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How I Develop Color Film at Home



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the thing that I get asked most about to

make a video on is how I develop color

film at home I guess a lot of people

start off developing black and white

maybe in school or with a friend but

nobody ever seems to make the bridge to

color and I don't really know why that's

the case I actually find color film

easier to develop them black and white

the development times are much shorter

and the developing time for any color

film is exactly the same it just varies

depending on what chemical you're using

so I thought I would show you how I

develop my film there are a couple

things you're gonna need obviously and

the first is a developing tank I bought

mine for about 30 bucks I think and I'll

have linked in the description to where

you can buy everything this developing

tank allows you to pour liquids in and

out without being in the dark which is

super helpful for developing at home you

obviously have to load your film in the

dark but I'll talk more about that later

you can totally take this thing apart it

has a rubber lid at the top which makes

it waterproof for agitating it then has

this cap that twists off and this is

what lets you pour chemicals in and out

without exposing your film to life and

then there is the film reel itself and

this is where you're gonna wind your

film on you can get these tanks in

different sizes I just have the smallest

one it holds two rolls of 35 or one roll

of 120 the second thing you'll need is

obviously a c41 kit I use this kit by

uni color it comes with four packets of

chemicals the first is developer then

the second are Blix a and Blix B and

you'll mix these into the same container

and the last is the stabilizer the

recommended amount is eight to 12 rolls

I actually use this for about 25 I think

as long as you're careful with not

your chemicals too much and you use

clean water to mix your chemicals you

shouldn't have a problem the next thing

you're gonna need is a thermometer

because you need to control the

temperature of your chemicals when

you're developing make sure your

thermometer is waterproof mine is not

and it's kind of annoying I have to try

to not get it wet it's the only one they

had left at the store so and then

finally you'll need some bottles I just

have these plastic black bottles

depending on what size chemical kit you

need obviously the size of the bottles

will vary I have a 1 liter kit so I

bought 4 1 litre bottles I just have one

extra because they break sometimes but

you only need three that's it for the

materials you can go ahead and mix your

chemicals with water this obviously

depends on what kit you have and it's

just pouring them into water and

stirring the way that these tanks work

is that you have to load the film in the

dark what I do is I go into my bathroom

which is a completely dark room but you

can get a dark fabric bag if you don't

have a dark bathroom the film reels are

really easy to load you kind of just

insert the film and you twist it and it

spools it on for you so it's really easy

to do in the dark it's definitely worth

practicing if you haven't already

exposed roll of film once you get in the

dark it gets surprisingly difficult even

though it's just a simple twist process

it doesn't always work perfectly so I

would say just practice it once or twice

the hardest part about developing color

films yourself and I think this is what

deters most people from trying it is

heating the chemicals the developer

needs to be exactly a hundred and two

degrees Fahrenheit and I do this by just

running hot water over it

bathtub I kind of put the chemicals in

this container and just let the water

run and obviously you'll use the

thermometer for checking the temperature

the Blix can be within about 10 degrees

of 102 and then lastly the fixer can

just be room temperature this doesn't

need to be heated up role that I'm

developing is just a 35-millimeter role

that I shot for fun these photos aren't

too serious although it is a really cool

film that my friend Allen brought me

from Japan I believe it's called Fuji

industrial the box is all in Japanese it

so I can't read it but I'm interested to

see how this looks the first thing you

do once you have your film loaded is to

wash your tank and film I would try to

get the rinse water as close to a

hundred and two degrees as possible you

can rinse for about a minute and then

just pour that water out make sure that

your developer is next to you ready to

go at 102 degrees and you can pour this

in and start a timer

after I poured it in I usually like to

agitate for about fifteen or thirty

seconds then every 30 seconds you want

to agitate for five seconds

this chemical needs to be in contact

with the film for three-and-a-half

minutes the time here is what determines

whether you push or pull your film which

is basically like over or under exposing

but in the development process after

three and a half minutes equal to pour

out your developer put this back in the

bottle because unlike black and white

you can reuse color developer after the

developer is out of the tank you can go

ahead and pour in the Blake's similar

process you agitate for the first 15

seconds and then for five seconds every

thirty Seconds

this process takes six and a half

minutes and honestly this is the

chemical that smells the worst and is

the most toxic so I would make sure you

have an open window nearby and maybe

even a fan blowing once you're finished

with this go ahead and pour the blix

back into the container you also reuse

this in the future the next step is to

wash your film and at this point you

actually can expose the film to light

it's no longer light-sensitive so if

that makes washing it easier then that's

not a problem I wash for about three

minutes I pour in some water shake it

around the tank pour it back out and do

that a couple more times the step isn't

too specific just make sure that the

water that's coming out of your tank is

completely clear the fixer is super

quick it actually only takes about 30

seconds to a minute you can go ahead and

pour this in and agitate for the first

15 seconds

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once that's done you can go ahead and

pour this back in the bottle as well and

you can go ahead and wash your film for

the final time again I'm just pouring

water into the tank and shaking it

around and pouring it back out make sure

you're thorough with this process

because otherwise you will get marks on

your film when it dries so once you're

done washing you can go ahead and

actually remove the tank from the reel

I know it's tempting to look at all your

negatives at this point but I would just

hang your film to dry because this is

when it's most prone to collecting dust

and that will show up on your scans I

just hang mine to dry in my room with a

couple clips and I hang it from the

ceiling it usually takes about an hour

or two hours to dry depending on a bunch

of things but after this you can go

ahead and cut your film put it in

archival sleeves and scan it if you want

to know how I scan my color negative

film I made a video on that as well I'll

leave it at the end or in the

description if you're extremely worried

don't do this your first time on a

precious roll of film that you spend a

ton of time shooting if you want to see

samples of color film that I've

developed in the past you can check out

my Instagram or my website I'll leave

them both linked below

I'd say nine out of ten photos on there

I've developed myself and the colors

always come out great I'm not sure what

deters people from trying color negative

film but I would definitely give it a

shot it's really fun and it makes the

process of film photography even more

rewarding honestly that's it for this

video it's really simple to develop

color film yourself and I would

encourage that you try it that's it for

this video peace

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