I shot some rolls of HP5, and planned on developing it in Rodinal. But I got a little confused when I looked at the suggested DevTimes, most sources (incl. MassiveDevChart) give about 11-13 minutes when rated at 400, and 12 minutes at 200 ISO. Does this mean I can just develop a roll I shot at 200 and one I shot at 400 at the same time for 12 minutes? Does anyone have experience with HP5 in Rodinal and has other suggested times? Thanks in advance


4 Answers 4


Ilford HP5+ is a film emulsion well known for its ability to stand a lot of abuse as far as exposure is concerned.

It was developed with newspaper photojournalists in mind - these guys were not known for the accuracy of their exposure measurement.

It works well with Rodinal, but be prepared for a visibly grainy result. Not unpleasantly grainy, but of the sort "this grain was supposed to be there and it is" result.

My favorite development times for this combo in 135 film are:

  • shot as ASA 400 => 11:00 minutes in Rodinal 1+50 at 20 °C
  • shot as ASA 800 => 08:00 minutes in Rodinal 1+25 at 20 °C

The second option is grainy indeed, but for some motives works marvelously - with sorta grimy authenticity. Better suited for portraits of older men than young babies.

In 120 and larger film sizes you can disregard the grain warnings.


Jindra Lacko's answer directly answers your question, but I wanted to add this:

You can push the accutance a tad more if you go with a super dilute stand development using Rodinal. This also reduces the contrast a tad and effectively "reduces" the speed of the film (If I'm planning on using Rodinal & stand dev, I'll intentionally overexpose by 1/3 - 2/3 stop).

Use 5mL for a roll of 135 or 6mL for 120 at 1:100 dilution. A couple of inversions at the beginning + 30min rest + another 1 or 2 inversions + 30min rest. In this process, you are using the bare minimum developer and expecting it to exhaust. Definitely don't experiment on a roll you want perfect, but I'd recommend shooting a test roll in various lighting conditions and giving it a try to see how you like it.


Especially when you have conflicting information regarding development times, but also in most other situations, it is usually the best option to look at the film or developer manufacturer's data sheet. The development times mentioned in Jindra's answer are taken from Ilford's data sheet for HP5+ and you are very likely to get acceptable results if you trust Ilford's recommendations when developing an Ilford film.

The massive dev chart is kind of a Wiki, which can be used as a starting point if you seek development times for unusual film and developer combinations or for push or pull development not covered by the manufacturer's data sheets. The data is in many cases contributed by users, and there is not necessarily much quality control before the submitted development times are published. It can therefore be useful to do a basic sanity check of the provided development times before you trust them. If we e.g. look at the development times for HP5+ in Rodinal 1+50 for different exposures, you find the following numbers:

  • 7 minutes @25ASA
  • 9 minutes @100ASA
  • 10-13 minutes @200ASA
  • 11 minutes @400ASA
  • 16 minutes @800ASA
  • 24 minutes @1600ASA
  • 52 minutes @6400ASA

Knowing that 11 minutes @400ASA is taken from Ilford's data sheet, you can easily see that the published time for 200ASA does not make sense. The numbers for 25 and 100 ASA also look too long for me.


I haven't developed HP5 in Rodinal, but I've used Rodinal on other films. When I started developing my own films I used Ilford's DDX developer. This is supposed to give less grainy results on the film, and for the most part I can agree with this - especially on Fomapan 400 film which I've developed with Rodinal and DDX.

Like Jindra mentioned, Rodinal will give a more grainy result. If this is your thing then brilliant, but I've had fantastic results with Ilford's DDX and I'd recommend you use this instead. Especially when it comes to pushing the film (which HP5 handles really really well!).


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