Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/09/03

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Leica Users digest V17 #373
From: "Gerard J. van den Broek" <>
Date: Sun, 03 Sep 2000 22:19:39 +0200
References: <>

Hi Mark,

Although being newly 'plugged'  to the LUG, too, I was struck by your
question about a fine and reliable B&W fim/developer combination. Many,
many years ago, when I was on the verge of despair after dozens of
different types and brands of films and about the same amount of
developers, my favorite uncle - a B&W-photographer, to boot, since the
early thirties - had pity with me and helped me out. He asked me what
type of film I had in my camera at that particular moment, it was Agfa
ISO 17 DIN, he went to the kitchen and gave me of small bottle of Agfa
Rodinal. He advised me to dilute to 1:75 in 400 cc of water c. 19 C and
develop it for 18 minutes: it worked wonders. For years I stuck to that
particular combination, added ISO 21 DIN to it, which gave also fine
results, when using my Leica lll A, Summar and Elmar 50 mm, an Old Delft
3,5/35 mm, and later an Elmar 4/90mm.

I know, Agfa ISO does not exist anymore, many years ago it was replaced
with Agfapan Prof. (25, 100 and 400 ASA) but fortunately, the Agfapan
100 in Rodinal performed even better, much better. I worked with that
particular combination, again, for years, using my Leicaflex SL, with
the Elmarits 2,8/35 mm Series 7, and 2,8/90 mm (dito).

Later I altered the dilution somewhat, since Agfa had slightly changed
Rodinals formula, I stick to 1:60 nowadays.

With this combination grain is very good, sharpness is 'acute'' or
'crisp', due to Rodinals "contour-sharpness", and the curve from pure
white to black is so nice and long, rendering all the shades of gray you
would want, without losing contrast.

Perhaps, this seems a very European solution to the problem. However, I
experimented so long, and, although my uncle guided me in finding a
simple, but 'strong' solution for my photographic despair, I was told
later that the combination of a German camera and lenses, German fim and
developer could very well have been the key to my problem of how to
obtain publishable B&W photos.

Gerard J. van den Broek
The Netherlands