STANDARD B&W Film Developer


STANDARD is the basic film developer in the SPRINT B&W processing system. All solutions for this process are in liquid concentrate form.

One liter of STANDARD concentrate will make 10 liters of working solution.

SKU: FL000_W Category:


STANDARD B&W Film Developer

STANDARD is Sprint’s film developer. It changes exposed silver halide crystals in your film to silver, making a visible image, once the unexposed crystals are removed by the fixer. It is a general-purpose developer, suitable for a wide range of films.



How to Mix

Like all other Sprint chemicals, we supply it as a liquid concentrate. You dilute it 1:9 with water, to make a working solution. In other words, if you are going to develop 4 rolls of 35mm film in a typical stainless-steel tank, which holds 1 liter, you will need to combine 100 ml of concentrate with 900 ml of water.

One liter of STANDARD concentrate will make 10 liters of working solution, enough to develop at least (50) rolls of 35mm 36 exposure film, (or enough replenished solution to develop 110 rolls). Directions provided here are for basic negative processing, using the developer once only.

100mlSTANDARD B&W Film Developer Concentrate
=1000mlSTANDARD B&W Film Developer Working Solution

Procedures for Processing B&W Negative Films

Time, and temperature (- and agitation – more on that later – ) are very important in film developing. The warmer the developer, the faster it acts, while cool temperatures slow things down. Develop long enough and hot enough, and your film will all but turn a solid black; too short a time and too cold will hardly give you anything. For a rich, easily printed, full gradation image, you have to get it right. While experience – and keeping good notes on what you did – is the best teacher, Sprint’s Standard Film Developer Time Chart (here) will give a good starting point.

Sprint tries to make things easy for you – within limits you can process film at room temperature – the temperature at which everything tends to end up anyway* – and adjust developing time according to our chart, rather than struggling to maintain exactly 20 or 24 degrees Celsius.

*In very dry conditions, desert or a heated building in very cold weather, all solutions will tend to evaporate faster than usual, which may cause a degree or two of unexpected cooling.

Chart Letters

Different films develop at different speeds; Sprint’s Chart Letter summarizes this information and gives you a convenient way to find the appropriate developing time at your room temperature. You can develop any films with the same chart letter together in the same tank.

To find the recommended development time for your film, find it on the Standard Film Developer Time Chart, and read across to the column with your working temperature at the top. For example, for Ilford HP5+ at 75 degrees F/24 degrees C we recommend 6:30 – that is 6 minutes 30 seconds. With experience, you may want to make your own adjustments.

If your working temperature is not on this chart, simply note the letter next to your film (for HP5+ that would be “O”), and go to Sprint’s Development Timing System Chart (here). Find “O” in the first column (“CHART LETTER”) and you can read off from that row all the different development times for the  different temperatures at the heads of the columns. So, if you are going to develop your HP5+ at 23 degrees C/73.5 degrees C, you will find 7:15 – 7 minutes and 15 seconds.

This all assumes you have photographed a “normal” subject, with a good quality lens/camera, in “normal” light (rather than very flat or very contrasty lighting), and have not waited too long (more than a handful of days, maybe a week or two) before processing. We assume you are going to make enlargements using a condenser enlarger, variable-contrast paper and a # 2 and a half filter.

If you have done something else, you can adjust development to make your negatives easier to print. At the bottom of the Standard Film Developer Time Chart is a table of adjustments. For example, if you had used film that had passed its expiration date you would add 1 chart letter (going to “P” for your HP5+). If you were also planning to use a color head enlarger when printing, you would add 3 more chart letters (going to “S”). Your suggested development time at 23 degrees C/73.5 degrees F now becomes 12 minutes 30 seconds.


Developing Film Procedure

We suggest you prepare all solutions in advance, allowing enough time for them to come to room temperature. If they are at  different enough temperatures, the thermal shock to the gelatin of the film can cause apparent graininess. In the days before modern, pre-hardened emulsions, this was a much more serious problem and you might get reticulation – a sort of reptile-skin effect.

If your water supply does not come from a thermostatic valve, or is very warm or cool, consider getting a stainless-steel or plastic tank large enough to hold all the water needed for a complete processing cycle, and filling it long enough in advance to reach room temperature. Some clean, empty gallon water jugs might be a low-cost alternative.


Use all solutions at (or as close as possible to) the temperature selected for development (step 2). Normally this would be room temperature.


Room temperature water Pre-wet. 1 minute (at least, longer does no harm), continuous agitation.

Wets the film all over to development starts evenly and consistently. If colored water comes out, this is likely dissolved anti-halation dye, and is not a problem.



Development with Standard Working Solution at room temperature. See above (“Chart Letters”) table for timing and below (“Agitation”) for agitation.

Because the film will still be wet with developer, some development will continue even with the developer poured out; experience will help you allow for this in your timing. In practice, usually developer is only used once; for developing large quantities of film, we have instructions for replenishment.



Stop Bath (Block mixed 1:9) 1 minute (at least, longer does no harm), continuous agitation for the first minute. If you need to leave the film, make sure you have used enough stop bath to cover it.

Development actually stops when the Stop Bath hits the film. The developer is alkaline, and the mildly acidic Stop Bath prevents the developer from contaminating the fixer. Working Stop Bath is pale yellow when fresh, and may be used until the color changes to purple, indicating exhaustion. Film and print stop baths should not be interchanged.



Record Speed Fixer Working Solution (Record Speed Fixer diluted 2:8 with water). At least 1 minute, constant agitation.


The rule of thumb is to fix with constant agitation for twice the clearing time, and to discard the working solution when the clearing time has doubled. (If you keep the narrow pieces from the ends of 35mm films you can use these to find the clearing time – it is easy to grab a small strip with the print fixing tongs and swish it around in a beaker of fixer. You will notice that slow, fine-grain films clear faster than high-speed films). If your film is particularly important to you, always err on the side of using fresh fixer!



Water Pre-Wash 1 minute

The tank may be opened at this stage; if the film looks milky, all is not lost, it has little light-sensitivity. Put the lid back on, mix some fresh fixer and fix again for a minute. If you have the kind of water hose that can be pushed down through the centers of the reels, make sure it has reached the bottom of the tank, so that clean, tempered, water enters at the very bottom.

Or, fill with water, put lid back on, agitate vigorously for 30 seconds, pour out through the lid, making sure to also rinse the cap. Repeat, repeat again. This stage removes fixer that has not been absorbed into the emulsion.



Archive Fixer Remover Working Solution (1:9) 1-3 minutes, continuous agitation. 1 minute for commercial permanence or if you’re really in a hurry, 3 minutes for archival.

Archive Working Solution is blue-green when fresh and is kept and reused until it changes color to yellowish-green. It is good practice, although not essential, to keep separate working solutions for films and prints.

In this step the Archive reacts with fixer residues and other unwanted substances in the emulsion to make them more water-soluble so that they can be washed out.



Water Wash, 3 minutes.

Make sure the flowing water is close to the temperature of the previous processing solutions.  If using a hose, make sure it enters at the very bottom of the tank, flowing out over the top edge. Make sure it is flowing at a rate fast enough for a complete change every 15-20 seconds.


Or, fill the tank with water at room temperature. Put the lid back on, agitate vigorously for 30 seconds, pour out through the lid, being sure the cap gets rinsed too. Ten repetitions gives a well-washed film.



End Run Wetting Agent & Stabilizer (superconcentrate, dilute 1:99, preferably with distilled or deionized water, especially if your water supply is hard) 1 minute

In practice add 1 capful (~10 ml) to 1 liter of water. Agitation is not necessary and would cause foaming; mixing in a strictly clean container and pouring into the open tank is enough to evenly distribute the superconcentrate in the water. It does no harm to leave the film in the End Run working solution for a few minutes before sponge squeegeeing.

In principle the shelf-life of End Run working solution can be up to 30 days; in practice it tends to accumulate mysterious tiny pieces of debris, maybe sponge and film fragments, (or maybe dandruff), and can be reused on the next batch or two of processing.



Sponge squeegee gently. (Ideally use sponge tongs reserved for this, dip them in the End Run working solution and then squeeze them. Hang the film to dry, away from dust, and gently squeezing run the tongs down the film, being careful not to pull it off its clip. If it falls to the floor, wash it again).

Use a sponge squeegee; fingers leave an uneven coating, and rubber-blade squeegees can easily scratch the film.

If you are processing sheets of film too large to squeegee, use 3 ml of End Run per liter of water, and simply hang to dry.

Check that film is in fact completely dry before starting to cut and file!




1Water Pre-Wet1 minute
2STANDARD Film DeveloperSee Chart Letters
3BLOCK Stop Bath1 minute
4RECORD Speed Fixer3 minutes
5Water Pre-Wash1 minute
6ARCHIVE Fixer Remover3 minutes
7Water Wash3 minutes
8END RUN Wetting Agent & Stabilizer1 minute
9Sponge Squeegee & Dry


For each step listed above, agitate continuously for the first MINUTE and for 10-15 seconds of each MINUTE thereafter. During development (step 2), if development time is less than 6 minutes, agitate continuously for the first MINUTE and for 10-15 seconds of each HALF-MINUTE thereafter. When development time is less than 3 minutes, agitate continuously. Use only enough solution to cover reels, leaving an air space for thorough agitation with bubbles. (In general, more agitation gives contrastier negatives, which is sometimes desirable, but more often makes them harder to print. As always, our recommendations are intended as a useful starting point, and you should modify them in the light of your own experience).



Additional information

Weight N/A
Dimensions N/A

Shelf Life

Shelf Life

Stored away from strong light, at a temperature of 25°C / 77°F or lower, STANDARD has the following shelf life:

ConcentrateMinimum Shelf Life
Unopened container12 months
Opened container (air free)6 months
Opened container (25% air)3 months
Working SolutionMinimum Shelf Life
Full container1 month
25% air in container1 week
Open tray24 hours

Capacity & Replenishment

Capacity & Replenishment

1 liter of STANDARD 1:9 working solution will develop 400 square inches of film. Example: (5) rolls of 35mm 36 exposure or (5) rolls of 120 film. With replenishment as directed, 1 liter of working solution will process ten times this amount of film.

To renew a volume of working solution which has been used to capacity, add STANDARD concentrate to the working solution in the following proportions:

Proportions For Replenishment:

For eachAdd
102in of sheet film (4x5=202in)1.0ml concentrate
35mm, 20 exposure roll4.5ml concentrate
35mm, 36 exposure or 120 roll7.5ml concentrate

This replenishment returns the working solution to its fresh working condition and capacity. When replenished developer is used to capacity it may be replenished again, repeatedly, until a total of 4000 square inches has been developed per liter.


Can the film developer be used as replenishment?

Yes, it is possible to use our STANDARD Film Developer in a replenishment system. Please follow the instructions outlined in the Description tab.

Why are there are spots on my negatives?

Spots can appear on your negatives for many reasons. Particles in the processing or wash water are a common cause of black spots on negatives.  Old processing solutions that have thrown a precipitate are another. Clear spots (with no damage to the emulsion) are often caused by dust on the film in the camera. Clear spots may also be caused by physical damage.

How do I make a working solution with STANDARD Film Developer?

Sprint STANDARD Film Developer is sold in concentrate form. To prepare a working solution, mix one part concentrate with nine parts water (1:9). A few films (denoted by an asterisk on our chart) have been found to develop better in a solution of two parts concentrate to 8 parts water (2:8).

What should I do if my film is not listed on your product labeling or Standard B&W Film Developer Time Chart?

While Sprint tests most films commonly available in North America, there will unavoidably be some for which we have no recommendations. The Digital Truth website’s Massive Development Time Chart may suggest some useful starting points… but nothing is as good as doing your own tests, in your own conditions.  This site contains development times for a wide range of films and photochemistry and can be used to provide further insight into the development time for your particular film.

Individual testing and experimentation is also suggested for those who wish to develop personal style and technique. If you would like to suggest a film type for us to test, please use the contact form on our site to send us an email. Although we cannot guarantee testing of all films, we will attempt to provide information as it becomes available.

How do I find the development time for my film?

Consult the STANDARD Black & White Film Developer Time Chart.

Can I “push process” my film with Sprint™ STANDARD Film Developer?

Yes, underexposed  film can be “push processed” with STANDARD. Our recommendation is to add two chart letters for one stop of underexposure, and four chart letters for two stops. For example, Ilford HP5+, whose normal chart letter is “O” (10 minutes at 20° C or 68° F), would be moved up by at least two chart letters, to “Q” (13 minutes at 20° C or 68° F), if it were underexposed by 1 stop.

Please note that Sprint™ STANDARD B & W Film Developer is designed for optimum quality at a film’s normal exposure recommendation. While underexposed film may be developed in STANDARD, the film’s contrast will increase and its tonal range will be restricted. Developing film underexposed by more than two stops with STANDARD is unrealistic and not recommended. With experience, you are likely to find that underexposure and push processing are best avoided…

How much developer do I need?

One liter of STANDARD concentrate will make 10 liters of working solution, capable of developing at least (50) rolls of 35mm 36 exposure film (4,000 square inches), or enough replenished solution to develop 110 rolls

I shot my film at a lower ISO. How do I develop it?

For one stop (i.e. 400 film @ 200) use the normal time (you may prefer the results from this); for two stops (i.e. 400 @ 100) subtract one chart letter from the normal recommendation.

My film has different development times with Sprint™ STANDARD Film Developer and Kodak D 76. Aren’t they the same?

No, they are not the same and have different ingredients. That said, some suggested development times will be similar, and both could be characterized as “general purpose” developers.

Can I process B&W slides with Sprint™ Developer?

Sprint™ Systems no longer supplies products for reversal processing.

Can I develop Litho film in Sprint™ Developer?

Litho film was intended to give only black and clear, with no mid-tones, when developed in litho developer. If this is what you need, there are probably litho developers still on the market.

Can I use Sprint™ Developer with another company’s fixer?

While Sprint™ products are specifically designed as a system, they can be used with other manufacturers’  products. For example, one can use Sprint™ developer, Kodak stop bath, and Ilford fixer. One exception to this is Alum Hardening Converter. We do not recommend that Sprint™ RECORD Alum Hardening Converter be mixed with other manufacturers’ fixers.

Can I use Sprint™ STANDARD Film Developer to develop prints?

You probably don’t want to do this… In a print, you usually want some good, solid, maximum black. Most print developers are designed to be energetic enough to give this in a couple of minutes, as long as you expose the paper correctly. By contrast, when developing film, you want to avoid maximum black as this makes a negative that is very hard to print. So film developers are much less energetic than film developers, and when used with paper, give weak, muddy, prints. If you have to, maybe try doubling the concentration… raising the temperature… agitating continuously and vigorously.