Film Photography – Xtol & Rodinal, One Shot?

For film photography I like to use my own home brew of Xtol and Rodinal developers mixed together to develop my black and white film negatives.  I have used various ratios of each but all giving acceptable and pleasing results. 

Question: Are Xtol stock and diluted Rodinal one shot developers?

After speaking to a camera shop I was advised that it is recommended to dump your developer after each roll of film developed…

Answer:  (Based on my own experience).  I am self taught so learn as I go.  My first disappointment was using a batch of developer that was a week old (since dilution from Xtol stock/ Rodinal concentrate) and the film negatives came out almost blank.  The developer had been kept in a clear soft drink bottle in a dark cupboard.  My first valuable lesson was diluted developer does not last as long as diluted fixer solution.  I now aim to use a developer batch within 2-3 days of dilution and then dispose of it.

However, unlike the guy in the shop, I do not use the developer as one shot.  I mix 1L of developer brew and develop as many as 6 rolls of film (mostly 120 medium format film but also the occasional 36exp 135 film) during a 2-3 day period.

Here is an example from the 6th roll of film developed last weekend:
Bridal Photography on Film
Bridal Photography with Contax 645 & Fuji Neopan 100 film


Conclusion: Obviously the active ingredients in the developer becomes more exhausted after each roll of film developed so developing times will need to be increased accordingly.  Even if you only develop 2-3 rolls of film per batch of developer you have still made a 100% or 200% saving on developer costs.

More film myth breakers coming soon..


Author: matthewosbornephotography

Coventry, UK studio based Model and Wedding Photographer offering both Medium Format Film and Digital Images. 1-2-1 Photography and Lighting Tuition also available.

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