Stand development Follow Up – My First Steps into Analogue – Part 8 – By Andrea Bevacqua

I have been studying a bit since my last post on the subject of stand development and have put in place some comment I received. As such, here a follow-up on my experiences with the stand development process.

I was not completely sure about the performance of the Fomapan film when stand development, so I thought I would give some Ilford film a go. This time I used 35mm FP4 which I shot in my Leica M2 with the 7Artisans 35mm f/2 lens, and 120 HP5 in my Yashica 124G.

This time I wanted to try a more thorough test so for each scene I shoot both film at box speed, the underexposed by ~one and then two stops. I ending up shooting the FP4 at 125, 200 and 400 and the HP5 at 400, 800 and 1600 ISO. All the shots were metered with the Lumu app.

I had a little stroll in my village, it was a dull and drizzly day so I was not expecting great contrast or beautiful skies, but it didn’t matter as it was purely a test of the process.

What I was not happy with from the previous tests were the bromide drag on the 35mm film and the poor quality and consistency of the results. The first batch of film was very dark – they seemed underexposed, but I think they were just underdeveloped. The second time some images were acceptable but still many of them were still very dark. It was a mixed bag, really.

In order to rectify these two points, I decided to go for a full stand development (non semi-stand like the time before) for one hour hoping for a bit more consistency and less bromide drag.

I have to admit that I was quite pleased with the results. So, here below a few images of this trial.

FP4 – 125 ISO
FP4 – 200 ISO

FP4 – 400 ISO

FP4 – 125 ISO
FP4 – 200 ISO
FP4 – 400 ISO
Fp4 – 125 ISO
Fp4 – 200 ISO
Fp4 – 400 ISO

These are just some images from the FP4 film. I am quite happy with the results. As usual, lovely grain grey tones from Ilford. All the images have not been post processed, apart from a little haze correction.

Here below the images from the medium format HP5.

HP5 – 400 ISO
HP5 – 800 ISO
HP5 – 1600 ISO
HP5 – 400 ISO
HP5 – 800 ISO
HP5 – 1600 ISO
Hp5 – 400 ISO
HP5 – 800 ISO
HP5 – 1600 ISO
HP5 – 400 ISO
HP5 – 800 ISO
HP5 – 1600 ISO

I have to say, this test, reinforced my love for Ilford FP4. I love its tonality and sharpness. Looking at the results, I really like the images metered at 200 ISO, quite sharp and decently contrast images, in my opinion. I am not super happy with the 400 ISO images, but I suspect  I could have developed for 70 minutes rather than 60 – or maybe I was just asking too much?

All the images included from the HP5, have a fair amount of grain. It seems to me that with stand development, the grain is more accentuated. Some images are quite dark, I suspect it was because I did not manage the metering very well, especially in the clock tower. I had the sun just in front of me so it probably impacted the meter reading

If you fancy, you can check out my Instagram or twitter.
You can read more about my journey into shooting film here.


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10 thoughts on “Stand development Follow Up – My First Steps into Analogue – Part 8 – By Andrea Bevacqua”

  1. I develop my own film (black and white and color), but I’m obviously not as expert as you. Question: What is the benefit of stand developing vs developing “normally” with agitation?

    1. Hi Eric,
      there are pro’s and con’s as always.

      – you can shoot at different ISO’s and develop all together in one go
      – stand dev. manage better the very contrasty scenes, so if you have got images with high lights and deep shadows, this method seems to work better than the standard dev. method
      – doing some crops to the images, it seems they are sharper

      – you could get more easier bromide drags (in the 35mm)
      – the negatives can result thinner because they stay in bath much longer than usual

      My experience, so far, is positive.

      Thanks for your comment.


  2. Nice results Andrea. I think a major con that you did not mention is the time difference between regular and stand developing!
    I like being done with developing in 6 minutes!

    1. Hi Huss,
      Thanks for your message.
      You are right…but you could also be wrong 🙂
      Let’s say that a roll can take 10 minutes to be done (including stop and fix bath) and you just came back from a long week end away (just dream, because….damn virus…) and you have got 6 rolls to dev. With stand dev you could chuck all the rolls in a tank and in 70 minutes you are done! I find this as much as fascinating as the 10 minutes per roll.
      But I agree it is more an experimenting process rather than a more usual approach.


  3. I started stand developing this year with Rodinol 1:100. It definitely seems to suit some films, but not others. I haven’t tried fp4+ yet, though. As you say, those at 200 look good. I do tend to get bromide streaks a a lot. This is frustrating because I can get no problems one time, repeat the process another day another film and get the drag. No apparent change in my methodology. I will continue to experiment with it. I have read that a brief pre-soak with plain water may help, so will try that next.

    1. Hi Rock,
      I got the idea that this process was not good for the Fomapan and infact as soon as I swapped to Ilford, I got better results.
      Unfortunately I don’t have done a lot of tests yet, so I will see how it goes long term, but as I said before, I really think this is more an experimental process rather than an “aknoledged” process.

      About the pre-soak, there are very conflicting opinions and I decided to not pre-soak the film.
      Regarding the bromide drags, I read that the problem of stand dev. is the bath time and the dev. temperature. Because it stays one hour still on the bench, the dev. temp can vary considerably and if I am not wrong, this can cause bromide drags. Maybe it is something to bear in mind. The best, probably, would be to be able to leave the tank on a “heated controlled” base. I want to check on internet if there is something that can be found ( I am thinking at those bases that keep warm the cup of tea 🙂 ).
      Probably another thing to consider is the developer, I guess that some developers are more prone to bromide drags than others. I don’t know.

      What film did you experiment with so far?


  4. My best results from stand development seem to be with the greatest dilutions – what sort of developer dilution were you using for the HP5 shots?

    The whole concept seems great to me, but it unnerves me to be leaving the tank alone for so long – I’m using R09, which is supposed to suffer less from the bromide drag effect…

    1. Hi Bob,
      I used HC-110 (100:1) for 60 minutes.
      I need to experiment more and see in terms of consistency how it goes.


  5. So far I have tried HP5+ (exposed at 800), Agfa APX 100 (original Agfa stock expired 2013) and Orwo N74. All 35mm. I thought I had also done a roll of Silberra 52xx
    Cinema film but looking back at my notes I reckon that one was a monobath. I will email you some examples later, especially where I have streaks.
    I haven’t managed 120 yet as I keep messing up the reel loading in the dark bag! When I do get around to stand developing my medium format, I have FP4+, Delta 100 and Lucky SHD in the fridge.

    1. If it helps you with the loading of the 120 film, in one of my old posts there was a link to a youtube video where it was explaining how to get some help with a piece of thin cardboard. I did try it but I find easier without, to be honest.

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