Developing first film

General / 27 July 2018

*original post was published 14th January 2017.

Couple of days ago I have received a TLR (twin lens reflex) camera as a gift from my girlfriend. She bought me an old Mamiyaflex C2, made somewhere around 1960. It’s a fully mechanical camera made like a Swiss watch - no batteries or any digital parts.

Due to its old age and mechanical nature, the only way to test it is to shoot some film. I took a roll of 120 Ilford HP5+ 400 and used the lunch break at work to take some photos. But, because of the holidays, the only place that can develop B&W film was closed. Then I have decided to develop the film myself. Although I have never developed any film, there are a lot of guides on the internet, so I wrote down all the stuff needed for the process. I borrowed a Paterson tank from my friend Marina, bought all the chemicals I needed for the process and here are the results:

I was amazed by the results. Mamiyaflex lenses are probably the sharpest set of lenses I’ve ever tried (I have 3 analog cameras and at least 10 lenses and also a dslr) and the entire development process is really interesting. It adds a whole new level of fun to photography. I recommend anyone to try it.

Here is some technical info about the process:

Prewash: 1-2mins, distilled water

Developer: Kodak D76, dilution 1+1, 12mins, agitation first 10s every 60s

Stop bath: just a 3 full rinses with tap water, around 60-90s

Fixer: Fomafix, dilution 1+5 for 5mins, agitation for first 10s, every 60s

Wash: distilled water + a drop of “Taš”, local detergent for dishes

This blog post is not a tutorial or anything similar, I was so mind-blown by the whole process and a new camera that I decided to share my thoughts.

Now, back to CG :)