Workflow Tutorial #2: Stand Development with Rodinal

So last time I went over the basics of what happens when you develop film, if you missed it, take a look at the previous tutorial: Film Developing Basics. Go on, I’ll wait… read it? Good! Now we’ll take a look at stand development, my personal favorite. Stand development goes against the grain of a lot of photographers, especially those that have worked in or with professional developing labs because it thumbs its nose at most of the standard practices and gives the finger to the rest. Film should be developed at a tightly controlled, exact temperature… stand development doesn’t care. You should have a stop watch on hand to precisely schedule each inversion cycle and total development time… nope, don’t care. Under no circumstances should two different brands or two different ISO rolls be developed in the same tank… well, maybe… nah don’t care. Normal developing methods are more or less an exact science, every photographer might have their own tweak on the manufacturers recommended times, but it’s just their own exact science. Stand development is grounded in some good science, but it’s much more an art form. Ask any two photographers how long you soup Tri-X in D76 and you’ll get pretty much the same answer every time, but everyone I’ve talked to about stand development has given me wildly different magic formulas for the perfect soup… and they all work.

The reason it’s called stand development is very simple… the basic principle is you put film in developer, and just let it stand there. The way it works is kind of amazing. The first big difference between normal and stand development is that with normal souping methods you’re putting your film in a solution with way more developing power than you need for one roll of film. This is why you have to be pretty precise with when you take the film out, left in too long it will just keep on developing and give you way darker negatives than you want. It’s also why you can re-use a lot of the normal developing solutions over and over again, only a small part of its developing potential is used up every roll. With stand developing you’re mixing up a one shot developer with just enough developer for each roll you’re souping, no more; this is important. You can use stand developing with many different developers, the biggies are: Rodinal, HC-110 (favorite of Ansel Adams) and X-tol. I like Rodinal; not just because it’s readily available in my area, but because I find it gives really nice grain and sharpness, it lasts FOREVER and it’s really easy to work with. Xtol has to be mixed in 6 gallon batches from a powder, which is a pain. HC-110 is a thicker, and harder to work with as a solution at stock concentration, and I’ve just never liked the grain I get with it as much as Rodinal.

So after experimentation, I’ve settled with Rodinal at 1:100 dilution from stock, using 3.5ml of Rodinal per roll. If you’ve mixed your own chemical before you’ll notice this is a much more dilute mixture than with standard developing. Most times you’re mixing up solutions in the 1:5-1:10 area, so many people wonder how the hell such a weak solution can possibly develop a roll of film. The reason it works is because you’re going to give the film a chance to use up every last bit of developing agent in the solution. Most peoples soup times range between 20-120 minutes with stand developing, just slightly more than the usual 3-10 minute range 🙂 Remember how I said highlight area will develop faster and exhaust the surrounding developer faster than the shadows, this is the key behind stand development. With such a weak developer and little or no agitation your highlight areas are going to exhaust the developer around them and slow right down while the shadows are going to have tons of time to catch up and fully develop. This is why stand development is so amazing, this little bit of physics gives it so many advantages with drawbacks that are very easily compensated for.

Lets look at why this makes stand development so great. Well the main advantage, which the process was developed for, is pretty obvious; one of the big problems people run into is overdeveloped highlights that give you blown out white areas in your prints, and underdeveloped shadows resulting in black areas with no detail. You can either develop to control blown highlights and lose shadow detail, or develop for the shadows and get blown highlights. Stand development controls blown highlights because the developer around those areas of the film exhausts and prevents over development. It also lets the shadows fully develop, squeezing every last bit of texture out of them. This makes it amazing for pushing film way past its rated ISO. What you end up with is a compressed tonal range, giving you a flatter looking negative with less overall contrast. No worries, this can be fixed in post processing, we’ll talk about that later.

The second, and more subtle benefit, which even people that have used stand development before sometimes fail to realize is this: it doesn’t matter AT ALL what film brand or speed you use. With normal developing if you’re shooting T-Max 100 there’s a specific developing time for each different developer, push it to 200 or 400 and it’s a different time again. You shoot with Tri-X 400 and it’s different time again, push that to 1600, different time again… you get the point. Now lets look at the developing times for Rodinal 1:100 using stand development:

T-Max 100 = 1 hour

T-Max pushed two stops = 1 hour

Fuji Neopan = 1 hour

Ilford HP5 = 1 hour

Some mystery roll you found in a second hand camera = 1 hour

I could go on, but you get the point. As far as I know there isn’t a black and white film that won’t give you a developed negative after an hour in 1:100 Rodinal. It might not be the best possible negative, but if there’s an image to be got from a frame, you’ll get it. I think I should point that out, using stand development might not always give you the best negative, but the trade off is flexibility and reliability. I can take loosing a bit of quality because I know I’ll be scanning my negatives and can fix up any contrast issues later. If you’re going to be wet printing your negatives this might not be the method for you as it’s going to take some dark room magic to get your prints to look like you want them to. But back to the positives.

So if every film soups for the same time, that means you can develop two different brands or ISO’s in the same tank. Take that one step further, if you can soup a roll of Tri-X 100, and a roll of the same film pushed two stops in the same tank… that means you can actually change what ISO you shoot at mid roll. I’ll repeat that; you are no longer bound by one of the biggest advantages digital has over film, you can change ISO on the fly. This is huge. Large format photographers have always had this advantage because each frame they shoot is seperate, so they could develop each negative differently according to whether it was pushed, pulled, high contrast, low contrast etc. Because 35mm frames are all on the same roll and get developed together, we’ve been stuck with developing them all at once, so you kinda have to stick to roughly the same ISO throughout. It’s so ingrained that some photographers I’ve talked to that use stand development still stick to one brand/ISO per tank and the same ISO for the whole roll, it’s as automatic as breathing.

The last big benefit is how reliable and easy stand development is. Most developing has to be done at a constant and controlled temperature, if you’re off by more than a degree or two it can seriously affect your end product. Because stand development happens so slowly and the dilution is so high, temperature is much less a factor. I generally just use the water straight out of my cold tap, except in the winter when it can be almost icy. As long as you’re within the 15-25 degree Celsius range, you’re fine, colder the better as it helps keep the grain smaller. Time is also much less a factor, your highlights will be mostly developed in the first 15-20 min, after that they exhaust the developer around them and pretty much stop. The rest of the time is to give the shadows a chance to develop, and since they’ll never overdevelop, anything from 20-120 minutes is perfectly acceptable. There’s also only just enough developer in the solution for each roll, so once the roll is developed fully, all the active solution is used up and it’s impossible to develop further. I’ve tried experimenting with various different times and have found around an hour is my sweet spot. After 20 min most of the developing is done, but I do find I can squeeze a bit more out of the shadows by going up to an hour, especially if I’ve pushed some or all of the frames. Between an hour to two hours not much happens, but some people swear they get even more shadow detail, but I haven’t seen too much benefit from it. Plus, an hour is just long enough to watch one or two episode of whatever TV show I happen to have on my computer, so it’s an automatic film timer… bonus!

**UPDATE** One last benefit I forgot to mention: it’s really economical! Because you’re only using 3.5ml of Rodinal per roll, a bottle will last a really long time (depending on how prolific a developer you are). One tip I came across to keep your Rodinal, or any developer for that matter, fresh; go to the dollar store and pick up a bag of plain glass marbles. As you use up the developer, drop some marbles into the bottle to raise the liquid level up to “full”. This keeps unnecessary oxygen out and also makes it easier to use a syringe to get the developer out. Just make sure the marbles are plain glass, not coated with any kind of gloss, glaze or paint coating, who knows how it will react with the developer.

OK so now you know the why, here’s the how. Before you mix up your 1:100 Rodinal solution, using 3.5ml of Rodinal minimum per roll of film, take a look at the math and make sure you have a big enough developing tank. If you want a 1:100 dilution with 3.5ml of developer per roll, you need a tank that can hold a minimum of 353.5ml of developer for each roll. If you don’t know the volume of your tank it’s easiest to just divide the number of rolls it can fit by two, to be on the safe side. I’ve got a three roll Patterson that JUST fits enough developer for two rolls, but it’s pushing it. Metal tanks have even less volume per roll, so make sure there’s enough room. Once you’re sure your tank can fit enough developer, start your routine as usual. Film goes on the spool, spool goes in the tank, tank’s filled with developer… shark’s in the developer… our shark… Start with ten inversions like normal, give the tank a few taps on the counter to get rid of bubbles and go watch TV. That’s it, that’s all.. an hour later rinse, fix and hang. That’s stand development.

Now technically what I do is called semi-stand because I do give my film three inversions at the half way point. Some people will say you shouldn’t do this with stand development because you’re giving the highlights a rush of fresh developer but I’ve just found I like the way my negatives look when I do this. They’ve got a bit more contrast than with pure stand, and it help give you even development. If you don’t agitate at all, you’ll sometimes find that developer settles at the bottom and gives an uneven gradient of development from top to bottom. One agitation cycle seems to prevent or at least minimizes this to the point where I don’t notice it. I find I also adjust my methods on the fly. If I know I’m souping film that’s been pushed heavily or is going to need some pop to the highlights I might do inversions at 20 and 40 minutes instead of just at the half way mark, or do inversions every minute for the first 5-10 minutes to really develop the highlights then let it sit for the rest of the hour to take care of the shadows.

I learnt how to cook by taste, the chefs in my family rarely pay attention to recipes, using terms like “a pinch” and “a dash”, things that drive others batty. You can never ask my Grandmother for one of her recipes because no matter what’s written down on her ancient recipe cards half of it was in her head at the time she wrote it and it’s evolved up there in the intervening decades. I find this has really carried over to my film developing; I adjust my times and inversions differently for each batch by feel and I might never get exactly the same results twice, but as long as it keeps turning out well I’m not too bothered about it. If you take a look at the mouse over text for all the images in this post you’ll get a sense of some of the different recipes I’ve used in the past.

And that’s it! Stand development is super simple, really reliable and as idiot proof as developing gets. As I mentioned before, it’s not the best method to use if you plan on wet printing your negatives, but I really like the results I get out of it from a scanner based workflow. It takes some tweaking to get the contrast back, and you have to pay close attention when you do your scanning, but the results are worth it. I’ll go into more details of how to properly scan a stand developed negative next time.

  • Sean Davis

    Finally, a decent and concise article on stand development. Thanks so much, this is exactly what I have been looking for.

  • Anonymous

    Glad you like it! It’s a tough subject to be concise with, everyone seems to have their own “right” way to do it. All I can say is what I’ve laid out in the article has worked for me for years, but it’s always fun to experiment. One photog said he increases the amount of rodinal slightly from 3.5ml to 4-5ml’s when he’s pushing. I haven’t tried it, but who knows 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Mixing questions…for someone new to B/W film development.

    If I have a 500ml tank and want to develop 2 35mm rolls, can I use 5ml of Rodinal and 495ml of water (maybe a bit less water when double loaded)? That would make it 2.5ml of Rodinal and around 247.5ml of water per roll.

    I read somewhere (I think it was “”) that for this to work right, it takes at least 5ml of Rodinal when using any stand development technique. Since that is less than what you specified (7ml) – perhaps it might work with more development time – maybe 1.5 to 2 hours?

    I haven’t purchased my tank yet, but was planning on buying a stainless steel tank – designed to develop 2 rolls of 35mm – or one roll of 35mm and one roll of 120. Unfortunately, I won’t know the tank volume until I get it – i.e. not specified on Adorama’s website. But I believe this type of tank is pretty standard – with a volume capacity of around 500ml.

    Looking forward to trying your technique.

    Great article with nice substance!!!

  • Anonymous

    Glad you liked the write up Bob! There’s a lot of different opinions on the minimum amount of developer needed, most places I’ve looked say between 3-5ml per roll, with 3ml’s being the absolute lowest, 2.5ml’s might be pushing it. It’s not really a matter of development time. In standard development you can extend the soup time in order to increase development because there’s WAY more developer in the solution than is needed. The key to stand development is that there’s JUST enough developer to soup the rolls and no more. What happens with extended development time is the developer is more evenly distributed between shadows and highlights. Highlights develop much faster, and therefor use up developer faster than the shadows… this isn’t a problem with standard development because there’s plenty of excess developer to go around. With stand dev, the highlights develop, then stop because the developer around them is exhausted, little or no agitation leaves them that way, and this gives the shadows a chance to develop. So you stretch the available developer over all the tones, after 30min to an hour there’s almost no active developer left, the tiny bit that is slowly works on the shadows. With 2.5ml of developer it might all get used up before the neg is completely developed, leaving you with an underdeveloped neg. If your tank doesn’t have room for at least 3ml+300ml per roll, I’d suggest doing the rolls one at a time. I know from experience that 2 roll stainless tanks don’t have enough volume to stand dev two rolls at a time. The plastic Paterson tanks have more volume per roll and can handle it, but not everyone likes those. I use a three roll stainless or a two roll Paterson if I’m going to stand dev 2 rolls at once. I hope this helps!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the thoughfull and helpfull reply, JB. I think the technique and chemistry is starting to sink with me. The more I study this, the more facinating it becomes!! Great suggestion on the Paterson 2 roll tank. I’ll probably go for that for now – and perhaps upgrade to a 3 roll stainless once I feel I’ve achieved consistency.

    Your article really got my attention, and opened my eyes to the potential of simpler alternatives – outside the standard way of doing things. I intend on starting with this technique using Rodinal – as well as experimenting with similar techniques using two bath developers such as Diafine. It would be interesting to see a image comparisons between the two using the same film/speeds – ISO to ISO, Contrast to Contrast, Highlights/Shadows, etc.

    Great Blog, JB!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Martin Seelig

    This is an excellent article. However when I develop a single roll of 120 film (approximately the same square inch in surface area as a single 36 exp 35mm), them I’ll have to use about 500ml of solution. I assume that I’d use the same 3.5ml of Rodinal into the 500ml, but that reduces the overall concentration and so how does that affect the developing cycle

  • Jesse Hildebrand

    It shouldn’t change it at all, anywhere from 3.5-5ml’s of rodinal will work fine if you’re doing purely stand, if you’re doing semi-stand then more than 5ml’s might start to overdevelop your negs, primarily in the highlights. The concentration isn’t as important as the amount of developer, so yes, using 3.5ml rodinal in 500ml water will work. Experiment a bit, like I said, everyone seems to end up with their own “best” method. My guess is you shouldn’t see too much of a difference between using 3.5-5mls.

  • Anonymous

    Hello Jesse,

    It’s me again. I just started reading Ansel’s “The Negative” – and I’d like your opinion on whether Stand Development can (no pun) “Stand In” for the developing portion of the Zone System’s mantra of [Expose for the Shadows/Develop for the Highlights].

    Pardon my ignorance on this, as I’m still green with these concepts. However based on what I’ve read so far, it would seem that one could follow the Zone System on the exposure side (expose for the shadows) – and replace the traditional development side with stand development. Based on how stand development appears to work, it would seem like a plausible “work around” – in place of the Zone’s N+/- adjustments in developing time for preserving hightlight details.

    My presumption is this: If you expose for the desired shadow details properly, adjustments in development time (as outlined by Ansel) may not matter as much due to how stand development works – i.e., as long as agitation is kept to a minimum, the highlights would sort of take care of themselves via exhaustion (versus N+/- adjustments)…with the remainder of the developer (and time) left to finish and properly develop the shadows. Knowing of course that even with stand, total time and agitation cycles would still be subject to adjustments and experimentation – based on the desired image outcome.

    Right now, I only shoot with a film SLR (center weighted metering) – and am aware that the Zone system is primarily designed for large format. However, I’m still intriqued – and hoping I can still apply some of Ansel’s concepts with my SLR. As you know, he does briefly mention 35mm roll film – as well as “high dilution” and “two bath” development techniques. However he didn’t really elaborate on the Zone’s application to 35mm in great detail.

    Every blog/forum I’ve read pretty much throws in the towel when it comes to applying the Zone Sytem with 35mm or even 120 roll film. But I figured why not ask Jesse? – since your article here was the first to really get my attention. Just curious….


    Sorry for the long post. I know this is a blog and not a forum 🙂 And sorry for being redundant, as you kind of already explined some of this to me from my post in your Workflow Tutorial #1. I keep coming back to it. My Rodinal is on it way to me…in the mail….awaited by a roll of Tri-x 400.




    Great article! Thanks a lot. Rgds.

  • mickld

    Nice overview. I use stand dev with 120 roll film when using my Holga because of the lack of exposure control the Holga allows. It nearly always gives me usable images which would be impossible with normal development approaches. The contrast can be a little flat so I’ll be trying inversions at the 20 & 40 min marks to see if that increases the contrast for me.

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  • ???? ?????

    Thank you very-very much for such a full article on the Stand development!!!

  • Ashley Pomeroy

    That was dead handy and IT WORKS. I used a splash of Rodinal, ten inversions, half an hour, three inversions, and after an hour my roll of Fomapan 400 had turned out really nicely. Didn’t care about temperature. During that time I cooked and ate a pizza. I like the convenience of it, and the fact that I can cook and eat pizza whilst waiting for the film to develop.

    Now to try some T-MAX!

  • Jesse Hildebrand

    Glad you enjoyed your stand experience!

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  • John

    On thing that renders me curios reading about stand development, is the dilution, if the min. req. amount of Rodinal is 3-3.5 cc per roll, and a 2 roll tank takes less than 600-700 cc, then what about increasing the amount of Rodinal in the dilution? If it’s correct that the roll is using all dev. liquid it can, then an increased amount of it would not be a problem, even if there’s a tiny bit less water in it?

    Anyone who have experience with this?

  • Jesse Hildebrand

    The problem with increasing the dilution is that Stand Dev relies on the exhaustion of developer near the film to stop blown highlights. If you increase the concentration too much you run the risk of highlights being blown before the developer exhausts. You can get away with a slightly higher concentration… 1:80-1:90 but I wouldn’t go much more than that.

  • Brandon Montz

    I have to say I enjoyed this article. I tend to shoot in harsh lighting with bright sun and shadows and I have a feeling that stand development would have helped with equalizing my photos. Not that they are bad, but this method of development would have made them better.

  • Jesse Hildebrand

    yeah, stand development really helps tame high contrast scenes

  • John

    I keep wondering, regarding the amount of Rodinal, if the measurements are that important, wouldn’t it differ between a 24 and a 36 frame film? After all, a 36 frame is 1/3 more to develop!

  • Jesse Hildebrand

    yeah… I wondered about that too, but 3.5ml seems to work just as well with 24 and 36 frame rolls. Like I said, stand development is more art than science. Even 3.5ml is not some empirical standard, I’ve heard just as many swear by 3ml as 5ml per roll. It’s all about what works for you.

    In the end, stand development has never been about getting the best negatives out of your roll, it’s about consistently getting usable negatives with the least amount of risk of failure. There’s many processes out there that will give you a better negative from a technical standpoint, but I like the ease of use and economy of stand dev, plus the nice taming of highlights and extra shadow detail.

    If we could process each frame of a roll differently, according to the conditions it was shot under like LF, I probably wouldn’t use stand dev, but with stand dev I get the reasonable certainty that I’ll get a usable negative out of each frame, not matter whether it was pushed, pulled, high contrast, low contrast or poorly exposed… over or under.

  • John

    Yeah, it seems more like “magic”, I have developed everything from 100 to 800 iso using 6cc+600cc, 20 C, 60 minutes, and agitation ~30 inversion first minute only, and I have had no failure so far, only time I changed was with two 400 iso rolls that I had pushed to 1600, and added 1cc developer extra, and let it stand for 90 minutes instead.. And it went great too, dunno if the additional developer and time actually was needed, but it seemed to work.

    In the end, I scan all negatives, maybe if i was doing traditional pictures I’d be more careful about my development process and try to work out “the best” for each roll instead.

    What I’ve been thinking about doing instead, is to create digital negatives (printing on transp. film) and start doing traditional photos with those instead, best of two worlds, then I can edit and make “perfect” negatives that I then can use to do real photos with…

  • Jesse Hildebrand

    Interesting…. I’ve often thought of taking pictures of some of my large prints with a film camera and using those negatives to get some analog back into the final product. Let me know if you try it, I’d be very interested in hearing how it works out!

  • robb albrecht

    Great read! Thanks. My first roll of unknown 120 film is in a 1:100 Rodinal bath right now. Can’t wait to see the results =)

  • irishwoodpecker

    Have just read your article on stand development. I am a newbie to film processing but am about to start shooting 4×5 B&W. I have a Jobo tank that holds 1500 ml and can take up to 6 sheets of film. I assume that the tank would have to be full to cover the film, therefore how much Rodinal should I use?

  • Jesse Hildebrand

    Well for 35mm you need at least 3.5ml rodinal per roll at 1:100 dilution, 4×5 film has roughly half the area of a 36 shot roll of 35mm, so I would use at least 2ml rodinal per sheet. So each sheet needs 2ml Rodinal and 200ml water, minimum. Six sheets means ~1200ml which means your tank has plenty of room. I would do 1500 ml water and 15ml Rodinal, and you should be good to go.

    Since that would mean there’s more Rodinal in the tank than is strictly necessary for each sheet, I would lower the amount of Rodinal a bit if you’re doing semi-stand to avoid over development to around 12-13ml.

    I’ve never done 4×5 but that should work, as I said in the article, it’s more an art than a science. I would try one sheet first, see how you like it, and adjust your formula from there.

  • irishwoodpecker

    Thanks for that.

    Please excuse the next silly question but, as the tank must be full at all times, do I use the same strength mix whether I am developing one or six sheets?

  • Max Teong

    Hi Jesse,

    Thanks for this post, it is truly enlightening. I have heard of stand development before but never gave it a second thought, but reading this, I can’t wait to try it! If it works out just like you said, it’ll make my developing process so much more enjoyable.
    The only thing is, at the moment I only have TMAX developer. Have you tried using TMAX for stand development before? Any dilutions/timings to recommend?


  • Jesse Hildebrand

    Personally, I’ve never heard of TMAX being used for stand development. While I guess, technically, any developer should be able to be used for stand development, I have no idea what the dilutions or minimum solution numbers would be. Rodinal, HC110 and X-Tol are the three most common stand developers.

  • Max Teong

    Hi Jesse,

    I finally got my hands on some Adonol (produced according to original Rodinal formula), and tried stand developing 3 rolls today. I tried varying the parameters for each of the 3 rolls to see how each one turned out:

    1. 3.5ml Rodinal: 350ml water, 2 hrs stand dev with 10 inversions only at beginning.

    2. 4ml Rodinal: 300ml water, 1.5 hrs stand dev with 10 inversions at beginning and 3 inversions at 30mins.

    3. 4ml Rodinal : 300ml water, 1 hr stand dev with 10 inversions at beginning and 3 inversions at 20 & 40mins.

    I haven’t scanned any of them, but from what I can see as they are, they look incredibly contrasty, even more so than when I normally deveop with TMAX (1:4).

    Additionally, the shadows in a lot of the frames (across all 3 rolls) are completely clear, transparent, zilch. I am baffled. Shouldn’t it be the other way around with stand dev? I was expecting lower contrast with pumped up dev for the shadows.

    Any idea why this has happened?


  • Jesse Hildebrand

    Well… first thing is to actually scan those negs, many times those clear shadows you’re seeing actually have detail, it’s just too fine to see with the naked eye. If they really are over-developed, there’s a few things you can do. First off, I would take a look at your exposure in camera. It’s summer time… which means bright light and dark shadows. After coming off 6 months of overcast weather, the summer always tricks me into thinking I’m not exposing my shadows properly.

    Secondly, you could do with pulling back on the amount of developer you’re using. In your first example, you’re using the right amount of developer, but you’re developing for twice the time I usually do. In examples 2 & 3 you’re using more developer than you need AND adding inversions, which could lead to over development.

    Also, what kind of water are you using? Tap, bottled, distilled? Stand dev really isn’t an exact science, and most photogs will develop their own special recipe that works for them. Start with 3.5ml, 350ml water, 1 hr, 1 inversion at 30 min and see what that gives you. If you’re still getting overdeveloped negs go down to 3ml and 400ml water… adjust as necessary

  • Mark

    Excellent article! I’ve tried it on two rolls of 120 film (Tri-X) and like the results. I really like the “go watch TV” aspect 🙂

    A note about the math though: if the 1:100 dilution is 3.5 ml of Rodinal per 100 ml of water, then the resulting amount of developer for a 35mm roll of film (300 ml in a Patterson tank) will be 310.5 ml and not the 353 ml you stated in the article. Using the same dilution ratio, a roll of 120 film requires 500ml in a Patterson tank and therefore the resulting volume of Rodinal+water will equal 517.5 ml.

  • Jesse Hildebrand

    Thanks, glad you liked it!

    Might want to take another look at your math there, though 😉 1:100 /= 3.5ml per 100ml water… that would be 3.5:100… 1:100 means 1ml per 100ml, so for 3.5ml Rodinal, you need 350ml water. The same dilution of 1:100 and 3.5ml minimum solution works with 120 as well… so if you’re going to use 500ml water, you need 5ml Rodinal.

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  • Mel

    This is brilliant. Thank you!

  • piero67

    Hello Jesse,

    have you already posted about scanning a stand developed negative or I missed it? It would be very interesting.



  • Jesse Hildebrand

    you want the same dilution, but with a minimum of 2ml Rodinal per sheet, so for six sheets you’d need 12ml Rodinal and 1200ml water…. and a tank big enough for that much developer

  • piero67

    What’s the use of having a blog if you don’t answer questions?

  • Jesse Hildebrand

    Hi Piero,

    Sorry about that, I could have sworn I answered your post, I must have forgot to hit submit or something. I try my best to answer posts in a timely fashion.

    As for your question, no you haven’t missed it. I’ve written and re-written the scanning tutorial post a bunch of times and it always ends up being a small essay in length. I want to try and break it up into manageable chunks somehow. I’ll try to get at least a short tutorial up in the next little while, but eventually I think I’ll turn the whole workflow into an e-book so that you guys can have all the info, start to finish in one place.

    Again, sorry for the delayed response and thanks for reading!

  • Jesse Hildebrand

    Yes you’re right, sorry I miss-read your question, many people have problems with the highlights over-developing, not the shadows and I jumped to fast to answer. Scan the negatives though, the shadows might look undeveloped, but you’d be surprised how much detail there can be in there that you can’t see easily.

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  • mattia78

    Hi Jesse,
    I’ve found your forum really interesting and gave stand a try on a couple of roll of T-max 100 exposed ad IE 800…rodinal 1:100, initial 30 sec, tre inversion at 20min and 40min and than stand. On the scene light was spot and very dim (thats why i needed to push it so much…
    I am not an expert but results look OK except for underdeveloped bubbles aligned along the negative margin..think this side was at the bottom of the tank but I am not completely sure. I attach a scan (a bad scan made with a general purpose scanner, inverted) on which you can see what I am talking about… first I though they could be air bubbles, then exhausted Dev at the bottom of the tank…
    can you help me with that? do you know what these bubbles are?…note that the bubbles are present also between frames…

    many thanks

  • Jesse Hildebrand

    It’s hard to tell from the low-rez images, but it looks like air bubbles. Did you give the tank a couple good taps on the counter after each set of inversions? That’s usually enough to dislodge any bubbles. It’s also possible that your film jumped a rail and two rows of film where touching each other, but usually that manifests as a much worse undeveloped area. If you want to send me a high rez scan I might be able to give you a more definite answer

  • Jesse Hildebrand

    Nevermind, I didn’t see the link to the full size images right away. Yeah, my best guess is air bubbles, luckily they’re not too bad though and can easily be corrected in post

  • Ange Hermanus

    Congratulations, this a perfect, clear and usable explanation of stand development.
    You make me a fan of Rodinal.

  • gunpowdertea

    Hi. Great article! Would I be right in saying for 120 film I should be using 500ml water + 5ml Rodinal?

  • Jesse Hildebrand

    Yup, that’s a good starting point… you’ll probably want to fine-tune that according to your own tastes, but I would suggest developing a half dozen or so rolls first with the base formula so that you don’t make decisions based on a single roll that could have been under or over exposed. Good luck!

  • gunpowdertea

    Great. Will do, thanks =) Also, sorry for another noobie question but should I mix the dev and the water up in a measuring jug before pouring into the tank? Does it need a good stir to mix them up? …or should they first meet in the tank itself?

  • Jesse Hildebrand

    yes, DEFINITELY mix it up before hand. Because you’re using such a diluted mixture, if any of the film gets exposed to a much higher concentration of developer while it mixes in the tank, it’s going to really throw off the process. This isn’t just a good idea with stand development, it’s a basic standard practice for any method of development… but it will especially affect stand dev.

  • Chris

    Cool I am definitely going to try this!!! OK I have a silly question… I’ve been look for Rodinal online and its discontinued (Agfa rodinal). However, there is compard R09 one shot film developer. Somy question is are you using “old Agfa rodinal” or the “R09”?