Developer Formulas

For those of us that dabble in alchemy and make our own developers, a selection of formulas.

I have replaced my 50 year old apothecary’s balance scale with an electronic one from My Weigh. It is the Pointscale 5.0 and does not cost a fortune.

Jump to: Single Bath Developers or Two Bath Developers

Single Bath Developers 

510-Pyro

Concentrated acutance developer. Produces full film speed and fine grain. 

DeveloperAdd chemicals in order shown.

Add the dry chemicals to the 75ml of TEA at room temp, then heat to 65°C, stirring continuously until the chemicals have dissolved, then top up with TEA to to make 100ml.

Dilution for use is: 1+100 – 1:500 

Starting times for development in the range of: 5-7 mins
TEA (Triethanolamine)75 ml
Ascorbic Acid5 grams 
Pyrogallol10 grams 
Phenidone0.25 grams 
TEA (Triethanolamine) to make100 ml 

Adox Borax MQ

This is similar to D-76 with slightly better sharpness, but development times must be increased by 10 – 20 %. This developer formula was used for testing the DIN speed of films. It gives full film speed, excellent tonality and improved sharpness compared to D-76. Replenisher is used at rate of 20ml per roll.

DeveloperReplenisher
Metol2 grams3 grams
Sodium Sulphite (anhydrous)80 grams80 grams
Hydroquinone4 grams5 grams
Borax4 grams18 grams
Potassium Bromide0.5 grams___
Water to make 1.0 literWater to make 1.0 liter

Crawley’s FX4

50-60 percent speed increase over D-76. Roughly equivilent to Microphen. Allows the shadows to increase more in contrast. The presence of Metol also allows discrimination in the highlights.

About 9 min at 20C as a start.

Metol1.5 grams
Sodium Sulphite100 grams
Phenidone0.25 grams 
Hydroquinone5 grams
Borax2.5 grams
Potassium Bromide0.5 grams
Water to make 1.0 liter

Crawley’s FX5

Roughly equivilent to Microdol-X. You lose a stop in speed. Develop undiluted 10-15 minutes.

Water at 52C750 ml
Metol5 grams
Sodium Sulphite125 grams
Borax3 grams
Boric Acid1.5 grams
Potassium Bromide0.5 grams
Water to make 1.0 liter

D-89

The difference between this and Kodak’s packaged D-76 is slightly less base fog, due to the bromide. The formula is re-jiggered to compensate for the bromide, and HQ is unnecessary, so left out. 

Use the same times and dilutions as packaged D-76 or D-96.

Metol3 grams 
Sodium Sulphite (anhydrous) 100 grams
Borax5 grams
Potassium Bromide0.5 grams
Water to make 1 Litre

Edwal 12

Excellent, fine-grain developer that gives full emulsion speed, a full contrast range and sharpness. 

Metol6 grams
Sodium Sulphite (anhydrous)90 grams
p-Phenylenediamine10 grams
Glycin5 grams
Water to make 1.0 liter

Kodak D-96 (Negative) 

(from Kodak Publication H-24 Module 15). Replenisher is used at rate of 20ml per roll. 

DeveloperReplenisher
Metol1.5 grams 2.0 grams
Sodium Sulphite (anhydrous) 75 grams80 grams
Hydroquinone1.5 grams2.0 grams
Sodium Tetraborate (Borax)4.5 grams5.0 grams
Potassium Bromide0.4 grams___
Water to make 1 LitreWater to make 1 Litre

Pyro PMK +

Working Solution: 2000 ml Water, 20 ml Solution A, 40 ml Solution B.

The “Plus” in Pyro-Plus is AMIDOL. Add a “pinch” when you have mixed the stock solution, right before use. Use a flat toothpick to decide what is a “pinch”. Amidol adds 1/3 to 1/2 stop honest speed to the developer mix.

Solution AQuantitySolution BQuantity
Distilled Water400 ml Distilled Water700 ml 
Metol5 grams Sodium Metaborate (Kodalk)300 grams
Sodium Sulfite10 gramsWater to make 1 Litre
Pyrogallol50 grams
Water to make 500 ml 

Two Bath Developers

Stoëckler Two Bath

Start at 4 minutes in each at 21°C.

SOLUTION AQuantitySOLUTION BQuantity
Metol5 grams Sodium Tetraborate (Borax)10 grams 
Sodium Sulphite (anhydrous)100 grams Water to make 1 Litre
Water to make 1 Litre

The Ansel Adams D23

3 minutes in each at 21°C

SOLUTION AQuantity
SOLUTION BQuantity
Metol7.5 grams Sodium Metaborate (Kodalk)10 grams 
Sodium Sulphite100 grams Water to 1 litre
Water to 1 litre

The Leica or Leitz Two Bath

A variation of Stoëckler.

SOLUTION AQuantitySOLUTION BQuantity
Metol5 grams Sodium Sulfite6 grams 
Sodium Sulphite (anhydrous) 100 gramsSodium Carbonate15 grams 
Water to make 1 LitreWater to make 1 Litre

TD-201 (D-23 Two Bath) Developer

Try 3-4 minutes in each at 20°C

SOLUTION AQuantitySOLUTION BQuantity
Metol5 grams Sodium Tetraborate (Borax)2 grams
Sodium Sulfite (anhydrous)100 grams Sodium Metaborate (Kodalk)5 grams

Water to make 1 Litre Sodium Sulphite (anhydrous)6 grams
Sodium Sulfate40 grams 
Water to make 1 Litre

Barry Thornton’s Two Bath

Start at 4 minutes in each at 21°C

SOLUTION AQuantitySOLUTION BQuantity
Metol6.5 grams Sodium Metaborate (Kodalk)
12 grams 
Sodium Sulphite85 grams 
Water to 1 litre

Water to 1 litre