B&W 120 film developing

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by alina_reyes, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. I've been working with only 35mm and just recently i bought a Holga and an old
    Brownie target. I've never worked with 120 film but i managed to figure out
    how to load the cameras. I was just wondering if anyone knew where i can find
    good detailed instructions on how to develop 120 kodak TRI-X. Or if anyone has
    any tips i would greatly appreciate it. I'm pretty much clueless about 120.
    When i took the plastic off and unrolled some of the film, i kept expecting
    negatives with little square holes around the egdes to show up.
  2. Get the container to develop 120 film. Then take a cheap roll of film that can be ruined
    and open it up, unroll it then put it on to the 120 reel. Practice doing this.

    Then take the same roll and now put it on to the reel, only this time when the room is
    dark. Fun!

    After you get the film on to the reel, turn the lights on (remember do this only for the
    practice film session!) and see if all is well and the film got wound on the reel properly.

    Next take some practices photos and devlop the film. How did it come out?

    I haven't checked lately but Kodak as well as Ilford had pdf files available on products for
    film and developing. Maybe type in the developer name pdf in Google and see what turns

    Hope this helps!
  3. Here is a link to help you:

  4. THE " CHEATERS WAY" is to find an old kodacraft tank. it has no reel, just a strip of plastic (apron)with wrinkly edges. the undeveloped film just gets roll up with the apron. there is a ss disk to hold the film down.

    I used to use the olD "fr" tank they had a sharp hook in the center

    . you separated the film and paper backing hels the film so a few inches stuck out and let the hook pierce the end of the film. then you carefully rotated the reel letting the film slide into the grooves of the reel.

    It is almost impossible to slide the film in the outer lips of the reel and push it in the entire way.

    yoiu can feel if the film is kinking or not sliding into the reel properly

    some like the plastic tanks with a wobbily side that RATCHETS
    the film in.

    It is a skill that has to be " developed"
    some older tanks came with a fake plastic strip to practice with.
    I remember a clear plastic strip with red instructions on it.

    120 is much harder to deal with than 35mm.
  5. How do you develop 120 B&W film ? Very, very carefully.

    Seriously it's not easy trying to get 120mm film on a reel plastic or steel. That's because 120mm film tends to curl allot especially if has been sitting in the camera for a while.

    I think if you practice "allot" at first, steel reels become faster and more convenient to load. Otherwise, I would purchase some "Samigon" plastic developing reels(if they still sell them) which make it a snap to load 120mm film.

    Once you get the film on the reel, everything else is about the same as developing 35mm, except you are using a little bit more chemicals.

    When drying the film clip one of those print hooks on the top and another one the bottom edge of the film and hang it to dry, preferebly in dust free room such as a bathroom.(thats how I do it)
  6. Have you developed 35mm before? Then 120 is the same except for the size of the film. Everyone here would be glad to help with specific questions, but it's too much to explain in an email. The best way to start is to go pick up a basic book on darkroom work if you haven't developed film before. Asking "how do I develop film" is like asking "how do I take pictures." :) Thousands of books have been written and everybody has their own opinion on the best approach. As for reels and tanks, I prefer stainless steel with 120 the same as 35. It is a little trickier to load. BTW, if you unwound part of the roll and looked at the film, at least part of that roll has been exposed to light so toss it out.
  7. Believe me, there are only a couple of differences to consider when processing 120 vs 35 mm films. None of them are show stoppers.

    First, the packaging is very different. Where 35 mm film comes in it's own little cassette, 120 film (as you've no doubt noticed by now) comes on a spool with lightproof paper backing. There is a small piece of tape holding one short edge of the film to the paper backing. Unwrap the spool in total darkness, and separate the backing paper from the film. Toss teh paper and spool on the floor so you don't accidentally try to load the paper onto the reel. Don't laugh, I've seen (or rather felt) people do this. And don't worry if some of the tape stays with the film. It will do no harm if it runs through the process.

    Loading the film onto the reel may be a little more challenging. If you're using plastic tanks with adjustable reels, it's no sweat. Just make sure you have adjusted the reel to the proper size before you start. I can do this in the dark, but I have a lot of practice too. Stainless steel reels can be a bit more challenging. Because the film is wider and the support a little thinner than 35mm stocks, it can be a little more difficult to control. It's nothing you can't handle.

    Second, be sure to use enough solution to cover the reel. You'll need approximately 2x the amount of solution needed to cover a 35 mm reel.

    That's all there is to it. Everything else is the same. Go have some fun. If you don't feel comfortable loading a reel, practice with the cheapest el-crapo film you can find rather than waste a good roll of Tri-X on the exercise.
  8. I've found that loading a 120 roll is a lot easier then loading a 35mm roll. However, the above advice is right on. If you plan to develop 120 film for the foreseeable future, I suggest spending a little extra money and get a stainless steel Hews reel. They are really worth it.
  9. I have rolled and developed more than my fair share of 120 film. I don't use 35mm -- only 120 and 4X5. Here is one little bit of advice based on experience. Once you get the process down pat most rolls will almost slide onto the wire spool. But there is always that 1-out-of-10 that wants to be belligerant and you end up with crinkles and hal-moons on the first frame. So; always try to have your first shot of the roll NOT your most important.

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