How to DIY process super-8 and 16mm. film

Scroll down for E-6 Ektachrome color developing.

Black & white (2 methods) processing super-8 diy

Developing your own black & white super-8, double-8mm. or 16mm. films is quite easy. But it also depends on the chemicals you're using. For example these instructions are for reversal processing KODAK PLUS-X Reversal Film 7265 and TRI-X Reversal Film 7266. I have used the Lomo spiral reel tank for processing and made the chemicals myself.

lomo processing tanklomo movie tank

Russian Lomo processing tank type UPB-1a for 2x 50ft. super-8 or one reel (100ft. 16mm.) film.

Find a super 8 developing tank on ebay logo or you can build one yourself.


Super-8 processing labs

Of course there are labs around the world processing super-8 film, here are some (I will add more in the future!):

Kodachrome K40

Processing K40 in Lausanne, Switzerland has seized... If you read somewhere that www.dwaynesphoto.com still process them, I have to disappoint you... Dwaynesphoto has discontinued their Kodachrome service since Dec. 2010.

Processing Kodachrome K40 still possible

You can still process your kodachrome (in black/white) at pro8mm.com or filmrescue.com! Find instructions to develop yourself here.

Nice example of a DIY K40 (Caffenol-C M process): 'Ripples' from Niall Conroy:

Scroll down for an instructional how-to develop with coffee video.

Opening a super-8 film cartridge

Now for the DIY-ers out there. I went to a drugstore for some ingredients, but here is a list with Kodak chemicals. Temperature: Around 24.4°C (76°F).

On many websites, you read about 'using a hammer' or breaking the cartridge and remove the film. I know an easier way. Just break the core. While holding the last end of the film, turn the core of the cartridge in the opposite direction until you here a 'snap', then you can pull the film out easily without opening the cartridge. In fact, you don't have to touch the film at all (and spoil it with fingerprints), because you can hold the cartridge while you turn the reel of the Lomo tank. Practice with an old exposed cartridge first!



b/w method #1: the official Kodak released instructions:

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b/w method #2:

This is what I use with my 100ft. LOMO processing tank:

Chemicals (be careful preparing them, preferable in a well ventilated room!)

 

Hang the film to dry! That's it. Practice your skills first before processing that feature film ;-)!

color (3 methods) processing super-8 film

color method #1:

I found the following information on Ken Paul Rosenthal's website, and has not been tested by me. Just for reference or for you to try @ home.

Chemicals:

OR

 

35mm 2 or 4-reel stainless steel developing tank (2-reel develops one 50 foot roll of Super 8 at a time, 4-reel develops one or two rolls at a time.)

11 x 14 x 4 inch deep plastic tray (a cat box will do - it's cheaper than a large photo tray)

1 Flat-top thermometer

1 Measuring graduate

1 Pair rubber gloves

1 Pair scissors

1 Hammer

1 Apron

1 Length string

1 Blow-dryer

1 Pair Goggles

1 NIOSH/MSHA certified Respirator

Do your developing in a room with running water that can be made light tight. Bathrooms work best, and windows in them can be covered with material from a photo shop, or anything that you improvise. You may want to wait until dark and turn the lights off in adjoining rooms - whatever works for you and your space. Make sure the space is well ventilated.

Safety Precautions

The main thing to remember about safety is that we're playing with chemicals that are harmful to skin, lungs, and the environment. Your best defense is a well-ventilated space. You may also want to get ahold of the following:

You can also order these pamphlets free of charge from Kodak (1-800-242-2424 x25):

Step by Step Instructions

To develop film:

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The following two methods I found on the webpage of mr. Martin W. Baumgarten:

color method #2:

Process your film in E-6 chemistry at the normally specified times, with the following additions to the steps:

color method #3:

If you are using 3-Step E-6 chemistry....process control is much more limited, but you can still follow similar protocol:

Developing film with coffee

It is also possible to develop film with coffee, vitamin-C, soda and fixer. Watch this movie for more details: