DIY developing in the UK

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by anselm_priest, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. Does any manufacture do an all inclusive complete starters kit for DIY developing of B+W film, i know
    ILFORD do chemicals etc.

    I am a complete newbie to developing and what to do it right, but are not sure where to start. I am happy
    to spend some money cos in the long run it will save me having to go to high street developers

    Thanks i advance

  2. Kits generally include a few cheapo bits (and the odd thing you don't really need) - I bought all my stuff as separates. Measuring jugs are generally cheaper from your local market or hardware/kitchen store.<p><p><p>I remember seeing an ad in AP recently for Ilford chemicals at very keen prices but I don't have that copy to hand - keep an eye out (strange phrase!).<p>Have fun, Johnny.
  3. You can also try Silverprint who stock almost everything you could ever want, and are great at getting people started. Just send them an email and tell them you're starting from scratch and they'll be able to send you a realistic minimum shopping list. They're based in London but deliver all over the country.
  4. I also got all my stuff as seperates - some of the larger Jessops still sell the chemicals but check the "use by" dates carefully (I say that from experience!)

    There are some great books around teaching you how to do things - you really don't need much to get going if you are just developing and not printing: chemicals, jug, storage containers, thermometer...can't think of much else.
  5. If you only want to develop the film and scan rather than print it, a Paterson System 4 tank and 2 spirals is a good place to start, and they are readily available secondhand. It will process 2x35mm films at once, or 1x120 film and uses 300ml dev for each film. You will also need a dark place to load the film into the dev tank, a dark cupboard at night will do to start.
    As stated, cheap plastic measuring jugs will suffice, and some means to measure small quantities of fluid (I use a couple of 50ml syringes).
    Chemicals you will need are film developer and fixer. I use Ilford LC29 dev as you can dilute it lots for economy, and Ilford Hypam fixer, but there is a multitude of choices out there. These bits are readily available from most photo suppliers and online.
    Other bits useful but not essential include a thermometer, a hose to run clean water through the dev tank to wash the film at the end, stop bath solution to arrest the development prior to fixing (I used to use a very dilute solution of water with a few drops of vinegar in), wetting agent to clean the film and help stop drying marks (I still use a tiny drop of washing up liquid in the final wash) and film clips for hanging during drying (I use a couple of clothes pegs, one to hang on the bottom to prevent film curling during drying).

    So in terms of getting a kit together, buying separately:

    ?10 secondhand dev tank and spirals
    ?4.50 set of 3 cheap plastic jugs
    ?5 developer
    ?8 fixer
    ?free other bits and pieces you may already have.

    Should be able to get going for less than ?30 and the chemicals will last a while.
  6. ps: those question marks should be pound signs!
  7. Thanks everyone for such comprehensive answers, i am glad to see that for not much cash i
    can develop my own negs, Then i can save my pennies for a decent neg scanner.

    Regards All

  8. Also try Retro Photographic of Oxford.
  9. Here are some links that might be useful:-
  10. Ebay is a good place for cheap stuff. Last year I picked up an unused Jessops B&W darkroom kit (inc enlarger) for ?40. All that was wrong with it was that the developer & film had gone out of date.
  11. Take care measuring the small volumes necessary with some developers; "kitchen" measuring jugs aren't up to it as they lack accuracy. Syringes available from a local pharmacy are a cost-effective way to measure smaller volumes, however. And I agree that eBay is very handy with so many people ditching their stuff having gone digital.

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