Developing my first film roll

TL:DR – I developed my first roll of film with a test roll of HP5, adjusting shutter speed to tell differences in exposure for the roll. #FilmIsNotDead.

Dev tank and spool for developing 120 film

I’d like to give a little shout-out to Andrew Claycomb, Justin Cary, and Dre Singer. I’ve been working on a few motion film projects over the years with Justin and he is constantly an advocate for shooting still or motion film. Andrew posted something a couple of weeks ago and since I’ve been shooting 120 film since September, I decided it’s important that I start developing my own film. Here are the basics (besides the camera and film): light tight space/tent, development tank, and development chemicals: developer, stop, fixer, and maybe a wetting agent.

Dev Tank in sink and stop bath in glass

I ran my Microphen developer at 1+1 (dev to water) at 68 f for 12 minutes and 30 seconds, inverting and agitating for the first minute and then every minute thereafter for 15 seconds-ish. I did not rinse film before, but you can, and then drained and poured in stop bath for 30 seconds while agitating. Drained that and then used fixer for 6 minutes while inverting and agitating dev tank. (Some know already that I’m really keen on agitation).

120 film negatives after developing, before drying. Clear fixer in glass.

I rinsed the film for 10 fills, inversions, and pours. And then I realized I didn’t have a wetting agent. Quick web search indicated some people use JetDry or a liquid detergent at a very low concentration (1-1000 or the like). So I mixed up wetting agent for that AND THEN I forgot to put it in the tank and started to unspool the film, so I ended up just lightly pouring the concoction over the film on both sides before hanging.

Film backing after putting film on spool in light tight room.

Then I let it dry for about three hours hanging small weights at the bottom of the strip to keep it from curling. Everything turned out good, although it did take me about 20 minutes to first spool the film within the tent. After that, everything else was just timed and it worked out well.

Putting negative on lamp shade to light it up.

Inverting the negative in Photoshop yields the photo.

The “photo”

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