Self developing film? (Photo courtesy of O9k) You may have noticed a wee post on my blog where I lost my rag…  When provoked by outrageous scanning costs I made a rash decision and bought a film/slide scanner. Well, this week, I am working through the many, many numbers involved in the decision process to developing my own film!  How very exciting. Stop bath, C41, fixer, E6, B&W, developer, 38.5℃, stabiliser, 102℉, 3 bath, 6 bath, tetenal, bleach, blixer, Fuji hunt, Ilford…  Oh, the Places You’ll Go! This post is a little train of though, so bear with me. First up, there are the cost savings to consider.  From what I’ve figured out, there is an initial investment (I’ve been ebaying): Film Retriever/Cap Remover £5 Developing tank £15 Measuring Cylinders £10 Beakers £5 Funnels £3 Thermometer £2 Film Sleeves £1/page Pegs/Clips Timer Scissors To me that looks like about £40 to get started for basic film development - say black and white.  If you want to head into the heady and temperature sensitive world of colour film development, you’ll need someway of maintaining temperature.  Another post for another day, when I’ve built my Clive’s-Über-Awesome-Self-Electrocuting-Water-Bath. So lets say £40 to get started - but you’ll also need chemicals.  This is where my math gets a bit unmathematical. Let us say you’re developing 1 x 35mm film in a Paterson 4 System tank, you’ll need 400ml of finished/diluted chemical, per process.  I’ll try and price that now. Developer - £16/l, diluted 1:4, that equals 80ml, £1.28/film (throw away) Stopper - £10/l, diluted 1:19, that equals, £0.20/film (reusable) Fixer - £10/l, diluted 1:4, that equals,  £0.80/film (reusable) Wetting Agent - £10/l, a few drops a time, that equals, >£0.01/film Call that £2.30 of chemicals per 35mm film, if you get a good clean process and you use your chemicals to their fullest. If you’re rocking a 120 reel in that developing tank, which will require more volume, I think we end up at £3.45 per 120 film. Let me get this straight, for £40 outlay, and two-pound-phfirty per film, I end up with my own 1 hour B&W lab?!  I think that’s all the motivation I need.

Self developing film?

(Photo courtesy of O9k)

You may have noticed a wee post on my blog where I lost my rag…  When provoked by outrageous scanning costs I made a rash decision and bought a film/slide scanner.

Well, this week, I am working through the many, many numbers involved in the decision process to developing my own film!  How very exciting.

Stop bath, C41, fixer, E6, B&W, developer, 38.5℃, stabiliser, 102℉, 3 bath, 6 bath, tetenal, bleach, blixer, Fuji hunt, Ilford…  Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

This post is a little train of though, so bear with me.

First up, there are the cost savings to consider.  From what I’ve figured out, there is an initial investment (I’ve been ebaying):

  1. Film Retriever/Cap Remover £5
  2. Developing tank £15
  3. Measuring Cylinders £10
  4. Beakers £5
  5. Funnels £3
  6. Thermometer £2
  7. Film Sleeves £1/page
  8. Pegs/Clips
  9. Timer
  10. Scissors

To me that looks like about £40 to get started for basic film development - say black and white.  If you want to head into the heady and temperature sensitive world of colour film development, you’ll need someway of maintaining temperature.  Another post for another day, when I’ve built my Clive’s-Über-Awesome-Self-Electrocuting-Water-Bath.

So lets say £40 to get started - but you’ll also need chemicals.  This is where my math gets a bit unmathematical.

Let us say you’re developing 1 x 35mm film in a Paterson 4 System tank, you’ll need 400ml of finished/diluted chemical, per process.  I’ll try and price that now.

  • Developer - £16/l, diluted 1:4, that equals 80ml, £1.28/film (throw away)
  • Stopper - £10/l, diluted 1:19, that equals, £0.20/film (reusable)
  • Fixer - £10/l, diluted 1:4, that equals,  £0.80/film (reusable)
  • Wetting Agent - £10/l, a few drops a time, that equals, >£0.01/film

Call that £2.30 of chemicals per 35mm film, if you get a good clean process and you use your chemicals to their fullest.

If you’re rocking a 120 reel in that developing tank, which will require more volume, I think we end up at £3.45 per 120 film.

Let me get this straight, for £40 outlay, and two-pound-phfirty per film, I end up with my own 1 hour B&W lab?!  I think that’s all the motivation I need.