Film photographers, prepare your hearts (and wallets…if you’re lucky enough). This is the Filmomat, an automated film processor capable of developing both color and black and white in almost any format you can throw its way.
The man behind the machine is German photographer Lukas Fritz, who spent a year building the Filmomat out of the desire to more easily process film at home.
The incredible contraption is capable of holding up to 50 different processes, comprised of three chemicals in a maximum of 10 steps. In addition to the three chemical chambers, a 6L water resivoir is used to both rinse the film between development stages and flush the machine when development is complete.
Once the processes have been programed to the machine, all that’s required on your behalf is to load the film into the tank – everything from 35mm to 4×5 sheet film – and fill the various reservoirs with the required chemicals.
Once you’ve selected the appropriate process, the Filmomat gets to work, heating up the chemicals to the proper temperatures, pumping the chemicals into the development tank and agitating the film as required.
When all is said and done, you remove your film, hang it up to dry and use the clever nozzles to easily return the chemicals to their storage containers. An automatic cleaning cycle will use the water in the reservoir to ensure no unwanted chemicals are left behind.
Fritz says the Filmomat is roughly the size of a microwave oven and is controlled by ‘a single rotary encoder and a 4×20 OLED-display.’ You can develop two 120 rolls, two 35mm rolls or four sheets of 4×5“/5×7“ film at a time
The machine took over a year to build, but Fritz says he’s been putting it to the test and it’s been holding up well. He isn’t finished though. According to Fritz, there’s much to be fixed up in terms of software and interaction.
Mass production isn’t on the roadmap either, but Fritz does say he’s willing to make a few models for those interested. Be prepared to shell out upwards of $2K for it though, according to a statement Fritz made to PetaPixel.