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Develop Films by Yourself

I finally decided to try and develop my film rolls by myself. I did this since I wanted to try and cross-process my films easily. Find out how I did it!

Although I had to grope in the dark and experiment a bit, I succeeded and developed my films somehow!

Tools needed:

  • Naniwa color kit N
  • liquid thermometer 
  • clips
  • sponge
  • stirrer
  • LPL developing tank, reel

Step 1
Prepare the the color developing liquid and the bleach fixing solution and place it in a container.

Step 2
Take the film roll that you want to develop and place it in the developing tank reel. Take note that you need to do this in a darkroom. When you have closed the top of the tank, you can already work in a lighted area.

Step 3
You have to keep the color development liquid at 32℃. Pour the liquid into the tank and use the stirrer to mix the solution. Stir the solution slowly and knock the bottom of the tank once in a while to get rid off the air bubbles. Do this for about 5 minutes. Afterwards, pour out the development liquid back in its container.

Step 4
Pour the bleach fixing solution into the container. Do the same procedure as you did with the previous step but this time, do it for 6 minutes. Afterwards, pour out the bleach fixing solution back to its container.

Step 5
You can now remove the film roll from the reel. Gently take the roll and wash it under running water. Wipe it down softly with a sponge and use the clips to hang it up to dry.

Here are the photos that came out:

written by img and translated by icy315


  1. anird


    Beautiful results! Which camera and film was used for this?

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. gvelasco


    Good results. Especially for your first attempt. I've been doing a lot of my own developing recently. Color developing is much easier than many people made me think. I've also been doing black and white. Everyone should try.

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. 86john


    this is great. but where can i buy the equipment?

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. nea


    yes, i was wondering..where to buy the equipment?can i look for it at any photography shop?

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  5. tasha_dylan


    amazing results! Can you explain a bit more about the dark room - does the tank stay open while I am doing all of the pouring - so I need to do the pouring in the dark? thanks!

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  6. laurasulilly


    I just tried colour developing for the first time 2 days ago and it worked much better than I had expected (I've been doing B&W fo months now, so I had all the equippment at hand). I just wanted to add one thing: you don't necessarily need a darkroom. I have one, bwcause I also print, but most people don't have access to one, so you can either get a changing bag on ebay (which I did and I still use it even though I have a darkroom now) and some even use a sleeping bag (although I can't tell how good this works). :)

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  7. freelancer


    Perfect! Seems to be easier than I´ve thought. Have to try it out. But I´ve stil got a question: How do you keep the developer temperature constantly at 32°C???
    @tasha_dylan: Once the film is in the tank, you can do everything under light. The tank is light-tight and you can pour the liquids in&out. It´s like a light-tight jar!

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  8. simonh82


    @Freelancer Most colour developing kits require a higher temperature of 38°C and a developing time of 3:15, some allow you to do it at lower temps, but you need to extend the developing time as is the case here. The normal way to keep the temperature stable is to use a large tub of water at the right temp to stop it dropping too quickly, and then either add a few splashes of hot water as you go, or use a small water heater that keeps it very stable. Personally I really value my water heater.

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  9. worried_shoes


    NIce tipster,
    I also develop colour myself, in my 2 square-meter bathroom. It is much easier than I initially expected. Out of about 40 rolls, I only managed to mess up 1 or 2. When researching before starting to attempt C-41 development myself, so many people (especially old men on professional photography forums) told me it is not even worth trying. And when I finally tried I was like, what the hell, I can´t believe its so easy. I do get a lot of dust on the film negatives though, which I guess could be annoying if the purpose is not for lomography.

    I use the Tetenal C-41 kit, where temperatures should be 38 degrees C for the shorter developing time, and first pre heat the chemicals in a small litter bin, then I keep the tank in a water bath while developing. It is quite important to try to keep the chemicals on a steady temperature, but in my opinion less important than people normally say.

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  10. nikosonthenet


    Great tip!... I was afraid it was too difficult to do this my own! Maybe i should try! Can you tell us about how much did the equipement cost you?... Also, do you know what it would be great to do???.... I video tutorial! It would be very helpful!!.... Thanks for the tips again!
    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  11. camielioo


    Yeah a Video tutorial that would be golden!

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  12. tasha_dylan


    @freelancer thank you for explaining! :)

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  13. freelancer


    @simonh82: thank you!

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  14. bluedust_05


    This is great! I'm just curious about how to properly dispose of the chemicals you use?

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  15. img


    @anird:Thank you comment ! Camera is Lomo LC-A film is lomography X slide 200 !

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  16. img


    @gvelasco:Thank you comment ! Since the long-awaited attempt to challenge !

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  17. img


    @86john:Thank you comment ! This developKIT is Japanese products found in the online shop.I hope if there is a similar product.

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  18. img


    @nea:Thank you comment ! I do not know any other way sorry .

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  19. img


    @tasha_dylan:Thank you comment ! The tank has a doorway for a liquid able to film in low light work.but do not put in the tank when the film is not as dark.This work is in the dark, groping must be filed.

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  20. img


    @laurasulilly:Thank you comment ! I 'm not a translator,English is not good for.sorry and thanks for the advice on behalf.

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  21. img


    @freelancer and @simonh82 Thanks for the advice. May know, I'm not good at English. Sorry for so late reply.

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  22. img


    @worried_shoes:Thank you advice ! I still immature and must be experimentally !

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  23. img


    @nikosonthenet:Thank you comment !
    The cost depends on where shop and how....
    "Naniwa color KIT N" is 2500YEN(about 32$)
    "LPL Tank and Reel" is 4000YEN(about 51$)
    I think a low price because the other skips.
    In my case almost bought online auction.
    so may not be very helpful.sorry...

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  24. img


    @camielioo:I will check the video tutorials.Thank you!

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  25. img


    @bluedust_05 Thank you comment !
    mixed Liquid has been expiration of only one week.
    becouse need to be processed together many film.
    about.. 7or 8films.

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  26. jessye-g


    woww! want to try it out so bad

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The original version of this article is written in: 日本語. It is also available in: Nederlands & Deutsch.