H&W Control Film Developer

[Update: Jan 26, 2015. I received news today from Maco Photo Products that the Rollei ATP 1.1 film has been discontinued, at least in 135-36 format. They appear to have some stock remaining of the 120 format.]

The following are recipes for a black-and-white film developer known as H&W Control (Holden & Weichert, 1973). It is one of a variety of developers I have been testing along with a low-speed, high-resolution document film called Rollei ATP 1.1. My testing with this developer has shown some success at achieving desirable characteristic curves. I have not as yet examined aspects such as edge sharpness, resolution, nor grain.


H&W Control was patented in the U.S. in 1972 under Patent No. 3772019 (Holden & Weichert, 1973). The patent has since expired. An example formulation given in the patent is shown below.


H&W Control is known as a “PQ” developer, combining Phenidone and Hydroquinone developing agents (Anchell & Troop, 1998).

Recipe 1

This recipe calls for the preparation of two solutions of concentrate to be combined just prior to use. These solutions have a shelf-life of six months or less. This recipe is based on instructions given at the Frugal Photographer web site (n.d.).

Solution A starts with 40ml of distilled water at 60ºC. Sodium Sulfite, anhydrous, is added as a preservative in a quantity of 1 g. Next, 0.16 g of Hydroquinone developer agent are added. Then 4.6 g of Sodium Carbonate, an alkali and accelerator, are added. The second developer agent, Phenidone, is added next in a quantity of 1.1 g. Finally, distilled water is added to make up a total of 50 ml of Solution A.

Solution B starts with 40 ml of distilled water. Sodium Sulfite, anhydrous, is added as a preservative in a quantity of 8 g. Distilled water is then added to make up a total of 50 ml of Solution B.

The following chart summarizes this recipe.

H&W Control
Solution A
Water (60ºC) 40 ml
Sodium Sulfite, anhydrous 1 g preservative
Hydroquinone 0.16 g developer agent
Sodium Carbonate 4.6 g alkali, accelerator
Phenidone 1.1 g developer agent
Water to make 50 ml
Solution B
Water 40 ml
Sodium Sulfite, anhydrous 8 g preservative
Water to make 50 ml

To use this developer in working solution, it is to be diluted 1+1+40 with distilled water. Thus, 7 ml of Solution A, 7 ml of Solution B, and 280 ml of water will yield 294 ml of working solution, adequate for one reel of film in a Paterson System 4 film development tank.

Recipe 2

This alternate, one-solution formula is given in several sources (Buffaloe, 2002; Delisle, n.d.). No information was found as to the length of time that it might keep.

To prepare this developer, start with 75 ml of distilled water at 60ºC. Add 1.9 g of Sodium Sulfite, anhydrous, the preservative. Next, add 0.3 g of Hydroquinone, the first of the two developer agents. Then add 8.7 g of Sodium Carbonate, the alkali and accelerator. The second developer agent, Phenidone, is added in a quantity of 2.07 g.

The solution is then diluted with 125 ml of distilled water. Another 15.15 g of preservative Sodium Sulfite, anhydrous, is to be added. Finally, distilled water is used to make up 250 ml of this concentrate.

To use this version of the H&W Control developer, dilute it 1+15 with distilled water. The 250 ml of concentrate will yield 4 litres of working solution, adequate for processing 13 rolls of film.

A chart summarizing this recipe is given below.

H&W Control
Water (60ºC) 75 ml
Sodium Sulfite, anhydrous 1.9 g preservative
Hydroquinone 0.3 g developer agent
Sodium Carbonate 8.7 g alkali, accelerator
Phenidone 2.07 g developer agent
Water to make 125 ml
Sodium Sulfite 15.15 g preservative
Water to make 250 ml
Capacity at 1+15 dilution 4 L for 13 rolls


In testing this developer with a low-speed document film, it was found to produce fairly satisfactory characteristic curves. Note, however, that there was a large increase in base fog, with the density of the film base plus fog (FBF) measured as high as 0.96. For comparison, Ilford HP5 Plus film developed in Rodinal had an FBF of 0.31. (In an attempt to reduce fog, I have tested H&W Control with the addition of Benzotriazole, an anti-foggant. My results with these formulations have been unsatisfactory.)

The following characteristic curves are based on H&W Control (Recipe 1) using a development time of 14:15 at a temperature of 20.5ºC. The data are based on processing completed on April 6, 2014. The FBF density was 0.73.


In this graph, the horizontal axis plots target zones from FBF through Zones 0 and XII and then to maximum density (Dmax), if available. The vertical axis plots the measured film density as determined through densitometer readings.

The pink line indicates normal development assuming an EI of 25. The orange and yellow lines represent one-stop over- and under-exposure, respectively. The black dashed line represents a film development curve from data recommended by Ansel Adams (1981). The grey dashed line represents the film manufacturer’s suggested curve (Rollei GmbH, 2007). The blue line indicates a film development curve as suggested by data provided by Lambrecht and Woodhouse (2010).



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