Chapter 42. Celebrating my first black and white Mess

Just a few days back I successfully developed my roll of Ilford HP5 Plus B/W film with my Leitz-Agfa TEOOH Rondinax 35 Daylight Development Tank.

The TEOOH Leitz-Agfa Rondinax 35 (made by Leica in collaboration with Agfa) is a close twin of the Agfa Rondinax 35U (made by Agfa), and both can work with the Leitz reloadable casettes, FILCA’s or IXMOO’s.


This was performed at 2 am in the morning. I was so excited I could not sleep.

Some preparations:

1.Mix 20 ml of Ilford Developer to 180 ml of water, for a total of 200 ml of diluted Developer (1 + 9 parts) and set aside, ready to use.
2.Mix 40 ml of Ilford Fixer to 160 ml of water, for a total of 200 ml of diluted Fixer (1 + 4 parts) and set aside, ready to use.
3. Set aside a container with 200 ml of water. Will need to refill this on the go, so mark the 200 ml level on the container.

Here are the steps of the rite:

1. Fit Leitz cassette FILCA loaded with exposed HP5 into TEOOH Rondinax, making sure it sits correctly into the slot and the button of the FILCA is locked in.
2. Snip off the lead of the exposed Film (currently it has the shape of the ABLON template), and then use the metal clip to clip it down, to prepare for the drum loading later.
3. Adjust the Film lead; currently FILCA is still closed. However, drag a little and turn the drum dial a little to ensure that it will be able to roll onto the drum easily later. Make sure film slides down the guiding “tongue” easily.
4. Cover the TEOOH Leitz-Agfa Rondinax.
5. Turn Dial that engages FILCA from “I” to “II”, which will open the FILCA  so that the film can unload freely.
6. Now turn drum dial to load the film onto it, transferring the film from the FILCA to the TEOOH Rondinax drum. When you do that, you can see that a meter shows how much is being loaded, and mine showed 36 frames.
7. Once you feel there is resistance, stop. And press the cutter upwards to cut the film.
8. Set timer to 6:30 min, for developing at ISO 400, and start!
9. Pour Developer in, slowly. Turn the drum dial, slowly, all the time, for set time.
10. When timer rings, pour Developer out slowly.
11. Pour 200 ml of water in and turn drum dial to agitate constantly, in order to give the film a “stop bath” and stop the development. Turn dial for about 30 secs, and then pour water out. Do this three times. (You will need to refill the 200 ml of water on the go. Alternatively you can have 3 containers for this)
12. Now set the timer for 5 min, start countdown and pour Fixer in slowly, turning drum dial to agitate, and doing for time set.
13. Pour Fixer out, and pour in 200 ml of water slowly, agitating for 30 seconds. Do this to wash the Fixer off. Do this 2 times.
14. Uncover TEOOH Rondinax, and slowly remove drum, take film out and hang to dry.
15. Remove FILCA carefully, and remove the bit of film attached to it.

NOTE: You will notice that I do not use (and therefore, save on) a “Stop Bath Solution” ; instead I use water to stop the developer action, which is sufficient.  I also do not use a “wetting agent” (but I am not sure if that will be of any serious consequence – so far all seems alright). Further each 36 frame roll of film will only use 200 ml of developer or fixer, which is less than half of the typical 500 ml per roll pace the Patterson System (which I have never used). 

It was quite a mess at some point. I spilled a bit of water here and there.  There was the fumbling about to get the water refilled. And because the TEOOH tank was a “vintage” (made in the 1930-60’s I think, since it works with the FILCA), even after I rinsed it, some dirt got washed out during development (fortunately it is clean now, although on this first roll that led to some scratching and dirt spots on the film). But I think on the whole it was a successful development of the roll of black and white film.

After I clean up, under point 15, I reload the Leitz Film Cassette FILCA with new film with a Watson 66B Bulk Loader, which works with the FILCA.

Here’s a copy of the instructions that came with my Leitz-Agfa TEOOH Rondinax, for the interest of Leica Historians.




And a sample of the images from that roll.  Taken when my son was down with a flu, and mom came to lend a hand:

PICT0011 Granny cleans kiddo lovingly PICT0013 Granny and Mike PICT0014 Granny feeds kiddo lovingly PICT0021 kiddo granny puzzles PICT0023 temp taken ouch! PICT0038 granny overseeing