I came across this roll recently in the fridge, shot on the Hasselblad, on 9/4/11. At the time, I was having my 120 medium format roll film sent out by L.B. Wheaton’s. When they no longer had the capability to send out B&W film, that in part inspired me to whip up a home darkroom kit. Starting as I did with 35mm, 120 film development was “scary” to me. I have developed literally hundreds of rolls of 35. I read all kinds of stuff online, and that home developers felt that doing 35mm was easier with the Patterson-style plastic tanks. Many swear by the stainless steel tanks and reels that are available to process 120. After making the ratcheting adjustment on a Patterson reel, and having done several rolls of medium format, I can honestly say that it is not that difficult. And, I have not had struggles feeding the film onto the reel, and actually have had more struggles feeding 35mm onto them.
A couple of hints. The idea of loading roll film, with the paper backing and much wider physical landscape, is not that hard. I practiced a few times with an old expired roll, in light, just to get the feel for it. Watch the YouTube videos available online, if you Google “developing 120 film”, or “processing medium format film”, you will find a wealth of information. I really shy away from “how to’s”, because there are simply so many of them out there. But do a search. There are web sites and blogs as well that will walk you through that, and the entire chemical process, even scanning of negatives.
So here are a few frames of the first medium format film I developed in home, in D-76. The film was TMax 100.
This is one of those spots I love to return to. It is a simple, beautiful park. It is difficult to get into early in the morning, as there is a main entrance that does not open until, I think, 9AM. But there are places to park and walk down, without having to go through the main gate. Highly recommended for “golden hour” photography.
I’ve never seen anyone swim here, but it looks as though it can be done.
After having had the Hasselblad for about 4 years, and having waited almost 3 years to develop 120, I wish someone had told me how easy it is. I think it is easier than 35. Mot once has the film bound up on me in the plastic reels. Handling the 120 is just so easy. Not going to wait that long again to develop it. I think it’s going to be the format of choice this year.