A painting of me

HP5+ vs. Ilfosol 3

   18 November 2008, early morning

My first roll of home developed B&W film hanging to dry.

You may recall Shima bought me a set of B&W film for my birthday, along with some darkroom time at ImageWorks. The film I went through fast enough, but I was lazy about actually developing it at ImageWorks. And then last week I learned that you can’t actually use the ImageWorks darkrooms to develop film — they have a fancy machine that develops film for you. Their darkrooms are meant for printing alone. You can get your film developed at ImageWorks, but it costs $7 a roll. Besides being a bit expensive, this seemed counter to the idea of Shima’s gift. So over the weekend I staked out supplies, and last night I picked up everything I needed to develop film at home.

Meterials in hand, I got to work. The only tricky part in the process is getting your exposed film from the canister onto the reels that go into the development tank. You need to do all of this complete darkness, or in my case, with your hands inside a darkroom change bag. I didn’t want to waste any film, so I didn’t practice doing any of this before hand. I picked a roll of HP5+ I shot recently, which I decided I’d be willing to sacrifice if I messed up: thankfully, I didn’t.

Developer, stop, fix and a bunch of water in between, and I was all done. The developer I bought, Ilfosol 3, is meant for processing slow to medium speed film. I was trying to develop HP5+ which I had pushed 2 stops. My choice of developer could have been better. The negatives I ended up with look underexposed. I’m going to try this all again, but will leave the developer in much longer.

The whole process went much smoother than I had thought. Now I just need a scanner.



  1. Does this mean you can start developing rolls of black and white film for me?

  2. Yeah, I can try developing the Delta 400 you left at my place. I have a crap load of chemicals I need to go through. I need to figure out a better way to actually cut the negatives up.

Don't be shy, you can comment too!

Some things to keep in mind: You can style comments using Textile. In particular, *text* will get turned into text and _text_ will get turned into text. You can post a link using the command "linktext":link, so something like "google":http://www.google.com will get turned in to google. I may erase off-topic comments, or edit poorly formatted comments; I do this very rarely.