Film Development At Home

TomCowlesTomCowles StaffAdministrator, Website User Posts: 26 Staff

It's been about 12 years since I've worked in a darkroom. Today however, I've managed to set up a system to develop my reels at home!

I've been snapping with my Canon AE-1 for years now but always out-sourced my development. Then lock down happened... then Corridor did their episode on film development... Then I felt I've been lazy.

Originally, I had planned on using the coffee development technique until I captured some good memories I didn't want to risk loosing them. Enter - the Monobath! A Monobath is a all in one solution, rather than your usually 3/4 so really low fuss approach- especially if you're like me and not much of a chemist. After getting my reels into the dark bag and into the developing tank, this solution only needed 3 minutes to do it's thing. And though there was a moment of doubt in my abilities, it's worked! The contrast looks a little strong, though this might be down to the temperature or time in the tank, but it's a result!

Next step is to find myself a reel scanner!


Any other home film-developers out there?

What do you shoot on film?

And, has any one tried the coffee technique!? 😄

Comments

  • tddavistddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 3,940 Moderator

    @TomCowles .

    I developed my own BW years ago; never brave enough to go the color route. Today, I don't even have a film camera anymore after the film advance mechanisms on not one but 2 Praktica cameras gave out on my back in the early 90s, and I had never heard of the monobath or coffee method. It seems I am hopelessly out-of-touch now! 😀

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 17,779 Ambassador

    @TomCowles @tddavis I have never worked with actual film and stand in awe of a skilled alchemist..

  • tddavistddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 3,940 Moderator

    @Triem23 Actually, I always found the mixing and stirring the easiest part of the process. All the freaking math for shutter speeds, f-stops- light meters that was the hard stuff! 😮

  • Andy001zAndy001z Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,778 Ambassador

    I have a roll of film sitting on my self and that sirs is where it will stay.

  • JBaymoreJBaymore Website User Posts: 317 Just Starting Out

    What's film? 😁😂😁

  • TomCowlesTomCowles Staff Administrator, Website User Posts: 26 Staff

    @Triem23 @tddavis The traditional process still has me scratching my head and caused me many a weirdly developed film, but it's so fun!

    Great feeling when not only has the development worked, but you've also taken a great pic 😄

    and @Andy001z I encourage you to give it a try sometime - this stuff takes 3 minute and the results are great. Think this is a solid approach for those starting out for sure!

  • Andy001zAndy001z Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,778 Ambassador

    @TomCowles Maybe Ill do it as part of chemistry homeschool with my daughter next year.

  • usafdummyusafdummy Website User Posts: 19 Enthusiast

    Long time ago when I started with film I too used the Canon, I loved using it but I never learned how to develop my own film cause I could never set up a dark room. I was in the military and lived on base but I wanted to so bad so I did the next best thing, I cheated! I worked at a one hour photo shop but then again you still just used a machine for developing. I still have my camera's but neither one of them work. I can't remember what is wrong with the one but the other one won't advance the film. Now I just use digital camera's.


  • tddavistddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 3,940 Moderator

    @usafdummy That is exactly what happened to my Praktica and a TopCon. I always blamed my forceful finger action :) Maybe just a wear point.

  • GordonCatoGordonCato Website User Posts: 63 Just Starting Out

    I had a darkroom for most of my life growing up. My parents always nurtured my photography and film hobby.

  • usafdummyusafdummy Website User Posts: 19 Enthusiast

    @tddavis I think on the one I know it was my fault, trying to hurry and put the film in and it didn't catch right and I did force it cause it won't wind up the film and I heard it. Bought the other one for parts but they just sat there in a box.

  • usafdummyusafdummy Website User Posts: 19 Enthusiast

    I had to up grade my camera, I could never figure out the frame rate on this one!


  • DibsMcCallumDibsMcCallum Staff Administrator, Website User, Imerge Beta Tester Posts: 120 Staff

    I love shooting the occasional bit of film, I use with wife's, great aunts 1950's Voigtlander Vito B camera, manual focus and metering.

    You get some impressive results with it, I just finished a pack of Neopan 400CN in it.

    These were some of the results from the last few rolls using Fujifilm Superia 400 X-Tra


  • georgefilmltdgeorgefilmltd Website User Posts: 127 Enthusiast

    We are so lucky. Now filmmaking is so easy!

  • TomCowlesTomCowles Staff Administrator, Website User Posts: 26 Staff

    Managed to get myself a cheap film scanner. It's clear I definitely need to get a squeegee but it's they've all got this old 'Lighthouse' style that I just love!! 😍 ... might also have something to do with being at the coast though haha.


  • usafdummyusafdummy Website User Posts: 19 Enthusiast

    When I was taking pictures with my Canon I liked using FUJI film. For some reason it always seemed to have brighter color's than the other film. But then again I also Loved doing some Wedding shot's in B/W outside with natural light and inside with shadows. I got out of that cause to many people thought that the cost was to high and Just once I did it for a friend for $250.00 and that to him was to high! So video and drone flying is my love now.


  • usafdummyusafdummy Website User Posts: 19 Enthusiast

    @TomCowles

    I know Tom I got way off of your subject at the beginning so I did some checking around and it seem kind of simple to develop the B/W film this way and here is a you tube link that shows how to do this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYjOqcbBEco

    I'm sure you have done the same thing but if not hope this works for you.

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