Double Your Darkroom Fun!


So, you love self developing your film? Great! But wait, why should I have to develop only 2 rolls per batch and wait? Now I will bring you the power to double your rolls and of course the fun, too!

Since I started developing film, I was excited about it. The only bad thing about it was that I was able to only develop 2 35mm or 1 120 films at a time! I only have a Paterson system 4 Universal tank, nothing special and it’s cheap more than the JOBO ones. It’s something like that for one year, then I developed a technique for doubling the max number of films I can develop at one time, follow me and i will show you.

For this tutorial you don’t need any particular tool beside some tape. The most important thing you should have are some experience in loading film in reels, and a lot of patience.

If loading film in a darkroom is not comfortable for you, one alternative is buying a dark bag from any store( I mean, the dark bag for loading film, of course ).

Because loading film in reels may look like a simple task, for some people it is not so easy (in fact, I hate loading medium format film) so you should have a lot of patience, so no coffee before loading film :D

The tecnique is really simple, we are going to load two 35mm film in one reel, one side by side with the other.

1) Let’s start by taking two rolls of film and putting the emulsion side of one and taping a strip of tape (any one should work)

2) Remember: the emulsion side of each roll HAVE TO BE OPPOSITE TO THE OTHER ONE!
If you don’t do this the rolls will not develop properly with a high chance to destroy them! After you put the strip of tape on the emulsion side of one roll, you have to put the back of each roll facing with the other one, the sketch will show you what i mean

3) Placing the films in the correct way is crucial, watch the pictures!

This picture shows how the film is misplaced
This is how correctly placed film looks like

4) Tape the two emulsion sides together so they won’t move and stay in place

5) After taping, you have to cut the excessive tape

6) Repeat for the other 2 rolls


7) Time to load the film sandwich in the reels

That was the easy part! All the steps except for loading the films, can be made with light. Loading the film at this point is not an easy task because the reels are built to take only one film, but now with two films in one reel, it is more difficult so take your time to load it!
A good way to start with this technique is using to pieces of film and proceeding like the tutorial!

Now you know the secret art of doubling films, develop as usual!

NOTE: for developing colour film you should read first how to compensate the development time to develop 4 rolls of 35mm film (or 2 120) at one time, for Tetenal kits for example it’s written in the booklet in the kit.

Hope you enjoy! For any questions, feel free to drop me a message or go check out my blog!

written by yayoboy on 2013-06-21 in #gear #tipster #developing #tutorial #development #black #film #white #color #c41 #yayoboy-com #yayoboy


  1. cryboy
    cryboy ·

    E tu sei un genio!!! Devo provare!

  2. yayoboy
    yayoboy ·

    @cryboy ti ringrazio :D ogni tanto faccio qualcosa di buono anche io xD

  3. sizer77
    sizer77 ·

    il tuo disegnino è spettacolare!!!

  4. yayoboy
    yayoboy ·

    @sizer77 le mie capacità in disegno sono scarsissime xD

  5. jutei
    jutei ·

    Excellent! Have to try this!

  6. totodile
    totodile ·

    interesting lol

  7. coolbober
    coolbober ·

    You should NEVER do that.
    Antihalation Backing, that is applied on the back side of the film is not going to wash off with this method.That may cause stains and increase of density.

  8. yayoboy
    yayoboy ·

    @coolbober Sure, sometimes is going to happen, but it's nothing hard to wash off with a warm bath of water before stabilyzer in c41 or hypo in bw. It's over an year and half i use this method and those kind of stains have appeared only 2-3 times :)

  9. rbruce63
    rbruce63 ·

    I will have to try as I am going to star developing soon!

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