How to Develop Film?

Have you ever thought how to develop a film while taking a photograph or shooting footage with your camera? If you are truly curious to know how does film get processed then this article is for you. Keep your eyes on this write up from beginning to end.

How to Develop 35 mm Film?

At first let me know you the traditional development process of well known 35mm film.

Lab technicians will take the first step to recover the end of the film from the exposed canister using a film selector. This can sometimes be one of the toughest steps because some old cameras tend to bend the end of the film back to itself when rewinding. Now I will describe the process which is called C-41 process. The steps that the film will endure as it travels through the machine are described below:

Process 1: Developer

The developer creates a silver image in the film emulsion layers from the latent image produced when the film is released. At the same time, the developer – which is locally oxidized by this reaction – combines with the couple involved in the emulsion and produces pigment. The amount of dye produced is proportional to the amount of silver produced.

Process 2: Bleaching

This bath converts the metallic silver image formed during development into a silver halide so that the fixer can remove the silver from the emulsion.

Process 3: Fixing

The fixer dissolves the bleached silver image and the unused and converted unaltered silver halide, which is originally present in the film emulsion, which can then be washed off.

Process 4 and 5: Washing

Larger processors usually have a wash available, which works by removing all processing chemicals and by-products from the film emulsion. Proper wash water rate and temperature are critical for long-lasting pigment stability.

Process 6: Stabilising

It contains a wet agent and other distinctive chemicals that are characteristic of the drying and long-term stability of the film.

Process 7: Drying

The film is heated to remove water. Once the film has finished the C-41 process the technician then cuts the image to the leader and hangs it on a stand often marked as a tree. The film placed on the tree in a timely manner.

Once the lab technician has balanced a sample roll of photo paper (called a paper control strip) with a densitometer, he can scan and print the advanced film roll. A roll of 6″ matte photo paper is loaded onto a black paper cartridge. The light sensitive cartridge slides to the side of the Fujifilm Frontier 340 ready for printing.

How to Develop Digital Film?

When it comes to develop a digital film then photographers can either develop it themselves or send it to a film-processing lab. Many processing labs have fallen by the wayside in recent years as more people turn to digital cameras. Among many systematic way the dip-and-dunk system is well known while developing digital film.

Many labs still use pull-through machines that can damage your film. It may be faster to process your film that way but it is not the best way. The dip-dunk system ensures that the film only touches the necessary chemicals during processing and avoids any physical equipment.

These include the developer first and then the right in the bleaches before sending them through the washing solution. From there the film goes into a fix tank, followed by another wash and then a final wash. The various steps take about an hour. Further steps are all about the drying process.

Final Words

While focusing on the film, the digital age plays a role, so you’ll see how the scanning team prepares images for printing by creating digital files. Otherwise, the basic steps are same while developing film. People are using the same developing chemical for the last 10 years. They just keep adding something more.Then a certain amount of compensation is added for the amount of chemicals used by the developer and all the other chemicals, that rack of film.