 2003

 

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Comments on "Stinky Fingers"

Herman
September 29, 2003 03:00 AM

What are your experiences with the TriX-Rodinal combo? I tried the 1:50 dilution yesterday and the negatives look a bit flat. The grain is better than with 1:25. Just a first impression.

Jeff Callen
October 29, 2003 11:45 AM

Hi,

I agree with you about digital contact sheets! I imagine somebody could write a program / user-interface where you scroll the mouse over a contact sheet and voila, if you click, the image pops up much larger, possibly using a scroll-mouse to toggle the size of the enlargement, thus replacing the loupe and the contact sheet.

RE: Rodinal : I love it for some uses, and most films. I like using Rodinal at 1:100 for TMX and ACROS, developed for 17-18 minutes at 68-70F. Note that temp becomes less important at this long time/great dilution. Agitate very little after the first 3 minutes, maybe 10 seconds every 3 minutes. This can give a bit of acutance/edge effect, even if the grain is noticable, the image seems to pop off the page, transcending the grain if the light is right and your lens is sharp.

NOTE: in my experience, Rodinal and Delta 400 do not like each other, huge grain, odd contrast, maybe my temp was too high, not sure, neg density was okay but very hard to print, unfortunately is was some nice work.

Jeff Callen
October 29, 2003 11:48 AM

Hi,

I agree with you about digital contact sheets! I imagine somebody could write a program / user-interface where you scroll the mouse over a contact sheet and voila, if you click, the image pops up much larger, possibly using a scroll-mouse to toggle the size of the enlargement, thus replacing the loupe and the contact sheet.

RE: Rodinal : I love it for some uses, and most films. I like using Rodinal at 1:100 for TMX and ACROS, developed for 17-18 minutes at 68-70F. Note that temp becomes less important at this long time/great dilution. Agitate very little after the first 3 minutes, maybe 10 seconds every 3 minutes. This can give a bit of acutance/edge effect, even if the grain is noticable, the image seems to pop off the page, transcending the grain if the light is right and your lens is sharp.

NOTE: in my experience, Rodinal and Delta 400 do not like each other, huge grain, odd contrast, maybe my temp was too high, not sure, neg density was okay but very hard to print, unfortunately is was some nice work.

Jeff Callen
October 29, 2003 11:48 AM

Hi,

I agree with you about digital contact sheets! I imagine somebody could write a program / user-interface where you scroll the mouse over a contact sheet and voila, if you click, the image pops up much larger, possibly using a scroll-mouse to toggle the size of the enlargement, thus replacing the loupe and the contact sheet.

RE: Rodinal : I love it for some uses, and most films. I like using Rodinal at 1:100 for TMX and ACROS, developed for 17-18 minutes at 68-70F. Note that temp becomes less important at this long time/great dilution. Agitate very little after the first 3 minutes, maybe 10 seconds every 3 minutes. This can give a bit of acutance/edge effect, even if the grain is noticable, the image seems to pop off the page, transcending the grain if the light is right and your lens is sharp.

NOTE: in my experience, Rodinal and Delta 400 do not like each other, huge grain, odd contrast, maybe my temp was too high, not sure, neg density was okay but very hard to print, unfortunately is was some nice work.

 

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