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Beginner's Guide to Film Processing at Home

Want to process your own film but don't know where to start? Check out this beginner's guide to get you rolling! Developing your own negatives should not be something complicated. It's easy as 1 2 3!

Photo by mrmostarr

This article should be used as a guideline to B&W film processing. If this is your first time at an attempt to process your own film at home, then it would be wise to start by processing B&W films first, because these films are not sensitive to temperature like the color films.

Here are the things that you need to start this new adventure!

Tools:
Developing Tank
Changing Bag
A timer

Chemicals:
Developer
Stop
Fixer
Photo-flo

And here are the easy steps to developing your film!

Photo by superlighter

Loading your film.

This first step will require you to sacrifice a roll of cheap film to practice with. You will need your reel from the developing tank and the changing bag to do this. Practice rolling your film (according to the directions on the developing tank) inside the changing bag. Once you get the hang of it, you can try it on an actual exposed roll.

Develop

Once your reel is on the spindle and inside the developing tank, you need to play bartender and get your chemical mixes right. Take a look at the development chart on your chemical bottle. It will have numbers that look like elementary math, such as 1+2. This means that you should mix 1 part developer and 2 parts water. You should also take note of how long your negatives should be left in the chemicals. These can be found on the box your film came in.

Once you have your “cocktail” ready, pour it in the development tank and agitate it for the first 30 seconds. Afterwards, just make sure you do inversions (turning your tank upside down and right side up for 10 seconds) until the proper time has elapsed. Your timer might come in handy here.

Once you the timer beeps, pour the developer out.

Stop

Pour your diluted stop into the tank, and agitate it for 30 seconds. After 1 minute you can pour the stop out.

Fix

Pour the mixed fixer into the tank. Again, agitate for 30 seconds and do inversions every minute. You should be done in about 5 minutes.

Finishing

Now all you need to do is rinse out all of the chemicals off your film. Some people use Photo-Flo to prevent watermarks on the negatives when they dry, but it’s not necessary.

written by ilkadj

3 comments

  1. mrmostarr

    mrmostarr

    @ilkadj
    Hey Thanks for using my B&W picture! ^^ Appreciate it.

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. eris

    eris

    Helpful! Thank you for the work you put in to explaining this.

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  3. jvujnovi

    I've started processing my own film (after using mostly c-41 black & white) on a regular basis again. I've found I get the best results from using stock solution from my developer rather than diluting it.

    8 months ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Deutsch.