Developing film in my Lab-Box has generally gone well, although there have been a few problems along the way. Bit by bit I've found ways to overcome them and nowadays each roll develops pretty much perfectly.
One problem I had was in the film occasionally catching itself together at the sides as it wound onto the spool, thus not allowing the developing liquid to flow evenly through the slots of the spool and encasing the negatives. I was getting a few ruined negatives, with black or white blotches, over the frames, where the negatives had caught together.
My solution has been to attach the end of the negative to the spool clip, and not wind it onto the spool until the developer is in the tank. I clip the end of the negative to the spool clip and leave it high as shown in my photo above. The film itself is still safely encased in the film housing so the light won't get to it. At that point I pour in the developing liquid and then I put the lid on the Lab-Box.
Now I carefully wind the film onto the spool and the developing liquid acts as a lubricant to stop the film from sticking together at any point. The key is to make sure the film is clipped squarely onto the spool winder - it must be absolutely square on. I'm finding this method to be successful and have not had any problems since following it.
*Black and White film development in the Lab-Box is easy. The best part about using the Lab-Box, for me, is that at no time do I have to handle the film until it has been fully developed.
DEVELOPING times will be different for each film brand, based on the water temperature median of 20C.
I use THE MASSIVE DEVELOPMENT CHART to work out the correct developing time for my film.
Then I use the TEMPERATURE COMPENSATION CHART to determine the appropriate developing time in accordance with the temperature of the liquid on the day.
* * * Before I start, I set up all the components I will need for the process.
Click through each picture below to see the details for each -
Pour about 400ml water into the Lab-Box and turn handle for 30-40 seconds.
DEVELOPER: 300ml in LabBox
Minutes according to film chart for the film brand/type.
Turn knob for entire time.
Pour Developer back into container if using again immediately, otherwise discard.
WASH: 400ml water in 3 jugs
Fill and empty tank 3 times, turning knob for 30 seconds in-between.
FIX: I make up 1 Litre of fix and keep it in a black bottle.
I mark off the number of films used as I go.
For 1 film - 300 ml pre-mixed fixer into Lab Box
Time for 5 Mins
Turn knob for the entire time
Pour Fixer back into container
Film is now light safe.
Remove lid from tank, then remove film spool side section.
FILM CANNISTER SECTION REMOVED FROM LAB-BOX
FINAL WATER WASH:
Run cool water over the film for 20 mins.
Pour out water.
NOTE: When I'm only developing one roll of film I leave the spool and film in the Lab-Box compartment, for the running water time (20 minutes). When I'm developing several films at the same time, I transfer the first roll to a jug for the 20 minutes under running water, to enable me to begin processing the next roll while the other roll is still washing.
FINAL ACTION: WETTING AGENT (STABILISER)
WETTING AGENT (STABILISER):
Ensure clean water is covering the spool.
Add 2 drops wetting agent.
Proportion = 500ml water + 2 drops wetting agent
* Lab-Box Method: 1 min Turn knob 30 secs, then leave to sit 30 secs.
Pour off water and hang film to dry..
* Jug Method: Move spool around in the jug for 30 secs, then leave to sit 30 secs.
Pour off water and hang film to dry.
HANG FILM TO DRY:
HANG FILM TO DRY:
I use these clips that I bought on Amazon, to hang my film to dry.
I add the butterfly clip on the bottom of the wet film to keep it straight.
I find the Tetenal Mirasol 2000 to be so good that I do not need to sqeegee down the film
before hanging it up to dry. I just hang it up completely wet and it drys beautifully.
I'm Julie Camera Vause and I'm passionate about my photography.
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