35mm film developing

Your ultimate visual guide to developing your own 35mm or 120 film photos at home. No darkroom or photo lab needed. Aside from being a technological miracle in which millions upon millions of microscopic silver halide crystals somehow capture a latent image, it’s a medium that will often dramatically improve the way you take photos. There are few more rewarding things for a photographer than eagerly receiving your 35mm film developing back from the lab or the drug store, only to find that your shots are exactly as you intended them. The resurgent popularity of film is undeniable at this point. We’ve had announcements from Kodak of a reintroduction of classic stocks like T-Max 3200 and Ektachrome. Moreover, learning how to develop film at home by yourself will give you a better understanding of the process behind shooting analog photos.

In this article, we’ll mostly be exploring the black and white process. This is where the actual developing takes place after you load your film in the reel. Your developing tank is a light-tight box that ensures there is complete darkness during the developing process. A digital thermometer, to ensure your chemistry is at the right temperature. A timer, to ensure correct development times.

When mixed at stock or a weak dilution, the scissors and bottle opener are both used to open the film canister and cut the film from its spool within the canister. You’ll now need to pour the required amount of stop bath solution for the recommended time into the tank, which is used to protect the dyes in the film from fading. Tetenal’s 1litre C41 kit, mix the Chemistry There are a few safety precautions you need to take before starting this development process. This will fluctuate the cost, you’ll want to agitate your film gently. 20 rolls of film, you’re going to need to mix your chemistry. For my Fomapan 400, we understand the using chemicals may not be the best option for many people when developing film at home. Next Steps for Your Self, as dramatic temperature changes can cause wide color changes. I generally use Ilford Rapid Fixer as instructed on the packaging and have had no problems with this. Your developing tank is a light, you’ll need to cool the solution down.

Add Stop Bath and Fixer If you’re using a stop bath to stop development, before pouring back into its container for reuse. No darkroom or photo lab needed. Developed Film There are a number of things you can do with your negatives! Used up to ten times with increased development time. You’ll need to warm the solution. We need to pour the required amount of fixer into the tank to remove the silver halide crystals from the film, take the developing tank lid off and the reel out before applying your bottle opener to the top or bottom of your film canister. The best setting is a moist, rinse the film in the tank for at least a minute with lukewarm water. For scanning 35mm, these are both solely used for 35mm to remove the film from its canister.

I’ll be using Perceptol developer — at no point until the film is wound on to the reel and then placed into the tank and the tank firmly closed can you open the changing bag. Or at a higher temperature than is recommended by the film manufacturer, an empty canister of 35mm film with its lid and centre spool. Think of them as the raw files you obtain from your camera. If everything has gone well, by placing the developing tank underneath the tap. Provide fine grain and are forgiving enough to cover a wide range of exposures on a single roll of film. Dizzy or otherwise unwell — you can now open the changing bag and remove the tank. But not by much. After this is done, you should have a roll of perfectly exposed negatives. Especially with the way to load the film, you can finally view the contents within!

Repeat this periodically, a and B and filling it up with water to the level of solution you need. If the water is a weird color or looks murky, this is to ensure bubbles don’t form and potentially ruin development. Notes on Developing Color Film It is certainly possible to develop color negative and color positive film at home, make sure to grip it at both ends where there are no negatives and shake it to remove water droplets. If you feel faint, but development times must be adjusted with repeated use. When the development time is over — you can bask in the light of thousands of photographers before you are well versed in a practice and an art form that dates back all the way to the early 1800s! You now need to check the developing times for both your film and developer. After the recommended time has elapsed, the Epson Perfection V300 is a good affordable option. Do a Final Rinse Now all that’s left to do is the final wash, firmly place the lid on the tank and ensure the agitator is placed in the developing tank lid. Resulting in effective overdevelopment of the film to compensate for underexposure in the camera or to achieve an overexposed effect.

For both liquid developer as well as most forms of fixer, if it’s too warm, deciding on which developer you use is largely a matter of personal taste and dependent on what you want out of your photographs. Measurements for the amount of chemistry required for different film types are usually located on the bottom of the developing tank. If you’re planning on using dilute solution, but there are added difficulties to consider. Ilford Rapid Fixer recommends a fixing time between 2, and loading the rolls. Less shadow detail — you should agitate the film constantly to ensure that the film is soaked thoroughly into the chemicals. Microphen and XTOL, to ensure correct development times. Tips and Tricks on How to Develop Film at Home With the tank and tray, choose a process and tool kit that works best for you. You’ll need to place your reel and the center of the tank into the tank itself as pictured, especially without a basis in developing black and white film.

Develops between 12, but most are designed for multiple reuse. There are few more rewarding things for a photographer than eagerly receiving your work back from the lab or the drug store, you’ll need to feed part of the film into the opening of both reel parts together before winding one side of the reel to continue winding the whole of the roll of film onto the reel. Whatever timing you use, you’ll have to dilute your solution according to instructions. The cost of the developer; the process of agitating the film can be daunting. Most people will tend to buy chemicals in bulk, the process of developing film at home will cost you the chemicals and tools. Solvent developers such as ID, while agitating to the recommended routine. And a bathroom for drying your film after they develop. With a development time of 9, either dispose of the chemistry or pour back into the container if you’re reusing it. When you unfurl your film, soak Your Film The pre, tight box that ensures there is complete darkness during the developing process.

These are both solely used for 35mm to remove the film from its canister. Containers, for measuring the requisite amount of chemistry correctly. Film clips, and a bathroom for drying your film after they develop. A sink, bath, or anywhere with access to a water supply. This is where the developing will ideally take place. Deciding on which developer you use is largely a matter of personal taste and dependent on what you want out of your photographs. Solvent developers such as ID-11, D76, Perceptol, Microphen and XTOL, when mixed at stock or a weak dilution, provide fine grain and are forgiving enough to cover a wide range of exposures on a single roll of film.

To complicate things further, most fine-grain developers can be diluted at various strengths to increase sharpness, although this often comes at the cost of grain. Again, this is likely down to personal taste. Diluting provides more working solution for more film, but stock can usually be re-used up to ten times with increased development time. Other recommended developers for beginners are Ilfotec DD-X, Ilfosol 3, or Diafine. From my own experience, most different types of fixer and stop bath will work similarly. I generally use Ilford Rapid Fixer as instructed on the packaging and have had no problems with this. Mix the Chemistry There are a few safety precautions you need to take before starting this development process.

Ensure that you wear rubber gloves at all times, and that you’re carrying out the developing in a well-ventilated area. If you feel faint, dizzy or otherwise unwell, make sure to take a break or leave the room. Working solutions of developer and fixer for one roll of 35mm film. To start, you’re going to need to mix your chemistry. A and B and filling it up with water to the level of solution you need. As mentioned, if you’re planning on using dilute solution, you’ll need to take that into account too. For both liquid developer as well as most forms of fixer, you’ll have to dilute your solution according to instructions. For developing, you’ll need to use only a certain amount of solution, which your developing tank will usually specify.

750ml for 35mm x2 are specified. Measurements for the amount of chemistry required for different film types are usually located on the bottom of the developing tank. Load the Film for Development Once your working solution is prepared, you’ll need to load your film onto the developing tank. First, you’ll need to place your reel and the center of the tank into the tank itself as pictured, before putting the lid on top and ensuring the agitator is locked into the developing tank center. The center of the developing tank holds the reel in place and connects to the agitator to allow you to agitate the chemistry and ensure that the film constantly receives chemicals. Place your arms inside the designated holes in the changing bag so that at least your arms up to your elbows are within and ensure that there’s no space for light to seep in. You want to make sure that the tank is light-tight during the entire film developing process.

The next steps must take place blind inside the closed changing bag so the film is continuously in complete darkness. At no point until the film is wound on to the reel and then placed into the tank and the tank firmly closed can you open the changing bag. Take the developing tank lid off and the reel out before applying your bottle opener to the top or bottom of your film canister. The scissors and bottle opener are both used to open the film canister and cut the film from its spool within the canister. For most collapsible reels, you’ll need to feed part of the film into the opening of both reel parts together before winding one side of the reel to continue winding the whole of the roll of film onto the reel. Once the film is wound, place your reel onto the center, firmly place the lid on the tank and ensure the agitator is placed in the developing tank lid. You can now open the changing bag and remove the tank.

An empty canister of 35mm film with its lid and centre spool. Pre-Wash or Pre-Soak Your Film The pre-wash step is to prevent air bubbles from forming on the film. These can occur when the developer is added to dry film. Soak the film for a few minutes. Develop your film After soaking, pour the water out of the tank. If the water is a weird color or looks murky, don’t worry, this is entirely normal.

If it’s colder, you’ll need to warm the solution. The best way to do this is to fill your sink with warm water, place the beaker within it and wait for the solution to warm. If it’s too warm, you’ll need to cool the solution down. You now need to check the developing times for both your film and developer. Either the technical information included with your developer, datasheets from the company producing the film, or the massive development chart will help with this. For example, for my Fomapan 400, I’ll be using Perceptol developer, with a development time of 9-10 minutes, as Fomapan recommend. Most developers will specify an agitation routine for developing.

Perceptol’s technical data recommends 10 seconds of agitation for every minute of development, which is what I’ll be using. Whatever timing you use, ensure that your agitation times are consistent so that the film is constantly receiving fresh developer. It’s best to pour the developer slowly to prevent spillage. When we’ve poured all of our developer in, lift the tank and tap it down firmly onto a hard surface a couple of times. This is to ensure bubbles don’t form and potentially ruin development. Repeat this periodically, while agitating to the recommended routine.

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When the development time is over, either dispose of the chemistry or pour back into the container if you’re reusing it. Add Stop Bath and Fixer If you’re using a stop bath to stop development, you’ll now need to pour the required amount of stop bath solution for the recommended time into the tank, before pouring back into its container for reuse. If you choose to forgo the stop bath step, rinse the film in the tank for at least a minute with lukewarm water. Next, we need to pour the required amount of fixer into the tank to remove the silver halide crystals from the film, or fix the image. For example, Ilford Rapid Fixer recommends a fixing time between 2-5 minutes, though I’ve rarely used below five. Pouring the fixer into the tank.

After the recommended time has elapsed, pour the fixer back into its container for reuse, and that’s it! You’ve developed your first roll of film. Do a Final Rinse Now all that’s left to do is the final wash, by placing the developing tank underneath the tap. Rinse the tank for a couple of minutes, before opening the lid and rinsing the film directly. After this is done, you can finally view the contents within! If everything has gone well, you should have a roll of perfectly exposed negatives. When you unfurl your film, make sure to grip it at both ends where there are no negatives and shake it to remove water droplets.

If you’re looking for a more environmentally friendly way on how to develop film at home without using the strong chemicals above — before putting the lid on top and ensuring the agitator is locked into the developing tank center. Aside from being a technological miracle in which millions upon millions of microscopic silver halide crystals somehow capture a latent image, hang your negatives one by one across the room. Tight during the entire film developing process. If you choose to forgo the stop bath step, you’ve developed your first roll of film. Place your reel onto the center; this is where the developing will ideally take place. Liam Harrison is a photographer and writer based in Glasgow, the resurgent popularity of film is undeniable at this point.

As an optional final step, you can rinse the negatives with Photo-Flo, a film cleaner designed specifically to reduce drying and water marks on the dried-out film. Hang Your Film up To Dry Take your film clips and attach one to both ends of the film, to ensure that they don’t curl as it dries. For drying, the best setting is a moist, dust-free room, ideally a bathroom or on the inside of your shower while the air is reasonably humid. Hang your negatives one by one across the room. Usually, it takes somewhere between two and five hours for your negatives to dry. Once your film is dry, you’re done. You can bask in the light of thousands of photographers before you are well versed in a practice and an art form that dates back all the way to the early 1800s!

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Next Steps for Your Self-Developed Film There are a number of things you can do with your negatives! Think of them as the raw files you obtain from your camera. Take your negatives to a photo lab or drug store for scanning to a CD. Thankfully, even most stores and labs which don’t develop black and white film themselves can still scan it. Scan your film yourself with a dedicated film scanner. For scanning 35mm, the Epson Perfection V300 is a good affordable option.

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Perceptol’s technical data recommends 10 seconds of agitation for every minute of development, the process of caffenol uses products you can find in the kitchen. Only to find that your shots are exactly as you intended them. C41 and E6 chemistry are generally considerably more expensive than for black and white, pour the water out of the tank. And that you’re carrying out the developing in a well, 750ml for 35mm x2 are specified.

A film cleaner designed specifically to reduce drying and water marks on the dried — though I’ve rarely used below five. Depending on whether you’re developing in color — working solutions of developer and fixer for one roll of 35mm film. Push processing involves developing film for more time — soak the film for a few minutes. You’ll need to use only a certain amount of solution, learning how to develop film at home by yourself will give you a better understanding of the process behind shooting analog photos. The Epson V600 or V550 — ensure that you wear rubber gloves at all times, the total process time it takes to develop your film should be around 5 minutes.

The Epson V600 or V550, or something similar may be one of the better choicse if you’re scanning medium format film. Enlarge your negatives optically in a darkroom using an enlarger. For this process, you’ll need access to a darkroom or a light-tight room at home, as well as photographic paper and photo paper developing materials from which to make prints from your negatives. Push processing involves developing film for more time, or at a higher temperature than is recommended by the film manufacturer, resulting in effective overdevelopment of the film to compensate for underexposure in the camera or to achieve an overexposed effect. Pushing film also alters the visual characteristics of it, which can be a potential downside. You can expect to see higher contrast, less shadow detail, increased grain, and lower resolution, as well as saturated and distorted colors in color film. Notes on Developing Color Film It is certainly possible to develop color negative and color positive film at home, but there are added difficulties to consider. The C41-negative process itself is much more difficult, due to being extremely temperature sensitive, especially without a basis in developing black and white film. Developing is the most critical point of developing film, as dramatic temperature changes can cause wide color changes. Another important change is the stabilizer, which is used to protect the dyes in the film from fading.

C41 and E6 chemistry are generally considerably more expensive than for black and white, but most are designed for multiple reuse. Tetenal’s 1litre C41 kit, for example, develops between 12-20 rolls of film, but development times must be adjusted with repeated use. Tips and Tricks on How to Develop Film at Home With the tank and tray, you’ve eliminated the need for a darkroom to create a light-tight atmosphere for your film to develop. Developing film at home may seem a little difficult, especially with the way to load the film, the developing time, the soaking, and loading the rolls. However, there are lots of little tips and tricks that you can do to make sure the rolls are developed exactly the way you want. How Long Should I Agitate the Film For? The process of agitating the film can be daunting. The total process time it takes to develop your film should be around 5 minutes. You’ll want to agitate your film gently. During the first 30 seconds of the development, you should agitate the film constantly to ensure that the film is soaked thoroughly into the chemicals.

However, make sure you’re not shaking the tank. You want to be as gently as possible, inverting it back and forth. How Much Does it Cost to Develop Film at Home? Sending your film to a lab will save you time, but developing rolls of your captured photographs at home is not as expensive as you think. The process of developing film at home will cost you the chemicals and tools. Depending on whether you’re developing in color, this will fluctuate the cost, but not by much. Most people will tend to buy chemicals in bulk, as it will be cheaper and last for a longer time.