Last August, I blogged about a self-improvement goal for my 2022 photography endeavors. I wanted to try to develop my own film.
Hear me out. I appreciate all the work that my pro labs of choice have performed for me over the years. But McGreevy Pro Lab dropped slide film (E-6) processing last year, and Dwayne’s Photo in Kansas has a two to three week turnaround developing time.
So if I want to keep shooting film, I need to put in the sweat equity to develop film.
A few days ago, I purchased a Paterson universal developing tank on Amazon. With it came reels for developing two 35mm rolls, or one 120-size roll. A good start.
And yesterday, after receiving a rebate on a set of four new Goodyears for my car, I applied that rebate to purchasing Cinestill DF96 Developer and Fix Monobath for Black and White Film. Essentially it’s one chemical, super-easy for beginners like me.
Now comes the preparation. Before the Cinestill monobath arrives, I have to practice loading and unloading film in this tank. I’ve got old, expired film that I can use for practice, then I have to use more old, expired film to load the tank IN THE DARK.
But essentially, if I can make this happen, then at least I can shoot straight black and white film and develop it myself. And that’s a good start for me.
Of course, I could completely back myself up in doing this – take two cameras, one with B&W film, one with color film – on my photo walks. Shoot with one, shoot with the other. Send the color film off to the pro lab, and try to develop the black and white film myself. Definitely worth a try. Don’t you think?
I’ll certainly keep you all updated on the process.
Fingers crossed. Here we go.