Stand Developement

Geek time - With Stand Development the film is left to “stand” in very diluted developer for an extended period of time, usually 1 hour or more, with little or no agitation.

There are several reasons to use stand development. It is noted for its perceived sharpness and supposedly relative simplicity. It also gives a compensating effect with your negatives if the film is a high contrast film or shot in high contrast light.

The compensating effect is the developer exhausting itself in areas which require greater development while remaining active in less-exposed areas, which has the effect of boosting shadow detail while preserving bright highlights. Remember, it will not make light where there isn’t light. Stand development is also largely insensitive to variations in exposure and allows for the development of films rated at different speeds to be processed in the same batch. Think about it, you can run a roll of Kodak Tri-X and Ilford FP4 at the same time in the same tank! Found an old roll of film? Just develop it with the stand method, no need to try and find a time for processing or guessing how old it is to compensate with developing times.

The most common developer used with B/W stand developing is Rodinal.  It is by far the slowest, easiest, cheapest, and laziest method of developing black and white film, and it’s perfect for stand developing. It is rumored and written that you do not even have to measure temperature (but this is not true).

I’ve started to do stand development and so far have been pleased with the results.  As the excerpt from FPP notes it requires very little developer, timing is about an hour but is not super critical.  I always thought it would be a drag to wait the hour but instead I found lots of things to do for that hour.  The images are sepia toned only because I scanned them in as RGB - I could have easily desaturated them to pure B and W but instead left this way.

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