WECC member Nick Bedford has recently picked up a mint condition Nikon FA with a pancake 50mm F1.8 AI-s standard lens to shoot portraits in black and white along with his professional DSLR work.
Shooting TRI-X, we knew the images would look great but we decided to change up the dev process a little and try out a stand develop with a pre-soak, all at 20ºC. Here's the dev process in bullet points:
Pre-soak with water at 20ºC for 10 minutes.
Rodinal 1:50 at 20ºC.
Agitate for first 30 seconds.
Leave to stand develop for remaining time approximately 30 minutes .
Stop bath with water and vinegar (approx. 1 minute).
Fixer as required (approx. 10 minutes).
We then scanned the negatives after drying on a Pakon F135+ to 16-bit TIFFs and added some contrast in Photoshop with a B&W conversion, removing a few dust spots in the process. As you can see, the images turned out detailed and look great, and all of this was shot on a $350 camera and lens using TRI-X!
It's a bit of trial and error, actually. But a good starting time for 1:100 is somewhere around 60 minutes.
You should agitate a little at the beginning, like gently for the first minute or so, just to get everything evenly started.
Keep in mind that standing development is not fail-safe. It may go wrong with uneven development to follow.
What you really want from stand developing is the compensating action. Longer developing time with reduced agitation helps you develop the shadows more, while keeping your highlights in check. If you have time to experiment with one sacrificial roll of film before you develop anything important, then try using 1+50, but agitate only every 5 minutes. That gives you the best of both worlds with regard to normal agitation (avoiding uneven development), but getting the benefit in shadows from prolonged development time.
Whatever method you pick, there are no guarantees, unless you do a little trial and error first.
Nick has been shooting extra frames during his portrait sessions so we included one of the shots in the studio lit by speedlights of musician Tom Webster.