Reddit mentions: The best darkroom chemicals

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u/pale_blue_is · 1 pointr/analog - you can probably get 8 - 12 rolls out of this before it's used up. You'll need a lot misc supplies for at home dev; the more you do it the more items you "realize" you need. My current list:

  • patterson tank (obviously) with reels

  • high temperature accurate (105+ degrees) thermostat

  • 3 1 liter amber bottles (for color dev, B&W requires different chems/bottles)

  • graduated cylinders

  • distilled water (not required, but strongly recommended to keep film clean as possible and without watermarks)

  • rubber gloves (keeps hands safe. I have sensitive hand skin so for C-41 these are required personally, but if you're careful and have strong and healthy hands this might not be required)

  • clothes hangers to hang film to dry

  • can/bottle opener to open film

  • timer

  • film sleeves to store negatives

  • (recommended) a jug to store used chemicals to dispose of at a chemical plant. I don't recommend dumping them down the sink. If you're gonna use old processes in a new world, best to do it responsibly.

    I probably missed something but that's all I can think of. Watch Ted Forbes' video on at - home C-41 dev to get a better idea of the routine. Hope this helps. I estimate I spent somwhere between 30-70 on the whole thing, but it's definitely worth it versus the 10 dollars per roll I have to pay at a lab.

    You also have to, though, factor in scanning. I have a scanner at my College's film lab that they let me use, but if you don't have access to one that's something else to consider. If you don't care too much about quality, most libraries have printers with decent scanners.

    Good luck!
u/SC-Viper · 2 pointsr/analog

I just bought a Powder C-41 Processing Kit and I have first-time developing questions:

  1. The instructions that came with the developing kit require that the temperature of the chemicals to be at 102°F. Is there a benefit to keeping the chemicals at a certain temperature?

  2. After each chemical process, do I just pour the previous chemical back into it's respective bottle and then pour the next chemical process in?

    Any help and advice is very much appreciated! If there is also anyone who can who has experience with developing with this kit, I would love to get in touch!
u/gg_allins_microphone · 4 pointsr/photography

Black & white film is very easy to do at home. The main things you need are film tanks and reels (get the metal ones, the plastic ones suck), developer and fixer. A thermometer that can be accurate in the 20º C/68º F is also a must.

You'll need bottles and stuff, but at least initially you can use empty water jugs or something as long as they seal tight. You also need film clips, but you can probably find something laying around the house that will work.

I wouldn't bother with C-41 film these days. It's too pricey and digital is an adequate substitute.

Disregard the other commend about a "red light." Unless you're using hard to come by orthochromatic films you'll fog your film if you try to develop by inspection under a safe light. You have to load the film in total darkness. And a safe light is a distinct thing from like a red party bulb.

You might find this helpful, though it's largely about printing.

u/TheOnly10EyeC · 4 pointsr/analog

Hi everyone- long time reader, first time caller.

B&W Development

I'll be using HC-110 (liquid concentrate), tap water for a quick "stop" bath, and Ilford Rapid Fixer. I bought my current liter of HC-110 concentrate back in 2017 and I've maybe used ~5% of the bottle. If I only ever use Dilution B, some quick math says it's good for a total of 64 rolls of film (35mmx36 or 120). Some Googling tells me that it'll last forever in concentrate form, even if it isn't airtight. My bottle has some dark brown spots and streaks in the air portion of it and for the time being, I've squeezed the air out.

Question 1: What do y'all think about the HC-110? It should be fine, right? I'm going to get one of those accordion bottles and transfer the concentrate I have out of the original bottle and into one of those. (Unless anyone has an alternate suggestion?) I leave all my chemistry in a fairly dark cabinet in a relatively dry part of the house, but given that I shoot so little film, I'd prefer not to have to rebuy chemistry every year if I can avoid it.

Ilford's documentation for the Ilford Rapid Fixer is that a single batch diluted to 1+4 is good for 600 rolls, but if it's stored AIRTIGHT, it should be replaced after 12mo. Knowing that 12mo will always elapse long before I get through 600 rolls and because I couldn't think of a way to keep it airtight before stumbling across those accordion bottles, I basically use it as a single shot liquid, just like developer.

Question 2: Does fixer last longer in concentrate form? Should I leave it as a concentrate and dilute as needed? Does anyone have any suggestions other than those "accordion" bottles for fixer? It's been a full calendar year since I used what I have on hand and, frankly, I just don't trust it anymore so I want to be smart about how I use the next set that I buy.

Question 3: I've heard that developer and fixer shouldn't be put down the drain. I've been collecting spent developer and "spent" fixer in additional jugs; can anyone tell me how I could go about figuring out where I can take this stuff?

Color Development

Full disclosure: I've never done color development before. BUT we got a sous vide recently and some Googling confirmed that it can be used to get chemistry up to temp reliably for C41 processing, so I want to give it a shot. Now, I see these C41 "kits" that include developer, blix, and stabilizer and they say that the developer is good for 8 rolls.

Question 4: Since it all comes in a kit, am I correct in assuming that all three fluids should be replaced after 8 rolls? Also, they specifically say 8 rolls of 35mmx36, which according to my back-of-the-envelope math, is the same as 8 rolls of 120. Do I have this right? And since its only 8 rolls, I plan on just putting this stuff in some amber 1L bottles I have laying around from back when I attempted to make Kombucha. Do y'all have any thoughts on this?

Thanks everyone!!

u/provia · 12 pointsr/analog

just as a sweet little biz case to see how far home development gets you.

let's say you want to keep it at colour. right now 36 shots cost you $11. with the little upfront investment you need to go home development (about $100) you can go quite far.

two minutes of an amazon search gets you to $2.80 per roll of 36. this 2L C41 kit costs $50 and should be yielding you at least 30 films if done correctly. assuming you have any kind of digital camera and a computer screen you can scan for internet size publishing just fine.

so that means you are now at $4.47 per roll (and that's not even pushing it with bulk loading and larger liquid developing kits), which would mean you'd have paid off your $100 startup investment after 15 films.

on top of that, it's really really easy to develop film at home, as long as you take care of yourself and the people you live with by NOT doing this in the kitchen and making sure you work cleanly.

u/GWBrooks · 1 pointr/photography

Potatolicious has the basics down pat -- not much to add except: Start simple with the chemistry.

You can get some basic Kodak chemicals (D76 developer, fixer and stop bath) for less than $20 on Amazon (link: -- check out the "frequently bought together" deal on the page)

Over time, if you get into it, you'll find that different film/developer combinations will give a huge range of results that will help you both account for different contrast situations and develop (no pun intended) a personal style. But D76 is pretty basic, forgiving stuff and a geat place to start.

Good luck!

u/BadConductor · 1 pointr/AnalogCommunity

The L-110 in my experience gives the same results as HC-110, and with the same dilutions and times that are listed everywhere for HC-110. It also has a consistency between water and milk, which makes it much easier to measure and mix. I don't have hard numbers for the shelf life of the L-110, but I opened a bottle of it last october when I ran out of HC-110 syrup and it was still going great when I processed a roll a couple days ago.


It is also available through amazon prime in the US. Make sure you get the L110, not the L110R (which is the replenisher)

u/leecharles_ · 1 pointr/analog

Hello all! I'm going to be developing film for the first time and have some questions about chemicals and proportions.

I'm going to develop black & white film (Kodak T-Max 400) using these 5 chemicals:

  1. Kodak Professional T-Max Developer

  2. Kodak Indicator Stop Bath

  3. Kodak Rapid Fixer

  4. Kodak Hypo Cleaing Agent

  5. Kodak Photoflo

    There's challenging opinions as to how much I should dilute these chemicals in water and temperature. If someone is willing to help me decide on what proper ratios I should be mixing these chemicals with, that would be amazing!

    Thank you! :)
u/Jesus359 · 2 pointsr/analog

I've been looking at prices for developing and it seems like it's going to be too much for me. I decided to just start developing on my own but I'm not sure where to start with the chemicals. Right now I'm shooting with Kodak Good 200 and after some googling I know i need some c-41. Would this be the only thing i need? Also after looking at some YouTube videos, it seems like there using more than just one chemical. What are the other ones?

u/beardhead · 2 pointsr/photography

its $36 for this kit here. and $19.99 on amazon... here

this is the exact kit i used in college. works great. the only thing you need to develop the photo is water.

u/tastypotato · 2 pointsr/analog

Congrats! If you want to avoid water streaks you should get a squeegee, or you can get hypoclear and do a thirty second wash of the film at the end of the cycle.

This is way overpriced, I'm sure you could find it somewhere else cheaper.

u/chulajuana · 2 pointsr/analog

I wrote this long time ago, just dug it uo:

I actually just bought the whole kit and started to develop at home again since I am no longer able to access the college darkroom facilities.

I will link you everything I bought (which was on B&H/amazon/walmart) in USD.


  • Large Changing Bag $23.95
  • Kodak D-76 Developer $6.95
  • TF-4 Fixer $13.95
  • [Delta 1 Chemical Storage Bottle] ( $7.95
  • Two measuring cups $0.88 x2
  • Paterson Tank $26.75
  • Can opener $5.22 (but you can find these at thrift stores/good will for 50 cents or your parents might have one)
  • scissors (you have this)
  • additionally you can get a thermometer, PhotoFLO, and clips to hang your negatives.

  • Total cost: $81.81 put aside $100 for everything.
  • Cost for just chemicals: $20.90

    You can get around 20 rolls of film per 1 liter dev of D76 1:1 & TF-4 Fixer. This means you'll be spending 1 dollar per developed roll

  • ps. TF-4 Fixer is amazing. It takes 3-4 minutes to fix, no need for stop bath (use water), no need for hypo clear. Just two chemicals and you're done!

    FOR C-41 COLOR:

  • C-41 $29.95
  • 32 oz Bottles $11.98 for 2 pack (you need 3)
  • thermometer; very important to have for constant temp when developing

    Check out the side bar for how to develop B/W & C-41. Or check out youtube videos.
u/kbiering · 1 pointr/photography

Is there a specific type of vinegar? I don't want to mess this up my first time.

Also, what fixer do you use? I was thinking of using this one.

u/LesQuatreCentsCoups · 1 pointr/AnalogCommunity

Kodak Photo-Flo, a bottle will last a lifetime.

u/miparasito · 3 pointsr/ScienceTeachers

Citric acid is in the bulk spices section at whole foods.

Sodium sulfite is available as a darkroom photography chemical.

u/crimdog · 3 pointsr/AnalogCommunity

Since you didn't specify, I'm assuming color development. You'll need the following. I've linked some items to amazon for reference, but do your own shopping as these are likely not the best prices.

  • 1 x Unicolor C-41 1L kit link
  • 3 x 1 Liter containers with lid, preferably opaque
  • 2 x funnels
  • 1 x Digital thermometer
  • 1 x paterson style development tank + development reels. I got the 2 reel tank, so you can develop 2 rolls at the same time. link
  • 1 x dark bag link
  • 1 x film canister opener link or film leader puller link
  • 1 x scissors
  • 1 x box of latex gloves
u/Floatography · 5 pointsr/photography

I've developed around 200 rolls of film and have never set foot in a dark room. You only need darkrooms if you want to make prints. To go from undeveloped to developed negatives you only need a "daylight" tank (Paterson is a popular brand) and a Dark bag.

Here is everything you need to get started with black and white stand development:

1 reel tank

Dark bag

Church key bottle opener

Scissors with long-ish blades

Adox Rodinal


10ml syringe - you will need this to measure rodinal and fixer accurately

generic measuring cups

Optional but nice:

Film clips - you can also substitute laundry clips or use the clips on pants hangers.

Film Squeegee - you can also just use your fingers coated in a bit of water with a drop of soap in it.

Negative Holders

The process is pretty easy.

1) shoot film and rewind entirely into cartridge

2) put tank, reel, lid, cartridge, bottle opener and scissors into bag. Shut off lights - it doesn't need to be perfectly dark, just no intense light.

3) open cartridge with bottle opener, remove film, cut off leader, spool onto reel, put reel into tank, close lid, remove everything from dark bag.

4) mix up a 1:100 solution of rodinal to water making ~300ml (3ml rodinal, 300ml of water)

5) add mixture to tank (do not remove the inner lid), agitate a few times and set a timer for 1 hour

6) during that 1 hour you should mix up a 1:9 solution of fixer (30ml fixer, 270ml water)

7) after an hour, pour out developer, fill and empty the tank with water a few times. Then fill and agitate 5 times, empty, fill and agitate 10 times, empty, fill and agitate 20 times, empty

8) add fixer solution. Agitate for 30 seconds. Then for 6 minutes agitate for 5 seconds every 30 seconds. While you do this, run your shower on its hottest setting until done (this will eliminate most airborn dust in your bathroom)

9) pour the fixer in a air tight container and store it in a dark place (you can use the same mix of fixer about 3 times, adding 2 minutes each time) and repeat the rinsing procedure from step 7

10) open the tank, hang the film somewhere in your bathroom (I usually hang mind from the shower curtain rod using coat hangers), squeegee the film off in 2-3 passes and leave it to dry

11) after 1 hour you should cut the film into strips of 6 exposures each and store in your negative holders

And there you have it, you have developed black and white film! The process is very easy and gets easier every time you do it. Stand development is also VERY economically efficient as you barely use any rodinal per roll and you can reuse the fixer. It massively raises your films apparent sharpness and contrast and can correct for missed exposures to a ridiculous degree. Also, if you want to develop multiple film speeds in one tank, it can do that!

I am happy to answer any questions ANYONE has about home film developing.