There are a number of ways to develop film at home. The most common way is probably by using a film changing dark bag. I do not have one and have come up with another way to do it. I had some black felt that I got from hobby lobby that I used as a black background for a shoot, so I decided to try using that to block out the light coming through the cracks of the door. It worked!
So get a piece of felt that is cut to about 3 to 4 yards and another cut 1 to 2 yards. I drape the larger piece of felt over the door and then shut it. I push up the smaller piece against the space at the bottom of the door to keep light from coming in there. I also make sure all of the lights are off outside of the bathroom that may be able to leak in ever so sneaky.
Before you go into the bathroom make sure you have all of the stuff you will need such as your developing tank, reel, and film… Of course when you load the film onto the reel this needs to be done in pitch darkness.
Some other things you will need to develop film at home are as follows…
- 1 jug to keep your stop bath in
- 1 jug to keep your fixer in
- something to measure out the chemicals and water.
- a thermometer to measure the temp of. the chemicals
So here is what I do. It may not be the most popular way but it works… First I will put the film on the reel in the bathroom. I will make sure the tank is closed and I will come out of the bathroom. I will pour the correct amount of water into the measuring cup and make sure its the right temp. Side note… different film types and different brands of developer require different amounts of chemicals and developing times. You can check out different development times by film type and developer type by using the Massive Dev app. Then I will pour in the proper amount of developer. Next I will pout it into the canister and start development time. After development, I will use the stop bath, then fixer for the given amount of times. After the fixer I will take off the lid to the tank and run sink water into the canister with the film in and still on the reel for about 10 minutes. Once the wash is done I hang to dry. So far all I’ve used at home is the developer, stop bath, and fixer seen below. If you are interested in developing at home feel free to comment with questions you may have. Last but not least, if you want to get your images online you’ll need to purchase a scanner. I use the Canon Canoscan 9000F mk II.
Minus the scanner, you can get into developing film at home for around $100 U.S. or less.