developing film at home

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by mdc017, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. mdc017

    mdc017 TPF Noob!

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    yeah, i recently found out that i don't even need a darkroom if i'm just going to be scanning the negatives. I can develop the film inside of this little canister thing right?

    the only thing with that is that i kind of worry that if i don't time something right that the negatives will come out completely wrong.

    how much would the loading bag, canister, and all the chemicals cost? And what chemicals would i actually need?
     
  2. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  3. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Follow that link; it's a great tutorial. :thumbup:

    You can probably get set up at home for the price you'd pay someone to develop just a few rolls of film! Invest in it once and you have it indefinitely (replenishing chemistry as needed of course).

    Don't start off with an important roll of film; walk around the back yard and make several exposures that you can afford to lose should you mess up. But truly, it's just not as hard as you might think. Click on that link and learn. :) You'll never again be dependent on anyone to process B&W film for you - it's a wonderful thing to have that power!
     
  4. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    B&W film processing and printing is half technique and half art form. Taking a class is very helpful ... that way you can learn from the experience of others and avoid making them yourself.

    Gary
     
  5. selmerdave

    selmerdave TPF Noob!

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    Question about this. I would like to start doing my own B&W processing at home, but my wife is concerned about chemical fumes (we have a baby on the way). I would be doing it in a separate but not sealed room. So are her concerns warranted? Thanks.

    Dave
     
  6. mdc017

    mdc017 TPF Noob!

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    i think they make odorless chemicals.

    besides if you don't have to wear a mask in the dark room i wouldn't suspect there would be any harm to a baby in a separate room.
     
  7. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    I don't think the fumes would harm the baby .. and on the flip side ... the chemicals wouldn't do the baby any good either. I would email Kodak and ask the experts on chemical harm during pregnancy and the new born along with MSDS sheets on the chemicals you'll typically using.

    Usually, if you don't have a true darkroom then you work in the bathroom. If you have more have one bathroom dedicate one bathroom to film development and one bathroom for the baby (a windowless bathroom is best for the film.) Another reason to work in the bathroom is the dampness makes the bathroom relatively dust free ... and dust is the bane of photography. If you're on the cheap ... then hang the film in the shower to dry ... dust and wet film can get a bit nasty.

    For film you'll need a minimum of two chemicals ... a Developer, which typically comes dry and you add water to make a concentrate and a Fixer which will stop the developing action and will render the film inert to light. Both are to stored in air tight containers. The smell of both is ... ahh ... chemically but not in any fashion overpowering.

    After the film is Fixed (no more puppies) and washed you apply a wetting agent (a super soapy soap) so no mineral residue will dry on the film.

    and Viola ... you're done.

    Gary
     
  8. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    They are valid concerns, but since cleanliness is next to godliness especially when working around chemistry, you will of course make every effort to practice safely. Keep stored chemicals up on shelves where little ones could not reach them. At the beginning of a developing session, pour out only what you need into graduates, and line them up in order of use. Use, dump, wash and put away. The fumes themselves are not overwhelming nor will they run anyone out of the house.

    Now, if you ever decided to use a sulphur-based sepia toner inside the house, she will have my support to toss you out into the snow. ;)
     
  9. JC1220

    JC1220 TPF Noob!

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    Odorless does not mean chemical fume free, at all.

    While many of today's ready made photo chemicals are less toxic you should always vent your dark room.

    As for the baby, don't you think you should err on the side of caution?
     
  10. selmerdave

    selmerdave TPF Noob!

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    Not saying I shouldn't, that's why I asked. Thanks for the comments.

    Dave
     
  11. 78thepp

    78thepp TPF Noob!

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    prop up a post, for everyone courage
     
  12. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    I worked in unventialted darkrooms for years with no ill effe .............wait, listen to the birds. They follow me around you know. When I'm asleep they sit in the dark corners of the room. I think they're going to stab my brother tonight.
     

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