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02-03-2014, 07:27 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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I developed my first roll of film!!!

First a little back story: I decided about 6 months ago that I wanted to try my hand at film photography. I love the look of film and the more I read up on it, the more I thought that this was something I could do with minimal expense. I had an old Minolta XG-M but with all the manual Pentax lenses I had, I decided to trade it in for a Pentax ME Super.

Sadly, when the ME Super arrived, the mirror was stuck in the up position and I was unable to release the shutter button nor advance the wind lever. A scan of this site as well as a Google search led me to pop in a fresh battery and attempt to move the curtain very gently with my fingernail and voila, the mirror popped down and I was able to engage the shutter button. But the wind lever would only advance every second or third attempt so I removed the bottom plate (again following instructions found on the internet) and watched the levers; all of which appeared to be in working order. In the end, regularly working the shutter-> wind lever cycle eventually resulted in it working each and every time.

The next step was to run a roll of film through it to see how/if it worked. My first roll was a flop as I didnít load it properly but the second roll came back from the local camera store with images so I considered it a success and felt I was ready for the next step. In the meantime, I had been watching the local Craigslist and after a month or so, a listing came up asking for $50 for a complete darkroom set. Jackpot!

I brought home a box full of changing bags, developing tanks and reels, graduated cylinders, trays, an enlarger, a bulk film loader, paper and many things for which I still donít have a clue what they are. He even included 3 rolls of Ilford FP4+ ASA 125 film (probably expired); one of which became my first test roll to develop at home in my bathroom.

The developing process itself went rather smoothly. I had expected to run into issues loading the film onto the reel in complete darkness but it turned out fine. Measuring the chemicals, watching the temperatures and keeping track of times was also without drama.

If youíve gotten this far, then youíd probably like to see some photos. Admittedly, these are not works of art but I am really excited to have developed them myself. I still need to work on a scanning workflow that minimizes the amount of dust that appears as well as a drying process that doesnít include watermarks. Any advice and tips you have would be greatly appreciated.

All photos were taken with ME Super + M50/2.0, Ilford FP4+ ASA 125 and scanned with Epson V500.

Thanks for looking (and reading)!










02-03-2014, 07:39 AM   #2
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Congrats.

Fine dust specs will always be picked up by the scanner. Use cans of air to blow as much dust off as possible and then zoom in and spot heal the remaining in an image editor. Use a wetting agent to reduce water drop buildup on the film and shake it (whipping action) to remove as much water as possible.

If environmental dust is problematic in your area, you can steam the bathroom by running a hot shower for a bit, hang the film from the shower curtain rod and shut the door while the film is drying. A small fan blowing up along the length of the film will help it dry faster. After drying, cut the film to length and put the strips in archival sleeves.
02-03-2014, 07:47 AM   #3
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Awesome! And great job nailing the exposure on the last shot. A scene like that is difficult to keep the tonal range.

Go and take many more shots and develop hundreds of more rolls,
02-03-2014, 07:58 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Congrats.

Fine dust specs will always be picked up by the scanner. Use cans of air to blow as much dust off as possible and then zoom in and spot heal the remaining in an image editor. Use a wetting agent to reduce water drop buildup on the film and shake it (whipping action) to remove as much water as possible.

If environmental dust is problematic in your area, you can steam the bathroom by running a hot shower for a bit, hang the film from the shower curtain rod and shut the door while the film is drying. A small fan blowing up along the length of the film will help it dry faster. After drying, cut the film to length and put the strips in archival sleeves.
Thanks for the suggestions. I will try the wetting agent next time. I admit I was in such a hurry to see the images that I scanned them without properly giving them a shot of air to remove dust. I was shocked when I saw how much the negatives had picked up. All your suggestions are very helpful.

QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Awesome! And great job nailing the exposure on the last shot. A scene like that is difficult to keep the tonal range.

Go and take many more shots and develop hundreds of more rolls,
Thank-you. And yes, I plan to continue down this path.....

02-03-2014, 08:33 AM   #5
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Yeah good work, well done.

Phil.
02-03-2014, 09:49 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Yeah good work, well done.

Phil.
What he said


Steve
02-03-2014, 11:16 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Nice shots, kudos on shooting film. I have 3 old film bodies but I am having a big problem going back to film because digital satisfies me because I am a instant gratification kinda guy.
02-03-2014, 03:53 PM   #8
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great photos!
and today i got my first 35mm camera - k1000 and tomorrow i'm going out to shoot my first roll of film like you did can't wait to see the results!

02-03-2014, 04:28 PM   #9
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Excellent results, both the pictures and the developing.
02-03-2014, 05:51 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the encouragement. Tomorrow I'll load up the 2nd of those Ilfords and see where I can improve.

Good luck Ivrabec985. I hope you'll enjoy you first roll as much as I did.
02-05-2014, 05:04 AM   #11
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Hey Shell, congrats

You'll need to try with/without wetting agent. Here water is very hard so it is necessary for 35mm/120 although it only brings problems to 4x5 sheets (soap/traces still on the neg once dry). YMMV of course.

Also, it water is a problem, try using so sort of filter like Brita or whatever alike and use this water (filtered) for the final wash and drop wetting (a lot less than even think you should put in there) agent in it.

Basically try all combinations and you'll find something OK for you.
02-05-2014, 06:05 AM   #12
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Agree with the others about nailing the exposure as well as good scan results. Job well done that I am sure brings satisfaction. If you have access to a darkroom, making prints is also quite a satisfying experience.
02-05-2014, 06:08 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
If you have access to a darkroom, making prints is also quite a satisfying experience.
Much more than scanning IMO: at least you do something. Waiting forever to get working on removing dust et all is really beyond my patience.
02-05-2014, 06:19 AM   #14
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Thanks for the tips Thibs. I'll definitely follow your suggestions.

Les, I would love to try making prints as well. My $50 Darkroom score included an Omega B600 enlarger as well as a Schneider Kreuznach 3.5/50 enlarging lens, focus finders, trays, tongs, easel, safe light, timer and even paper. Currently, this is all boxed up in storage but I may very well assemble it all in a small closet we have off of our garage. I will just have to find the time (like everything else, right?). Thanks also for the encouragement.
02-05-2014, 06:20 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
Much more than scanning IMO: at least you do something. Waiting forever to get working on removing dust et all is really beyond my patience.
Kinda like watching Polaroid film developing but only better . . .
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