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Playing with Color: Developing Color Film at Home

It’s time to bust the myth wide open that developing color film at home is hard to do. The truth is that it's easy, cheap and immensely rewarding. Check out my video tutorial for everything you need to know.

A shot from my first ever roll of home developed film

Lots of people will tell you that developing colour film at home is somewhere between difficult and impossible. They point to the strict temperature control needed and short development times leading to inconsistent results. While you do need to be careful with the temperature, I’ve never found it to be an issue and I’ve always had great results.

As well as dramatically slashing the cost of development to a tiny fraction of the cost of getting a lab to do it, you will also overcome any problems with cross processing slide film. This can be done at the same time as your normal color negative film.

This video will take you through everything you need to know from equipment and chemicals, through the whole development process. This does make it rather long, but hopefully it covers everything.

With that in mind, sit back, watch the video, and maybe fondle your favourite camera while thinking of all the photos you will be able to develop yourself now.

Below are a few of my favourite photos I’ve developed myself.

Finally, I mentioned in the video that there are some great video tutorials to show you how to load film on to developing reels. You can find one for 120 film here and one for 35mm film here.

written by simonh82

4 comments

  1. buckshot

    buckshot

    Excellent tutorial! Have done some b&w darkroom developing in the past, but didn't even know C-41 at home was possible. Thanks for this!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. deja-mew

    deja-mew

    i think i love you.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. simonh82

    simonh82

    @deja-mew I'm going to take that comment exactly at face value!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. alderaan

    Interesting tutorial. Too bad it was filmed with a potato
    about 1 year ago · report as spam

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