How to Develop B&W Film

Prepare Ahead Of Time

Dilute and prepare all of your chemicals beforehand using distilled water. 

Get Your Chemicals Ready

Figure out how large your development tank is. Next fill up your graduated cylinders or measuring cups to a level that will fill your tanks. 

Cool Your Chemicals

Put your the measuring cup into an ice bath. Cool your chemicals to 20 Degrees Celsius. 

Develop Your Film

Set a timer for developing time. 9:00 minutes with some chemicals. Look at your film packaging to find development times for that specific film with carious developing chemicals.

Pour the developer into the canister. 

 Agitate: Invert and spin in a clockwise motion 

Agitate for the first 30 seconds (your chemical may recommend a different time here.)

Tap: After agitation, tap the canister on the counter 3 times. This will release bubbles that might be stuck to the film.

Now: After the first agitation, every 30 seconds – agitate one inversion then tap. 

This single agitation gets fresh developer next to the film layer. 

Stop Bath

Pour out developer. Pour in the stop bath. Agitate continuously for 1 minute. 

Add Fixer

Pout out stop bath. Pout in Fixer. Agitate for the first 30 seconds. 

Each agitation inversion should take about 5 seconds. It is a slow agitation. 

Check your film. Your film is no longer light sensitive. You can take it out and inspect it for streaks or bubbles. If the film has spots on it you can fix your film for longer if you like or continue to the wash process. 

Wash Process

You can not over wash. Your tank may use a forced water wash process. Be sure to wash your film for long enough to get the chemicals to be completely washed off the film 

Clean up

The developer is one time use only. You will need to dispose of this as you would hazardous waste. 

The fixer is reusable. 

Be sure you do not get any chemicals in your development tank while you are cleaning up.

Use A Surfactant

This will lower the surface tension and allow very small bubbles to release from the film. Leaving your film looking great without any residue. 

Agitate film in the surfactant for 2 minutes or so.

Hang Your Film To Dry

Use a clip on the top and bottom of your film strip. 

I like to hang film in the bathroom because the humidity in your bathroom will make the dust fall out of the air. So the dust does not end up on your film. 

Dry for 45 to 60  minutes. 

Store In Archival Sleeves

Cut your film to fit into archival sleeves. Store flat in a binger.

Your Done!

That’s it. Pat yourself on the back for developing your own film and get out there and take some more pictures!

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