Taking the plunge.
I am gonna be developing my own film. No printing yet. Could someone give a basic list of essentials that I might need? I have a little list I'm going by but I wanna make sure I don't miss a thing. I shoot TMax 400 120 roll film. Thnak you all.
Tank and reels suitable for 120.
Graduates for measuring chemistry
Timer of some kind
Changing bag or darkroom for loading
Film clips for drying film
You might also want a film squeegee - although some people suggest it's better not to use them.
Scissors for cutting negs into strips
Something to put your negs in (as in filing sheets and a folder).
Something to store the chemistry in.
Lens caps and cable releases can become invisible at will. :D
You need developer, fixer, wash aid, and rinse aid (Foto-Flo), a tank and reels, a thermometer, chemical storage bottles, and graduated cylinders to mix your chemistry in . Oh, and some kind of clips to hang the film to dry on. You can use an acid stop bath, or you can just use water. As to tanks and reels, well, I personally recommend stainless steel reels and tanks. Some folks feel they're harder to load than plastic reels, but with a little practice they're quite easy to manage. The upside to stainless is that it holds temperature better, so if you need to use a long development time, it won't cool down as fast. There's good stainless and there's cheap stainless. DO NOT TRY TO ECONOMIZE ON YOUR STAINLESS REELS. You will hate yourself and you'll wreck film. Hewes and/or Jobo stainless reels are the best. They are smooth, the spirals are consistent, and they're easy to get the film under their clips in the center of the reel. They're also made of a heavier gague of steel, so they won't bend or break if you inadvertently drop them (which you probably will, in the sink, while unloading your finished film, or worse, on the floor).
Good Morning, Ben,
From the post above: "Hewes and/or Jobo stainless reels are the best." Hewes are indeed the best; in my opinion, Kinderman comes in a close second.
You have to hang that wet film somewhere to dry. I got a roll of wire and a bag of wooden clothes pins. I drilled a little hole in the end on one side of the clothes pins and strung the wire through the holes so all the pins are permanently hanging on the wire. Then you just need a box of clips to weight down the bottom as the rolls dry.
You will also want a small light box if you don't already have one. And your own pair of scissors.
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there is a very good instruction on ilford website. That was the one I used when I first started. Check it out.
One frustrating thing
Winding film onto reels is the trickiest bit. I never quite mastered the steel reels (guess I'm not a real man) and switched to plastic 'walk-on' reels and the nylon ones.
My best advice is to pick up a couple of different style reels second hand and try them with a spare roll and see which one goes smoothly for you. You'll see what I mean.
My plastic walk-on reels extend from 35mm to 127 to 120, making them quite versatile.
Steel reels are the only ones that will load when wet, so I have a few for when I'm doing more than one roll at a time.
And the darkroom could be just a dark room, of course. Like a closet. To me that is easier than the changing bag.
In addition to the other stuff, you'll need a roll or two of film that you can sacrifice to learning how to load the reel. If you don't have a darkroom (seems likely) a dark room (really dark!) will work for loading the film when you get to that point.
Practice loading the reel a few times by looking at it, then several more times with your eyes closed, then you'll be ready.
Check The Black and White Darkroom for basic information on B&W film developing. There are also plenty of books and other Web sites; I just happen to have that one bookmarked. Note that there is no one single "correct" way to do it; there are lots of variants that work equally well. I recommend you find one procedure and stick with it -- but regarding times for various steps, always follow the chemical manufacturer's recommendations rather than anything you read on a Web site or in a book. Later, when you learn more, you'll be able to fine-tune your procedure based on experience and things you learn about different types of chemicals, the reasons for variant procedures, etc. I also recommend you start with a single brand of chemicals (Kodak, Ilford, Paterson, whatever). That way you're less likely to be confused by conflicting instructions for times and procedures, and if something goes wrong you won't end up with a finger-pointing contest between two chemical suppliers. As you learn more, you can easily mix-and-match chemical suppliers. I started out with a complete "kit" of chemicals from an eBay seller. I found this easy because the complete list of stuff can be confusing when you peruse a Web site like B&H's or Freestyle's -- there are just so many different choices!