How to Develop 120 Film

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Developing 120 speed film is done in total darkness using a pitch black darkroom or a dark box. Feed the film into the developing canister, careful not to expose it to any light, with advice from a professional photographer in this free video on photography.

Part of the Video Series: Photography Tips Techniques
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm John Budden with Shutter Priority Imaging Center. And what we're going to talk about is, how to process 120 film. Actually what we're going to be doing is, we're going to be dealing with just black and white, because black and white can actually be done at home in one of these tank processors. What we have to do is, your 120 film- what we're going to do is before we- everything has to be in absolute dark, so here at Shutter Priority we would use a dark box here. Everything would be put inside here, arm holds in here, everything is light tight so we can actually deal with this in total darkness. But this purpose here we're going to just keep the lights on and all that so you can see really what's going on. What we're going to do is, once the film has been exposed you're going to have to unroll the film in total darkness until you feel the lead of the film. From there you're going to have to load this onto your reels. And what we have is these great little safety plastic speed reels is what they kind of call them, and it makes it a lot easier than these old stainless steels that you probably familiar with too. We are going to load this on, as such. Once it's loaded on all you do is you turn your reels like this and it'll actually self feed itself all the way through. As you're loading your film you want to put your thumb placement here to keep the film cracking in correctly. And here again, total darkness, there's no such thing as safety lights for film. Once the film has been loaded in we're going to actually take the paper backing off, separate it. We're going to finish loading it all the way through, we're going to put it on our spindle, we're going to put it inside our canister, we're going to put the top on the canister and we're going to lock it in place. Once the canister is locked in place, now we're light tight and it's safe, open up our darkroom box, pull this off. At this point the film is ready for processing. You would go through your standard chemical process for whatever black and white you're doing. And this is how you process black and white 120 film.


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