Parodinal With A Twist
I've been experimenting with p-aminophenol/ascorbate developers lately. Since I had it around, I tried mixing parodinal with ascorbate and borax. There has been quite a bit written on adding some ascorbate and/or borax to rodinal to tweak it but I decided to take things in a slightly different direction with more ascorbate and borax. I made what I call RCB as follows:
Water - 750mL
Borax - 18g
Ascorbic Acid - 6g (fully dissolve borax + ascorbic acid before proceeding)
Parodinal - 20mL
Water to make 1L
Experimentation showed some interesting results. First, I can re-use this developer quite a few times without any loss of activity (I have processed 12 rolls from the same 1L of developer). Second, I can use it as a normal and stand developer. Third, it has the compensating characteristics of rodinal but with full speed and fine grain. Using this with 2-hour semi-stand development (5 mins pre-wet, 60 sec initial inversions, 10 sec inversions at 60 min, 120 mins total time) gives a consistent EI of +2 from box speed with the films I have tested (Plus-X, Tri-X, Neopan Acros, Neopan 400, Shanghai GP3, HP5+) providing good shadow detail, smooth highlights, and no fog. It is one of the few developers that I found can push Acros while taming contrast.