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Developing Black and White Film at Home

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Step 3: The Chemicals

The process that we will be using involves three chemical steps. First, a developer will be added to bring out the exposed portions of the image. Then, a stop bath is added to stop the developer's chemical reaction. Finally, the filmed is cleared with a fixer (sometimes called "hypo".) This is a very basic explanation, and I encourage you to look into the actual chemical processes to further familiarize yourself with the chemistry.

For this instructable, I used D-76 developer, Kodak Indicator Stop Bath, and NH-5 Fixer (without the hardener.) I felt like this was a good combination of chemicals, and I would recommend reading up on the developing process a little more before making alterations to my list. This is because the steps for processing may be a little different than the ones I have outlined.

Mix the chemicals according to the manufacturer's instructions. Generally, this evolves filling a bottle with 3/4 of the required water, adding the concentrated chemical, and then adding the remaining water required. I prefer to mix my photography chemicals in dark opaque bottles, because I find that they have a slightly longer shelf life this way. If you don't see yourself working with the chemicals very often, make only what you will need to develop the number of rolls you have, because the chemicals have a far longer shelf life when concentrated. Make only stock solutions, with no dilution. Let the bottles sit in the room you will be developing in overnight to equalize the temperature, and insure that the chemical is properly mixed.
 
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Actually you can process c41 with b&w chemistry. There are a few flikr groups and online tutorials.
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