Film and Alt-Process Photography


oh gosh this is my least favourite part of the process. I adored printing - wafting hands under camera, watching an image come to life, working out exposure - but teenage me found loading spools in the dark terrifying: my clumsy hands the only thing between completely exposing the whole reel or not. There’s certainly a viscerality to it, though, and this whole thread is really making me want to run some film through my Yashica again soon.


Do you get supplies from Freestyle? I’d probably have to order them from somewhere anyway and I was in awe when I stopped there when in LA.


Agh. First attempt at this. Using 120 film. Some light’s crept in somewhere. I’ve attached a photo - I wonder if any of you fine folk recognise the pattern? Does this look like a problem in my camera (rz67) or the development process? I’m not actually disappointed! These were just test shots and I loved the process so I’ll be doing many more! Very excited.


I should add - the pattern repeats itself on most of the exposures but with varying severity and - though they’re all on the same side - they shift in position a cm here and a cm there.


@joshhh yea! i’ve been getting all my chemicals from freestyle. such a cool place and they have everything. i did initally also order some of the basic darkroom supplies from adorama to avoid sales tax.

btw if you’re getting a changing bag, make sure you get the larger 20x30~ish size. i got a smaller one at first because i didn’t realize and it wasn’t roomy enough to comfortably load the film with the tank and everything in there.

@louis seems like a light leak that happened while still in the film back, maybe loading or unloading, or something not completely set in place? have you gotten film from that camera developed before? nice negatives tho! : )


Thanks @stripes, no - this is the first time I was out with the camera and my first time developing. Lots to work on! I’m going to take some test photos tomorrow and go through another development and see if I get the same light leak issue. My scans are also too sharp, and the contrast is all off! So much to improve! Hurrah!


i love the way that photo looks! however i do tend to really like lower contrast b+w

if you lower your rodinal dilution that should increase the contrast. i think bright expansive shots like this can also easily turn out flatter with stand development because the shadow detail is fully revealed over the whole length of the longer development time.


Thank you! I’m pleased with that one too - luckily the light leak on the right could be cropped to make a 6x6 :slight_smile: I managed to get the contrast I like with the above photo but by fiddling with the levels in the scanner app. This is where I start having a quasi-existential crisis. I’ve been shooting on a fuji digital camera for a while and I love the Acros film simulation (and Classic Chrome) - but it’s always nagged at me that it’s essentially a digital filter, I guess? I’m not knocking it because the X100 series has given me so so much pleasure, but for a while now I’ve really wanted to try and process film. That said, the fuji jpegs straight out of the camera are always pretty much always exactly how I want them - I never do any post-processing and it irks me when I have to use my computer. And now with the film I’ve processed I am, more than with the Fuji, editing histograms, contrast, etc by dragging sliders around on a screen. But I suppose that’s just part of the development process? The negatives look like they have good contrast. I was amazed by the extent to which I could pull back some detail from the highlights in the sky that were blown out completely by the scanner’s default settings. I guess I need to understand how I can disentangle my exposures (via filters, aperture, shutter-length, etc.) from the scanning process so I can focus on producing better negatives, and I’m not sure how to do that. And maybe it’s the wrong approach.

Ultimately, I’ll just have to do lots and lots of developing and I’m sure this will then all become clearer. Luckily it’s a lot of fun. Thanks for the help!


@louis The film fogging could come from a number or sources. I have an RB-67, so probably similar to the RZ-- when you remove the camera back, there’s an inset foam seal on the back of the camera body that seals it to the film back. The backs may also have some foam seals. Over time, the foam disintegrates or becomes compressed, and needs to be replaced. You can buy new foam strips at or some other online sources. With medium format, be very careful to load and unload the film in subdued light–make sure the film is spooled tightly.

On the subject of contrast–exposure controls the shadows, and development controls the highlights with black & white film.


Jpegs are made for direct use ( in general ) and is processed by your cam.

Analogue is experimentation, the waiting, the process… The final goal is the print.
Now with our screen world, we scan ! So like in a black chamber, we have to process the scans.

Negative development is really important and can lead you to differents results.

Experimentations ! :wink: and finally your final image is your interpretation !


@Hovercraft - good shout on the foam bits - they do look a little ratty. I’ve developed another roll this evening (so much faster than last time) and the issue this time is only on one image. I’ll look at getting some more foam strips. I’ve also read that the pro2 version of the film backs used rubber rather than foam and were much more reliable in that regard. Re. shadows/highlights - v. interesting, I’ve definitely a lot to learn.

@yunsnare - yes, you’re completely right. I’ve been learning about darkroom enlarging and there are (of course!) numerous methods (filters/exposure-time) to get different contrasts. So it makes utter sense to have the same degree of control over scanned negatives - and having good negatives will make this all the easier!

Thanks all! I’ll report back when I have an image I’m happy with :slight_smile:


The photos I took today were just of things in the house/garden so I could test the light leak issue, but even still - I’m so delighted with the lens on this old camera. It’s just wild.


If you’re wanting to keep photographing while waiting on replacement foam, a little electrical tape or black paper tape goes a long way!


Good idea! Yes, I’ll give it a go as I don’t want to be put off using it in the meantime. Thanks for the tip!


I just want to say that you guys have been extremely inspiring here (not the first time): I’m giving C-41 development a try this weekend. I have a couple of 120 rolls that have been sitting at my desk for almost 4 months and it just makes sense to do that myself (especially given that my development spot won’t scan those for me).

Thanks guys!


I’ve been recently introduced to lines through the disquiet junto, and through that stumbled on this lengthy thread. I’ve been getting back into film photography lately after a 20-year hiatus and it’s cool to come across like-minded people interested in similar things. I just picked up an enlarger and pretty much everything else for a darkroom for a steal and am looking forward to setting it up in a basement closet (so I can make prints of my cat and/or breakfast to send via mail to a handful of friends). In the meantime, here’s a shot developed with caffenol and scanned electronically. All the best to you all!


it’s so exciting that this thread is inspiring people to dive in!
i’ve been developing a lot and didn’t want to spam the thread but here are some of my recent favorites.

i began developing e6 slide film this week and i’m really into it.
i’m brainstorming a new project right now and the goal with the photos i’m taking for it is to research and experiment with different types of film, expiration, and processes to get colors and a sci-fi/fantasy kind of look without editing digitally. so this is all expired film with varying degrees of effect from that.

i must say tho after shooting almost all expired film i am craving some fresh colors. black and white too.


I’m def breaking out my 500c when I get home. It’s been too long.


Here we go. Tried my hand at using CineStill C-41 development kit on two rolls of Portra 400 this weekend (also managed to mangle two rolls of 120 film, but hey… this is a learning experience).

Photos from the NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show (gardening nerd yo), and bonus shot of my dog in her usual resting spot because she just refuses to sit or lay down while in the car.


those came out superb and yeah the nybg orchid show is a playground for a camera