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Photography Question 
Steve Warren
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/1/2004

How to develop your own film

I would like to develop my own B&W film, but I only want the negatives. I don't need or want to do any printing right now.
Can anyone tell me the equipment I'll need and will I need a darkroom?



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1/20/2005 6:39:32 PM

Michael H. Cothran   You'll only need a 'darkroom' for printing, not for film developing. Here's what you need to start developing b&w film -
1. Changing bag - a light-tight bag to transfer film from the canister to the developing tank.
2. Developing tank and reels. I'd buy a tank big enough for two reels, and buy 2-4 reels.
3. Photo thermometers (3) - you need to have your chemicals at pretty precise temperatures. You should own three that can be calibrated so they match each other. These may be the most costly of all this stuff.
4. A whole bunch of graduates, from 1 oz to 48 oz, and a good funnel that will sit in the top of your developing tank.
5. Chemicals - film developer, stop bath, hypo fix, photo flo. And bottles with screw on tops to store them in.
6. Film hangers - to hang the film to dry after processing.
7. A good lupe to view the images.

Hope this helps.
Michael H. Cothran

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1/21/2005 5:50:56 AM

Robert Bridges   or you can simply go into a dark closet or bathroom shut the door, turn off the lights and sit awhile till you find the light leaks then tape over them or plug them somehow. Changing bags are fine if you don't mind dust, lint, hair, etc. You can buy either plastic or metal reels - the metal ones are easier to keep clean but are a royal pain in the ass to work with especially if your hands are stuck inside a bag. The plastic one's work fine if ....IF you remember to GO SLOW as you wind them up. A tank and two plastic reels will cost you about 12 bucks. Go to your favorite camera store and ask about different chemicals and what works best for what ever film you are using. Once they are dry - oh yeah a hair dryer helps here too just don't melt your film put the negs in archival sheets.

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2/3/2005 10:06:01 PM

Shauna Linde
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/10/2004
  Steve- I use my bathroom to get the film onto the roll and into the developing container. My bathroom doesn't have any windows so I only have to cover the cracks in the door. This works great for me.

As for buying supplies, I found a developing kit at Porter's Camera supply (online) that included just about everything I needed except the chemicals. Check around the different online stores to see what they offer for supplies as prices can vary a lot.

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2/4/2005 2:56:32 PM

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