This is a copy of a post I made on flickr some time ago…

I have a Nikon F100 that I lug around quite frequently, up until now mostly loaded with B&W film.

To develop B&W on your own (using a bathroom) is by no means hard;
1. Make sure all chemicals and water has the same temperature (save water in bottles on the same shelf as the other chemicals). Which temp is it?
2. Load the film into the development tank in a shirtlike lightproof bag and then go on with the chemicals.
3. Pour developer into tank (for ten minutes – adjusted for temp – with my selection of chemicals) – turn the tank once per minute, pour out and dispose according to local regulation/legislation.
2. Stop bath not really necessary, use water – rinse in fifteen second periods, renew water at least four times.
3. Pour in the fix-bath, turn tank once per minute for five minutes. Pour back for re-use as long as color is fairly transparent (turns yellow-ish with age).
4. Rinse off with water for at least five minutes. Add a drop of dish soap (detergent) as you near the end (clears surface tension).
5. While rinsing, turn on your shower with *hot* water for a few minutes; this creates a steam in the bathroom (effectively cleaning the room from air borne dust).
6. Pick out the film from the tank, use a short string of rope to hang the film for drying, a clothespeg or two in the top end, and another pair for the low end of the film strip. Drying takes an hour or so, avoid entering the room while this is in progress.
7. Cut the film in suitable strips for scanning and storage, using careful scissor-handling.
8. Scan he images; 1200DPI makes 1.9MP images, 2400DPI gives approxaimnately 7.5MP (MP = megapixel. Film scanning capable scanner required, very standard $150-ish is ok unless you’re really picky – e.g. Canon 4400F, slow at 2400DPI).
9. Postprocessing, adapted slightly for grain and film type.

The items and chemicals (apart from the scanner) you need is $150-ish or less, might be around $100 if you find cheap but usable items.

The basic stuff for e.g. 35mm, listed:
a. film cartridge opener (special $10 to be luxurious, beer opener can be used), scissors.
b. film development tank with spirals (Nice: Paterson Super System 4 – $40).
c. lightproof bag, for loading film into tank ($40-$60).
d. developer chemicals (1000ml Paterson FX-39, $20-25, use: 30ml with 270ml water/film), information on development timing for the chosen developer and film combination.
e. fixation chemicals (1000ml Kodak T-Max fix, $15-20, use: 75ml with 225ml water to cover one film, can be reused at least five times).
f. thermometer, stopwatch. volume measurement, gradation from single ml up to 300ml volumes (two items). (4x $10)
g. clothespegs, 3-4 for each film you develop at a time (tank size sets the limit on #).

(Sum of all $ above: 10+40+60+25+20+4×10 = $195, a complete kit, all not necessary)

If you do B&W like me, you might wish to try “Caffenol” which in its basic form consists of Washing Soda, C-vitamin powder and Instant Coffe – this of course replaces the development chemicals.
All you need now is some kind of fixation chemicals.

What is required on top of this is thoughtfulness, patience and some time.

If I’m not too wrong basic color development isn’t very much harder, maybe a bit pickier with temperature (requires 38°C, 100°F I believe).

Advertisements