Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My first home b&w development!

Last Sunday I developed my first black&white film at home. And I must say that it was not as complicated and messy as I thought it would be. I develooped a medium format roll of Ilford FP4 Plus 125 that I shot with my Voigtländer Bessa 6x9 (with a 6x4.5 mask in place).

First I loaded the exposed film into the reel. This step needs to be done in complete darkness, so I used a changing bag. It was surprisingly quick, I was a little concerned it would be difficult, I read some "horror stories" about loading a medium format film into an AP reel, but it was not at all that hard. Then the reel went into the developing tank and the rest happened again in the light.

(Bessa 6x9, Ilford FP4 Plus 125, ISO 125/22°)

Since the developer that I got is one of the modern formulations of Rodinal (having been patented in 1891 by Agfa, Rodinal is, in fact, the oldest photographic product in the world), I chose stand development, which basically consists of letting the developer slowly do its job without (almost) any interference for a long period of time. In my case, I inverted the tank for a minute each 2 seconds at the beginning (it should have been only 30 seconds), and for fifteen seconds after one hour. In total I let two hours pass before I applied stop bath and fixer.

double exposure
(Bessa 6x9, Ilford FP4 Plus 125, ISO 125/22°)

I am quite happy with the results. Well, the roll was not at all so well exposed (some overexposures, many out of focus shots, some accidental double exposures), but the development results are very promising, and I found the whole process quite easy and pretty much manageable for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

(Bessa 6x9, Ilford FP4 Plus 125, ISO 125/22°)

Stay tuned, there will be more home development in the next months! :)


  1. ¡Qué maravilla, Tonicito! Supongo que revelar tu primer carrete debe ser como hacer tu primer pan. Es algo que me hubiera gustado hacer cuando aún utilizaba analógica. El resultado es precioso.

  2. Vega, ¡muchas gracias! Sí, de hecho con Mar hicimos la misma comparación, porque en muchos aspectos es parecido a hacer pan: haces algo un par de minuntos y lo dejas reposar, luego vuelves y haces algo más y lo vuelves a dejar reposar. Y al final abres el tanque de revelado (o el horno) y ves qué ha pasado con la misma excitación :)