When you get access to the darkroom, it may be confusing trying to remember all of the steps to develop film and paper, so we’re here to help. If you are not familiar with darkroom processing, PHOCUS offers both refresher and more instructional courses for those interested. Please do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Have fun experimenting!
The Baldeck Darkroom has all the equipment you need to develop 35mm and 120mm black and white film. The basic equipment and supplies you will need to develop black and white film are:
• Timer • Scissors
(we have attached pictures of each item)
1. When handling your film, it should be in the back room of the darkroom with the door closed and the lights off.
2. WITH LIGHTS ON – Set all of your equipment out on the ledge in the back room. Unpack the developing tank, lay the reel next to it. Take out your roll of film (which should be all wound in the roll). WITH THE LIGHTS OFF – Use the bottle opener to take off the end of the roll of film.
3. WITH LIGHTS OFF – Load the film. Use the bottle opener to take the end off the roll of film. Use the scissors to cut off the tab at the beginning of the roll so the end is even. Pick up the reel and feel for the large tabs, this is where you will insert the film. Once inserted about an inch, hold the reel and film in your right hand, and with your left, pull the film through until it holds. Then use the auto-load reel, twist the pieces back and forth to load the film. Once the whole roll is on the reel, make sure the cylindrical tube is placed on the bottom of the tank. Place the reel into the tank and onto the tube. Put the light-proof top piece on and lock it in place, and then put the cap on tight. Set the tank to the side.
4. WITH LIGHTS ON – Prepare the chemicals. Get out two measuring cups, one for the Developer and one for the Fix. Run the water until it is the correct temperature. Mix the developer, the ratio is on the tub below the sink. Put fix in a measuring cup as well, and set it aside.
5. Pre-wash film. Take off the tank’s lid, but keep the light-proof top on. Fill tank with water, agitate for 30 sec. Dump water down the drain. (TIP – agitating is not just shaking, you must invert the tank and occasionally tap it against the sink to dislodge bubbles.)
6. Develop Film. Pour the mixed developer into the the tank, agitate for one minute, and then 30 seconds every minute for the rest of the time (check the developing chart for exact times). Pour used developer down the drain.
7. Stop Bath. Fill tank with water to stop development, agitate for 45 sec. Dump water down the drain.
8. Fix. Pour fix into tank, agitate for 4 min. IMPORTANT – pour used fix in the receptacle provided and not into the sink (it can kill animals if you pour it down the drain).
9. Wash. Fill tank with water, agitate for 10 seconds, dump out, and repeat 5 times.
10. Photo Flo. Fill the tank with water, add a few drops of Photo Flo and agitate for 10 seconds. Now you can take off the light-proof top and pull the film out of the reel. Dip the film back in the water to coat it in the solution.
11. Hang Dry and Squeegee. Put the wet roll of film in the film dryer, using a film clip to hang it. You can use your fingers and carefully run them down the film to remove excess water.
A really good and detailed description with photographs can be found here.
When your film is done processing, you can print your negatives and make baller photographs to hang on your wall, give to friends, or mount on archive board and be all professional about it.
You are going to have two areas: wet area, where your trays and chemicals are, in the sinks on the left side of the darkroom (when you are facing the back); dry area, where your enlarger, negatives, and paper are, on the right side of the darkroom.
You need to set out all of your supplies (I’ve added pictures if you forgot what they look like):