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A Year in Review – October 2010

Even though it feels like I have been developing film for an age (this is probably because scanning takes so damn long); it was only in October that I plucked up the courage to start doing it at home. Being completely green about what I was doing I bought Ilfotec DD-X as the developer (as the guy in the only shop in HK that sells chemicals told me to use it) and proceeded to use it as a one shot developer – making the cost of home developing greater than the cost of my local lab for each film.

Thankfully since then I have tried and found alternative developers that I now prefer, and also learnt to drop the Acid Fix completely in favour of water and to reuse the Rapid Fix between 16 and 20 times. This is the Kiev 88 in front of the newly purchased Patterson Tank and all the kit you need to develop at home.

This strip is a scan from the first film I developed – the lighting isn’t quite right from the camera and I was also a little confused with the scanner options – as you have to run 120 in advanced and therefore fully manual mode on the Canoscan.

You can see I was not removing the water fully from the negative and also that I hadn’t discovered the benefits of cans of compressed air.

These next two were from the early films that I developed – Nathalie and Lola on the Kiev 88 and the second image is taken in Shanghai on the Mamiya MSX100 using the 50/1.8 (so I was stood this close behind the head of security).

Timing and temperature are the two biggies in developing and getting contrast right has so many variables that the only way to learn is to practice. Since October I have used B/W more than colour and developed it all.

Thankfully some of the images come out with the contrast I am always looking for.

This is in Sri Lanka as is the last picture of the month – both on the GW690II and showing that this is always going to be a favourite camera.

Posted by simon on February 16, 2011
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. 02/26/2011

    hi! nice blog. i’m a local (i.e hongkong), and there are actually a few places where you can actually get chemicals for developing: mongkok (d76), jordan woosung street (kodak hc110, tmaxRS, d76).

    personally i recommend hc-110 for its versatility, long shelf life and its one of the cheapest developer you can get ($90hkd for 3.8L of stock solution, which can be further diluted in 1:7/1:15 etc)

    anyways, have fun shooting in hong kong!

    • 02/26/2011

      Thanks for the comment. I have tried HC-110, TMax Dev and Ilfotec DD-X in Hong Kong and the one I wanted to work the most just didn’t prove to be that reliable – and that was HC-110 at even 1:63. I have some D76 to use but just need to sort out some containers to mix and store it in.


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