Little Things in Life – Happiness

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My First Time…

… developing B/W film.

It was 3 Dec 2014.

I had just finished my 1st roll of KODAK Tmax-100 B/W film and since I had some free time after coaxing Evan to sleep, I decided to develop it. I had earlier bought my DIY B/W film developing setup and they were kept in a corner for a long time. It was finally time to use them.

I first prepared a basin of water with ice in it. This ‘cold bath’ would be used to bring down the temperature of the chemistry for film development. I am currently using Ilford Ilfosol-3 Film DeveloperIlford Ilfostop Stop Bath and Ilford Rapid Fixer.

Since I am only developing 1 roll of film, the amount required was 300ml for each chemistry and the ideal temperature would be 20oC (for this time and all future developing sessions in order to maintain a workflow standard).

While waiting for the chemistry to be ready, I went on to load my film onto the reel of my Paterson Universal Tank – Super System 4. I am using a Paterson Changing Bag to do so since I do not have the luxury of having a darkroom. Popping the lid off the film cassette was easily done with a Dot Line DLC Film Cassette Opener.

The next step would be to load the film onto the reel. I have watched videos online on how Paterson reel bracket system works and thought it should be as easy as ABC. However, that proved to be a challenge as the film dislodged (sort of) when I was nearing the end of the roll. I had to dismantle the reel and start all over again. Luckily, the dislodging issue did not happen a second time. Once the reels were inserted back in, and with the funnel component properly twist-locked in place, the developing tank was basically light-leak proof.

Now came the critical stage, because timing is EVERYTHING when it comes to film developing. I am using KODAK Professional Film App which allows you to key in the timing required for each step of the developing process.

For me, I used the following:

Developer: 5mins 30secs – First 30secs agitation, then agitation for the first 10secs every minute
Stop Bath: 30secs – Continuous agitation
Fixer: 5mins – First 30secs agitation, then agitation for the first 10secs every minute
Rinse: Full tank of tap water for 30 agitation rotations (Repeat 5 times)
LFN Wetting Agent: 2 drops into distilled water at room temperature, agitate for 30secs

During the rinse, I could already see images on the film and knew the developing session was a success. There was a sense of satisfaction and I remembered I actually skipped to show my wife the developed negatives before hanging them up to dry.

This was my 1st time developing B/W films and certainly won’t be my last. I am looking forward to my next few sessions.

Cheers and Keep Shooting (film)!