I want to start developing my own photos, what do I need?

I need to understand some of the basics, what camera and film do I use? What equipment do I need for a dark room? The chemical development agents needed to complete the reaction. If anyone could recommend a website or a book or personal experience it would be a great help.

4 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you just want to develop film (then scan it to a digital image) then you won't need a darkroom. You just need somewhere dark like a closet (or a film 'changing bag') to transfer the exposed film to a reel. Once the reel + film is in the developing tank, then the rest can be done in daylight.

    If you want to make prints from your negatives, you'll need a darkroom and an enlarger too which is more complicated.

    Black & white 35mm film is the easiest to do as it requires less rigorous temperature control and less chemicals. You can get C41 colour film too (which is processed the same way as B&W). All you really need is a tank & reel (about £20) some developer (about £7 per litre and you dilute it anyway) and some fixer (same sort of cost as developer & gets diluted too). There are other chemicals like 'stop' baths but a good rinse in water will do.

    Here is a downloadable 'How to process your first B&W film' from Ilford;


    Film can be purchased online and 35mm SLR camera's are easy to find on eBay. I'd recommend gettting something like a Nikon FM2 or a Canon AE-1 which are good reliable models & full manual control.

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  • 10 years ago

    Any film camera will require the film to be developed. It can be either negative or positive (slide) film, it can be either color or black and white, it can be either 35mm or larger (120, 220) format or smaller format (APS, 110) - if available, etc. There are many choices. You have to decide that first (we can't decide for you).

    Second, you should take a class. Although you can learn from a book, real live instruction is better. Plus they already have the equipment and chemicals for you.

    35mm black and white negative film is probably the easiest to develop. But I have never done developing so I can't say for sure. This is just the sense I get from my reading.

    Third, if you want to actually PRINT your photos from your negatives, then that's a whole 'nother animal with a whole 'nother set of skills. (as well as different equipment and chemicals).

    You really should just get a book from the library - it will explain it all in better detail.

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  • 4 years ago

    I think that someone is making it sound a lot more complicated than it is. Once you have processed a few rolls you really start to get the hang of it. And printing is pretty simple as are the methods used in the darkroom. It just gets tediuos at times but it is worth it when you get that final print and it is perfect. It can also be expensive but you can find used equipment to save money. I think that the advice to take a darkroom class is the best you've gotten. You will have hands on instruction and experience doing it and will figure out what is involved before you spend a lot of money to set up a darkroom of your own. It would really be worth it to take a class and you will find that the tuition at a community college is much more affordable than at a university.

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  • 10 years ago

    take a look online there are lots of places to help

    Source(s): photo.net
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