Where to develop!!!

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by JonathanBlu, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. JonathanBlu

    JonathanBlu TPF Noob!

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    I have been learning photography for about 8 months with a point and shoot digital camera, which worked for a while, but recently I acquired an old 35mm Minolta and now I'm more interested in developing and printing my own B&W's than I am in pointing and shooting with my digital.

    What I was wondering is where can someone like me just learning how to develop, develop my film? Setting up a darkroom where I live is pretty much out of the question, and I was curious what alternatives there were.
     
  2. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, if you are mainly interested in developing your own B&W film, you don't need a dark room. A dark room with an enlarger is used for making prints from your negatives.

    You can develop your film at home, easily. The only time you need total darkness is to remove your film from its canister and loading it onto a reel. Once it's been wound into the reel and placed into a developing tank, you can do the rest at your kitchen sink! Sitting comfortably on the floor in a closet at night (to ensure no light leaks) or using a good quality changing bag will suffice.

    If you're not interested in developing your film, you can jump online to search for local pro labs. Get a phone number and tell them what you're looking for - film development, a contact sheet, whatever. There are also mail order labs out there who can do very good work.

    You can also check out a local college or university to see if they have darkrooms and adult photography classes, and learn to do this at home. If you learn darkroom, you may be able to get access to it periodically to do some printing.

    It's a wonderfully liberating thing to learn - developing your own film. Once you have the negatives, you can scan them and still use those files in PS to print from home, if you end up with no darkroom access.

    Of course, if you end up bitten by the bug, there is no known cure. ;) You'll be dragging around a large format camera within months! :lol:
     
  3. JC1220

    JC1220 TPF Noob!

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  4. JonathanBlu

    JonathanBlu TPF Noob!

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    Wow thanks a lot! This is very helpful :)
     
  5. Hawaii Five-O

    Hawaii Five-O My alter-egos have been banned. :( Now I must be

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    I'm happy I found this thread! I might have to try developing my own b&w film! I have a roll Kodak TX that i want developed, but it always cost so much to have it developed and it has to be sent away for like a week or so.

    I developed film in my photo class, but never thought of being able to do it at home heh. The tricky thing about rolling film onto a reel is, if the developing film touches itself, it will make burn spots on your pictures. I would probably get a really cheap roll of film , unwind it, and practice rolling it on to the reel with out looking at it, until you can roll it on without the film touching.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2008
  6. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Getting the film onto the reels is probably the biggest challenge when learning. But all it takes is practice. I agree with your idea of taking a cheap or out of date strip and practicing in the light. Once you start to get a feel for it, do it in the light without looking at your hands. Once you can successfully do this, you're ready to shoot a test roll (nothing important) and load and develop at home.

    I was initially taught with steel reels, and fumbled so much I bought my own plastic. They were much easier for me. I'll also never forget my darkroom instructor loading his film on steel reels and taking us through the developing steps - only to have the film stick together as you described and ruining several frames. It was a pretty convicing argument to run get myself the plastic ones. :lol:
     
  7. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There is a Sticky in this here forum about different peoples processes. I have a tutorial section for it on my website (below). You can really develop anywhere. Running water handy would be preferred but all you really need is a slop bucket.
     
  8. JonathanBlu

    JonathanBlu TPF Noob!

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    I have just developed my first two rolls and much to my surprise, I actually got it right and achieved some results. Fortunately there was only one spill and that was water. The film is hang drying in my basement bathroom as I write this now. I just want to thank everyone here who had any advice, i learned a lot from reading the posts on this site!

    Now however I'm not sure how to look at my negatives since I don't have an enlarger or a scanner, but that is for another day!:D
     

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