Hand processing

• The spiral is loaded with film in the dark and submerged in different successive baths. It’s very simple. When the light is turned on at the end, an image has appeared as if by magic!

• This is our only way to develop Super 8, usually reversal film – be it black and white (developed in the C4 process) or color (E6).

• 1 liter of chemistry is necessary to cover one roll of Super 8 (15 m) on a LOMO spiral. To cover two stacked rolls, 1.25 liters are needed (for greater ease, 1.5 liters are normally used).

• E6 chemistry is quite expensive (100 euros for 5 liters), it cannot be regenerated and does not last more than a month once mixed. For this reason, we make 1.5 liters at a time and group together filmmakers who need it in order to process at least 6 cartridges. Otherwise, it will cost the lab more than what we bill!


• The 30-meter JOBO spiral allows one to process 30 meters of 16 mm in 5 liters of chemistry. Reversal processing is not often done in this format. Instead, the spiral can be used to process film as positive or negative, especially if you want to experiment, break the rules of standard development, process very old film stocks, etc. For fans of this practice, there are lots of possibilities!

• With enough practice, one can expect to hand-process up to 120 meters of black and white 16 mm in a day, or 60 meters of color. In Super 8, this translates to 8-10 cartridges of black and white, or the same quantity using E6 in heated baths.

• The tanks, beakers and test tubes, canisters, etc., are color-coded to prevent mix-ups. Although the containers should still be rinsed, this system prevents cross-contamination as much as possible.