"Kodak sells film, but they don't advertise film; they advertise memories," said Theodore Levitt. Even though you capture instant, random & initiative moments with your smartphone while creating new memories, you can also cherish your old memories locked in old, outdated photo films by developing them at your home. In this article, you will know all the necessary equipment, techniques, and steps of how to develop film at home and how to enhance your developed photos with DSLR perfection.

Is it possible to develop a film at home?

While knowing the proper steps with supportive equipment, which are easily available in the market, you can develop films at home. Without any professional help for the darkroom, you can develop any black & white color slide film at your home.

What type of film development is possible at home?

However, to try with your film developing experience, you must start with the black & white film negative developing process since, for color film development, you need additional bleach chemicals. Unfortunately, the steps are a little more complicated than the black & white film development process.

What do you need to develop films at home?

To develop any 35mm black & white film rolls, you need a few simple and easily available pieces of equipment. Here you get the list of 13 things that you need for film development at home with their purposes.

  • Chemicals: Three chemicals are required Black & White developer, stop bath & fixer are available in liquid, powder, solvent & non-solvent form.
  • A Changing Bag: It is a replacement for the darkroom as through this, you can shift the film from the canister to the tank without making it exposed to the light.
  • A Bottle Opener: It helps to open the canister to take out the film roll.
  • A scissor: It is required to cut the film.
  • A Developing Tank: Here, you can keep the films and chemicals while developing the film.
  • A Film Reel: It is used to hold the film, so the chemical can fully cover every part of the film. Plastic film reels are easier to handle for beginners than metal ones.
  • A Digital Thermometer: It is used to measure the perfect temperature of the chemistry.
  • A Timer: It helps to measure development time.
  • A Container: It is required to measure an adequate amount of chemicals.
  • A Bottle: It is needed to store the remaining chemical for further use.
  • Film Holding Clips: These help to dry your developed films.
  • A Sink: You need a place with a constant water supply.
  • A Bottle of Distilled Water: If your tap water has high minerals that can leave marks on your film.

How to develop films at home?

Once you have arranged all the necessary equipment, you are ready to go with the steps of how to develop films at home without any traditional darkroom or professional assistance. Here you go with the steps.

Step 1: Keep necessary equipment in the changing bag

You must keep the canister, developing tank, bottle opener, and scissors in the bag to open the canister in complete darkness.

Step 2: Open the canister

While using the bottle opener, open the lid of the canister and take out the film by holding the edges. Next, cut the extra part of the film, with the scissor.

Step 3: Film feeding into the reel

Next, you can insert the rest of the film into the reel while twisting the reel's two sides back and forth. Cut the end part of the film to insert the end.

Step 4: Placing film reel in the developing tank

While placing the reel in the center of the tank, ensure that the agitator is locked. Then you place the lid on the top of the tank to twist it tightly.

Step 5: Chemical mixing process

While using the thermometer, maintain the water temperature at 68°F, heating or cooling it as per requirement. Next, use measuring containers separately to prepare chemicals by diluting the developer, fixer, and stop bath with the accurate amount of water. Finally, you can use distilled water if needed.

Step 6: Developer pouring process

After pouring the developer on the tank, you should immediately start tapping the tank's bottom on the sink to release the air bubbles. After agitating the tank carefully for 30 seconds, you should upside down the tank for 10 seconds and return it back. Continue the process every minute until the film development duration gets over. Next, drain out the developer from the tank.

Step 7: Stop Bath pouring process

After pouring the stop bath into the tank, agitate it for 30 seconds and wait 30 seconds more to settle down the chemical to remove the developer's effects.

Step 8: Fixer pouring process

After pouring the fixer into the tank, keep on agitating for 30 seconds and do the inversion every single minute for 5 minutes. After taking out the fixer from the tank. So, your film development process ends here.

Step 9: Film washing process

Time to wash your films with running tap water or distilled water for around 5 minutes in the developing tank. After draining out the water, to prevent any watermarks while drying the film, you must use any wetting agent in the tank for around 30 seconds.

Step 10: Film removal from the tank

After opening the tank, you need to take out the film from the reel. You can use the sponge or film squeegee to absorb any excess water.

Step 11: Dry your film

To dry your film negatives, you can hang all the negatives using any strings, or hangers, in any dust-free place. To secure the film with clips, it will take a few hours to dry completely.

Step 12: Time for scanning or printing

After drying up, you must cut the film rolls into strips, each containing 5 photos. You can do the scanning at home with your film scanner, or you can make it in any photo lab.

So while practicing this film-developing process, if you want to share your entire experience on any social media platform, or with your friends, you can make a video of the entire procedure. Now, to give professional perfection to your film-developing video, you must take the advanced AI technology of the DVDFab Enlarger AI. Let's see how this software works.

How to make video professional with DVDFab Enlarger AI

No, how casually you have captured your film-developing experience in your mobile camera, the high-end features of the DVDFab Enlarger AI, would give professional perfection. With the automatic technology of this software, you can enlarge and enhance your videos and images according to your requirements. While adding color to sharpening images, you can do multiple customizations of your video with this smart tool.


  • Enlarge the image by 300% without losing its original quality.
  • Get sharper and clearer images without digital artifacts.
  • Upscale video image quality while coloring correcting algorithm.
  • Balance saturation, brightness, and contrast to give natural effects.
  • Enhance video image while enhancing resolution up to 4k.
  • Select putout quality from four options Premium, Deblock, Ultra & Ultra+Deblock.
  • Enjoy high-speed video image upscaling service with GPU acceleration.

Downloading Steps

Step 1: After starting the DVDFab software on your PC, head to the module panel from the top module bar. Next, move to the Back-up Mode to select the Blu-ray option.

Step 2: After uploading the video content that you like to enlarge as a form of DVD, ISO file, or folder, head to the Enlarger AI option box next to the wrench symbol.

Step 3: Go for the "Start" option to initiate the upscale conversion.


What cautions do you need to develop film at home?

  • While preparing chemicals, you must wear rubber gloves.
  • If you feel uncomfortable with the smell, you can take a break.
  • You can do the film development in a well-ventilated area.
  • You can also wear a surgical mask.

What is film photography?

It is a photography process that allows you to capture images on transparent plastic strips known as film. The side of the film is coated with gelatin emulsion. It has silver halide crystals to determine the resolution and contrast of the photographs.

What are the benefits of film development at home?

  • Economic
  • Hassle-free
  • It can be done anytime, anywhere
  • No need for professional help or skill
  • Old images can be retrieved

Last Word

So, when you know how to develop film at home with minimum equipment and organized steps, you must try it once on your own. Even if it seems complicated for you for the first time, it will become easier with time and practice.