Tag Archives: cross-develop

Developing C-41 Color Print Film in Black & White Developer

Developing notes
I used Kodak HC-110 developer. I like it and it is what I have right now. I used dilution H, which is 1 part developer to 63 parts water. This is straight developer concentrate, not a stock solution. The concentrate is the US strength, where dilution B is 1+31 — I’ve read that HC-110 comes in a weaker dilution across the pond. I’ve never seen it or used it, just throwing the warning out there.

One thing about using more dilute developer is to make sure you have enough developer concentrate in the solution. The Yankee tank I used calls for 340mL of developer for one roll of 35mm film. Easy enough — divide 340 by 64 to get the amount of syrup I need. It comes out to 5.3125mL. However, you need at least 6mL of HD-110 syrup to have enough of the active chemicals to convert the exposed portions of a roll of 35mm film to metallic silver. So… 6mL X 64 = 384mL total. I use dilution H a lot so I made a mark on a graduated cylinder with a permanent marker at 384mL. That way, I just put in 6mL of syrup and fill to the mark with water. Use dilution H as a one-shot — don’t re-use.

An oral syringe for measuring medicine for children (cats in my case) is perfect for this. I fill a 3mL syringe twice, squirt it into the cylinder, add some water into the cylinder, suck and squirt the water a few times to make sure I get all of the syrup out of the syringe, then top off to 384mL.

I got the most useful information about HC-110 from this page at Covington Innovations.

I used Kodak indicator stop bath at a dilution of 16mL/liter. You might see the recommended dilution stated as 1:64 or 1:63. It’s meant to be one part of a total solution of 64 parts. That’s why I like the 1+## notation rather than a ratio — you don’t have to guess whether the writer means 1 part plus ## water or 1 part of ## solution. It can be re-used and changes color (the indicator) when exhausted but it’s inexpensive so I don’t re-use it.

*The stop bath concentrate is a strong acetic acid. Strong enough to require ground shipping only in the US, so don’t get it on you. It’s also flammable and an inhalation hazard, so seriously, treat it with respect and protect your eyes.*

I used Ilford Rapid Fixer at 1+4. I normally don’t re-use the fixer either. It’s more expensive than the stop but I shoot such a bizarre mix of color print film (usually developed as color print negatives), slides, B&W film, and digital that my problem is usually shelf life rather than chemical exhaustion. If I’m doing a large run, I might re-use. In this case, I didn’t know what the color print film might leave in the solutions, so definitely one-shot.

With everything mixed, we’re finally ready to go.

Everything was done at a temperature of 68F (~20C).

Develop for 11 minutes. The data sheet calls for agitation every 30 seconds. I have a tendency to agitate too vigorously and dilution H is a little more forgiving so I generally do 4 inversions immediately after filling, smack the tank on the counter as I set it down to loosen any bubbles, and repeat at the beginning of each subsequent minute.

Stop for 1 minute. I did 4 inversions + smack at the beginning and then let it sit for the rest of the minute.

Fix for 5 minutes. Ilford recommends 2-5 minutes for B&W films. This was an experiment so getting anything was the goal. I used the same agitation scheme as the developing step.

Wash using the Ilford method: “After fixing, fill the spiral tank with water at the same temperature, +/-5ºC (9ºF), as the processing solutions and invert it five times. Drain the water away and refill. Invert the tank ten times. Once more drain the water away and refill. Finally, invert the tank twenty times and drain the water away.”

I did an extra 20 inversion wash step for good measure.

I filled the tank and added a couple of drops of Kodak Photo-Flo and did 20 inversions.

I took the film out, gave a loud YES! when I saw images, squeegeed with a cellulose sponge and hung to dry.

Developing Ancient Polaroid Pack Film Negatives

Update 1 March 2019
Trying to date a print I found with the camera, I looked up the date codes on the back of the positives. The film is not as old as I thought. It’s Type 667, the successor to the 107C film referenced below. Using the documents from the Phound Photo entry, the B&W film with manufacturing code E1V142801H is:

Made after 1996 (from the format of the code).
E=made in May.
1=2001 (the first 1 year after 1996).
V=made at the Vale of Leven plant in Scotland.
14=identifies it was made on machine #14.
28=shift A on 10th of month.
01=component change (I have no idea what this means).
H=Type 667 film (coaterless, 10 frames per pack).
End of Update 1 March 2019



I got another pack film camera, a 100 with the Zeiss rangefinder from a 250. It had a pack of Polaroid Type 107 3000 B&W film in it. I pulled one on the very long odds that the developing pods might be good. Nope, dry as a bone. I put a battery in the camera and tried the shutter and it seems to work fine.

I pulled the shutter test frame out of the camera in a dark bag and tried developing it. I’d read somewhere that you could develop the negatives from pack film but I’d never seen an example or tried it. On one Flickr discussion group, someone suggested you could treat it like old Kodak Panatomic-X. So, I had to dig for developing info about one extinct film (according to Wikipedia, Panatomic-X hasn’t been made since 1987) so I could try it on another extinct film.

The instructions I got with the 107 film in the camera call for coating the prints. The coater-less version, 107C, came out in 1978. I don’t know if Polaroid kept making 107 after 107C came out but even 107C hasn’t been made since 1998. If I’d realized it was that old I might have saved a frame. Probably not, the first thing people do when looking at an old camera in a thrift shop is to open it. Any way, the instructions I found called for HC-110 dilution B (1+31) at 68F for 4.5 minutes.

I don’t have any normal tanks that can develop large format negatives. The Polaroid image (excluding the border) is 7.3 X 9.5cm. In one of those “buy the lot to get the one thing you want” purchases, I got a Cibachrome color processing drum (PDF manual). It was made to do prints without using a series of open trays. Cibachrome was an awesome process, direct to positive, full color prints. Sadly, I learned about it too late. It too is an extinct product.

This is the shutter test shot. Developed in HC-110, dilution H (1+63) at 68F for 9 minutes. I frequently use half the concentration for twice the time. It’s a little gentler on old negatives (old paper negative in this case) and it helps to have a little time leeway. The results are pretty similar to HC-110 B. This was a go/no-go test so getting anything was the goal.

Negative image taken with my iPhone.

Negative image taken with my iPhone.

No idea what it is but it’s not my target, the kitchen lights. I tried bleaching the negative but all I did was take off some of the emulsion.

A proper scan at 600 DPI after the bleaching attempt.

A proper scan at 600 DPI after the bleaching attempt.


The scan inverted.  Still no idea -- probably nothing.

The scan inverted. Still no idea — probably nothing.

I had nothing but variables: an unknown film, shot in an unknown camera, developed with an unknown process. I know, I’ll use a different camera I haven’t tested!

I pulled the remaining three frames out of the film pack and put them into a light tight box. Wrangling a Polaroid and a box in a small changing bag is an exercise in patience. Once that was done, I removed the extra paper, developing pods, and positives, leaving just the negatives emulsion side up (I think) in the box. The next magic act was getting a negative out of the box and into the test camera, a Kodak Autographic No. 3A (1918-27) which is nearly as big as the Polaroid.

I shot a test and then psyched myself out that I didn’t have the emulsion facing the subject. Just to be sure, I put the beast back in the dark bag, turned the film over and shot it again. I shot the same subject so I still don’t know if I had it right the first time.

My meter app doesn’t have ISO 3000 so I guesstimated that the film would have lost some speed and used 2500. I used the fastest shutter on the old Kodak, 1/100 second and f/16. That was really fortunate since the aperture on the camera is labeled in US (Universal System) units not f-stops. I have a screen grab of an old table comparing aperture systems somewhere. At least I didn’t have to stop everything and find it because I remembered that f-stops and US cross each other at 16

I was getting impatient so I used HC-110 B for 4.5 minutes this time. The framing is terrible but the blobs of dark on the negative are definitely the kitchen lights.

A negative!

A negative!

Fugly, but it's a photograph.

Fugly, but it’s a photograph.

Did I prove anything? Yeah sort of. I know old Polaroid negatives will produce an image. Is it useful information? Probably not to anyone but me but that was the point. Photography forums (fora?) are as bad as Apple discussion groups. There’s always some snarky little bitch who says, “Why waste time? Just go buy X”. That misses the point. I want to know. I already know I can go buy something — there’s no challenge in that.

Process Kodacolor-X as Black & White

I recently shot with an old Carlton 127 camera. The only film I had was a roll of new-old stock Kodacolor-X.

ASA/ISO 80 -- Develop by Feb. 1974.

ASA/ISO 80 — Develop by Feb. 1974.


Kodacolor-X is process C-22 film, extinct except for a couple of specialty labs who mix their own chemicals from scratch. Since I shot the film (not a precious roll of family photos found in a relative’s attic), it’s not worth the price or the wait to send it off. I’ve read here and there about cross-processing old color print film in B&W chemicals and even had some success (-ish) with Kodachrome. Worth a shot so here’s what I did:

I used Kodak HC-110 developer at dilution H. H is an unofficial mix using 1 part developer concentrate to 63 parts water. That’s the US strength developer where dilution B is 1+31.

I used a Yankee plastic tank and lower reel that can adjust for 127 film. For 127, the tank takes 420mL of solution.

Everything was done at 20C/68F. I developed for 10 minutes agitating the first 15 seconds (about 10 inversions) and then 4 inversions every minute for the remainder of the time.

One minute stop bath, using Kodak Indicator Stop at 16mL/liter, inverting the first 15 seconds (10 inversions) and then letting it sit for the remainder of the time.

Ilford Rapid fixer mixed to normal film strength (1+4) for 5 minutes using the same agitation as the developer.

I rinsed using the Ilford method: fill tank & invert 5X; Re-fill & invert 10X; Re-fill & invert 20X. I gave it an extra 20X rinse with some Photo-Flo for good measure and hung it to dry.

The base is really dark orange but Kodacolor-X doesn’t have the nasty, black anti-halation layer that Kodachrome has, and it scanned OK. Boosting the gain on the scanner brings out the noise and grain, but not too bad for what I was working with. I used VueScan software. The Canon software won’t do negatives without the film holder but I don’t have a 127 holder.

I’ll try scanning again after trying a bleaching step, soaking the film in fixer with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) added.

Kodacolor negative.

Kodacolor negative.


Inversion of the snapshot.

Inversion of the snapshot.