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Where to start developing.

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by nastypiranha, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. nastypiranha

    nastypiranha Well-Known Member

    Hi guys and gals,

    I'm just about to start dipping my toe into the big pond of developing and I thought i had an idea of what I needed but the more I read the more i get lost. I have got a few roll's of film that i need to develop and just now all i'm interested in is developing the 35mm negatives to colour.

    So what i think i need:

    1x development tank.
    1x film retriever.
    2x films clips.
    1x black bag.
    1x Thermometer.
    3x measuring jugs/containers
    c-41 developing chemicals

    if anyone has a good link/s to developing supplies that would be great or any words of wisdom i'm all ears :)
  2. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    I've been contemplating doing my own C41 with one of these:


    I've had good service from Silverprint for B&W chemicals, though sometimes their carriage charges can seem a bit steep - next day delivery is nice, but sometimes I'd be happier with a cheaper 5 day option.

    One thing I've considered - since C41 seems to be quite temperature critical, I've been thinking of sitting the dev tank in a washing up bowl of water at the correct temperature, to keep things more stable.

    Film clips are possibly a bit of a luxury - clothes pegs work quite well, especially if you've got some convenient small weight you can hang off them. Have you thought about where you can hang the films for drying? I've put a cuphook in the ceiling over the bath - as well as being OK for drips, it's probably the least dusty room in the house. You might want to add wetting agent to your list of chemicals to add to the final wash - it helps the film to dry without streaks.

    Ordinary kitchen measuring jugs can be quite useful - as long as you take care that they don't get used for cooking!

    Have fun, and do let us know how you get on!
  3. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I haven't done colour but I never bothered with the film retriever or daylight changing bag. I used a bottle opener to get the cassette open in the cupboard under the stairs (after nightfall). It takes practice to load a spiral so don't try it with a valuable film to start with.
  5. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    Seems to me you've got pretty much everything you need. There's some good links above but don't forget to look at http://www.processuk.net
    I've used them on a few occasions and they're fast and competitive on prices.
  6. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Hear! Hear!

    But you need somewhere SERIOUSLY dark. The best test is if you can't see your hand moving in front of your face after 5 minutes in the dark.


  7. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member


    Large washing-up bowl full of water at the right temperature, for tempering chemicals and keeping tank at right temperature

    Kettle/jug of very hot water to keep topping up washing up bowl

    Clock or better still stop-clock.


  8. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    I've gone all 20th C and downloaded a timer for my mobile telephone. It was free [​IMG]
    and works a treat, better than the cheap stopwatch I was using.
  9. nastypiranha

    nastypiranha Well-Known Member

    Thank you everyone for there reply's, advice and links. I'm sure i'll still have plenty of questions once i start :)
  10. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Another thought - if you haven't had much experience with loading a film onto the developing tank spiral in the dark, it might be worth sacrificing a roll (perhaps of £1 Poundland Agfa Vista) to practice in daylight first. If you don't cut it from the cassette spool, you can have several goes, first with your eyes open, then closed.

    When you can do it perfectly 3 times in a row with your eyes shut, you're probably OK to do a film you care about in the dark! :)
  11. nastypiranha

    nastypiranha Well-Known Member

    Thank you Alex, i'll give that ago :)
  12. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    no may or might, as I said already, this needs practice to do correctly.

    The one thing I forgot to say is that you need a pair of scissors with you in the dark to cut the end off the film when it is loaded because the spool is taped on and you won't be able to do anything with that nicely wound spiral :)
  13. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    I forgot to mention scissors too - my excuse is that I haven't done 35mm for years, 120 is secured with tape that's easy to tear by hand (at least Ilford).

    Probably best to use blunt ended safety scissors, to reduce the risk of stabbing yourself, or making holes in the changing bag.
  14. Kamepa

    Kamepa Well-Known Member

    I used to get into the corner of the wardrobe to load my tanks. Those daylight changing bags are really good way to go.

    A good tip with 35mm film is when rewinding it, to feel the end of the film coming off the take up spool and stop just before the film disappears into the film cassette. You can then thread the film into the developer spiral/spool before putting it into the daylight changing bag and just rip/cut the film out of the other end when requires. Another useful tip from my photographic college days was to remove water spots on the shiny side by lightly rubbing you fingers on film as the natural grease in your skin does a great job! Stop not really required if you are developing over longer than 6 minutes it also weakens/shortens life of the fixer so best to just do a quick rinse. But anyway I think the OP is going down the colour route?
  15. nastypiranha

    nastypiranha Well-Known Member

    HI Kamepa,

    I have seen other people on the internet loading up the spinal before putting it into the bag, but thought since I never saw anyone suggesting I thought maybe it wasn't a great idea :)

    I'm also now wondering if I really should give b/w a shot first to dip my toes in and then once I have a few rolls under my belt I can try colour?
  16. Kamepa

    Kamepa Well-Known Member

    Best to be sure that you don't expose the film when feeding the spiral/spool or when removing from camera. I usually just feed enough to beyond the feeder ball bearings but you might have something a tad different on your spool? There is knack to it which soon becomes second nature :)
  17. nastypiranha

    nastypiranha Well-Known Member

    I received a email from ebay saying they where sorry about the password issue and gave me a £20 voucher so came across this so all in just ended up paying £2.80


    So just need to get a few more bits :)
  18. Kamepa

    Kamepa Well-Known Member

    Those early Paterson spools can be a tad tricky to load. Best to try with a test film first. I found especially with larger medium format films they was a tad loose fit. Which allowed film to come out half way! However once I got the knack no problem :)
  19. nastypiranha

    nastypiranha Well-Known Member

    Will do bought a few rolls from poundland so if needed I'll get some more :)
  20. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    B&W is rather more forgiving of times and temperature control, and you don't have to worry about colour shifts!

    So if you want to improve your chances of getting a usable result the first time, it might be an idea.

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