Developing Black and White film

Easy … only two chemicals required … 🙂 …

First thing’s first … 35 mm film needs to be rewound into the canister … 120 film will wind itself on another spool – just be sure to secure it tightly as soon as you unload it from the camera.

(Don’t) Let the light from the lighthouse shine on me!!
Loading the film onto a developing reel is the first step – and the only step that requires some practice and getting used to because you have to do this in complete darkness!!. I use Stainless Steel reels for both 35mm and 120 film – you may prefer plastic ones, and each has its pros and cons. After this, simply drop it into the developing tank and secure all lids. Done!! Lights, Camera, Action!!

Who let the dogs out?
Mix the developer and fixer in the recommended proportions with water (which should be at the desired temperature, in line with the chemical proportions) – this is of course subject to the ISO desired for developing the roll and I’ve covered this is another post. Don’t worry too much about controlling the temperature of the chemical mixtures during the whole process – just make sure there’s no drastic change – work in a closed (bath)room!

Shake that thang!
Both the developer and fix mixtures need to be agitated periodically while in contact with film emulsion. Some do it for 10 sec every minute, some do it for 5 sec every half-minute – I’ve done it both ways. Doesn’t really matter as long as you do it periodically (and slowly!!) to refresh the chemical in contact with the emulsion.

Somebody stop me!!!
A lot of purists will tell you that you need a Stop Bath after the developer, but then a lot of impurists (:P) will tell you that they’ve used plain water and that works fine as well. I use water at the same temp as the mixtures.

V for Victory! … Also for squeegee 🙂
When hanging the developed negatives to dry after the final wash, just use your fingers to gently wipe the film.

Be sure to check out all the great videos on YouTube. Enjoy!!

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