Archivi categoria: develop

How to Develop and Push the ISO on Color Negative Film at Home

I finally did it! After sitting in my fridge for a few months, I managed to developed myself a roll of CineStill 800 pushed to 3200 ISO, and the results look great! The great thing: it’s actually pretty easy to develop pushed C-41 film at home.

If you don’t know what pushing film means, let me introduce this technique.

Basically, you purposely shoot a roll of film at a higher ISO than it’s intended for, in order to gain extra stops of light. This means that you underexpose your film, then compensate this lack of light by extending the developing time.

Why Would I Do This

If you are shooting in low light or need a faster shutter speed to freeze an action shot, this technique can be helpful.

Black & White film photographers are usually familiar with pushing film because most of them are processing their own film at home, and can adjust the developing time at their convenience.

On the other hand, pushing color negative film is not as common, simply because it requires manual development and most labs can’t (or won’t) do it because the machines they use are 100% automatic. It’s convenient for them because, when shot at box speed, all C-41 films require the same developing time regardless of their ISO rating.

But that’s not an issue anymore and, like B&W film, you can develop color film yourself too!

Before we get started, let me introduce our partner in crime: CineStill 800.

Initially, this was a film used to record motion picture, hence its legendary cinematic look from. The Brothers Wright later made this film usable in C-41 chemistry by removing a layer called “remjet”. This allows us (and labs) to develop it without ruining our chemicals.

It performs best when shot under tungsten lights (city lights) but you can also get great results in daylight by using an 85B filter to adjust the light temperature.

Another advantage of this film is that it can be pushed up to 3200 ISO, and that’s what interest us today.

These images were all shot at night when I was in Vienna for my birthday. I wanted to travel light so my tripod stayed at home and this was the perfect excuse to push CineStill to its limits. You may have guessed it already, but I used my Hasselblad Xpan and its loyal 45mm lens.

About the exposure. Usually, you want to expose for the shadows when shooting color film, but here it was impossible… there wasn’t enough light even at 3200 ISO. So instead, I exposed for the highlights and then added 1 or 2 stops when possible just to make sure that the darker areas wouldn’t be completely black.

Most of the photos were shot between f/4 or f/5.6 and 1/15 or 1/30 of a second.

Now, let’s talk about the home development process. I ordered a Tetenal Colortec C-41 kit that comes in the liquid version. It also exists in powder version, but I guess there are very similar in the end.

Basically, you get 3 solutions:

  • The Developer
  • The Bleach/Fixer (aka Blix)
  • The Stabilizer

Each of them has to be used at a specific temperature, which makes it slightly more challenging that developing B&W, but it’s not complicated at all.

On the instructions, you can read that development temperature should be either 30°C or 38°C. Today, we’ll go for the latter as this is the one suggested for pushing film. It says that developing time should be extended by 30 seconds for each stop (no need to extend the fixer or stabilizer time). Here, as the film was pushed by 2 stops, I should have added 1 extra minute on top of the 3 minutes 15 seconds recommended.

Thankfully, Paul from the Facebook group “CineStill Film Users” suggested adding 1 min 15 sec per stop to avoid having negatives too dark. I knew that my images would be very dark anyway, and was afraid to get too much color shifting by extending the developing time for too long, so I went for an average time and developed for 4 min 45 sec total.

The negatives still came out very dark, but I managed to get the grain contained and the colors represented accurately. Then I slightly increased the exposure in Lightroom by 0.5 or 1 stop just to bring back some details.

One last good point for CineStill is that it’s very easy to scan, and the colors look very good straight out of the scanner. That’s not the case with every color film, as you can see in this article where I show you how to correct color negatives scans.

This result are exciting to me. CineStill 800 is a fantastic film that helps to push the boundaries of color film photography in low light, and I will certainly reproduce this experience.

Also, just to be clear with you guys, by no means am I associated with or sponsored by CineStill for this article. I bought everything with my own money, like the grown up adult that I am ;) It’s just an honest opinion on a film that I admire for its characteristics.


About the author: Vincent Moschetti is an Ireland-based photographer who is in the middle of a year-long experiment where he’s shooting only film photography. You can find more of his work or follow along on this adventure by visiting his website or following him on Facebook and Instagram. This post was also published here.

LAB-BOX Lets You Develop Your Film at Home Without a Darkroom

Developing your own 35mm or 120 film at home almost always requires a darkroom, but LAB-BOX wants to change all that. The new ‘multi-format daylight-loading film tank’ lets you develop your own film anywhere, even in bright sunlight if you’d like. No darkroom required.

Released on Kickstarter earlier today and already more than a third of the way to its funding goal, LAB-BOX is being marketed as the perfect tool for educators and film nerds alike. It’s a daylight loading developing station that allows you to process your own 120 and 135 film without the need to load your rolls in the dark.

This simple video shows you how the innovative contraption works:

As you can see, the most difficult part (and we’re using the term difficult liberally here) is making sure you properly load the film cartridge so you don’t accidentally waste a bunch of chemicals on film that was never spooled onto the reel.

Once you’ve mastered that bit, however, you’ll be able to use whatever developing process you like/have chemicals for.

The LAB-BOX can be purchased with either a 135 or 120 film loading “module” (or both), and the modular design consists of just a few parts that are easy to disassemble and clean as needed. Even put together, the whole box is highly portable—perfect for the classroom, your desk at home, or a backpack while you’re traveling.

Here’s a closer look at the LAB-BOX, how it works, and what it can do:

The LAB-BOX is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, and if the first hour of its campaign is anything to judge by, it’s going to blow away its $76K funding goal.

There are still some super early bird Kickstarter deals available that will let you get your own LAB-BOX with either a 135 or 120 module for just $73 or both modules for just $95 (only 10 of those left as of this writing). But even when those go away, there are more discounts to be had if you act fast.

To learn more or pick up a LAB-BOX developing station for yourself, head over to the Kickstarter campaign by clicking here.

Sony Releases API, Allows Developers to Create Apps for Its WiFi-Enabled Cameras

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Developers rejoice, you have another API to play with. In a recent move that should help bring more Sony apps to market, the camera manufacturer has released an API that will allow you to develop remote control apps for 8 of its WiFi-enabled cameras.

The Camera Remote API beta was released as part of the new Camera Remote App Development Program a couple of days ago. The hope, it seems, is that developers will jump on and create apps that will allow users to control their cameras from their smartphone and/or tablet via WiFi.

So far, only 8 cameras made the compatibility list — the NEX-6 is joined by the NEX-5R, NEX-5T, QX100 and QX10 lens cameras, MV1 video camera and two ActionCams — but not all of them are quite ready to be messed with yet.

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Developers can already tinker with the QX100 and QX10, but all three NEX models listed must wait for version 2.0 of the Play Memories Smart Remote Control app to come out on September 26th, and one of the ActionCam models (HDR-AS15) will require a software update. Once the API is compatible with all of the initial cameras, more are set to be added to the list.

Interested developers can learn more about the API, access reference guides and check out a sample app on the development program’s website. You’ll also access to developer forums though which you can share ideas and troubleshoot, and US and Japan-based developers get the added bonus of official technical support from Sony itself.

(via DPReview)

How to Process Your C-41 Film at Home

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After almost two years of shooting film nonstop and more than $1,000 worth of expenses on processing and prints, I needed to reconsider my budget and find a way of being able to shoot more and pay less. I thus began to process my C-41 rolls at home. It’s extremely easy to do and I‘ll show you today how to do it, step by step.

First off, this is what you‘ll need (after you incur these small first expenses, processing at home is almost for free):

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  • A film-developer tank (a lot of people trust Jobo Tanks, I got an AP because they are cheaper)
  • Scissors
  • A trash bag (or another nice-sized bag that doesn’t have any dust in it)
  • The film you want to process
  • Measuring tools
  • A funnel
  • Tetanal C-41 Rapid Kit (they come in liquid and powder form for 1 or 5 litres of working solution. I guess the liquid one is easier to work with but I don’t know since I only used the liquid one)
  • Chemistry bottles (I have plastic ones but I‘d rather go for 500ml glass bottles because they are heavier)
  • A thermometer
  • An aquarium heater
  • A timer (I used my cellphone, every cellphone has a timer)
  • A water bucket in which you can fit the three bottles and the development tank

Ok, first of all, you need to know that C-41 is a normed process. This means that all films, whichever ASA they are, take the same amount of time to process. This helps if you want to process two films at one go and they have different speeds.

There are different ways to process C-41. The standard is at 100°F, but this is too hot for me and pretty fast, there is the 113°F express process and the 86°F slower process. I will show you the 86°F way, because you can easily control this temperature: it is nice to handle and it is not too fast.

Second, the chemicals will weaken pretty fast. This means the more film you processed already in this solution, the more time it will take. But don‘t worry, each Tetanal pack has a manual in it with a nice chart and processing times.

Third, try to avoid useless air-contact with your chemicals. They will oxidate and go bad faster if you leave bottles open and so on. You can slow this process down if you get yourself a Tetenal Protectant Spray, which puts a film of gas (heavier than air, lighter than water) on top of your chemicals without affecting their ability to process.

Now, lets begin.

Mix your chemicals. I use 500ml working solution, which means I can keep the 1 liter kit for twice as long. Mix them according to the manual in the package and pour each part (CD for Color Developer, BX for Bleach/Fix and Stab for Stabilisator) into one bottle. Close it and label it accordingly. Put them into the water bucket. Also, put the thermometer and the aquarium heater into it and fill the bucket with warm water. It’s crucial that you keep control over the water’s temperature, because there is basically no tolerance in temperature for the process.

You’ll have to wait a little while until everything in the bucket is 86°F. After doing this a few times, you will likely know how warm it has to be and you will be able to guesstimate the exact temperature. You can speed up this process by adding hot water or adding cold water, but I like to just naturally heat up the water using the heater.

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Load your film into the development tank. You take the scissors, the film and the tank, put them into the trash bag, and then put the trash bag under your bed’s blanket. I only use the trash bag because I can trust that there is no dust in it. You do not need it, but better be safe than sorry. As you probably know, no light should get to the film. I won‘t explain the rest since there are tons of tutorials on this out there. After you’ve loaded up the film, put the tank into the water bath as well.

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We skip the part where you wait to get the right temperature. This can vary between minutes and an hour, depending on various factors. You will have your manual at your side, so you will always be able to check how long each part of the process will take.

First off, pour the CD into your tank. The time starts when you start pouring it. Close the tank and put the funnel in the bottle. Put the tank back into the water bath and just move it around there gently. You can rotate it a bit as well. Do this the entire time. This will first help you use all the chemicals, not only the parts next to your film. It will also help the water in the tank flow around and stay same temperature — your heater is of no use if you only heat up the still water around the heater while the rest cools off. About 10 seconds before time runs out, pour the CD back into its bottle, put the tank down, close the bottle, and put it back if you want to do a second roll later (or put it into storage).

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Pour in the BX and do the exact same thing as before. When you put the BX back into its bottle, you‘ll need warm, running water. Rinse the film for about 6 minutes. I normally proceed this way: fill the tank, inverse it 10 times, pour out the water and repeat. I normally do this 12 times, since it takes about 30 seconds each time. After this, it’s Stab time! No! No daggers, no knives. Sorry for that lame pun! Put the tank on a steady surface and pour in the Stab. Just leave it like this for about a minute. Stab foams so much, I never move it because I think there would just be more foam. After this minute, put the Stab back and go rinse the film again.

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Now you can open your tank and take a look. I now normally add some drops of wetting agent, but this is up to you. The booklet in the Tetanal kit says nothing about a final rinse and some people just hang the film to dry with the Stab foam still on it. I like it better with wetting agent.

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Open up the reel, take the start of your film (in the center), use a clamp (like the kind used for laundry), and hang it to dry. I normally hang two more clamps/clothespins at the bottom end to straighten the film.

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Now you can wash out all your processing stuff and really, really dry it. You do not want any calcium residue (due to hard water) in your tank, this could falsify the results for next time. If you want, you can blow-dry your negatives or just let them sit there for about two hours. After that, cut them, put them into sleeves, and press them for a few hours (for best results). At this point, you can also just go ahead and scan them if you need to.

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I know, this method is not the cleanest and not the most professional, but it turned out to suit my needs the best. What I found after a while was that you will need lotion for your hands — the water dehydrates your skin so much! I started to wear rubber gloves, which helps retain.

I hope this was a help to some of you, or that at least it helped you decide whether you want to take the next step or not. All in all, it is a great way to save money and to learn something about your film. And of course, it is a great excuse to spend a lot more time with photography.

Here are some examples of my home-processed films:

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P.S. One last little addition: I ended up doing about 12 rolls of film per 500ml solution. This almost doubles what is written in the booklet. So you do about 25 rolls with 1 liter of solution instead of 16.


About the author: Max Zulauf is a 22-year-old photographer based in Zurich, Switzerland. Visit his blog here. This post was original published here.


How to Have Your 120 Film Developed at Walmart for $3 a Roll

Want to try your hand at shooting medium format 120 film but not sure where you’d get it developed? Stacie Grissom of Stars for Streetlights recommends WalMart as an easy and affordable option:

I have an awesome tip for you. I actually got my Holga prints developed through Walmart for about $3 per roll. That’s it. I could not believe it. Here’s what you need to do:

For each roll of film, take a separate film envelope and write “SEND OUT ONLY” at the top. Then fill in your info. “Send Out Only” means that Walmart will send it to a photo lab to be developed instead of developing it in the store. I don’t know how many (if any) Walmarts still develop 35mm film, but they definitely won’t do 120 film. Just send it out to a lab that knows what to do. Next, in the special instructions section, make sure you write “120 Film Processing, 4×4 prints.” And then drop them in the box! It’s seriously that simple. I was really paranoid when I sent out my film, but Walmart actually did a nice job.

Grissom also offers a number of other tips for shooting with Holga cameras.

7 Tips for Holga Cameras [Stars for Streetlights]