I regularly get asked what kind of equipment is required for developing color film (C41) at home. So I thought it is a good idea to put together a list of things I would recommend getting started with!
This list is based on my personal experience with developing color films at home for roughly a year now. It's exactly the gear I use for my home development sessions.
In the following, I will link to a German online shop called Fotoimpex Berlin. I bought all my development equipment there. No affiliate links, no sponsorship, nothing. Just a personal recommendation! Of course, you can buy your stuff wherever you like!
Development Tank + Reels
I would recommend getting a development tank for three rolls of 35mm film. This size allows you to develop three rolls of 35mm film at the same time while utilising the whole litre of chemicals included in most kits.
And of course, you need three reels as well!
A proper changing bag for loading your film onto the reels.
Temperature Control System
You need to keep the temperature of your film and chemicals at 39°C during development. So you need a way of controlling the temperature! I personally use the CineStill Temperature Control System.
Storage Bottles, Measuring Cups & Funnels
You also need some bottles storing your mixed chemicals. Please use proper bottles for storing your chemicals!
For easy pouring you'll need some funnels as well!
I personally use the kit from CineStill! I think it's easy to mix and use. So far I did not use any other kit. So I don't have a proper comparison.
Things which make your life easier
A proper thermometer for checking the temperature of your chemicals.
A film retriever for preloading your development reels
Film clips for drying your film