Developing Color Film in Black and White Developer?

Film, Project

I’m sure you’ve heard about it, and either found no point in actually trying to get it done or asked questions like “Why would you do that?” “Developing Color Film in Black and White Developer??”

I’m sure people have heard of developing film in other types of chemicals not meant for it.

This being the act of Cross Processing..everyone has different definitions apparently.

I had heard from some people that “Cross Processing” was actually ONLY when developing color film with other types of color film developers.

You can check out Lomography or Flickr for groups and images of that type of developing.

I tend to disagree on that point..i mean let’s look at the definition itself (taken from Lomography‘s website)

Cross-processing (also known as ‘x-pro’) is the procedure of deliberately processing one type of film in a chemical solution intended for another type of film. As particular chemical solutions are optimized for specific kinds of film, you will get unpredictable and interesting results when they are combined differently.

This will and should include Black and White developers (XTOL, D-76, Ilford DDX, etc..) being used on color film.

I’m sure someone else has stated this before on other posts and most of you had already heard that this was possible, you can develop color with Black and White.

I just wanted to clarify my opinion on the subject and let it be known that i also consider this a form of Cross Processing, and this looks to be the beginnings of another of my crazy projects 🙂


I have a number of rolls of FujiFilm Superia 400 that have just been sitting around the house (i know i’m a douche for leaving them sitting around) that have not yet been developed.

I look at them every morning on the way to work and i think “Dammit, i need to take these to the photo shop to get processed already”

After about 3 weeks (lol) of this happening every day, i thought to myself “Shit, why don’t i just cross process them in Black and White developer like i did before with some shots from my Contax T2?” (Damn i miss that camera..)

I had actually used TMAX 800 Color film and Ilford DDX as an experiment in the past for processing Color Film in B&W developer, you can see one of the results as the featured image of this post.

Now here is the question a lot of people ask:

How the hell do you process color film with Black and White Developer?

For anyone who’s done some research on how color film is developed, you can see that there are many different components.

Temperature plays a MAJOR role especially when the rolls are processed throughout those development machines you see most likely in your local Walmart or Rite-Aid.

Not to say that temperature doesn’t play a role when developing Black and White, just saying that it is more in depth when doing color film.

With that being said, many people have many ways that they go about developing color film in B&W chemicals.

One of the most helpful links (at least one of the most structured explanation I’ve found so far) to a way of doing this process is this one here:

It even has links to some images by the author using this process. (Which helps!)

I loved to experiment with imagery/scenery/exposures/composure when i first started with photography (digital)

Now here i am years later getting excited to experiment with another way of film development.

So..has anyone ever tried this before? How have your experiences been?

Feel free to comment below.

I will be posting my results either later today or tomorrow!

Enjoy your day, and as always KEEP SHOOTING! and hit the streets.


5 thoughts on “Developing Color Film in Black and White Developer?

  1. I did that before, you will get an image. Nothing pretty and prints horribly in the darkroom.
    However, I use this process when I find super old and expired film, if I am curious enough to want to know whats on there.

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