Sheet Film Processing Steps


A. Place your box, packet, or film holders containing film to be processed in a dry, dark area adjacent to the processing area, such as a drawer under the enlarger bay. Keep this in your presence until step C!

B. Prepare the process solutions and arrange all in sequence of usage from left to right. Note: temperatures for all solutions are 68 °F / 20 °C. Use a thermometer. The development time below is for a Developer temperature of 68 °F. Please consult the Time/Temperature Chart for alternative times if temperature varies.

Pour about 3L of water at 68 °F into measuring flasks. Then use this batch to prepare all the solutions. This way, all your process temperatures are the same.

Volume of solutions per tray

• 5×7 inch trays is 300 ml (for 4×5 inch sheet film)
• 10×12 inch trays is 800 ml  (for 8×10 inch sheet film)
• 12×16 inch trays is 1000 ml (for 8×10 or 11×14 inch sheet film)

Arrange three trays (white=developer, red=presoak/stop, grey=fixer) from left to right for the appropriate size of film plus one more that is for the final washing and wetting agent. Prepare the following mixtures of concentrate + water to make a final volume of 300ml or 800ml or 1000ml

These volumes are needed for the following steps and solutions:

1. Presoak and Stop Bath (Red tray) – Water
• 300ml or
• 800ml or
• 1000ml or

2. Developer (White tray) – Ilfotec HC: 1 part concentrate + 31 parts water
• 9ml concentrate + water to make a final volume of 300ml or
• 25ml concentrate + water to make a final volume of 800ml or
• 31ml concentrate + water to make a final volume of 1000ml

3. Fixer (Gray tray) – Ilford Rapid Fixer: 1 part concentrate + 4 parts water
• 60 ml concentrate + water to make up a final volume of 300ml or
• 160 ml concentrate + water to make up a final volume of 800ml or
• 200 ml concentrate + water to make up a final volume of 1000ml or

4. Wash (fourth tray, may be slightly larger than other trays) – Water, 6 changes of
• 300ml or
• 800ml or
• 1000ml or

5. Wetting Agent (use the fourth tray for this) – Kodak Photo-Flo: 2-3 drops concentrate added to 800ml water.

Switch on dim work light
Switch off white light

Place signs on outer doors. Close all doors. Check for stray light. Arrange your film container in the dry area. Arrange gloves. Check your setup once more. Start timer.

Switch off dim work light – you are now in total blackout conditions.
Proceed with unloading film.

C. Processing, time in minutes:seconds (00:00) – Agitation is continuous for all steps except the final Wetting Agent.

1.     Presoak  01:00 (NB: this is the same tray as Stop Bath)

2.     Developer  06:30

3.     Stop Bath  00:30 (NB: this is the same tray as Presoak)

4.     Fixer  05:00

White Light may be switched on from this point

5.     Rinse with fresh water  00:30

6.     Wash with fresh water, in five cycles: each cycle with gentle agitation for 01:00, replacing  with fresh water each time.

7.     Wetting agent ….. 2-3 very gentle agitation cycles, then keep still for 01:00

8.     Dry Very carefully, ensuring that other film in cabinet does not contact wet film, and that water does not dry on other film that is drying!! 2 hours – NOTE: Always open and close film drying cabinet slowly to minimize dust particles in the air.

9.      Note down processing information: any negative information / numbers, time and date of processing, solution temperatures, development time, developer type and concentration.

10.     Clean up the area.

11.    Retrieve and File negatives – insert the negative into protective sleeves. Label every sleeve with your name, a number sequence (this could be the date of processing) , and store in negative storage binder.