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A Guide to Home B&W Developing

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Tezzating View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tezzating Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2012 at 18:58
Well I've given this a go.. firstly, as this thread started over four years ago the "climate" has changed a bit. There's not as much available out there, even online the pickings are a bit slim. I had to mix and match and do without some things but its still quite do-able. Do note I'm only developing the film, then digitizing with an Epson V500 scanner.

Chemical wise all I could get my hands on locally were:
- Ilford Ilfosol 3 solution (or powder Kodak TMAX Developer but that seemed messy)
- Kodak Pro Indicator Stop solution
- Ilford Rapid Fixer
- No wetting solution at all, but I'm assured some "is coming soon"

All three chemicals were $45

Equipment was eBay and laterally thinking at Walmart:
- Kindermann stainless developer tank + stainless 35mm spool $15 on eBay
- Pyrex measuring cup; 2 cup size $7
- Three latch-top mason jars, 500ml each $6
- No name kitchen dial thermometer (-20 to +100 c range) $8
- No name kitchen timer $10

Three clothes pins and a hook for hanging the film, free from home. So the total is $91 for everything and it should be enough to last for 30 rolls of film.
You can re-use the Stop & Fixer a few times you get a lot of mileage from even a small 500ml bottle.

The cool thing is the guys who work at the photography store grew up working in labs or working for the local newspaper so they had some cool and handy tips which I found very helpful.

- Stainless steel spool and tank. They really couldn't stress this enough for ease of use, longevity and easy cleaning.. on four separate occasions from two separate salesmen I got this lecture.
- Dont bother to use a squeegee once removing film from the tank, run the wet film between your fore & middle fingers (the meaty part). Its just as effective and far less likely to scratch if there's impurities.
- Developing temperatures can have a 1-2 degree variation either side without really effecting developing time.. Speaking of developing time, close enough is good enough here too

Finally here's my observations..

1. Kodak instructions are Gallons and Quarts, Ilford is ml/litres. I prefer Ilford cos I'm a metric sorta guy.
2. As it should turn out, the final mix ratio of Stop solution doesnt seem to be critical, neithers the exposure time.
3. My spool was a bit short to take an entire 36 shot roll if you only take the leader off.. so cut off the leader plus a frames worth. Its OK, thats the bad bit

All up the film body, two SR lens' and developing kit/chemicals comes to $156 total. After this the only expense is the film which is $5-8.. so pretty cheap and a good way to spend an afternoon.

Edited by Tezzating - 19 November 2012 at 19:03
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Tezzating View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tezzating Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2012 at 19:06
Originally posted by r_sarvas r_sarvas wrote:


Has anyone tried the Caffenol developer method? I'm starting to feel wistful about film again and I was wondering if this might be a viable alternative commercial developing. My 7000i could use some exercise.


I've seen the methods and formulas online and it looks interesting, its something I'd like to try one day for sure. I've read that the washing soda can be replaced by using baking soda heated to a certain level that I dont remember, which is handy cos I couldnt find washing soda anywhere
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Post Options Post Options   Quote r_sarvas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 November 2012 at 02:45
Originally posted by Tezzating Tezzating wrote:

...I've read that the washing soda can be replaced by using baking soda heated to a certain level that I dont remember, which is handy cos I couldnt find washing soda anywhere


Funny, that's the part that has kept me from trying it as well. At some point I'll just break down and order some online.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 April 2013 at 17:51
I thought I should revisit this thread and I've added a bit about some of the (very useful) smartphone apps that are available now: However, I'd really appreciate if anyone would like to make any suggestions to go into the original post.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Grubeater Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2013 at 12:41
There is enough information about developing films on the net, but not so much about exposing and developing your own prints. Any tips?
I do have all the needed chemicals and equipment.
Missing hood or other weird Minolta stuff? PM me. Maybe I can help.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RichardT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2013 at 13:23
I haven't developed a film for many years but offer a couple of tips that still haunt me !
1) Always wind the film completely back into the cassette as this helps identify exposed vs unexposed items & also I was always told that pulling the film back through the light trap increased the chances of some trapped dust scratching the film. As stated in an earlier post a quick twist with a bottle opener (fairly) easily opens the cassette.
2)with the Patterson plastic spools make sure that the spool is completely clean and DRY - I used to have a little electric hairdryer to ensure this - otherwise it's very easy for the film to jam & kink - especially 120 roll film - obviously be careful not to use the dryer if any dust could affect other things you have going on !
Also if you can't get a Dark Room are light-tight developing bags that you can slip your arms into still available ?
Hope these help & Good Luck
RT
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Micholand Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 June 2013 at 10:21
B&W Film Developing Times | The Massive Dev Chart - select film and/or developer on the left side.
/Michael

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Post Options Post Options   Quote revdocjim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 June 2013 at 12:27
Originally posted by Tezzating Tezzating wrote:


- Dont bother to use a squeegee once removing film from the tank, run the wet film between your fore & middle fingers (the meaty part). Its just as effective and far less likely to scratch if there's impurities.


Why would you touch the developed film with anything? If you have used a proper agent like Kodak Photo-flo or Fuji Driwel at the end of your rinse cycle then just hang the negatives as they are and they will dry without any streaks or spots.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 March 2018 at 11:19
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Post Options Post Options   Quote carusoswi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2018 at 12:06
I have considered doing my own processing for some time, now. As of late, one of two local camera shops has stopped offering 1-hour service and moved to twice a week pick-up. Further, the last roll of film I had processed was full of spots and (I don't know the cause of these, but they seem to be present in most of my recently processed film) bright spots, white/orange almost florescent spots that I have to "heal" or "clone" depending upon where they occur. I have scanned thousands of negatives exposed in the "back when" days and none of them exhibit the sort of dust, "hair", and bright spots that appear on films I have processed these days. The aforementioned processor was always better than CVS or Walgreen in this respect until this last effort.

I think it is time for me to bite the bullet and start doing my own. I doubt I will do any worse than what I am getting locally.

I want to do color negatives, as this is what I shoot. I've read this thread through and also watched numerous YouTube videos that seem to indicate that I can accomplish home development without huge expense or hassle.

That said, I have browsed this forum, Apug (now photrio (perhaps mention of scanning will meet with less vitriol now)), and numerous other sites.

I must have visited 50 sites until I developed an understanding of how the film spiral onto the development reels (if that's what you call them). So far, my understanding is based only upon what I have observed in videos or read online. I'm certain that all will be more clear when I have equipment in my hands. In some videos, agitation is done only by twisting the "axle" that extends into the development tank. Others practice aggressive agitation of the tank, yet others practice a sort of arcing inversion that seemingly reduces the chance of creating bubbles. Do these details matter?

I know this thread focuses on BW development, but I am determined to do my own color. Videos seem to indicate that temperature, while critical, is not that difficult to maintain, as water tends to hold temperature long enough to get through the development stage if you are only doing a couple of rolls. Also, videos seem to indicate that development chemistry can be reused. One video claimed that the kit they were using was good to as many as 35 rolls of 36 exposure 35mm film. Is this true?

I appreciate this informative thread.
I would welcome any additional advice or reference(s) anyone can provide.

Respectfully,
Caruso
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 August 2019 at 13:17
Live and learn..........

I still had a roll of film in my camera (from ~6,5 years ago) and it needed ~6 more exposures to finish the roll. Went and took some images in the neighbourhood and got my developing kit out.

I had some older Ilfosol 3 developer left and it had become slightly darker. I remembered the same happened in the past to my concentrate of Rodinal so went ahead anywy.

WRONG !!!!

The film came out totally blank, also no marks of exposure # and film type in the perforated edge and no black patch at the start of the film.

So I guess the developer was totally wasted after standing in a partially filled but tightly closed bottle   



I had another exposed, but not developed, film from around the same time, and developed that in fresh/new Ilford ID11 and it came back perfect and the negatives are being scanned at the moment.

So bottom line, don't skimp on developer cost and try to use old stock, even when it's been stored in tightly closed bottles. It's the same as a failed memory card, but with no software to try and rescue something that might still be on there, the fixer totally removed any latent image that was there before.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 August 2019 at 13:40
Pieter,
A salutary lesson, but to me, not so surprising.
From the olden days when I was developing my own B&W films and printing from them, I remember having to ensure the mixed developing and fixing chemicals were kept tightly sealed in cool, dark storage cupboards and that after a relatively short time, they tended to darken, at which point I was tipping them down the drain and mixing fresh.
Good to hear that your second exposed but undeveloped film from about 6 years ago was OK when you used fresh chemicals.
The longevity and stability of silver based film emulsion on either glass or film base is in stark contrast to the relative lack of such security in digital media. There have been many who muse on whether digital files will remain stable or even be readable into the distant future, whereas we are able to print fresh off photographic negatives going back to the dawn of photography.
Looking forward too seeing some results from that film posted here when you are able.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 August 2019 at 14:37
Thanks Joe, the first result is up here.

About the lost film, I really can't remember what was on it (except for the 6 shots last week, which were just tests of my camera and to fill the roll). However leaving it in the camera for 6 1/2 years I must believe it wasn't really worthwhile and I didn't lose any masterpieces
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 August 2019 at 13:00
Originally posted by Jozioau Jozioau wrote:


The longevity and stability of silver based film emulsion on either glass or film base is in stark contrast to the relative lack of such security in digital media. There have been many who muse on whether digital files will remain stable or even be readable into the distant future,

Future compatibility may not be as bad as you think. I have some word documents I created originally on a CPM machine in the late 1970s, which got transferred to a BBC model B and then to an IBM, none of which had any compatible media at all. I ended up printing from one and persuading the other that it was listening to a keyboard ...
There will always be ways to convert files, and if you keep multiple copies there's a good chance they will still be readable. Mind you, you do have to keep doing it. I still have a BBC model B and nothing else that will read 5 1/4" floppies (My wife has some 8" floppies...).
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