How to Develop your own Film at Home (feat a Paterson Tank + Ilford Developer)

Have you ever wanted to develop your own film at home but felt intimidated by the process? With the right equipment and a little bit of practice, developing your own film can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to take control of your creative process. In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps of developing your own film at home using a Paterson Tank and Ilford developer. From loading the film onto the reel to mixing the chemicals, we will cover everything you need to know to get started on your own film developing journey. Let’s dive in and discover the magic of developing your own film!






How to Develop your own Film at Home (feat a Paterson Tank + Ilford Developer)

Developing your own film at home can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to create high-quality images. With the right equipment and a little practice, you can produce professional-looking results in the comfort of your own home. This article will guide you through the process of developing your own film using a Paterson tank and Ilford developer.

Equipment Needed:

  • 35mm film
  • Paterson film developing tank
  • Paterson film developing reels
  • Ilford developer
  • Ilford stop bath
  • Ilford fixer
  • Thermometer
  • Measuring cup
  • Timer
  • Scissors
  • Film squeegee or clothesline

Step 1: Preparing the Film and Tank

Start by loading your exposed film onto the Paterson film developing reels in a dark room or changing bag. Cut the film leader to fit onto the reel and carefully wind the film onto the reel. Once the film is loaded onto the reel, place it inside the Paterson tank and seal it tightly.

Step 2: Mixing the Developer

Follow the instructions on the Ilford developer packaging to mix the developer solution with water at the correct dilution ratio. Make sure to use water at the correct temperature as specified by the developer instructions.

Step 3: Developing the Film

Fill the Paterson tank with the mixed developer solution and agitate the tank gently for the first minute. Tap the tank to dislodge any air bubbles and then agitate the tank for 10 seconds at the start of each minute during the developing process.

Step 4: Stop Bath and Fixer

After the desired development time has elapsed, pour out the developer solution and rinse the film with water. Fill the tank with the Ilford stop bath and agitate for 30 seconds. Rinse the film again with water and then fill the tank with the Ilford fixer solution. Agitate the tank for the recommended fixing time.

Step 5: Washing and Drying

Once the film has been fixed, rinse it thoroughly with water to remove any remaining chemicals. Hang the film to dry in a dust-free area or use a film squeegee to remove excess water before hanging. Once the film is dry, cut it into strips and store it in a protective sleeve.

Developing your own film at home can be a fun and rewarding experience. With a few key pieces of equipment and the right chemicals, you can create high-quality images that rival professional labs. Practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts aren’t perfect. Keep experimenting and refining your technique to achieve the best results.





Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What equipment do I need to develop my own film at home?

A: You will need a Paterson tank for developing the film, Ilford developer for processing the film, and a darkroom or film changing bag for loading and unloading the film.

Q: Can I use other types of tanks and developers for film development?

A: Yes, you can use other brands of tanks and developers, but make sure to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for best results.

Q: How long does it take to develop a roll of film at home?

A: The development process typically takes around 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the type of film and developer used.


I hope you find useful my article How to Develop your own Film at Home (feat a Paterson Tank + Ilford Developer), I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

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