Come on! Let’s Do the Color Process!


Since I got into analogue photography, I´ve only developed one roll in the lab: they took one day to develop and scan it, and then I found out they hadn’t scanned the sprocket holes… I really needed a scanner and knowledge on processing/developing!!

Since I got into analogue photography, I´ve only developed one roll in the lab: they took one day to develop and scan it, and then I found out they hadn’t scanned the sprocket holes… I really needed a scanner and knowledge on processing/developing!

I bought a scanner, Epson V500! Perfect! I scanned that first roll, with sprockets!!!
The next step would be processing. I started with black and white, and later, color film.
Let’s see how I do it and what I need to process color film (pretty much the same stuff I use in b&w processing):

• a developing tank,
• plastic reels,
• measuring cups (1 liter each),
• a large plastic container,
• a thermometer,
• rubber gloves,
• a timer,
• some film clips to hang the film to dry,
• 4 plastic bottles for the chemistries (I use 500 ml bottles, to fit my plastic container)
• a pair of scissors (to cut the film)
• a changing bag (to load the film into the developing tank)

Got the C41 developing kit, first, a Nova Prospeed 41 Kit and later the Tetenal Colortec C41 kit. I just had to read the instructions to know how to mix the chemicals (easy) and the processing times and temperatures.
And this is how I do it:

• I go to the bathroom and fill the plastic container with hot water from the shower (mine is always around 40/42 degrees Celsius). Ideal temperature is 38 degrees Celsius.

• Then I put the bottles containing the chemistries in the hot water and I go to the living room where I load the film into the plastic reels, and place them in the developing tank (this is done inside the changing bag). Sometimes loading the film into the reels can be hard, but it improves with time!

Let me show you what happens inside the changing bag.

• Back in the bathroom! I place the developing tank also in hot water along with the plastic bottles (containing the chemistries). I measure the temperature; between 38 to 42 degrees Celsius seems to be ok.

• Put on the rubber gloves, set 3:15 minutes on the timer, and start pouring the developer into the tank. Rotate the tank, left-right, right-left! Rotate it, invert it, keep it warm in the water! By the time you hear the chronometer, pour the developer out into a measuring cup, then into the bottle again (re-use it until it doesn’t work anymore!!).

• 4:00 minutes for bleach fix on the timer, pour it into the tank! Same thing, rotate, invert! Four minutes have passed; pour it out, into the bottle!

• Time to rinse! I fill the tank with tap water, invert the tank 5 times, pout it out, fill, invert 10 times, pour it out, invert 20 times, pour it out!

• Finally,the Stabilizer. I pour into a measuring cup and leave the film there for 1 minute (just the film, not the reels) .

• Hang the film to dry for 2 hour minimum.

Believe me, if I can do it, everybody can do it!

Here are some results, color negatives and cross process! The majority of my photos are home developed and I think they’ve turned out just fine!

Credits: pepper-b

I hope this article can encourage all the community to try to process color film at home!
Have fun!!

written by pepper-b on 2011-02-02 in #gear #tipster


  1. earlybird
    earlybird ·

    waitin for the postman to bring me my Tetenal Colortec C41 kit i ordered saturday! nice tipster

  2. chaoticsense
    chaoticsense ·

    Just what i needed, awesome tip!

  3. rey
    rey ·

    you make it seem so easy! nice

  4. toradatanglagi
    toradatanglagi ·

    wishing for a darkroom xD

  5. filby
    filby ·

    Top article, mate! Seriously folks, get into it!!!

  6. pulex
    pulex ·

    Nice! I use the tetenal kit too but i develop at 30 degree causr my aquarium heater doesnt go up to 38 and you dont have to be that correct with the timing! Maybe ill go up to 38 soon cause the whole process is done in less time!

  7. sylvia_littlemaple
    sylvia_littlemaple ·

    how cool!

  8. aliphalias
    aliphalias ·

    i live in malaysia ,and i dont know where can i get the C41 developing kit :( btw,thnks for the tips :)

  9. gvelasco
    gvelasco ·

    Great tipster and great results. Very well written. You have inspired me.

  10. pepper-b
    pepper-b ·

    Thanks everyone for the likes and comments!! Try it and you'll find this is a big part of the lomo fun!!

  11. stouf
    stouf ·

    Ho yeah ! This is fantastic ! I should give it a try... 8D

  12. pepper-b
    pepper-b ·

    Glad you liked it stouf!!!! But you already have a PHD in processing and I'm still freshman!

  13. monamarques
    monamarques ·

    And what are the chances of it going wrong? =P
    I'm sure that I would lose my film...

  14. phil2k90
    phil2k90 ·

    Great tipster; I got a developing tank for xmas and I've been playing about with the Tetenal E6 kit, when that runs out I'll be trying out the C41. How many rolls of film can you process with your chemistry? For the 1L E6 kit it says it's good for 12 rolls but I know I can get more than that!

    PS the V500 rules!

  15. pepper-b
    pepper-b ·

    Hi phil2k90!! Thanks for the kind comment! I wish I could get my hands on that E6's not easy here..Don't wait till your E6 kit runs out!!! Buy the C41 kit and try this great tip by stouf:…

  16. otherearthly
    otherearthly ·

    i've always wanted to try color processing at home, so thanks a muchness!

  17. worried_shoes
    worried_shoes ·

    Thanks a million for this tipster. Finally got my scanner, and now i only need the C-41 kit!

  18. self_titled
    self_titled ·

    This tutorial is leaving out all the safety hazards involved with color chemicals. VENTILATE. And don't touch the chemicals with bare skin! Talk to someone at the shop about the chemicals and try to find the most natural ones you can.

  19. pepper-b
    pepper-b ·

    Hi self_titled! You're absolutely right!! Although I left that out of the article, safety measures when dealing with chemicals ( in general ) are always the main concern! Safety first in everything we do! I always wear gloves, my glasses, and I do it in a ventilated environment. So, protect your skin, eyes and if you can, do it in open air or in a ventilated space. Thanks for the reminder! :)

  20. aliphalias
    aliphalias ·

    how to mix the chemical ? can u tell me ? because i dont have the C-41 guide -____- *sob

  21. pepper-b
    pepper-b ·

    Hi aliphalias! How to mix it, here :…

    These are the chemicals I use in this tip ;)

  22. porkchopsandy
    porkchopsandy ·

    COOL!!! This is very good article. I meant to try this for a long time now, finally I have the confidence! Thanks!

  23. zenline
    zenline ·

    Your article is fantastic ! I haven't understood everything yet but I'm going to work on it :))

  24. worried_shoes
    worried_shoes ·

    Woohoo!, chemicals finally arrived and first film came out with quality just as any average lab. To be honest, I expected it to be way more difficult. Thanks a million for this splendid tipster. It was of great help.

  25. pushkar
    pushkar ·

    gr8 article.. cant wait tot try... hope i can get the c41 chemicals delivered to Dubai

  26. yattering
    yattering ·

    Great article. If you can do it, i can do it too! (:
    I will try asap!

  27. engeln
    engeln ·

    I'm having a lot of trouble finding someplace to buy the chemicals. Can anyone recommend online stores in the States? Thanks =D

  28. ik
    ik ·

    i only developed b&w but now i've read this i'm going to buy myself color chemistries and a scanner!!!thanks!!

  29. nock
    nock ·

    Congrats man! Nice tip

  30. kaluchkin
    kaluchkin ·

    ubah tip! congrats. helped me . il share with my friends :)

  31. kane
    kane ·

    Great tip I have been thinking about processing film myself but was thinking it would be too difficult but after reading this article I'm thinking I might give it a go.


  32. catarella
    catarella ·

    muito bom - o artigo e o incentivo! convenceste-me :D vou já fazer contas ao que preciso de comprar!

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