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February 23, 2014 / Aware of the Void

Stand Development – A Bluffers Guide

Refuge of Sinners?

One of the most interesting aspects of film photography is that no two people ever seem to do something the same way. There are no rules and most photographers will give anything  a try. I fell in love with stand development because it suited my temperament and shoot style. I found that it allowed me to develop film at a very slow pace and it even allowed me to develop film while walking my dog. I just start the process and then go out for an hour.

It suited my shooting style when I first took an interest in black and white photography. Because I was never shooting specific subjects and what ever was on the roll when I was finished could be considered a very mixed bag of exposure types and contrast situations. It allowed me to push a roll by two stops even if I had shot half a roll already, I would just allow a little extra time in development and the process is so forgiving everything works out ok.

The science behind stand development is something like – the developer exhausts faster in the highlight areas and the shadow detail develops slowly over time. So I think if you are considering trying stand development you shoot for the highlights and then you are developing for the shadow detail. I am pretty amazed at how well this works sometimes. I have seen very fine grain with a varity of films – pushed and pulled.

I tend to use the same two developers all the time Kodak’s HC-110 and Rodinal (or one of its many variations) and I find these both work very well. If you only want to try one come and join the rest of us that worship at the church of Rodinal – it is excellent, easily available, cheap, easy to use and there is so much information about it on-line that if you have a question about it Google will have an answer for you in a couple of seconds.

My method for stand development is pretty simple and if it is not clear feel free to ask me questions in the comments box below.

  1. Load the film into your tank.
  2. Pre soak the film for 5mins (I do this with water at 20c to get everything to the same temperature)
  3. Mix the developer at a ratio of 1+100, so that is 10ml of developer to 1000ml of water – it is recommended that you use a minimum of 5ml so that there is enough chemicals in the tank for a full hours worth of development. I make the developer 20c
  4. Pour in the developer
  5. Do gentle inversions for about 1 minute – I normally do about 20 in the minute
  6. Leave to stand for about 60 mins – I vary this if I am pushing or pulling the film but an hour tends to work well for most things. I forgot about a roll one night and left it in the soup for 6 hours, still good results. This method of development is very forgiving
  7. I either leave the tank in a room that is roughly 20c or wrap a towel around it to help maintain the temperature
  8. Pour out the developer and give the film a quick rinse (this is done to extend the life of the fixer)
  9. Fix for 5 minutes – I use Ilfords rapid fixer
  10. Final rinse for 10 minutes and then hang to dry.

This is a very rough guide and is posted for information and encouragement proposes. I am not an expert just a fan of the method. Below are some images I have developed of various films with different times and the occasional semi-stand variation. Where I have kept notes I have posted the information.

Happy shooting folks and feel free to let me know your own methods.

National Botanic Gardens

Camera:Nikon F100
Film: Rollei Infrared 400S
Filter: Heliopan Infrared 715 (88A)
Dev: Agfa R09 Special 1+100 90 mins 20c

So Neo it's Classical

Camera:Nikon F100
Film: Efke IR820
Filter: Heliopan Infrared 715 (88A)
Dev: Rodinal 1+100 60 mins 20c


Camera:Nikon F100
Film: Kentmere 400
Dev: Adox Adonal 1+100 90mins 20c

Still a Vitamin Boost - 2011-11-20 at 08-00-22

Camera:Nikon F100
Film: Kentmere 100
Lens: Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D
Dev: HC-110 (G) 40min @ 20c

Mount Usher Gardens

Camera:Nikon F100
Film: Rollei Infrared 400S
Filter: Heliopan Infrared 715 (88A)
Dev: Adox Adonal 1+100 60 mins 20c

Irish Wood Imp - 2012-03-28 at 00-11-24 Alveoli Reach for the Skies - 2012-03-27 at 23-44-18

Camera:Nikon F100
Film: Ilford SFX 200 (IR)
Lens:Nikon 50mm 1.8
Filter: Hoya G (Orange) + Circular Polarizer
Dev: Adonal 1+100 45mins


Leave a Comment
  1. Moni / Feb 23 2014 3:42 pm

    This is really great! I’m glad you wrote this. I am going to refer to it when I try stand development. I am going to follow your advice of trying the same thing for awhile so I think I will use the Diafine with my bulk roll of Arista 100. The next bulk roll will be stand developed.

    • Aware of the Void / Feb 23 2014 9:12 pm

      Glad it makes sense Moni, it started as an email to a buddy of mine and I decided to add a few pictures as an example – the mail got pretty big so I tweeked it a but, removed the swearing, nudity and violence and it seemed to work as a blog post.

      • Moni / Feb 23 2014 10:21 pm


  2. jesús joglar / Feb 23 2014 7:38 pm

    Nice post and great results!
    Sometimes I use to do it with homebrewed Rodinal and just once with a “glycin” developer with good results. I would like to try it with other developers and also with two baths developers.

    • Aware of the Void / Feb 23 2014 9:15 pm

      Thanks Jesus, glad you like it. I have tried a few developers but rodinal and the hc110 are easy to source here so I have kind of stuck with them. I think I done one roll in Pyrocat but I don’t remember seeing the results :$

  3. Marie / Feb 23 2014 9:25 pm

    Great work!! I just love the Efke-glow… It is so special…..

    • Aware of the Void / Feb 23 2014 9:35 pm

      I have 3 rolls left in the fridge, I will be sad to see them go but looking forward to the results.

  4. itisnovember / Feb 24 2014 9:02 am

    Awesome photos! Inspiring! Always great to meet people who also shoot film 🙂

    • Aware of the Void / Feb 24 2014 9:16 am

      Thanks Julian glad you like them. Thanks to the little bubble I have created for myself my world is filled with film shooters.

  5. Photography Martin / Feb 26 2014 7:15 pm

    Gorgeous infrared stuff!

  6. Sam Charupakorn / Feb 28 2014 4:25 am

    Excellent article! Great pics, great info, thanks for sharing this.

  7. Son of Sharecroppers / Mar 14 2014 1:54 pm

    Beautiful work! I need to try this!

  8. Moni / Jun 25 2014 2:50 am

    Alright, I managed to follow your directions here and didn’t mess anything up. And there are images on the negatives. Craftymoni approved! 😉 thanks for posting this. It was very helpful.

    • Aware of the Void / Jun 27 2014 7:05 am

      I am so glad that work out for you – any results yet?

      • Moni / Jun 27 2014 12:55 pm

        The negatives look pretty good. I’ll have to wait until I can get down to Newspace and their LF scanner to know for sure. I think I will try this with my next 35 mm rolls this week.

      • Aware of the Void / Jun 29 2014 6:13 am


      • Moni / Jun 30 2014 8:28 pm

        I scanned them and they look great! I have at least one winner for sure.

  9. grumpytykepix / Feb 9 2015 7:22 am

    Hi. Thanks for the ‘like’ on my recent ‘seats’; it reminded me of this post and a question I have been meaning to ask. I too fell in love with stand development for all the reasons you gave, always using Rodinal. Then I stand-developed a Tri-X and the film had streaks running down from the perforations (as in the developing tank) making the negs useless. I haven’t used stand development since. Any suggestions? Is it just Tri-X doesn’t like it?

    • Aware of the Void / Feb 9 2015 12:41 pm

      Hello, I have never seen it on my own film but I have read about on other sites. I think it is eiter casused by the chemicals in the tank cooling at different times – I’m in my darkroom and tempreture is pretty consitant during development but you can maintain temp by wrapping a towel around the tank for the duration of the stand.

      It might also be something called “bromide drag” this is a chemical reaction when the developer is exhausting faster on some of the film – I think one of two inversions at the mid-point in the process would resolve any issue with this?

  10. Martin H Tran / May 30 2017 2:03 pm

    Does the development time remain the same for most film emulsions?

    • Aware of the Void / May 30 2017 3:20 pm

      Yep – it does for me. Generally an hour but if i really want to push a film i got for 1.5

  11. Aware of the Void / Mar 3 2014 5:08 am

    Thanks for the Ping back


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