DIY B&W Film Developing, save money and get better results

DIY B&W Film Developing, save money and get better results

It is strange that when technology moves forward, there are some people still seeking nostalgia or new experience.

From my experience conducting darkroom courses, about 80% of the participants were young people finding alternative mediums to digital photography.

However, the current scenario for traditional B&W medium has turned into a niche product. Though some of the products are still available and sold through specialist retailers, it is sold at a very much higher prices compared with the past.

One would expect that sending traditional B&W films to shops for developing has gone up very substantially. Sometimes, the negatives would be scratched, over , under developed or a variety of other problems. So what are the options opened to traditional B&W enthusiasts?

One of the best alternative is to DIY the film developing. It is not really that difficult and you can do it without having a darkroom. All you need to get is a changing bag.

Some of the FAQ for those who want to DIY film developing

  1. What equipment do I need?
    1. Changing bag (large)………………………..rm 90 to 100
    2. Developing tank ……………………………..rm  90 to 200
    3. Thermometer    (darkroom)…………………rm  40
    4. Measuring cylinder……………………………rm 30
    5. 3 Measuring jugs (kitchen) ………………….rm 30
    6. Negative sleeves (plastic) – 200 pcs……..rm 15
    7. PET Bottles ………………………………….  FOC
    8. Bottle opener ………………………………   FOC
    9. Scissors………………………………………  FOC
    10. Pegs or clips…………………………………  FOC

Total……………………………………………….rm  265 – 415

  1. What chemicals do I need?
    1. Developer (HC-110) cost varies                      rm 50
    2. Fixer (Ilford Rapid Fixer)                                    rm  50
    3. Stop bath (some use water as a stop)                –
    4. Wetting agent (some use dish liquid)                  –

Total                                                                               rm 100

  1. So what is the cost of developing per roll of film?
    1. I use Dilution H which works out to 100 rolls per 500ml of HC-110
    2. A 1 lit. bottle of Rapid Fixer can fix about 80 to 100 rolls of film
    3. So base on the costing it would take about RM1.00 per roll of chemical cost
  1. Is it difficult to develop B&W films?
    1. No, any one with some science lab knowledge and time can develop their own films without much difficulty
    2. It is very enjoyable developing your own film. There is always an anticipating moment waiting for the negatives to come out of the developing tank
    3. You can get consistent results after you get the hang of it.
    4. You can push or pull the film. Not many shops would do it for you.
  1. Are there any classes that teach B&W film developing
    1. Yes, I hold regular B&W film developing class
    2. The classes are usually held on a Sunday.
    3. It is a full day class with a street shoot in the morning followed by a film developing class in the afternoon and scanning of the developed negatives.
    4. This will give you a head start and demystify the whole film developing process.

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  1. Ken

    Hi,

    I’m interested to sign up for B&W film developing class.
    Would you mind to drop me an email of the details.

    Thanks.

    Ken

  2. hi~!

    I’m really new to film camera.. and really really want to learn how to develop my own film..

    so, i’m really interested to sign up for developing class both color or B&W..
    would you mind to give me more information on that?

    thanks,

    dee

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