Ultimate Guide to Developing Black & White Film At Home

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you're what is going on guys it's got it

from EFI's film and today I want to be

showing you everything that you need to

start developing your black and white

photos at home so this is everything I

use for my developing my black on my

film at home so if you're watching this

video I'm gonna assume that you have

never developed your own black and white

at home before and this is going to be

your first time actually giving it a go

or this is you can use this as a

shopping list as the kind of chemicals

or all everything else that you need to

start doing it at home yourself so in

essence there are three steps to

developing your exposed roll or black on

my film number one is you need to

develop it which this is why you're

looking at it you want this roll of film

developed step two is to stop the film

from being developed any more and

causing the film to just go black and

thirdly there is the fixer which fixes

the image to the negative so now that we

know that we can get on to what kind the

chemicals we actually need a walk and of

equipment we need so without any further

ado let's carry on with the video

because this was put in by editing goth

because of didn't think to mention this

so chemical wise you actually only need

two chemicals both also two of the ones

which are advised so the first on being

the developer this can be your developer

of choice I use this website called a

massive dev chart and from there you can

see which film that you've shot and

which developers can be used with it

it's a brilliant website excellent

resource I'll leave it link down below

but my go-to developer is coda HC 110 I

like this because you get a lot of rolls

from this one liter bottle and because

of this I find it quite cost-effective

so I use that for my black and white

plus it gives a nice punchy grain if

you've pushed your film which we'll get

into in a different video the second

chemical that you need which is optional

is a stock buff personally I use water

for my stock buff because it works just

as well but you need to run it under the

tap longer but at the same time it saves

on buying all of the chemical so it's

entirely up to you if you want to use

stop bath but it is recommended by most


I personally don't use it and I've not

had an issue not using it I just use

water instead

so the third chemical which you do

require is your fixer so basically

throughout the development process of

your film the film is currently blank

once it goes into the developer the

image comes up onto the negative the

stop bath then stops the image from

developing any further and the negatives

become on black and the fixer actually

fixes the image onto the negative thus

once the fix has been used on the

negative then that's it that image will

stay there forever and the fourth and

final chemical which again this one is

recommended but not required

it's called either photo flow or wetting

agent it's the exact same thing I

personally use Alfred's wetting agents

but Kodak's photo flow is the exact same

and what this is is developed stuffed

fixed and then it finally goes into a

wash I use this at the end of the wash

just to reduce any water marks from

staying on the film and drying on the

film and basically getting spots all

over so now that you know which

chemicals you need to buy and which ones

you don't which ones are just

recommended let's move on to the actual

equipment you will need to do the

measuring the developer and the loading

of the film and all I kind of good stuff

so for starters you will need something

to load your film into a development

tank with this can either be done in a

bathroom or a completely darkened room

with all the windows covered but for

convenience and to be able to do it in

the daylight I use this this is a

darkroom bike this isn't a massive like

huge darkroom bag it's just the average

sized one well basically what this is is

it's got two slits for your arms as you

can see here and as if at the bottom so

you can port your film you're developing

tank your reels your everything else

that you require into the darkroom bike

to load your film second is my actual

developing tank this is a Patterson tank

this is a Patterson 3 real tank but I've

only actually got two reels for the

minute because I gave one to a friend

yada yada yada

these reels or what

we'll load your film on to to actually

develop the film and once you've loaded

it onto the reel and put it in the tank

and screwed the lid on that is then

light tight and you can develop your

film without needing to be in the dark

and fumbling around for chemicals in the

dark the third thing that I use is a

standard measuring jug just a 1 litre

measuring jug nothing fancy nothing

nothing fancy about it or all it's just

a measuring jug get these pretty much

anywhere third is a funnel which you

will see why in a minute when I actually

developed some film same again just a

standard formal nothing fancy about it

you can probably pick the two of them

off together a digital thermometer to be

able to keep track of the temperature of

your chemicals a 1 litre black bottle

which I got a set of three of these off

eBay for a couple of quid so if you want

to do that use that if not you can use

anything that's any kind of one liter

bottle as long as it's like tight and

finally free equipment I use a medical

measuring syringe no needle on it just

the syringe and this is used for getting

the exact amount of chemicals out of the

developer so now I'm going to show you

guys how to load your film onto a real

if this is for paths and reels will work

in most other 35 mil developing reels as

well so for this first demonstration

I'll show you how to do it with the film

sticking out of the canister and then

afterwards I will show you how to do it

with this which is basically a film

opener and then show you how to do it

that way

so my first bit of advice is once you

take your reels out of the Patton tank

is to make sure that you have them at

this size which is the 35 mil size and

then give them a quick blast with a

hairdryer just for about ten maybe five

or ten seconds but what that does is it

softens up the plastic just enough and

heats the ball bearings up which are

just in here it heats not just enough so

that the film goes on nice and smoothly

so I'm just gonna do that now off-camera

and as I say all that does is just

basically it prevents the films from

snagging bearing in mind all of this has

to be done within this darkroom by an

empty developing tank the spool of the

middle of it which the real sets

like soap the reel itself the lid of the

development tank and of course you're

all self so I do recommend buying some

really cheap film and trying this

outside of your darkroom bike before

doing this but I'll show you what you've

got to do on your reels there is two

little notches what you want to do is

you want to lead your film onto these

notches see these notches just here

these two you want to wind your film

onto these like so so it's gone over the

ball bearings so it's gone over both

ball bearings and now once the films on

like this in the dark

what I suggest is pull the film out a

bit and then you've backwards and

forwards at once inside and the film

will wind itself on that's the beauty of

these reels as you can see the films one

bits off on so I'm gonna pull it out to

the end as you can see it's winding

itself in nice and easy and that's why

we do well that's why I do use the

hairdryer on these reels is it prevents

the film from getting stuck stuck or


on the ball bear and so what I'm gonna

do now is gonna wind this film back off

the reel and I'll show you how I do it

with the opener so as you can see in

this situation the film is all the way

around back into the canister so this is

where we'd use this as I say it's just

it's basically a bottle opener you can

actually use bottle openers but this is

a specialized one which it only costs a

couple quid so it's worth getting if you

do want and your film all the way about

him so we're gonna do is we're gonna get

the end of the film canister at the knob

at the top hook it round as you can see

like that and just simply some of them

do take a bit of force pop the top off

like that take it around to the other

side take this little metal part off and

then burn the mind this is all in the

dark take the film out keep it in mind

to try and only touch the film by the

sides or by the edges sorry

like so and then from here in the

darkroom bag we can let go of this boss

mouth because it'll stay wild round

itself find the knobs on the reel and

stay them again just whine on so when

you get to the end of the roll some

films are attached to the taken spool

like this one where it's just attached

and others are just taped on some people

carry scissors in the darkroom bag

whereas I prefer just to grab the end of

this film and just pull it so as you can

see the film is wound on all the way

around this little edge of it if that's

the health it doesn't matter because

there has not been exposed anyway so

from there what you want to do is you

want to get your middle spool pop your

reel through so it's sat at the bottom

but that inside you're developing tank

put the lid on the tank and tail it to

the right until you hear the click like

so once that's been done you can take

this out of the darkroom bag because

that's no longer needed so the purpose

of this video I'm going to be developing

a roll of ilford hp-5 which I bought

holds myself which is that's why it's

not in its regular canister but this is

a roll of HB 5 so to be able to do this

we need to know how much chemistry we're

going to need for developing it how long

it's going to take and then all the

other times I'll be able to give you as

we go along so on the bottom of your

putts and develop and tank it actually

tells you exactly how much chemistry you

need for an individual roll film so in

this instance for this specific tank if

you look on the bottom here it says that

we need 290 milliliters of at least

water to cover that roll of film so it's

always advised to go a little bit above

this so I always put 300 milliliters in

if I'm just developing one single roll

that way at least you can guarantee that

the film will be 100% covered by

chemistry and water if it's not then

you'll have uneven development and your

film will not come out so I'm gonna go

load my farm in the darkroom bag

our developer and our fixer and then

we'll actually get on to developing the

role so we know that we need three

hundred milliliters of at least water or

chemistry to fill up this roll of film

so what I'm gonna do now is I want to go

over to massive dev chair

once again I'm going back to this

website just so we can see exactly how

long we need to develop the film for and

how much chemistry we need so from the

drop-down on the left here I'm going to

select Alfred hp-5 and on the developer

I'm gonna go down to HC 110 and click

search from here you can see we have all

the different times and all the

different ISO s which the film can be

shot at and can be developed up I always

go with dialouge in Bakke because it's

one I've always used and people rather

than myself have recommended it saying

that we're going to be developing for

five minutes at 20 degrees centigrade

which is what I'll be going for and if

we click on the little notes born next

way we can see that that actually means

that dilution B is 1 to 31 so from there

we don't have to do any math this

website does it all for us so down here

we go on to volume mixer on the left

hand side and where it says nine here we

just change that to 31 and we want 300

milliliters of water because we're only

doing one roll of film and from there we

can see that we need exactly nine

milliliters of developer for 291

milliliters of water so basically we

only need 9 ml of chemistry within the

actual drug trade after Mickey chemicals

and then we'll start the developing

process this one's only five minutes so

it's nice and easy and quick welcome to

the bathroom it's quite a hurry in here

so apologies for that but basically as

we see him from massive dev chart we

need 300 milliliters of 20 degrees water

this is where the thermometer comes in

handy so we're just gonna switch that on

and 100 from the cold tap and we're

going to fill up just underneath 300


so on the on the thermometer you can see

that it's corn at 19 degrees centigrade

so I'm going to do is I'm going to empty

out a little bit of the cold water and

add a little bit of half and we're just

gonna keep going backwards and forwards

with this until we hit twenty degrees so

as you can see we've got the water down

to 22 well up to 20 degrees 0.2 which is

that's absolutely fine and it in between

0.5 degree either way is usually

acceptable you won't you won't see much

of a difference so with that now that

we've got the water the temperature

we're gonna add the developer so let's

say I use HC 110 and we need nine

milliliters so for that what I'm going

to do is we want to take the syringe and

fill it up to nine milliliters from

everything that's in here

so now that we've got our 9 mil of

developer we're simply going to squirt

it in to the water so there's a couple

of ways that you could mix this up you

could use a spoon you could use

something like that but the method that

I like to use is to just twist it round

with your with your thermometer and also

use the syringe to lift some water out

and squirt it back in which creates some

bubbles within the actual land within

the mixture making sure that it's all

mixed together as you can see I did this

a few times and once that settles that's

ready to use so some of you guys are

probably wondering what about the fixer

we've got the developer but we haven't

got any fix already the thing is we fix

it is that it can be reused so with that

being in mind this is my bottle of fixer

this why I was saying we have the black

bottle your fixer is done with a one to

four dilutions same again use massive

dev jar and you can make a leaf there

out of the stuff and you can reuse if

maybe 7 or 8 rolls so because of that

I'm not going to be showing you how to

make sure you fix her because it's the

exact same as your developer just with a

different chemical and as I say it's a 1

to 4 if you use a nil food stuff so

that's 200 milliliters of fixer going

into the bottle and 800 milliliters of

water into the bottle mix it up fix is

done so because of that because we've

got both chemicals ready let's go

develop so now that we're ready to

develop I've got my tank here with the

film in got me developer I've also got a

timer up on here on the computer the

thing that you need to remember is all

these times are gonna be the same except

for the actual development time so what

the score is is this takes 5 minutes to

develop then we give it a minute for the

stop buff and then we give a 5 minutes

fix in the film and then a 5 minute wash

so I had you take the film I use this

which is the twiddle stick the very

technical term for it is the twiddle

stick those on the top

and the twist around the film nice and

simple so as I get to the bottom of

pouring this in I'm gonna click start on

my time on the screen and then how'd you

take for the first 15 seconds and then

agitate every for 10 seconds every

minute and that's pretty much it

it's that simple so I'm gonna walk

through it now so in goes the developer

I'll speed this up click start on the

timer and then agitate one way for five

seconds and then the offers away for

five seconds give the bottom a couple of

taps to get rid of any air bubbles at

the bottom then leave it to sit and wait

for the next minute to take long it is

really that simple

so approach in the first minute it's

currently 57 seconds so now that it gets

to one minute as I say same again just a

head you take for five seconds one way

and then add you take four five the

opposite way

once that's done a couple of taps on the

bottom so not quite sure if you can see

this but we currently have four minutes

and 50 seconds so as it gets to like the

last five seconds we're going to pour

the developer back into this jug to then

dispose of the chemicals either in like

cat litter or something like that but

we're our five minutes right so that's

the developer done what I usually do is

I leave this time of ticking along

walking to the bathroom and have my

water so we're gonna go do that all in

one take so apologies if the lighting

changes or it gets very dark or

something like that I'm going to move my



right so we're just gonna use cold water

just give the fair amount just enough so

that you know for a fact that it will be

covered you can even feel the weight

difference as well and we're just gonna

leave that for a minute so now that

we're approaching that turn we're gonna

go back into the bathroom and we don't

have to do anything special with this we

don't have to dispose of it properly and

it because it's it is just water so feel

free to just sink it make sure that all

the water is out so same again with the

fix that I don't big I'm not exactly

with this at all I just put an offer in

so I know that the film is covered but

we are gonna do is we're gonna reset the

timer back to zero because this takes

five minutes

so same again I'm gonna fill this up to

roughly about halfway so I know that the

film is definitely covered

and start the development and don't be

like me and leave your agitation stick

in the bathroom so what we're gonna do

is we're gonna agitate this for 10

seconds every 30 seconds so yeah we're

gonna develop this for five minutes

have you taken the film every 30 seconds

so the minute we're at 1 minute and 10

seconds once you get to 1 minute 30 will

develop it will agitate for another 10

seconds so this one is a bit more

hands-on bit less of a you know in the

middle kind of I don't know the way it

is what's the word a little bit less

multitasking when you do in the fixer

it's a bit more of a pay attention to a

kind of thing but still at the bottom a

few times get rid of their mobiles

so this would be our last agitation

after five minutes once this is done

we've got the fun Isles and in the in

the bottle ready for when the time is up

we'll be able to throw the developer

back into the bottle and I've actually

put a towel on the floor just in just in

case of any overspill so we're gonna

take our bottle with the funnel in and

we're just gonna pour

so from this stage you can actually take

the lid off and see if you have any

images all that's left to do now is to

wash the film just to get rid of all the

chemicals and above any residue of the

chemicals all right so now what we're

gonna do is we're going to wash the film

and this is going to take five minutes

it's advised to do you've do it for long

yet but I personally use five and it's

been fine for me so I'm gonna twist the

lid to the left pop on the lid off you

can have a quick sneak peek at your roll

see if there's any images there but now

from here what I do is I get the shower

head if you haven't got a shower head or

a regular tap will do and I just turn

the cold water on and just leave it

running under that

leave it Ronin let it overflow that's

all fine and then come back in five


I've need to lay down so now that the

five minutes is up what we're gonna do

you're gonna MPL to all the water that's

in here open up our weapon agent or

photo flow if that's what you want to

use and we're going to use just a couple

of drops we only need the tiniest bit as

you can see not a lot this stuff will

last you for ages

now from here we're gonna fill this back

up to just about cover the roll as you

can see it's getting a bit bubbly and

turn the tap off now what we're going to

do is we want to swill the film around

in this solution of wetting agents and

just water so when you pull the reel out

it will be covered in bubbles that's

absolutely fine that's what the white

agent is there for so with the rest of

this wet nage and what we're going to do

is we're going to hold hold are

developing real by the middle spool bit

and pour the last of this wetting agent

over the film making sure to get it in

all the different bits

so now that that's done I'm gonna take

you to the shower or if you've got a

shower care and a hook or something like

that now your film is ready to dry and

just hang it up on a clothes hanger with

some clothes bags and then just hang the

roll to dry then you can come back maybe

two hours later once it's dried and

you've got a developed roll of film so

anyway guys that is how you develop your

black and white film at home I tried to

make this tutorial as in-depth both as

simple as I possibly could

hope you guys were able to follow along

if you've made it this far please

consider giving this video a thumbs up

it helps me out a lot if it helps you

out to the point where you went and

developed your own film let me know

about it either down in the comments

below or DM me on instagram because if

you guys have used this to develop your

own film let me know that would be

amazing if you guys use this video to

actually like go out there and develop

your own film so let's say if you

enjoyed it leave me a comment like the

video even consider subscribing anyway

all that YouTube stuff you guys know

what to do it's been Garcia from

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guys lay that peace out