DAVID TETT PHOTOGRAPHY | Colour Film Development

Colour Film Development

January 06, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

A while ago I blogged about doing black and white film development at home using a dark bag.  You can find that post here. I always imagined colour development to be way too tricky to attempt at home. Yet the truth is it was easier than I thought.

There are plenty of guides online on how to do this (a good one here) so rather than simply regurgitate all this advice I created a timelapse video to demonstrate the process.

Step 1: Mixing chemicals. I used the Tetenal 1l c-41 processing kit which is good for well over a dozen developments and only about 25 quid online. Easy.

Step 2: Achieving the right temperature. Maintaining this is key. Colour development must be done around 38-39 degrees C. You can see it gets rather steamy at one stage! A drop of one centigrade is apparently disastrous! I adopted the same approach as in the guide above using two washing up bowls, one as a heating bath for the chemicals and one as a holding bath for the tank. With bath tub and shower head, a couple of bowls, and a couple of decent digital thermometers it’s dead easy to keep the temperature consistent.

Step 3: The development. Once the chemicals have been heated the development can commence! Stopwatch is absolutely essential at this stage obviously. A very useful app I discovered for the timings – LabTimer.
The developer goes in first, then the bleach fix (nasty stuff you generally want to avoid much contact with), then a 3 min rinse before the stabliser at the end.

Step 4: After a quick wash the negative is ready for drying!

Here are some of the results. These were shot on Kodak Portra colour film, on my Mamiya AFD II 645 medium format and Voigtlander Bessa R2 35mm rangefinder.

Tonge Sisters 4    Koln 5 Koln 7    Koln 10 (1) copy Koln 14 copy   Koln Bradford 3

 

 

 

 

 


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