Skip to main content

Develop film in broad daylight for film photography fun at home

Develop film in broad daylight for film photography fun at home
(Image credit: Lab-Box)

It's official: film is back and better than ever. Targeted at those who love the vintage vibes of film photography, but who also appreciate the speed and ease of digital, the Lab-Box Developing Tank aims to answer the question, "How can I develop film quickly on-location?"

Developed by Italian company Ars-Imago, this daylight development tank was first previewed at Photokina and then successfully crowdfunded on Kickstarter, with 4,791 backers pledging €656,903. 

The most impressive aspect of this product is that it can be used without a darkroom or changing bag, meaning that you can load your film and develop it in broad daylight.

Available from mid-August, Lab-Box has created a developing tank with two different modules, one for 35mm and one for 120 roll film. You can either buy a 35mm-only tank, or the 35mm and 120 roll film tank. 

If you initially purchase the 35mm-only tank but then develop a hankering for medium format, you can then buy the 120 roll module later. You can also purchase a crank to attach to the developing tank knob for an easier way to agitate the film while it's developing. 

Read more: Best film for your camera

Available in both 35mm and 120 roll sizes, this tank can develop film on-location.

Available in both 35mm and 120 roll sizes, this tank can develop film on-location. (Image credit: Lab-Box)

The Lab-Box can be used for both black-and-white and C41 (color) processing. However, just as with ordinary color film processing, you have to maintain a specific temperature throughout in order to achieve the correct results, so unless you're an experienced film shooter you'll likely want to continue visiting a professional lab if you typically shoot on color. 

With the 35mm development tank alone going for £149 (and a single-chemical developer running at around £20 per bottle), no one could say that film development at home is a cheap hobby. However, when you remember that developing a single roll of film can cost between £6-8 (without even considering the price of prints), it wouldn't take many rolls for this to become an incredibly cost-effective way to shoot film. 

With film photography currently enjoying a warmly welcomed renaissance, analogue processes are being updated with modern technological updates to make them both simple and accessible for the consumer. 

Read more: 

The best photo printing online in 2019
Cheap Instax film deals – great buys on print packs in an instant!
The best film cameras in 2019: cameras that recapture the magic of film

Louise Carey

With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something she is so adept at that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Before joining the site, her formidable hands-on abilities served her well as features editor for Practical Photography. A freelance photographer in her own right, she is a proud Nikon DSLR shooter.