Developing film

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by sebs_color, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. sebs_color

    sebs_color Mu-43 Regular

    191
    Jan 5, 2014
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Sebastian
    Can anyone point me in the right direction? I've heard of starter kits to develop your own film. Does anyone know where I can get one?

    I just want to develop my rolls of film. I don't need to print them or anything like that.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!


    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43
     
  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
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  3. scarbrd

    scarbrd Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Jul 1, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Color or black and white?

    It it's black and white, any good camera store should be able to set you up. You will need a film tank and reels, chemicals: Developer, stop bath and fixer. You'll probably want a drying agent and some clips to hang the film from while it dries.

    You'll need a light tight room or a film loading bag. Again the camera store should be able to help you.

    For color, you'll need to be able to more precisely monitor and control the temperature of the chemicals, particularly the initial developer.

    Color is much more critical than B&W for the DIY route.

    Hope this helps a little.
     
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  4. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    921
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    The hardest part about developing roll film is learning the knack of winding it into developing reels. Pro labs have machines that do this. At home, we are winding it by hand onto wire reels in total dark. Practice with a scrap roll and get good at it. If you miss a wind, the film sticks together and the chemicals cannot reach it.

    I haven't developed any film for 30 years, but I plan to do some B&W next month.
     
  5. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
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  6. sebs_color

    sebs_color Mu-43 Regular

    191
    Jan 5, 2014
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Sebastian
    im hoping i can soon. still bidding on a camera right now. the OM1n and the OM-G (OM20). there is also a OM10 that im looking at with a manual shutter speed adapter.

    any inputs???

    thanks everyone for all the information.
     
  7. m4/3boy

    m4/3boy Mu-43 Veteran

    306
    Jul 21, 2013
    Yeah, go to apug.org. This is a digital forum. Most camera stores these days no longer stock or supply film developing equipment or chemicals.
     
  8. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    941
    Oct 20, 2011
    I notice you're in Europe.

    Step 1. Get a bottle opener for your film canister so you can open the film, and a dark place.

    Step 2: You'll need a Can with reels . Patterson makes them. I suggest a 3 reel AND a 1 reel. Or a Jobo if you got the option, the have a handy reeler. and a thermometer to get your water temps, and a timer of some kind. There are plenty of apps on iOS, and Android that are made for film cycles and don't light the phone up and work great.

    Step 3: the chemicals B&W, I really suggest you start here. If you want color, there's some extra stuff to worry about.
    You'll need a film developer. I suggest Ilford as you're in Europe.
    A stop bath, also by Ilford,
    A fixer, also by Ilford.
    http://www.ilfordphoto.com/products/default.asp

    Step 4:
    A clean place to hang the film strips, that has little to no dust. and a place to store them until you scan them or do whatever your final output is.
     
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  9. sebs_color

    sebs_color Mu-43 Regular

    191
    Jan 5, 2014
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Sebastian
    Jim thanks for taking the time to explain all this to me. I am starting out with black and white since it seems the most practical given my experience. but im actually on a US Navy base in Sicily, so technically I have a USA address (FPO). ill check out the site you sent and see if I can still do it.

    again thanks for the great info!
     
  10. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    532
    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    Mark
    Paterson tanks are very good. Once the film is in the tank and the inner lid is on you can turn the lights on.

    Buy a one-shot developer in liquid concentrate form. Its much easier than making powders when you start out. HC110 (or Ilfotec HC, same thing) is great and lasts forever as a concentrate.

    I wouldn't bother with stop bath. Film can be stopped effectively with a water rinse between the developer and fixer. Keep separate measures for developer and fixer.

    In a dry and dusty environment try hanging your film in the bathroom. Run the shower for a few minutes first, the steam will help keep the dust down.
     
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  11. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Personally, I'd stick with the single digit OM's. If you've got the urge to go fully manual, the 1 is the one to get. If you'd like some assistance, the 2 or 4 have an Aperture-priority mode (electronic shutter). I have the 1, 2 and 4. I like the 2 with a winder and tend to shoot it the most.

    If you haven't shot film before and want to ease into it - try an Oly Trip35 - cheap, zone focus, sharp lens and no battery hassle - the mercury px625 can be hard to find for older cameras and the substitutes voltage can often lead to inaccuracies (you can always compare the readings with your m43 camera on the same settings).

    You'll have great fun !
     
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  12. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    941
    Oct 20, 2011
    Even better! B&H photo will be your best friend. ilford products are sold around the world.
     
  13. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    If you have never developed film before, make sure you practice before trying to develop a role with any critical shots on it. It is not hard, but it does take some getting used to so you do not make any critical errors.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
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  14. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
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  15. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi


    sure ... I only do black and white, because C-41 colour is tricky (strict temperature control) and stinks (the bleaches). Its more simple than it sounds:

    get a developing tank from eBay (plastic ones which do 35mm and expand to do 120 are great starters)

    sacrifice a roll of film and practice loading it in the light

    load it in a totally darkened bathroom or if you can't do that: make a dark box by painting a carton black inside (kids acrylic paint will do, or spray can) cut some holes in it to just fit your hands through and place it on the table (in the living room perhaps) under a blanket at night with the lights out to allow you to load the film in the tank.

    the rest is done in daylight

    get some D-76 powder online and make up a gallon of developer, D-76 is without a doubt the best developer for both beginners and experts. Get the powder and mix it according to the directions (which are simple really) and then bottle it. I use "screw cap" type wine bottles, you'll need 4 ... get stuck into some cheap red as a start. Wash the bottles and then you've got some cheap storage.

    Fill each of the bottles as close to the brim of the bottle as you can, this reduces the amount of oxygen that can enter and oxidize the developer. Start with the bottle which is left unfilled (because it won't fill all bottles perfectly). D-76 is good for a few months after you've opened a bottle (or for instance your partially filled bottle).

    Same goes for the fixer.

    I've had developer last over 3 years stored in a cool dark place this way

    I hang my film to dry in the shower cubicle and have a broom handle on which to hang the strip of film

    I scan with a Epson flatbed

    Then you'll be on your way :)

    Soon you'll be contemplating a medium format camera (cheap these days) and pulling stunning images out of of even your Epson

    http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com.au/2008/04/size-matters-what-film-looks-like.html

    if you get into 120 roll film too, you can play with Pinhole cameras which are amazing at this format size....

    http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com.au/2008/05/holga-pinhole-camera.html

    http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com.au/2008/05/holga-at-6x12.html

    PS: I also do 4x5 in tubes the same way :)

    PPS, this link seems a good watch
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Y586-3KdOA

    best wishes
     
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  16. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    I would echo this. B&W is easy to develop. Color is much tougher, as even slight variations in the time and temperature of various steps will screw up the color balance of your film, and the cost of materials is much greater, which also means the consequences of messing up are much greater, and it's far easier to mess up color - so I would not start out doing color. Get comfortable with B&W development first.
     
  17. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Do remember to take care as to how you dispose of your chemisty. Soem chemicals are not designed to be placed in septic systems, and fixer is generally sent out for silver recovery.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
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  18. sebs_color

    sebs_color Mu-43 Regular

    191
    Jan 5, 2014
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Sebastian
    thanks everyone for all the help! I ended up getting an OM20 and an OM40, for me and my wife to get the hang of this first, then hopefully I will end up with an OM1n or OM2n. I have also ordered some film, batteries, developer tank, and the chemicals! I cant thank you guys enough for all the pointers and assistance with this! I am super excited!
     
  19. sge998

    sge998 Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Jan 14, 2013
    San Francisco, CA
    Well since OP already got all the basic equipments, I will just chime in on my personal experiences with the Olympus 2n and film.

    First of all, stick with one type of film and lens so you will get consistent results if you have developed the film right. If not, then it indicates there might be something wrong with the camera's metering, the lens, or perhaps human error. The OM cameras are quite old now, most of them require new light seals to be light tight. The Olympus 2n I have needed light seal replacement when I got it. It is also a pain in the butt to use in M mode at night since I can't see the metering needle at all. Despite all that, the 2n is a very capable camera with its bright viewfinder.

    Now it comes to the Zuiko lenses. The thing with older Olympus lenses are of it's weak lens coating. It simply lacks contrast although it might be favorable to some BW shooters. However, the resolution of some older lenses (e.g. the single coated 50mm f/1.8) is simply lacking. If you are to expand on OM lenses I suggest you to look for later multi-coated variants.

    Lastly, the Patterson tanks are nice and easy to use but it leaks. The Jobo tanks are much better in that regard but it's more expensive. Once you have enough experience developing BW films you can give color films a try. It is a very similar process but it requires much more temperature control (I started with color films btw).

    Shooting and developing film have a learning curve and requires much more work than digital but the end results are that of digital cannot offer. The smooth gradation from highlights to shadows are simply delicious :)

    I hope this helps. Have fun shooting film!
     
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  20. sebs_color

    sebs_color Mu-43 Regular

    191
    Jan 5, 2014
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Sebastian
    Got my camera and rolls of film in yesterday! cant wait to start developing!
     
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