Steps Of Developing Film Negative
From the box, the film came in, obtain the film processing time for the developer that you will be using Example: the time in minutes, for Kodak’s D -76 at a concentration of 1 part stock developer to 1 part water – 1:1
1. Load Film
Line up all of the equipment on your counter or table for easy access….film reel and film tank with all of its parts; scissors; hook-type bottle opener. Remember, you will be doing the film loading incomplete darkness-no safelights! Don’t touch the exposed surface of the film with your fingers. No matter how clean you think your fingers maybe, there is oil on your skin that will mark your film. If you must touch the film, grasp gently across the wide part of the film with your thumb and index finger.
Turn off the darkroom lights, and then pry off the flat end of the 35mm film magazine with a hook-type can opener. Push the film carefully out of the magazine, by pushing on the spindle end of the magazine. With the lights still off, locate your scissors and carefully cut off the tapered leader, then cut the end of the film to a smooth arc and insert the end into your film development spool until the film’s sprockets are firmly engaged by the ball bearings of the spool.
Development tank and spools are plastic and are made by “Paterson”…loading the film is easy, – Still in complete darkness, crank the 2 sides of the reel back and forth in opposing directions, until the film is completely drawn into the spool. Your type of spool may be different – read the directions that came with the product.`
A variation of this process is as follows…. while rewinding, you can feel when the film disengages from the camera’s take-up reel – stop rewinding at this point, your film leader is still protruding from the film magazine. Having the leader accessible rather than wound back into the magazine allows you the advantage of starting the film into the development spool while the room light is still on. As mentioned above, cut off the tapered leader with scissors, and then cut the end of the film to a smooth arc. With the darkroom light still on, engage the film sprocket
holes into the reels.
2. Turn off all lights including safelights.
You are now in total darkness. Now that you have the lead end of the film engaged in the development, spool crank the 2 sides of the development reel back and forth in opposing directions, stopping occasionally to pull a few more feet of film from the magazine don’t let the film touch anything, floor etc. as you will end up with dust on the film surface) and then resume cranking the spool until the film is completely drawn in. When you come to the end of the roll, while still in the dark, find your scissors, and feeling for the junction of the end of the film and the
magazine, cut across the film to release it from the magazine. Crank the spool a little to ensure that the end of the film is into the spool. When you have accomplished the loading of the film onto the development spool, place the film spool properly into your development tank, ensuring that all of the parts are in the proper place gasket etc. Once the tank is light-tight you can turn on the room light and you are ready to proceed with development.
3. Measure Chemicals
Usually, 10 ounces of chemical, per roll Measure out the required chemicals….Your tank instructions should give you the correct volume of chemistry that is required. Usually, the film is developed in Kodak’s D-76 film developer diluted to a concentration of 1:1 1 part stock solution to 1 part water – this gives a finer-grained image). Dilute the stop bath at approx. 1:31 pale yellow if you are using “indicator” stop bath and a 1:4 dilution for your fixer. We usually measure out 10 ounces of each solution that will be used in the process and pour them into 3 jars so that they are ready for use developer, stop bath, fixer).
4. Correct Temperature
Make sure that all chemicals are at 20 degrees Centigrade 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The most critical here is the developer – the other chemicals maybe a few degrees above or below. If your developer is above or below the 20-degree centigrade mark, you may adjust your development time by 30 seconds for each degree centigrade difference. Example: If your temperature is 21 degrees, then subtract 30 seconds from your total development time – If your temperature is 19 degrees, and then add 30 seconds to your total development time. This compensation will work effectively in the range of 17 degrees to 23 degrees Centigrade.
5. Start Development
Start your timer and rapidly pour the developer into the tank, tighten the lid and give the bottom of the tank 2 firm raps on a hard surface…this will dislodge any air bubbles that are attached to the film’s surface.
If you have a tank that can be inverted without the solution spilling out….agitate, continuously for the first minute of the development process by inverting the tank back and forth, Inversion interval of approx. 1 second then agitate for 5 seconds at 30-second intervals until the last minute of development where you will revert back to continuous agitation for the remainder of the development time. Between agitations intervals rotate the tank one-half turn, – this will help to ensure even development.
If your tank cannot be inverted, agitate by sliding the tank back and forth over a distance of about 10 inches at a rate of two cycles per second during the agitation intervals. Rotate the tank through about one-half turn between agitation intervals. Everyone has their own particular quirks in the way in which they develop their film. People agitate their film during development more or less vigorously or more or less frequently than you might. Hence, their negatives will not be the same as yours. The best way to obtain consistency is to use the same type and speed of film for a few months and always develop the film exactly the same! You should then end up with negatives that are fairly close to each other in density.
Too much agitation=overdevelopment darker negatives and also streaks in the negatives.
Too little agitation=under development lighter negatives
7. End Development
Five seconds before the development time is finished, take the cap off of the tank that still has a top and is still light-proof, and dump all of the solution down the drain or into a silver recovery device if you have one.
8. Stop Bath
Immediately pour in the stop bath and agitate continuously for 30 seconds. …pour out and discard.
9. Fixer – also called Hypo
Add fixer…..agitate continuously for the first 30 seconds, and then at 30-second intervals for 3 to 5 minutes with a fixer made from liquid concentrate, diluted at 1:4. When fixing is finished, pour the fixer into a plastic jug that you have labelled as “working fixer”. This fixer can be used to fix papers and can be used over and over before it will become exhausted. Fixer will last about 6 months in a half-full stoppered bottle.
10. Water Rinse – If using the optional, Hypo Clearing Agent
Rinse the film in the tank with running water at 65 to 75 F for 30 seconds. Add Hypo Clearing Agent solution diluted 1:4 and agitate for the first 30 seconds and then at 30-second intervals for 1 to 2 minutes. See wash duration times in the next step.
11. Water Wash
Remove the top of the tank and fill the tank with running water at 65 to 75 F and let the water overflow. wash Duration if not using Perma Wash or Hypo clearing agent- 20 to 30 Minutes
in running water that is fast enough to provide a complete change of water every minute. Wash duration after using hypo clearing agent perma wash – 5 minutes – each time the running water overflows the tank, dump it out and then let it refill again.
12. Wetting Agent
When washing is finished, add 2 drops of “Kodak Photo-Flo” to the tank full of water….agitate for 5 seconds and leave in solution for 30 seconds. Remove from reel and hang in a dust-free area to dry overnight. Photo -Flo is important, if you don’t use it, you may end up with water spots on your dried film.
13. Dry the Film
Hang film in a dust free area of your darkroom overnight using plastic clamps.