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.
Al of that film development talk reminds me of that Robin Williams film One Hour Photo. Don’t know why…
You can do this. You have the skill and determination. Just don’t get discouraged by any setbacks – like the monobath chemicals not doing such a good job.
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