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P-Aminophenol (Rodinal like) Film Developer

Making Rodinal

Mixing the stock solutions:

Solution A:
Water 625ml
P-Aminophenol Hydrochloride 50g
Sodium metaBisulphite 150g

Solution B:
Cold water (5C) 350ml
Potassium Hydroxide* 215g
Cool water to make 500ml

* Warning.. Strong Alkali - read below for special mixing instructions

Solution A:
  • Boil the water and allow to cool for 5 minutes to remove dissolved oxygen
  • Add a few crystals of metaBiSulfite, from the total called for, and dissolve
  • Add the P-Aminophenol Hydrochloride, fully dissolve
  • Add the remainder of the metaBiSulfite

Solution B:
  • Make sure that you prepare this solution in a sink with a window open! Use plastic mixing, measuring equipment and plastic stirrer.
  • Measure 350ml of very cold water
  • Carefully add the Potassium Hydroxide a spoonful at a time making sure each spoonful has been dissolved before adding the next.
  • This chemical is extremely caustic and should not make contact with your skin or eyes! Considerable heat is generated while mixing this. Should the solution begin to steam, STOP and leave the room until it has cooled. Place in a cold water bath if required, to help speed the cooling

  • When the Potassium Hydroxide has fully dissolved, make up the solution to 500ml and carefully funnel it into a plastic storage bottle

  • To solution A, slowly add solution B stirring gently. A precipitate will form
  • Continue to add solution B carefully, drop by drop, until almost all the precipitate has gone. There should be just a few wisps of precipitate left
  • When you are at this point, stop adding solution B and make up to 1 litre with water.

This versatile developer can be used in a variety of ways and adapts to very slow, fine grain films or to fast ISO 400 films. Agitation is normally 10 seconds per minute but can be extended to 10 seconds every 2 or 3 minutes with slight increase in development time; this increases acutance. Bromide drag across your negatives is not a problem with this developer at the higher dilutions.

Stand development

For Stand Development dilute 1:100, develop for 1 hour or 1:200 and develop for 2 hours (for higher compensation).

Agitate for the first minute and leave to stand for the remainder of the time. Maintain 18-20C in a water bath. Do not move the tank or film during this time. Any film or film speed will do but try it on something unimportant first!

For more about Rodinal read my book excerpt on this page.

Normal Usage chart:

This versatile developer can be used in a variety of ways and adapts to very slow, fine grain films or to fast ISO 400 films. Agitation is normally 10 seconds per minute.

Here's some times for starting points:

Kodak Technical Pan 25ISO - Dilute 1:200 and develop for 10-12 minutes - with this film agitate for 10 seconds every 30 seconds.

Slow Films ISO 50 - Dilute 1:50 and develop for 10-12 minutes.

Medium speed Films ISO 125
Low Contrast Scenes (developer increases contrast) - 1:75 12-15 mins
Medium Contrast Scenes - 1:100 12-15 mins
High Contrast Scenes (developer lowers contrast) 1:100 8-12 mins

Fast Films ISO 400
Low Contrast Scenes (developer increases contrast) 1:50 12-15 mins
Medium Contrast 1:75 12 mins
High Contrast Scenes (developer lowers contrast) 1:100 12-15 mins

All these times are for 20C/68F

As always test, test, test!

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Gorgeous tones and clean working developer!
News stand, Lauderdale by the Sea
Rodinal 1:50 with Borax. 14mins @ 20c
Ilford FP4+

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Straw Bales, Forres, Scotland
AGFA ( or ADOX) Rodinal and Rodinal like developers can even process high contrast films like Kodak Technical Pan. Here, the inherent contrast of Technical Pan has been tamed by AGFA Rodinal developer at 1:200 for 12 minutes. Agitation was once
every thirty seconds at 20C.