DIY Rodinal

Film, Project

Rodinal is one of the most popular and  widely used black and white film developers in the world.

It has been used by some of the greatest film photographers for its look, feel and amazing shelf life.

Often lasting years when kept in ideal conditions, you don’t need much of it to develop your film as its dilution ratios are much less compared to most film developers

My primary use of it, as well as many other photographers, has been for pushing certain films to higher ISOs using stand development techniques.

Rodinal’s performance with stand development has given me some amazing shadow detail and sharpness in images, specifically with films such as Kodak Tri-X and Ilford HP5.

The history of Rodinal hasn’t been paved in gold its formula was in danger but saved due to its sale to other companies a couple times

Here is some quick info about that taken from Wikipedia:

Rodinal has for a long time been manufactured in a chemical plant in Vaihingen-Enz owned originally by Agfa. In November 2005 the plant was sold to a&o Imaging Solutions GmbH in Koblenz, Germany, who continued the production of Rodinal. In 2008 it was sold again to Connect Chemicals (Ratingen, Germany.) Today Rodinal can be obtained from ADOX Fotowerke Bad Saarow, Germany. It is now called ADONAL.[2]

While surfing the inter-webs, studying as always, and looking up cost effective techniques, I came across a website channel called Dr. Frankenfilm.

It included a youtube video that appeared to show the ingredients and steps on how one can make DIY (Do it yourself) Rodinal.

Here is the video below:

Annnnndddd so of course I went out and purchased these chemicals to attempt to see if this was indeed true 

I searched for other users’ results using this technique from Dr. Frankenfilm but was having problems finding any that confirmed their Rodinal was made with this specific formula…this lead me to try it myself

After some time, patience and making sure I safely mixed these chemicals without blowing myself up, my chemistry was complete. 

Fast forward and It has now been 72 hours, the recommended time you need to let the mixture sit before using it.

I poured out the mixture as i prepared to test it

To my surprise the homemade Rodinal is the same pinkish/purplish color as the one I’m used to buying! 

I began by taking 3 35mm rolls, one of Ilford Delta 400 and 2 of Ultrafine Xtreme 400, and also 2 rolls of Ilford HP5+ 120 from a recent photo shoot that i did with my beautiful friend Mondee and prepared to develop

1:100 Dilution for 2 hours, agitation only for 1 minute in beginning.

I’d like to share the results with you now

These are from my Pentax 645 with Ilford HP5+ 120:







These are taken with my Nikon F100 35mm with Ilford Delta 400 and Ultrafine Xtreme:








I was amazed at the results..and STILL am!

I can’t wait to do more shooting just on the principle that i now have the ability to make my own Rodinal from scratch and really embrace the fact that it is possible

I’m very glad that i went through this experiment as i see myself utilizing this technique more and more

Thank you everyone for checking out the blog once again and HAPPY SHOOTING!

Remember to keep progressing with your photography and to experiment as much as you can

Feel free to comment below if you have any questions



In other parts of the world, this recipe is also called

Parodinal film developer

Not sure about the 90 day shelf life for this but we will see.

You can find the recipe for this below:

Water 250 ml
Acetaminophen 30x 500mg tablets
Sodium Sulfite (anhydrous) 50 g
Sodium Hydroxide (anhydrous) 20 g

Mixing instructions: Add chemicals in specified sequence. LET STAND IN SEALED CONTAINER 72 HOURS BEFORE USING

Dilution: as Rodinal

Starting point development time: as Rodinal

Notes: Keep crystals from bottom of container with liquid when decanting, stir before drawing off concentrate for dilution. Use within 30 mins of dilution. Acetaminophen is sold as Paracetamol or Tylenol and is available from any pharmacy.

Please note that this formula has a maximum shelf life of 90 days.

This information was kindly provided by Donald Qualls. For more details please visit Donald’s page of Dilutions and Times

Taken from Digital Truth Photo


12 thoughts on “DIY Rodinal

  1. Excellent images, gorgeous friend! Are these negative scans? Do you have similar R09 shots at 2 hour stand vs the homemade Rodinal. I use R09 and HP5+ a lot at 1:100 stand. Agitate for first 30 seconds then 3 inversions at 30 minutes. I get a bit more grain, but sometimes I wonder if it’s just my scanner? I don’t print in a darkroom, just develop and scan.

    1. I agitate for first minute then let stand for 2 hours. I use the Rodinal that is being made by Adox currently most of the time but lately it’s all been home made stuff 🙂

  2. Very impressive… Thank you for sharing your results with us… This means we can never be stuck for developer. 🙂

  3. Been using my home made Rodinal for nearly a year. Mine certainly has lasted longer than 90 days .I like the 1:50 mix for short development and 1:100 for the stand development. Just treat developing times as normal Rodinal Never use less than 5 ml for stand development though.Colour is also same as shop bought stuff.

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