Now that you know what the chemical solutions will
do, just follow these steps for processing your film.
Assemble your materials before turning off the
lights. Searching for equipment in the dark can be nerve
racking. Typical developing equipment for 35mm film
includes the tank, can opener, timer, graduate(s),
thermometer, scissors and film clip(s). Keep these
materials in a handy location, but away from the area
immediate yin front of you. This will prevent you from
bumping into them or confusing them with other
ADJUST WATER TEMPERATURE
Adjust the tap water until a steady temperature of
between 65° to 75° F is maintained. Dilute the film
developer in a graduate and place it in a tray with the
other chemical bottles. Let water run in the tray and wait
for the temperature to stabilize, usually in two to three
FILM REEL LOADING
The proper loading of the film reel in total darkness
can be the most challenging steps in processing roll film.
A good amount of repetition is required to load film
successfully. Practice loading several dummy rolls in
both white light and total darkness before you turn off
the lights and load actual exposed film.
NOTE: Handle the film only by the edges to prevent
scratches and fingerprints!
Use the following steps to load the film on the reel:
1. If you are right-handed, position the ends of the
wire spiral reel on the top and pointing to the right. If
you are left-handed, position the ends on top and
pointing to the left.
2. Pickup the film cassette. If a short length of
film is left protruding from the 35mm cassette when
the film is rewound, you do not have to open the
cassette to remove the film. The leader or loading tab
on 35mm film can be cut off square (in the light, if
you desire) to ease loading, as shown in figure 11-26.
However, if the leader is enclosed within the cassette,
remove the flat bottom of the cassette with a can
opener, as shown in figure 11-27; then cut off the
leader as previously described.
3. Bow the film slightly concave to clear the edges
of the spiral and clip or hold the film to the core (center)
Figure 11-26.Cutting leader (loading tab) from 35mm film.
Figure 11-27.Opening a 35mm film cassette with a can opener.
of the reel. The film emulsion must face in, or toward,
the center of the reel. The tension on the film should be
firm enough to prevent the film from skipping the spiral
grooves, but not too firm to cause it to overlap or fall
into the same groove twice.
4. Turn the reel while applying a gentle pressure.
This pressure will produce a slight curl in the film and
allow it to pass into the edges of the reel. Make sure
you keep your thumb and forefinger on the film
edges! As you continue to turn the reel, the film will
straighten out and fit into the grooved spaces in the reel.
Figure 11-28 shows the proper way to load 35mm film
on a wire reel.