A Web site I've got bookmarked with basic information is The Black and White Darkroom. It'll give you a good overview of the process. A few more random thoughts:

  • The number of chemicals (and therefore bottles you'll need for temporary storage) varies depending on the details of the process -- for instance, whether or not you use a wash aid.
  • Some products will require additional storage bottles for long-term storage. For instance, you might get a packet that makes a gallon of developer, so you'll need one big or several small bottles to hold that gallon, plus a temporary bottle to hold the diluted working solution when you develop a roll of film. You can buy bottles from various sources or re-use bottles intended for other purpose, such as soda bottles. (The latter is risky if you've got kids in the house or if you use your kitchen for developing film.)
  • Different books, Web sites, and other resources will provide slightly different instructions. Don't fret too much about these differences, but always favor the manufacturer's instructions for times. For instance, if a Web site says to fix film for 2 minutes but the fixer manufacturer says 5 minutes, use the 5-minute time.
  • Most of the hardware you need is common stuff, such as measuring cups. Items intended for use in a kitchen, laundry room, etc., can do fine for this -- but don't use a single vessel for both photochemistry and food! The developing tank and reels are specialized photo-only products. I've seen kits, such as this one or this other one at Freestyle, that package most of the hardware you'll need together for easy purchasing. You'll still need bottles and chemicals, though. When I started I bought a "student kit" of B&W chemicals from somebody on eBay, but I don't recall ever seeing such a kit at regular Internet photo retailers. (Such kits are common for color film, though.)
  • You specified you want to develop negatives only. How do you intend to proceed from there? Scan them yourself? Take them to a 1-hour lab for printing? You can certainly do these things, but you may eventually find that you want to print them yourself in a traditional way. This will require more hardware (mainly an enlarger, but also trays, tongs, a safelight or two, and a few more odds and ends). You'll also need a space that can be made completely dark. This can be surprisingly small -- many people use bathrooms or even closets or blackout tents for this purpose.


Best of luck beginning your own processing!