Developing C41 film rolls

This is Knepp's guide on how to develop C41 using the Digibase C41-chemistry. C41 is, unlike B/W, a standardized process. That means you can develop different film stocks in the same time!

Step 1 - Pre soak

Before you can start developing, you need to pre-soak both equipment and chemicals to make sure everything is at the correct temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius. Life is too short to worry about exact temperature. Get your chemicals to 39 degrees Celsius. They will drop in temperature when you pour them in the tank.

Please note that temperature on the tap is not correct. Always use a thermometer!

Fill a large container with water, and keep the water running. Put the chemical bottles in the container. Use the other tap in the same zink to fill the developing tank and keep the water running. Wait for a few minutes.

Step 2 - Loading

Empty the water filled developing tank. In complete dark, load your film roll(s) on the developing reel(s) and put the in the tank. Make sure that the light proof lid is on and secured before you turn on the lights again.

Step 3 - Pre soak (again)

Now that film is in the tank, pre soak the film in water. The water should be 37.8 degrees Celsius. Let the film soak 2-3 minutes.

Step 4 - Developer

Always use gloves when handling C41 chemicals! You don't want to get them on your hands.

Developer is kept in the bottle with brown tape on the cap. Pour the soaking water out. Set your timer for 3 minutes 15 seconds. Start the timer and pour the developer into the tank. Invert for the first 15 seconds, then tap the tank on the sink to remove any evil air bubbles. After this, agitate for 10-15 seconds every 30 seconds. After 3 min 15 sec, pour the developer into an empty beaker. Put this aside for now. Later, use a funnel to pour the developer back into the bottle.

Step 5 - Bleacher

Bleach is in the bottle with clear tape on the cap. Set your timer for 3 min - 4 min 20 sec. Pour the bleach in. Invert for the first 15 seconds, then tap the tank on the zink to remove any evil air bubbles. After this, agitate for 10-15 seconds every 30 seconds. When the time is out, pour the bleach into an empty beaker. Put this aside for now. Later, use a funnel to pour the bleach back into the bottle.

Step 6 - Fixer

Fix is in the bottle with red tape on the cap. Set your timer for 4 min 20 sec - 6 min 30 sec. Pour the fixer in. Tap the tank on the zink to remove evil air bubbles. Agitate every 30 seconds. When the time is out, pour the fix into an empty beaker. Put this aside for now. Later, use a funnel to pour the fix back into the bottle.

Step 7 - Stabilizer

Stabilizer is in the bottle with no tape on the cap. Set your timer for 1 min 20 sec. Pour the stabilizer in. Pour the bleach in. Invert for the first 15 seconds, then tap the tank on the zink to remove any evil air bubbles. After this, agitate for 10-15 seconds every 30 seconds. When the time is out, pour the stabilizer into an empty beaker. Put this aside for now. Later, use a funnel to pour the stabilizer back into the bottle.

Step 8 - Drying

Take your film out on the developing tank. Admire your own work! Then, use your fingers to dry of the liquid on the film. Grab hangers and weights and hang the film in the drying cabinet. Wait until the film is completely dry, meanwhile - go to step 9. Cut your film to segments of 6 exposures, and put the in a negative holder.

Step 9 - Cleaning up

For the shared darkroom to work - everyone has to take responsibility for cleaning and making sure everything is where it should be!

Pour chemicals back into their bottles. Take all the equipment that you have used and clean it thourougly with dish soap. Put everything on the drying rack. Make sure that everything is where it should be when you leave.

Step 10 (optional) - Scan or take photos of your negatives

Knepp offers great scanners for all your 135 and 120 film. If you don't have time to scan right now - use the light tables and your phone to photograph your negatives! Now it's time to enjoy your work! Well done!