By February 23, 2012Blog, Film, User Report

AGFA Rondinax 35 U


Firstly let me say that when it comes to developing my own film I’m still very much in the experimentation stages, purchasing different film types in small amounts and trying to work out what I like most.

Initially, when I’d established that getting B&W film developed locally was going to be impossible and subsequently discovered that getting it developed nationally was going to be very expensive I took the plunge and decided that I needed to work this out for myself. A few hours of surfing the net, some scribbled notes and I was ready to take my first tentative steps.

Obviously I was starting from scratch and after missing out on a couple of internet auctions I eventually purchased a “Bulk Lot” of redundant developing equipment off Trade Me, our NZ equivalent to ebay. I made the journey up to Auckland to collect the items and conveniently managed to view the Leica M6 I later purchased at the same time…..

Just over NZ$100.00 got me two big boxes of very dusty equipment, and a Magnifax Enlarger…….no intention of using this I must add.

So after some cleaning, sorting and disgarding of chemicals that were several years past the expiration dates I was left with the following list,  all in perfect condition –

  • Magnifax Enlarger + 2 Lenses, Two Enlarging Easels, Trays, Tongues and of course Instructions….
  • Watson Model 100 35mm Bulk Film Loader
  • Smiths English Clock Systems – Timer
  • Thermometer
  • Numerous Measuring Jugs
  • Patterson 4 Film Developing Tank
  • Two Patterson 2 Film Developing Tanks
I then purchased a Dark Bag and the necessary Chemicals, for the record I have used Ilford as it is the most easily obtainable.
And this is how I proceeded until I spotted the Agfa RONDINAX 35 U on Trade Me, “Use this once and you’ll never go back to Patterson Tanks” proclaimed the ad. Intrigued by this I purchased it for the princely sum of NZ$11.50 + Shipping surely a real bargain?

So, I’ve finally got around to giving it a go and you can see what I think below.

The Agfa RONDINAX 35 U

Right, so in order to test the RONDINAX 35 U I’d need to do a couple of things, firstly have a quick read through the instructions that came with it, all quite self explanatory, secondly I’d need a film to process!!! Whilst I had several films awaiting developing I didn’t really want to risk any of these…….

Can there be a more comforting statement than the words “Made in Germany”, Porsche, Adidas, Leica you get the picture. As you lift the RONDINAX 35 U from the box and feel it’s weight you immediately know it was built to last, beautifully constructed from that favorite material of a bygone generation, Bakelite. Being well constructed is one thing, actually doing the job you were built for is quite another but it was a promising start.

Opened Up –  No more fiddling around with the dark bag???

Agfa Rondinax 35 U 2

Once your used to a Dark Bag and Patterson Tanks it’s not really a problem loading film blind, you do however from time to time hit a glitch, that roll that just refuses to load…..I once spent 45 mins trying to get film on to a spool, in the end, arms soaking with sweat I just had to give in, I could probably have saved the film but I just lost my cool and pulled it out of the bag! A key benefit of the RONDINAX 35 U is the removal of this step, a nice touch if it works.

What’s inside – Wonderful simplicity, thats what…..

Agfa Rondinax 35 U 3

For those familiar with the Patterson Tanks the Film Spool will look familiar, it does of course load from the inside – out though, and it loads very, very well.

Film Leader – Before inserting the Film it should be cut as shown in the image

Agfa Rondinax 35 U 4

When you finished that roll of film, you did rewind it so that the leader was still protruding from the film case didn’t you???? If you didn’t your still going to be using the Dark Bag & Patterson Tank! If you did then cut of the leader and trim the corners as illustrated.

Insert the Film – So far so good!!! 

Agfa Rondinax 35 U 5

Turn the Cassette key to “I” and retract the peg at the opposite side, insert the film, push in the peg and turn the Cassette key to “II” so simple, it also takes Contax and Leica “Special Cassettes”

Attach the Film Clip – This is just too easy…. 

Agfa Rondinax 35 U 6

In the centre of the Film Spool there is the Tension Band. Attach it as indicated in the image, it will need to be in the centre of the film, there’s a small indentation guide to help you achieve this, clip it on and your done. Wind the film on using the Winding Knob, rotate as indicated by the arrow, just enough so it locates in to the Film Guide.

Replace the Lid – I realise it’s obvious but better to make sure…..

Agfa Rondinax 35 U 7

With the lid pressed back in to place your ready to wind on the film, rotate the Winding Knob clockwise as indicated by the arrow until you feel tension, stop immediately as this is the end of the film. To satisfy yourself its correct you can look at the guide on the side (12/24/36) in my case the indicator was on 36, to indicate 36 exposures wound on. With the lid back on the Reservoir through which you will add and drain Chemicals later is now clearly visible on the Right of the RONDINAX 35 U.

Cut the Film – I know, it’s so simple yet brilliant!!!

Agfa Rondinax 35 U 8

With your fingers secure on the top if the RONDINAX 35 U use you thumb to apply upward pressure to the Cutting Lever, this will sever the film. Turn the Winding Knob a little further to take on the remaining film.

Developing Times and Process – Obviously this is going to be specific to your film, choice of chemicals and working temperature, I have detailed below my film and process in this example.

  • Ilford HP5 Plus 400
  • 200ml ID11 Developer (1:1) 13mins  – Turning the Winding Knob through 180′ turns every 2 seconds.
  • 200ml Ilfostop (1:19) 1min – Turning the Winding Knob through 180′ turns every 2 seconds.
  • 200ml Rapid Fixer (1:4) – 5 mins – Turning the Winding Knob through 180′ turns every 2 seconds.
  • 200ml Water – 30 Sec – Turning the Winding Knob through 180′ turns every 2 seconds.
  • 200ml Water – 1 min – Turning the Winding Knob through 180′ turns every 2 seconds.
  • 200ml Water – 1 min 30 Sec  – Turning the Winding Knob through 180′ turns every 2 seconds.
  • 200ml Ilfotol (wetting Agent)  – 30 Sec – Turning the Winding Knob through 180′ turns every 2 seconds.
Developer at 68′, I also mix all my other chemicals at the same temperature although I don’t believe this to be essential.
It is also advisable to get the RONDINAX 35 U to a temperature of 68′ also, there is a built in temperature gauge to assist with this. I just popped it in the fridge before I started for ten mins as it was 74′ in the garage.
The developing Stage
A couple of things stand out now about the RONDINAX 35 U, I’ve listed them below.
  1. Your only using 2/3 of the Chemical you would if you were using a Patterson Tank developing a single roll, 200ml as opposed to 290ml, thats a worthwhile saving.
  2. There is no leakage from the RONDINAX 35 U, occasionally I will get drips from my Patterson Tanks during the agitation process.
  3. It’s perhaps a little more tedious turning the Winding Knob every couply of seconds, but to be honest thats all you need to think about, as opposed to agitating for 10 seconds every minute or whatever your process is.
  4. It’s so quiet, I was convinced the Winding Knob was turning nothing inside, you could’t hear any liquid noise, just a point to note, the film is only ever half submerged in the RONDINAX 35 U.
  5. You may notice the internal temperature rise slightly on the built in thermometer, you can make any adjustments to times if you feel they are necessary.
  6. You should raise the film end of the RONDINAX 35 U slightly while adding chemicals to the reservoir, or you’ll get a tiny amount of leakage via the exposure indicator if you pour it in too fast.
Developed Film – Yes, I’m still a little sceptical at this point….
Agfa Rondinax 35 U 9

Well, the lid is off, I can see the film but its too early to tell if it’s actually worked…….I’m convinced at this point that it hasn’t for some reason!!!

Spool Removal – Nearly there!!!

Agfa Rondinax 35 U 10

Unscrew the Sealing Knob which is holding the Winding Knob on, this is in the centre obviously. Lift out the Film Guide and remove the Spool. Blimey it seems to have worked!!!!

I have to say the RONDINAX 35 U really is very good, it’s difficult to see why more people don’t use them. I’m sure they would be 3 times the cost of a modern day alternative now and thats probably why they’ve fallen by the wayside, also you can only do a film at a time, not 4 like my large Patterson Tank. I will continue to experiment with it though and have every intention of using it lots more.

So, your probably thinking what was on the film you developed, what camera did you use etc. I shot a roll of Ilford HP5 Plus 400 with the FED 3 and 50mm Jupiter 3 f/1.5. Metering was via the Gossen Pilot. All the shots were taken around the house over half an hour and I recorded the aperture and shutter speed for my records.

Here’s a few of them.


agfa rondinax 35 u 36-Mitch-f-1.5-1-250-Sec


agfa rondinax 35 u 33-Lounge-Cat-f-4-1-500-Sec


agfa rondinax 35 u 29-Ball-Toy-f-2.8-1-60-Sec


agfa rondinax 35 u 23-Lego-Figures-f-1.5-1-500-Sec


agfa rondinax 35 u 22-Cat-on-Bed-f-2.8-1-60-Sec


agfa rondinax 35 u 21-Cat-on-Bed-f-2-1-125-Sec


agfa rondinax 35 u 13-Table-Football-f-1.5-1-125-Sec





As always, thanks to those who visit this site to read and comment.




  • Bob rhodes says:

    Hi Jason, interesting post. I too have just started developing my own using the Patterson method. I have only done 1 film up to now, and it didn’t turn out any where near as good as your attempt. I used an old 1960 Minolta and the same Ilford film, I’m not sure I got the technique correct though, so will keep trying!! Today I’m going to try my new old Yashica, hopefully the results will improve!!

    • janrzm says:

      Hi Bob, this was my first attempt with the RONDINAX 35 U and I was very happy with it, I’ve more experience with the Patterson Tanks, it’s a pretty steep learning curve but you will see your results improve I’m sure of that. I’d be interested to hear how your processing this film in the Patterson to compare to my method? Look forward to seeing the results from the Yashica!! Cheers Jason

  • Guy says:

    I want one!

    • janrzm says:

      Hi Guy, you certainly do!!!! I’ve put another roll through it today and I have to say I really love it. Whilst sat turning the Winding Knob my mind drifted away and I began to think of ways to mechanize the winding, there is a video on Youtube of one with a Meccano motor attached but I think I can come up with something more refined…..cheers Jason

  • Gabor says:

    Hi Jason,

    I have really enjoyed this article, I seriously fell in love with this thing. I fight so much with my acient tanks (also 1 roll at the time). I never managed to finish working with my tanks dry, so I have to use rubber gloves.
    The only drawback for me is that the RONDINAX is 35mm only. Besides I would be very happy with a similar tank. The photos are also great, your place is lovely too.

    Bests, Gábor

    • janrzm says:

      Hi Gábor,

      Thanks, I’m pleased you like it, it is a real joy to use. My Patterson tanks nearly always leak a little!! I have a solution to the 35mm issue, that’s the RONDINAX 60, which I purchased at the same time, little more expensive though at $30.00. They were some on ebay a couple of weeks ago (35 & 60) but much more expensive. If I see another come up here I will let you know and we can sort it out if your interested.

      All the Best, Jason

      • Gabor says:

        Wow, Thanks Jason,

        Sure, if you see some good buys I am interested. Although we don’t live exactly close so shipping could be an issue. But let’s just worry about it when it is needed. I am also hunting for a good Kiev-4 for you.

  • Wow Jason. The Rodinux looks amazing! Am starting my hunt for one today! Thnx

    • janrzm says:

      Hey Kaushal, good to hear fromm you. It really is wonderful, I don’t know if you ever shoot 120 film but there is also a RONDINAX 60 for that format. Good luck I hope you find one, you certainly won’t regret it. All the best Jason

  • Mircea says:

    I started using the Rondinax 35 two years ago, then I upgraded to 35U (very smal differences at the knob) and yesterday I picked-up from post the “new” (made in 1937!) Rondinax 60.
    I develop more than 100 films in these 2 years without ANY accidents.
    Before that I used one Kodak Day-load tank from ’60’s, but only a couple of times, and the last film wasn’t properly loaded onto spool. Then I bought the Rondinax and used it continously until today…
    The only minus is – as you already said- that you can develop only one film at a time but, be serious: how films did you develop at a time in past years? 3? 5? It’s ok, not too much for a rainy saturday afternoon!

    • janrzm says:

      Hi Mircea, it sounds like your experiences have been identical to mine, although you have clearly used the 35U much more extensively. A perfect unit for beginners and experienced developers of film I would say. I also have a RONDINAX 60 which I am yet to use although I expect it will perform just as well. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Kind Regards Jason

  • Ed Russell says:

    You’ve got to love the old Rondinax. I’ve used one for years. I bought my all-Bakelite 35U second-hand in the 1980s in pristine condition in a box with the manual and original price sticker: £25 14’6d. It was probably made in the 1950s or earlier, but assuming that was an Australian price from the early 60s it would mean that in modern money the thing cost at least $600! They are beautifully made and so long as you are well organised and follow the instructions very carefully they work very well indeed. I agitate mine with a jerky twist of the knob (about 1/3 of a turn) every two seconds – I use a metronome app on my phone to time the agitation. I recently picked up a much later version of more modern plastic with a spare reel in an antique shop for $20. I’m hoping the spare dry reels will speed things up for me when I have more than one film to develop at a time.

    • janrzm says:

      Yes, you’ve got to love it. That price info is fascinating! My technique is very similar, quarter turn with natural rhythm…..thanks Jason

  • Giovanni says:

    Thank you for your very complete description of the tank. You convinced me to buy one and I’ve just paid it on ebay.
    I’m looking forward to receiving it… probably next week, I hope. In the meanwhile I’ll better practice on leaving the leader out of the film case.
    Have you compared developing times Patterson Tank VS Rondinax Tank? That would be interesting.
    Anyway as soon as I get my Rondinax, I’ll try with Ilford FP4 in Ilfosol 3, then post you the times and my impressions on results.

    • janrzm says:

      Hi Giovanni, your most welcome, now I’ve convinced you, lets hope you like it as much as I do. Incredibly I still sometimes wind in the leader… those instances its back to the Paterson Tank!! At present I have kept my developing times the same between both methods, I’m not saying that is the best, there is definitely room for improvement and experimentation. I’d be really interested to hear how you get on with this so please keep me updated. The Ilford FP4 is a film I have been considering over the last couple of weeks so that will be of enormous interest to me. Thanks Jason

  • Andy J says:

    What a great gadget, I’ve never seen one before. I’m going to keep my eye open for one, living in Austria and very close to Germany I’m sure there’s some close by..!

    • janrzm says:

      I wouldn’t be without this now, sure you’d be stuffed if you have to get through lots of rolls, but this uses a 1/3 less chemical and I think it delivers a better end result. There is generally a few on ebay at any one time, I’d think you would find one in Austria/Germany quite easily.

  • Giovanni says:

    Hi Jason,
    I developed a roll with my rondinax today for the firs time. It’s gorgeous: so simple, no sweating in the dark, very even results from first to last frame.
    It was an FP4 in Ilfosol 3S, 7 min at 23°C, density seems ok where I did not fail exposure.
    As far as I scan the film, I’ll send you some picture, if you do not mind.

    • janrzm says:

      Hi Giovanni, Good to hear from you, I’m delighted to hear that you appreciate the Rondinax. I think you’ve highlighted one of the main benefits of this device with your mention of “very even results”, the Rondinax really delivers consistency. I’d be delighted if you’d email me some images. All the best, Jason.

  • […] room at home to load film and it seems cleaner without me spilling chemicals all over the place. Agfa RONDINAX 35 U has anyone got any experience with this? gosh.. i really need to go and re-learn […]

  • Tony says:

    Hello, i just purchased a tank for 7.50 on ebay. What a great price! If you look at page 15 of the manual there is a “spacing washer” part number 32 which i don’t have. Is it a necessary component?

    • janrzm says:

      Hi Tony, what a bargain!! I think you’ll be fine, mine works perfectly well without washers 31 & 32…….so well in fact that I’ve only just noticed they are absent!! If you get any leakage from this you’ve put too much liquid in. Cheers, Jason.

  • Tony says:

    Thanks for the assurance. I intend on developing my first roll this weekend. The agitation regimen you describe above. Is that from the manual? I wonder what would occur if i linked up a small electric motor to this, and it just spun around and around?

    I do know that there are small electric motors that can be ran by a programmable microprocessor, to do exactly what you describe above.

    • janrzm says:

      Hi, the agitation process I describe is my own, established from a bit of trial and error (better results may be possible). My manual suggests giving the knob a “half turn” every two seconds. If you do a search on youtube you will see a video similar to what you have described with the motor, I see absolutely no reason why this wouldn’t work, indeed I had it in mind to try this myself at some point. It would be good to be able to regulate the speed of the motor in some way, giving you the ability to experiment. I think the most important aspect of this is consistency. Feel free to email me if you want to try to work this out together as I think there is real merit in it. Cheers, Jason.

  • Rhys Becks says:

    so getting one now!

  • Keir says:

    Hi There, Just seen a couple on ebay, and was just curious bout a few things. 1. How much chemicals does it require(mls), and how do you tell how to leave the film leader sticking out of the cassette. I am using 35mm film in a Pentax SLR ?


    • janrzm says:

      Hi Keir

      I would highly recommend these. In answer to your questions –

      1. The Rondinax 35U uses only 200ml of Chemicals whereas a Patterson tank will use 290ml, a saving of one third which I think is considerable.
      2. This is all about touch and sound regardless of what camera you use, you should be able to feel/hear the release on the winder then stop. This should leave your film leader protruding slightly. On certain of my cameras I still miss this from time to time so do yourself a huge favour and get one of these – HERE

      The film leader extractors are available on ebay for very little and work well.

      Cheers, Jason.

      • Keir says:

        Cheers Jason, I already have a Paterson but I know that it’s a pain with your hands sweating away in a changing bag, desperately trying to get it to spool on. I think I’m going to buy one now. Thanks for the info, Keir.

  • Andrew says:

    Hi Jason

    Just read this article. Found one in the US on eBay….I live in Australia….bought it.

    $17.95…postage $47.00 🙂 lol

    Looking forward to giving this a go. A question though. Do you have any tips on not fully rewinding the film?

    Also (sorry about my ignorance) do you have a good reference point from negative to print?



    • janrzm says:

      Hi Andrew

      The route from US ebay to the Southern Hemisphere is one I’m very familiar with 🙂

      You’ll still be delighted with the Rondinax I’m sure.

      Don’t sweat the film rewind if you miss it and wind it fully on. Just get yourself one of these – HERE

      In terms of a reference point from negative to print I will have something together at some point over the course of this year I hope……I’ve spent much of the last week agonising over this particular workflow!!

      Cheers, Jason.

      • Andrew says:

        Thanks again for that tip as well. Just bought one!!

        Re next stage in the workflow I am considering getting a v700 Epson scanner, though a little undecided. Look forward to your thoughts on this.

        I recently bought an M6 and 50 lux ASPH. The fact it is pushing me into a manual style of shooting (bar the light meter inside for some help), I seem to gravitate towards it now over my OMD (which I love).

        • janrzm says:

          Your welcome, I still have a couple of cameras that I almost always miss the leader on…..

          When I made reference to last week and my analogue workflow it was specifically in relation to scanning – HERE I am also considering several scanners at the moment. If and when I navigate this and achieve scan’s with the sharpness I see in the negs I will then be able to elaborate fully on this.

          Congrats on the M6 and 50 Lux, I have both and they are wonderful. The M6 has a great meter so taking advantage of it is a must.

          Cheers, Jason.

          • Andrew says:

            Hi Jason

            My Rondinax has arrived! D Day is looming for my first attempt. Just a quick one. The film is a TriMax 400. Regarding the developers and chemicals you listed with this Ilford film, can you use the same ones for each film type? If not where is the best place to find this out?

            I have been reading Peter’s (Prosophos) article and he lists the various chemicals but given this is different just checking!

            Thanks for any advice you may have.



          • janrzm says:

            Hi Andrew

            That’s good to hear.

            Here is a link to a very useful resource –

            Simply enter the type of film you wish to develop and the developer you intend to use and it will bring up your options.

            Email me if your unsure.

            Cheers, Jason.

  • Andrew says:

    Thanks Jason

    Much appreciated. I will have a read but also discuss with the supplier who develop film themselves as well.

    You have also inspired me to add a lens to my 50 lux…..the 15mm Heliar!! I am not a wide angle type person and prefer 50mm over 35mm, though your images have got me thinking about a few ideas and images in the urban environment. Just bought one for $500 here in Australia. Given it’ll be on the M6 and used with film I won’t have to go through the issues as discussed in your review.

    Ashwin got me thinking about those Canon 85mm and 100mm today and loved the rendering on those as pure portrait lenses. Couldn’t find what sort of price these may be on eBay pr where to source but not going to do anything just yet.

    A further quick question, do you find the RF patch on your M9 does not flare as much as your M6?

    Really enjoying the experience, though the one thing I get frustrated with the times when it flares and I can not all really. Need to keep re-adjusting.

    thanks again.



    • janrzm says:


      No worries.

      That’s good news, I’ve almost lost track of the number of people I’ve convinced to buy this lens, you won’t regret it. It could certainly be awesome in an urban environment, keep me posted.

      Ha, Ashwin got me thinking too…….I was looking at the Canon 85mm again, I keep coming back to that lens. I have decided I will look to pick one up when I am in Tokyo at the end of July, let me know if you want me to get you one too!! I have just this minute bought the NIKKOR S.C 50/1.4, again a lens I have looked at before but resisted. His images have pushed me over the edge, I love the vintage glass on the MM and this looks like a great fast 50 to add to my collection.

      I do experience that complete loss of focus patch from time to time and yes I think it is more common on the M9 than the film M’s.



  • Andrew says:

    Thank you re the offer of picking up a lens in Tokyo. I have spotted and am watching a 100mm now so see what happens there. Not many of these in the second hand market!

    If the time comes I may well do.

    This site of yours is not good for my wallet! The good thing is that my focus for now is all about film and older lenses (apart from my main stay lux 🙂

    • janrzm says:

      No problem, let me know how it pan’s out.

      It’s not good for my wallet either but it’s fun and there is no point looking back 🙂

  • Keir says:

    Hi Jason,

    Just bought a rondinax 35u off ebay. It looks like a slightly more modern version of your one. I want to try it out !

  • Rui Vieira says:

    Hi Jason,

    Many thanks to your wonderful review!
    I think to buy one Leitz Rondinaz 35U thank. It`s similas to the Agfa thank, they were made with these two brands, Agfa e Leica. I`m coming back to the film after some years of digital. In the past I struggled sometimes with the Paterson Developing Thank when loading the film in the spire and that was a problem when you are blind working with the black bag. Aditionally I always got some leakage of the Paterson thank. So, the Rondinax U35 it will be a great buy, I hope….


    Rui Vieira, from Portugal

    • janrzm says:

      Hi Rui

      Thanks, you’re very welcome!!

      I think they are effectively the same tank (Leitz/Rondinax) I understand all those frustrations with the Patterson tank and dark bag. At some point I will do a post on mechanising the Rondinax, just to remove a bit of hassle from the process.

      Good luck, enjoy.

      Cheers, Jason.

  • Keir says:

    Hi Jason,

    Just developed my first Rondinax film ! An Efke 100 35mm film. The results look spectacular !
    Thanks for the information !

    • janrzm says:

      Hi Keir

      I’m so pleased to hear that, it’s in line with my experiences that whilst it’s a little tedious turning the knob on the Rondinax the results are more consistent than the Patterson tanks, IMO of course…:)

      Thanks for letting me know.

      Cheers, Jason.

  • Ome Kees says:

    Just developed my first colorfilm in the Rondinax 60 and it worked out perfect.

  • Ome Kees says:

    In fact it ‘s very easy, just buy a Tetenal Colortec C41 Kit and follow the instructions.
    That means, mix the three developer bottles with 700 cc water.
    Mix the two bleach bottles with 600 cc water and the stabiliser with 900 cc water.
    I use a developing scale 30×40 cm and fill it for 5 cm with 32 degrees Celsius warm water. For heating I use a 100 Watt aquarium heater, this will keep it warm enough in a room with a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.
    As you have noticed I use the alternative development at 30 degrees Celsius, this will take 8 till 11 minutes developing time so we don’t get nervous.
    The rest goes like B&W developing but at a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius.
    Don’t get upset if the temperature gets one degree up or down and if temperature gets worse, just add or subtract time 10 or 20 seconds.

    Greetings, Ome Kees

    • janrzm says:

      Thanks for sharing this, I have the 60 but to date I’ve not developed any colour in it. Maybe I’ll shoot a test roll and give it a go.

      Cheers, Jason.

  • Ome Kees says:

    Another advance for the Rondinax, you don’t have to dry it before developing the next film, just leave the film compartment dry. This afternoon I developed three films in a row. (1 hour and 30 minutes)
    Btw, the Rondinax 60 only takes 150 cc, the Patterson system 500 cc for one 120 film.

    Regards, Ome Kees

  • paolo gramigna says:

    i just developed my first roll in my rondinax 35U.
    all went perfectly, but i got a light brown streak in the middle of a few frames, located in the middle of the roll.
    the film was Tri-X 400, and the developer was Rodinal 1:25, 7 minutes.
    Any idea about the origin of that streak?


    • janrzm says:

      Hi Paolo,

      Apologies for the delayed response.

      I’ve racked my brain to think of a reason for the streak, it’s not something I’ve experienced before.

      Maybe if you have an expired roll of film you can go through the film loading process and examine how it sits on the reel, maybe the film is touching in a certain place?

      Let me know if you find out what the cause is, good luck.


  • Dhiman says:

    Hi Jason,

    Thank you very much for the detailed instruction. Very well written, with a subtle sense of humor. I have received one Daylight loading developing tank for 35mm film from a relative of mine and was wondering how to use it. I had the similar feeling when I saw “Made in Germany”. Thank you for your help!

    Love and respect from India 🙂


  • […] sufficient when it comes to developing film, in the past I’ve done my own B&W using the Rondinax 35U and been pretty happy, thus far I’ve avoided colour, but that’s now changed. Several […]

  • Polaroid made an amazing product called Polachrome, and “Instant” 35mm film, mainly used for slide projection in schools and business. I have the full kit and results are great. They made a High Contrast B&W negative version ideal for what you want. Here is a detailed video:

    Entire cartons of 20 rolls x 36 exposures for sale on Ebay.

    As the lady says in the video you can go from shooting to a slide in less than 5 minutes.

  • […] intended to take things quite this far. My first attempts at C41 developing were done with the RONDINAX 35U and whilst they were successful it was a little fiddly, on top of that I felt that in the long term […]

  • Barrie Marshall says:

    I’ve had a Rodinax 35mm developing tank for some years, I used it a lot, I have just gone back to experimenting with film, I just bought a wonderful Minolta Dynax 7, I have my first roll of HP5+ in it now, I will use my Rodinax to develop it of course, I bought the 120 version a few months ago but have not played with it yet.

    • janrzm says:

      Hey Barrie,

      I couldn’t believe the prices of the Rondinax 35 on ebay, wish I’d bought 20… my mind it’s still the perfect little processing system, I too have the 60 and whilst it’s good I don’t think it’s quite as well made.

  • Darrin says:

    Just purchased an Agfa Rondinax 35U, so film here we come.

  • SCHWARTZ says:

    Bonjour, nouvellement abonné à votre site que j’apprécie beaucoup, je viens de constater les prix sur e-bay: c’est juste prohibitif !!!

    Avez-vous d’autres sites de ventes dans le monde dans votre carnet de fournisseur ?

    Bons voeux de France

    • janrzm says:

      Bonjour, je vous remercie.

      Malheureusement, ils semblent maintenant se vendre à des prix fous sur ebay.

      Je l’ai vu deux vendent ici en Nouvelle-Zélande dans le dernier mois. Les deux sous NZ $ 50.

      Je vais vous informer si je vois un autre.

      Cordialement, Jason

  • Robert says:

    Well…I tried this for the first time with my new to me Rondinax 35U.

    I really butchered up the process.

    First, I zoned out; right after I attached the strap to the film and turned it onto the film guide, and then closed up the unit, I accidentally started to pour in the Unicolor developer…oh no! I realized when I started turning that the film wasn’t even on the roll!

    So I kept rolling until I felt resistance and cut the roll and rolled the rest in and kept going.

    Then I realized I hadn’t started the clock so I wasn’t positive when the time would be up, so I estimated.

    Then things went a little more smoothly until I got to the wash part and wasn’t sure if I should open it up to do a real running water wash or not so I just did a rinse and turn 4 times for about a minute each.

    Then blix…then stabilizer.

    I was AMAZED when I pulled the negs from the wheel and saw the good news!

    At the moment they are hanging and I’ll know more tomorrow morning but I just thought I’d tell you that it’s a pretty cool unit and if I can mess the process up THIS much and still have an acceptable negative then I’m happy.

  • Joe says:

    I am new and never did my film development yet. I have seen people when using the regular tanks, they do the rolling then knocking the tank few times on the table.

    With Rondinax you just turn the reel. Is there any explanation for both methods ?


  • Barrie says:

    I bought a Rodinax 35mm developing tank years ago and used it a lot, once you get the hang of it you find it’s a doddle to use, I have been into digital a while now but thinking of doing some film, a few years I sold all my darkroom equipment to a student who was doing photography but I’m pleased to say I kept all my film developing gear, about a year ago I bought a Rodinax 120 film developing tank, I’ve never looked at it yet, I still have several film cameras from simple to exotic, but my thoughts now are to use my lovely Olympus Trip, great results, great lens, and it does not need batteries and it works a treat.

  • Jos Smit says:

    I have a Rondinax for 120 film. The problem with it is that it doesn’t work that well with ‘modern’ films. The paper and film get pushed out of the box together instead of the film going into the film-holder. Apparently modern films like Fomopan are thinner and therefore don’t bend and go into the film holder.

    Wasted 3/4 films this way.

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