Stand Development Part 3

AudioBlog LogoOk, so lets put everything together and start processing some film. First, be sure to listen/ watch Part 1 and  Part 2 prior to this post as there is important information in those posts not covered here. Then click on the Audio Blog Logo to hear an 11 minute summary of tests- what worked and what didn’t- and my thoughts on successful stand development.

Recipes described in the Audio Portion of this post:

  • Fuji Acros (EI 100 / 125)
  • 800 ML Distilled Water
  • 3 ML R09
  • 200 ML Xtol Developer
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Borax (optional but helps control fog)
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Asorbic Acid (optional)

Process as described for 3 Hours. You can cut this in half for smaller tanks.

  • Kodak TMY-2 TMAX 400
  • 800 ML Distilled Water
  • 5 ML R09
  • 200 ML Xtol Developer
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Borax (optional but helps control fog)
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Asorbic Acid (optional)

Process as described for 1 – 1.5 hours. You can cut this in half for smaller tanks.

You can use the recipes above for many films… I’d suggest the TMY-2 Reciepe for 2 hours with films such as TX, Delta 100, Delta 400 and HP5… do a test at 2 hours and then one at 3 hours to see what works best for you!

Source for additional Information and example images (good book to buy!):

Iridescent Light Book by Michael Axel

Thanks also to Carlo Chiopris for his thoughts/ valuable information when I was starting this process:

The Unblinking Eye Article: Appreciating Rodinal by Ed Buffaloe

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

29 Responses

  1. Justin Berger

    many thanks for this information; it’s very helpful to have all of this in one place. Just one clarification– when you say cut in half for smaller tanks, are you talking about the volume of solution or the developing time?

  2. Thank you for your very interesting considerations. I’m definitely going to try adding borax, as increased fog is possibly the greatest problem with stand development. Another problem is often uneven development, so I’m going to try pre-wetting too.

  3. Don


    Are the recipes one shot or can they be reused. I have never

    used either developer and was wondering what to due with

    such a large amount. Seeing that your recipes are 1000 ml

    and most single developing tanks are 16 oz’s or 500ml.



  4. Marcel Schepers


    I’ve used this technique twice and it twice failed. There was simply no development, the negs came out completely blank. Now I have to say that I did not use Rodinal and Xtol, but Adolux APG 09 and Spur HRX-3. The former is a rebranded Rodinal and HRX-3 is a liquid fine grain developer based on the same developing agent as Xtol. Without borax and ascorbic acid this combination works like a charm, albeit a little foggy. Hence the addition of borax and ascorbic acid.

    I have a suspicion that the cause of this no-development issue is the use of tap water over distilled water. I will test this later today. However, if you do not mind, I would like to ask you two questions regarding this issue.

    Is the use of ascorbic acid mandatory if I use borax? Or, to rephrase, can I use borax to fight the fog without the acid? The second question might be a little far fetched, but do you have any idea what happens with the acid when mixed in tap water?

    Looking forward to your thoughts!

    Marcel Schepers

  5. Manuel

    1.Do you have any sense how stand development would work with 4×5 sheets in a Jobo tank? I am intending to use Acros.
    2. How many stops of light do you think stand development could potentially encompass. How does it compare with Diafine? (I have listen to your Diafine blogs and I have read Sandy King article in View Camera Magazine. I have use it and I like it)
    3. How would you meter for stand development? I am reading the book Iridescent Light by Michael Axel. He mentions in page 85 to be concerned with blown highlights and suggested decrease the exposure by one stop. But he does not specified from where exactly he is taking the meter reading. What is your experience?

    Thank you for your time and effort that you put in your craft and sharing information with the rest. Have a good 2010.


  6. Marek Warunkiewicz

    Yesterday I tried the Michael Axel recipe accurately, well maybe not so much, since there were two things that were unclear in his “recipe”. Borax – I have 10 mole Borax and the real amount of Xtol is not clearly, at least to me, identified. He says on page 45 “I mixed one part of Extol developer (final mixture) to four parts water.” In the recipe he says “200 ml – Extol developer”. OK. So when he says “final mixture” does he mean first mix 1:1 which seems to be the “final mixture”, then mix 1:4 or mix 1:4 straight from the stock solution?

    I added the Ascorbic Acid and the Borax, all in distilled water. I even used distilled water for both the initial water bath and the developer. NOTHING came out on the Acros! Not even frame numbers and the film came out a light magenta base. Acros is fairly clear. I had two rolls in the tank, shot at two different times, specifically done for testing. I also shot a couple of other rolls those days, developed them normally in HC110 which turned out OK. I used one liter of developer for the two rolls. One response I got from Mr. Axel to a question I asked about volume of developer per roll. Was it to use just enough to cover the roll or more. After a few emails his response was that the whole point was to exhaust the developer and use only the amount needed to cover the film so that is what I used.

    So I am at a loss as to why it did not work. I used the same film, same recipe as Mr. Axel and nothing came out. It’s not like there are a lot of variables. Even with the 1:300 Rodinal, something should have come out. So if it works for him, why not for me?

    Is it the Ascorbic Acid? Does it change the PH of the solution so drastically that it renders it “dead”?

    I sent Mr. Axel an email a couple of days ago, and this was the response I got: “Hello Marek, thanks for pointing me here. I don’t monitor Flickr too often due to other projects. What film are you using when you don’t get edge markings? I would drop the ascorbic acid and borax (Xtol too) until you get a decent result with a 100 speed film, like Acros.”

    I responded that I was using Acros and am waiting his response.

    I am going into the darkroom just now and will try a number of variables.

    1 – No Ascorbic Acid or Borax, but with Xtol mixed 1:4 from the final 5 litre solution.
    2 – Just Borax
    3 – Ascorbic acid mixed first with Sodium Bicarbonate which will turn it into Sodium Ascorbate.

    Can anyone help me with this?

  7. I am Jack's Brain

    I just tried this technique today and just eyeballing my negatives they look overdeveloped. Here are the specifics:

    1 120 roll of Acros shot in a Holga

    3 ml Rodinal
    200 ml XTOL
    800 ml distilled water
    starting liquid/room temp 66 degrees

    prerinsed film
    20 full agitations for the first minute, left alone the next 3 hours

    ending room temp 69 degrees

    My agitation was different from what you suggested, but I don’t know that accounts for the overdevelopment (unless most of the development takes place in the first minute). Using film shot with a Holga doesn’t insure a specific EI, but stand development is supposed to be more forgiving of overexposure anyway.

    I wonder if Rodinal and R09 don’t have the same potency or if my XTOL is more potent than the batch you were using at the time.

  8. dave roberts

    Hi stephen,
    I usually use Agfa APX 100 stand developed in rodinal 1:100 for 1 hour using 300ml of solution in my 35mm tank. I have just shot a roll of 36 exposure 35mm Legacy 100 which I am told by the supplier is rebranded Acros 100 and will process it as per your recommendations. Should I use 300ml of solution (240ml water, 60ml xtol, 1ml rodinal) or use my larger tank with 500ml capacity (400ml water, 100ml xtol, 1.5ml rodinal). I will leave out the asorbic acid and borax for the first trial but propose to add both independantly with my next 2 trials and add both to the fourth trial and assess results. Thanks for a great site full of practical information.
    cheers Dave

  9. Cole Parker

    Awesome recipe! I used the tmy-2 recipe on tri-x and hp5 shot at 1600 developed for 2 hours and I have some of the very best negatives. You’re a gentlemen and a scholar!

  10. First thanks a lot for this guide.
    It is making me want to test stand or in semi stand development.
    I got an old NP20 that I am thinking of using, I know it could have some fog, but thought I could try it.
    I got some of this Sodium metaborate and perhaps I could mix in some as it helps to stop the fogging.
    I live in a country where it is impossible to find borax and I am not sure what Ascorbic Acid is?
    Is it just Vitamin C?
    Also could this be substituted for borax?
    Apparently Xtol has Ascorbic acid
    So perhaps it is unneccesary to add it or if you add it would you just get Vitamin C tablets that you absolve?

  11. Hi There

    Thank you for this article which I came across recently. I did post a message already but it seems to have got lost and I hope it will not be duplicated..
    I have tried it and it works well for me. I have also read the Michael Axel’s ebook.
    One thing that is not clear to me is what to do if one uses a container with smaller volumes, e.g 500ml? do I just divid all measurement by 2? Is there going to be enough developer for the 35mm roll?

    Also if I want to develop 2 rolls at the same time, do I double the volumes? the problem with that would be the maximum volume that I can put in my tank is 1litre??

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