An Introduction to Rodinal black and white film developer

Posted & filed under Introductions to, Photography.

RodinalRodinal black and white film developer was patented by Dr. Momme Andresen in 1891. Rodinal was the first product produced by Agfa and the oldest continuously-produced developer formula in the world. Formally manufactured by Agfa, it was sold to Connect Chemicals (Ratingen, Germany.) in 2008.

It’s a one shot liquid developer usually used in high dilutions of 1+25, 1+50, 1+100, 1+200. My favorite dilution/film combination being 1+100 using stand development (no agitation) for 50 minutes.

It has a very long storage life, mine is over 2 year’s old and is still producing great negatives.

It is usually suited to low film speeds based on the high acutance properties and the coarse grain this developer produces. A solvent (such as sodium sulfite) can be added to soften the granularity. However I find that films shot at high speed such as Fuji Neopan 1600 and Kodak Tri-X (rated at 16000 iso) look beautiful.

Rodinal is a must try for anyone interested in development black and white film development and a great starting developer for anyone thinking of developing their own film.

It’s readily available to buy in the UK with an average price of £12.

This blog post was originally written for Photographique magazine – March 2010. Download the PDF Version.

Times & dilutions: http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.php?Film=&Developer=Rodinal&mdc=Search

Example images from my negatives:

Neopan 1600 35mm in Rodinal 1+50 - 8.5 minutes

Neopan 1600 35mm in Rodinal 1+50 – 8.5 minutes

Illford Pan F+ 50 35mm in Rodinal 1+50 - 11 minutes

Illford Pan F+ 50 35mm in Rodinal 1+50 – 11 minutes

Illford Pan F+ 50 35mm in Rodinal 1+50 - 11 minutes

Illford Pan F+ 50 35mm in Rodinal 1+50 – 11 minutes

Fuji Acros 100 - 35mm in Rodinal 1+100 - 50 minutes

Fuji Acros 100 – 35mm in Rodinal 1+100 – 50 minutes

Illford FP4 35mm in Rodinal 1+25

Illford FP4 35mm in Rodinal 1+25

Illford FP4 35mm in Rodinal 1+25

Illford FP4 35mm in Rodinal 1+25

Fuji Acros 100 35mm in Rodinal 1+100 - 50 minutes

Fuji Acros 100 35mm in Rodinal 1+100 – 50 minutes

Examples on flickr:

Order online:

Further reading:

Mix your own:

Related Posts:

4 Responses to “An Introduction to Rodinal black and white film developer”

  1. Trevor David Betts

    Cannot remember how long I have been using Rodinal now (a good few years though). Now I will not use any other film developer. It’s brilliant stuff. I can recall someone telling me that they found some Rodinal in the ruins of Hitlers Bunker a few years ago (and it stiil processed films). Glad that they resurrected it and saved it when Agfa stopped making it. Like your blog, it’s very informative. Like you I love film.

    Regards

    Trevor

    Reply
  2. Fabio Fantazzini

    I am using Rodinal for about 32 years now. And I dont know anything better. Rodinal and HC-110 are great. good luck for everybody.

    Reply
  3. YRF

    When using stand dev does it actually mean that there is no agitation at all, not even the first minute?
    Do you bang the tank at all to release air bubbles?
    thanks.

    Reply
    • Daniel Hewes

      From the Film Developing Cook Book their definition is “an extended period of time, with little or no agitation”.

      Personally I do agitate a little for the first minute and I tap lightly to release air bubbles.

      Reply

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