My first attempt at development needed easily available chemicals locally, or at least, in the country so that, I would not have to run around too much for them. I also needed them to be fairly standard or at least a little decent and not too much pain to mix or make. I was advised to try the Foma chemicals.
With Foma chemicals, I first tried developing with FomaExcel P. This is supposedly a fine-grain developer and suited for better film. First I had to prepare my developer and fixer – mix the chemicals. My first attempt at mixing the chemicals ended up in a bit of a disaster with me dumping in the chemical B which was supposed to be dissolved in water *after* chemical A was, being dissolved first and resulting solution probably not being upto scratch.
Not wanting to experiment – especially with some crystallisation – which on further reading, *might* have been okay, I started off with a pack of Fomadon that I had. Now Fomadon, I mixed right, wiser by experience.
The fixer was easier by comparison, and I just had to stir with an old toothbrush, to dissolve it in water, and it was done. It was Foma fixer, again. All chemicals obtained via the helpful chaps at Eastern Photographic, Delhi.
And then I went onto load film and develop. I figured loading the film could be done in semi-dark circumstances and that it would suffice. Closed windows, doors, put on the drapes(not really ones that cut out much light), and proceeded to load film under darkness… under the bed, it should be dark enough right? WRONG!
It turned out that I had exposed film to light. And the whole couple of rolls( I seem to have habit inclination of developing two rolls together, not sure why) went to dogs. Light exposed meant one didn’t even get to see markings on film.
Note: Even when exposed to light, with correct developer + fixer action, the film comes out as tan/dark tan roll.
This led me to learn and develop at night. Well, load at night (and changing bag wasn’t yet in the mind). Being a night owl helped. Anyhow, the next roll developed came out alright if a little feeble looking .
Given that the inverted development wasn’t really a fun-thing, I instead opted for standing development – about 35mins each, and fixing for a similar time. The wash was via regular tap. I developed a couple of rolls that way – a shanghai 120 (shot on RB67), a kodak c-41 negative (processed in B&W) and Delta 100. All came out fairly okay, without much issues – there were some issues of development time and temperature I had to take into consideration, but I wasn’t fully ready to take that plunge yet.