Doing Your Own Color Film Processing
Many professional and casual photographers choose to establish their own darkrooms at home and do their color film processing themselves. The color processing chemicals you use are an important consideration. Whether you're a first-time film processor or not, you'll need to keep a few things in mind as you get started.
What Do You Need to Develop Color Film?
To develop color film, you'll need a few essential supplies, including darkroom sinks, reels, and developing trays. One of the most important choices you have is deciding on the right chemicals to carry out the color film chemistry. Powder and liquid formulas are available, with both eventually becoming liquid. You'll use different methods with each option, and both liquid and powder have their benefits. Chemical formulas often include hydroquinone, phenidone, and dimezone in varying portions, and you can find formulas specialized to your needs. You'll need other chemicals, too, such as fixer, a stop bath, hardeners, a hypo clearing agent, washing aids, and washing agents.
Choosing the Right Color Film Developing Kits
If you want to develop color film, a photo developing kit is a smart investment. The kit you chose depends on the technique you want to use. C-41, E-6, and RA-4 kits are available and include all the chemicals you'll need for that specific developing process. For example, a C-41 developing kit contains bleach, color developer, and stabilizer. If you're just starting out, you may want to consider film developing starter kits.
Accessories for Color Film Processing
To establish a darkroom for color film processing, you'll need darkroom setup accessories, such as a darkroom timer, a safelight, printing filters, and contact printing frames. Remember, developing color film requires complete darkness. You'll need to seal your darkroom entirely and make use of specialized lights and other specialized accessories.
If you'd like to try out color film processing at home, head to B&H Photo and Video and check out darkroom equipment, such as kits, chemicals, supplies, and more.