Dan develops film

Getting 35mm film developed can be an expensive business – my local shop charges about five quid a roll for developing and a CD of scanned images.  Not too bad, but the cost soon mounts up after a few rolls.  The local shop developed the last lot for me, the results of which can be seen here and here, but now I’ve got a bulk 10-roll pack of black and white film it’s time to save cash and develop my own.

Never done this before, but I’m always keen to give it a bash!  OK, first up is the necessary chemicals.


It’s like an old-school chemistry set.  The black tub is where the un-rolled film sits as the chemicals are poured in and out.


Basically developing film is a three-stage process, needing three chemicals.  The first chemical is the developer, I bought a cheap but reliable Kodak version that comes in powder form and gets diluted with water, and here it is in an empty juice bottle.

Now on to the undeveloped film.


It’s darkroom time or, as I call it, the downstairs loo!  Here’s all the kit laid out ready.  The white reel sits in the bottom of the black tub and this is what the film gets reeled on to once it’s out the film canister.  The tub is lightproof – once the film is on the white reel and in the tub the lights can come back on.

Here’s me in the ‘darkroom’ threading the film onto the reel and into the tub:


Har har!


The film’s in the tub, chemicals ready to pour.  From the left: developer, stopper, fixer.


Uh oh, the developer needs to cool down a little.  The whole process has to be done for a set time as well as a set temperature, in this case between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius.

Once the temperature is right it’s simply a case of pouring in the right chemical, giving the tub a shoogle for the set period of time before pouring out, then doing it again for the next chemical.  Then, give the film a wee wash in plain water and that’s it done.

Developed film, just hangin’ out:


Once dry, the strip can be cut up and scanned.  It seems to have worked, will it be any good???

Well well, looks like this developing malarkey might just have worked!


I used the Canon SLR for this roll.  I know this camera works OK, but I think there’s loads of dust and fluff in the camera body which comes out on the film.  Some are also quite grainy, like the one below.  I think this might be due to over-zealous shoogling of the developing tank – must tone this down for next time!


Although the weather in Largs wasn’t great it was still quite bright.  This meant using ISO400 film maybe wasn’t ideal, but I still got a few that are OK.


The monument is known as the “Pencil” and it commemorates the Battle of Largs, apparently.


However, this wee Christmas tree is not part of the monument…


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