4x5 Photography - Film Developing

Continued from Part 1...

So now I have to devise a plan on how I am going to develop my film here at my house.  I have a spare bathroom I can use as a dark room but I have absolutely zero supplies to do so and prefer to make my own things instead of buying them.  

First up I need to make a tank for the chemicals and film to go in to.  I had the idea of using PVC pipe.  So off I went to Lowes to try to come up with a solution.

Development Tank Materials

Development Tank Materials

I came back with the shortest piece of 4" PVC pipe I could find as well as some water tight plugs for both ends.  One end will stay fixed to the tube while the other will be taken on and off to change out chemicals.  Next step was to cut it down to a more manageable size.

Development Tank in Progress

Development Tank in Progress

So I poured myself a drink and got to cutting.  Unfortunately the saw I had wasn't very good so my cut is pretty crooked.  But I decided to go on and see how it worked before making another pass at it.  It may not end up affecting the seal and will just be a cosmetic thing.

Development Tank in Progress

Development Tank in Progress

Here we have all the sharp edges sanded down and then I cleaned it with soap and water to ensure no dust remained.  Time to test the seal!

Development Tank in Progress

Development Tank in Progress

And like I hoped it is leak free!  Now is a good time to test how much chemical you will need to put in each time.  This is also the reason we cut it down in the first place to make sure the volume is low enough to be manageable and that the film is completely covered by your chemical.  For my tank I use 500ml of liquid to cover the film.  Which, from what I can tell, is what most store bought tanks will need.

Finished Tank plus Measuring Cups

Finished Tank plus Measuring Cups

And there we have the finished tank drying on the window sill after a good cleaning.  Also we have 3 measuring cups. 2x500ml and 1x1000ml being dried after a clean as well.  I purchased these before I made the tank and luckily they ended up being the perfect size for my tank.  The 2x500ml cups will be used to hold the Developer and the Fixer.  The 1000ml will hold distilled water to be used in place of Stop Bath.  I plan on doing 2 30 second cycles of distilled water.  So I will dump roughly half the water in and agitate for 30 seconds, then remove it and repeat before moving onto the fixer.

Continue to Part 3...