How to Hand Develop 7243/7244 16mm Movie Film   9 comments

What you will need:

  • Exposed Film
  • Dark room
  • Sink
  • Pitchers for Chemicals
  • Dark tank
  • Drying area
  • Timer
  • Chemicals

What type of film this will work with:

  • Color Intermediate film like 7243 and 7244    —  If you are interested in buying some of this film you can find it on my ebay page.
  • Regular color films like ektachrome and fuji color films
  • Black and white films like tri – x and plus x

Film this will not work with:     Kodachrome

What kind of dark room will you need:
Just someplace truly dark, a photo darkroom or even a dark closet – room at night.

You will need a laundry or kitchen sink

You will need 2 or 3 one gallon plastic pitchers for mixing your chemicals.

You will need a Dark tank or you will have to do the whole process in the dark.

You will need some place to hand the film to dry.

You will need a simple timer, 5 minutes will work well.

You will need 2 or 3 chemicals for this:

  • Prewash Borax – 50g of 20 mule Team Borax from Walmart will work fine.  This is optional if you are not processing a film with a remjet coating.
  • Dektol Developer – you will need 25g per 100’ of film.
  • Simple fixer – you will need 70g of sodium thiosulfate penta.
  • Water



Now we have everything we need – lets get started.

Step 1.   Mix your chemicals
In each one of your pitchers put about 1 gallon of approximately 100 degree water.
and pour in each of your chemicals into a separate pitcher – it is best to have your
pitchers marked, so you don’t mix them up.   Give them a stir or two.  We will let this
dissolve while we work on the next step.

Step 2.  Loading the film in your dark tank.
We need to load the film into our dark tank in a darkroom or dark closet.
The film needs to be spooled off of the reel and gathered into 3 or 4 foot loops and then
stuffed into the tank so as little of the film touches itself as possible.  When it is all stuffed
into the tank close it up.

Step 3.  Let’s get developing.
If you are developing a remjet coated film, we are going to start with a borax prewash.
Pour your borax prewash into your tank and agitate for about one minute.  You can let
the tank rest for one minute then give it a shake and pour out the prewash.  This step
is not time critical, if you have a stubborn remjet coating then you can agitate it more
or let is soak a little longer.   As you pour out the prewash, it should have a lot of remjet
in suspension so the water should look dark purple or black.

Step 4.  Rinse (optional)
Fill up the tank with room temperature water and pour out.

Step 5.  Developing bath
Pour your developing solution into the tank and agitate for the first minute.
Agitation helps eliminate adhesions in the film that will cause the film to not get
developed in certain areas.  After the first minute then you can just give it a shake for 10
seconds every minute or so.  Develop for 5 or 6 minutes.  This is a good starting point
for development, you may need to go longer for some films or for underexposure.
Pour out developer.

Step 6.  Rinse
For a stop bath we are just going to fill the tank with room temperature water again,
give it a shake and pour it back out.

Step 7.  Fix
Pour the fixer solution into your tank, and give a shake or two every minute.

After 4 minutes you can take the lid off the tank and see what you have.
If parts of you film have a milky look to them then pull the film a little out of the
tank and rotate and stuff it back into the fixer.  Check for adhesions and pull them apart

before putting the film back in.  Then wait until it is uncloudy.

    Now you can pour the fixer out.

Step 8.  Final Rinse
Put the tank under the faucet and run water over the film for 5 minutes or so.
If you want to be very sure you get all the fixer out then you will need to use a
hypo clearing bath (very optional).  As the water is running over the film you can
check for any remaining remjet and gently rub it off with your fingers.

Step 9.  Photoflo (optional)
If you want to avoid water spots then this would be the time to put a little photoflo
or similar into your rinse tank.

Step 10.  Untangle the Film
Now you can pull the film out of the tank and untangle the ball.   After untangling
the film you can run it through your fingers and squeegee most of the water off.
You can even you a cloth to help dry it a bit.

Step 11.  Hang the film to dry

Notes:   This develops the film as a negative, so if you are developing reversal films like tri-x or plus-x they will be negative not positive.   Colors films will be black and white negative with an orange mask.   If you use this method on fast films they will be extremely contrasty and grainy.


Posted February 14, 2013 by 16mmadventures in Processing

9 responses to “How to Hand Develop 7243/7244 16mm Movie Film

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  1. Hi,
    do you have any kind of tutorial to process an old kodachrome KA455???
    all the best,
    Christian Costa

    • Sorry Christian, Kodachrome is a different creature altogether. I do not beleive there is any easy way to develop it.

      • ohhh.. i kinda thought so…. have to let two1974 Kodachrome color spools on a real lab to see how it’s exposed….
        anyway, does this process that you shows works fine on a Fuji Color negative as well?

  2. Hi! Is it works with outdated Orwochrom like UT15? I have a lot of these stock. I don’t want to develop it like positive color (very bad quality and poor colors), so I though, that maybe I’ll develop it like a negative BW.

  3. welcome dear,

    thank you so much to show these simple videos for developing , we are so liked and happy , So ,now which film type exactly to processing with this chemical processing methods ? i mean for direct projection color film or B/W , no editing color with computer i want direct after processing and drying to projector , because am always confused with negative positive reversal , am new with this job to try my hobby shooting with 16mm films and developing to projector

    Thank you so much and so sorry to bother
    Best Regards

  4. so you’re saying Kodacrome film cannot be processed into black and white?
    And if it can be processed what developer do i use for it?

    Raymond hillard
  5. I made an attempt at processing some kodak tri x 7266 in the reversal process. It came out ok, but parts of the image/emulsion came off the film before the film was dry. Does that mean there was too much bleach or too much re exposure to light?

  6. Hi Is it possible to process Ektachrome Commercial Colour Safety Film Type 7255,using your excellent basic system .Black and white would fine and as long as its visable quality not essential

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