University of Sheffield Photo Soc

Developing Film

This is a process for B&W films only. Read through this completely before you start and think the process through, especially any points you don’t understand. As you enter, lock the door in case someone comes in, and tidy anything that is out so you have a clear work surface. You will need:

  • Your films
  • 1 Film spool
  • 1 Jobo Film Tank
  • 1 Centre column
  • 1 Lid
  • 1 Secondary lid
  • 1 Roller base
  • measuring cylinders
  • Scissors
  • Thermometer
  • Bottle opener

1. THE CHEMICALS

  1. Find out, either from the chart or the film box the development times for your chosen developer and its concentration.
  2. Find a suitable Film Developing Tank and Spiral. Adjust your spiral to the required film size (35mm, 120 etc).
  3. Check how much water is needed to cover this spool in the tank. This is written on the side of the tank.  Use the roller to use less chemical – the more money we save the more awesome stuff we can buy!
  4. Film Developer: Measure out your water part to the film developer in a measuring cylinder, such that it will cover the spool in the tank and check its temperature. Adjust your developing time accordingly.
  5. In a separate cylinder, measure out the chemical part.
  6. Pour your water into the other cylinder that contains the chemical part. Set aside.
  7. Stopper: See if there is some you can reuse. If so do not worry about measurements as the whole bottle will be used.
  8. If not: Measure out the required concentration of stopper into a measuring cylinder, such that it will cover the spool in the tank with the second hand stopper
  9. Fixer: See if there is some you can reuse. If so, pour into a cylinder, check it is sufficient to cover your spool.
  10. If not: Measure out your water part to the film developer in a measuring cylinder, such that it will cover the spool in the tank with the second hand fixer

10. In a separate cylinder, measure out the chemical part.

11.  Pour your water into the other cylinder that contains the chemical part. Set aside.

You should now have all your chemicals set out ready, and know the development time.

2. LOADING THE SPOOL

  1. Clear a space and place the Film, Bottle Opener, Scissors, Spiral and Tank in that space, in the order you will need them (film, bottle opener, scissors, spool, column, tank, lid.
  2. Get confident. Do a dry run with an old film if you are not confident, both in the light an in the dark.
  3. Turn off ALL the lights. ALL films are sensitive to red light. Red light is for printing only.
  4. Prise off the slightly dipped end of the film canister
  5. Bend out the metal to yield the film, then push the top of the film to get the film out.
  6. Holding the end of the film, remove the taper.
  7. Cut off the edges to this cut so it will run onto the spool smoother
  8. Holding the end with your thumb and finger, pick up the spool and feel for the leading edges and alignment them so they are square
  9. Draw the film over the spool and into the leading edges until you feel it under the ball-bearings
  10. Gently and slowly twist the spool and draw the film onto it, with your thumbs/fingers on the leading edges, and your thumbs/fingers guiding the film in.
  11. When you get to the end, cut of the film-spool at the end of the film.
  12. Twist the spool a few more times.
  13. Place it onto the centre column.
  14. Place this into the tank
  15. Place the lid on and turn until you hear it click.
  16. Turn the lights on.

You are now ready to develop your film.

3. DEVELOPING THE FILM

  1. Double check/go over your development times. Messing this up messes up a whole film, not just one print. It is also important to check the temperature of this solution, and to compensate the development time according to the chart if needed.
  2. Pour your film developer solution into the tank and start the timer when the last bit of liquid goes in
  3. Place the secondary lid onto the tank and press on firmly
  4. Place the tank on the rollers, and roll. THere should be about 1 and a half rotations per second, chaning directions every 10 seconds or so. Just keep rollin’ baby, for the full development time.
  5. When the timer finishes, pour  the chemical out of the tank into the sink – we use 1 shot developer that can’t be reused.
  6. Pour in the stop solution, and roll for about a minute. This is to stop the developer from developing the film any further.
  7. Pour the stopper into a jug, as it is reuasabel it will need to be put back into the bottle later.
  8. Pour in the fixer, and rotate for about 4 minutes following the same method as before.
  9. Once this is one, pour the fixer into a DIFFERENT jug
  10. Leave water running over the film for 5 minutes, to wash remaining chemicals off the film
  11. In a clean cylinder, add a tiny drop of soap and fill with water
  12. When the film has had 5minutes of washing. Remove the lid and empty any remaining water
  13. Slowly pour your soapy water into the tank
  14. Agitate slightly for 30s and then pour away

4. FINISHING THE FILM

  1. Take the spool out of the tank and twist the spool apart.
  2. Take the end of the film between your thumb and finger and hold high.
  3. Take a squeegee, and check that ther is no dirt or sharp parts on the rubber blades.
  4. Run the squeegee down the film, to remove water
  5. Take a clothes peg off the string behind the door, and clip this to the top of your film.
  6. Take another clothes peg, and clip this to the bottom of your film
  7. Hang your film on the string behind the door to dry
  8. Return the next day, carefully cut the film into strips of 6
  9. Place in negative holders

Congratulations! The film is now ready to be printed.

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