how long does it take to develop disposable camera

How Long Does It Take To Develop A Disposable Camera?

Disposable cameras are the most classic on the go solutions to satisfy photography cravings. These cameras come cheap, work efficiently, and give a vintage feel to your instant shots. But, unlike other digital cameras, these cameras capture images in films. Indeed, you have to wait for a specific time to get the results. Now the question is, how much time does it take to develop disposable camera films?

The disposable camera films take 7 to 10 days to develop completely. Moreover, the timing varies depending on the method you are applying. And taking enough time to develop the films will get you better results. A bit confusing, isn’t it?

Therefore the discussion further in this article will make everything clear and easy. So, give it a roll and enjoy the wrap!

Disposable cameras are cameras made only for one-time use. These cameras are primarily made for emergencies like a sudden discharge of your camera battery when traveling. Likewise, disposable cameras make good gits as gifts for children. Also, they are good alternatives to keep memories of events, parties, and other get-togethers. These cameras are so cheap and easy to operate.

The mechanism of disposable cameras is also straightforward. When you click for images, the camera the light passes through the lens, and by reflecting in the prism, the shots get filmed in the reel. Apparently, the captured images remain in the film, and later after development, the images appear. Additionally, disposable cameras have the exact mechanism as old film cameras.

How Long Does It Take To Develop Disposable Camera Film

disposable camera developing time

Most of the films used in cameras are 35mm films. And these films need to go through a complete development process after you are done with capturing. In the case of disposable cameras, the time of the film development process is similar to other 35mm films. 

The development process is done in steps: STOP, FIX, and WASH. The whole development process needs 7 to 10 days to be ready. But the initial process of getting black and white film is around 30 minutes. 

Adequately, the STOP development process takes around 30 to 60 seconds, the FIX process takes about 3 to 4 minutes, and the WASH process takes 10-15 minutes to complete. 

These are universal timings for all 35mm films. And the time of the developing process may vary depending on the film’s brand. So, it is obvious to read the instructions that come with the film developer.

How To Develop Disposable Camera Film At Home (3-Step Process)

Disposable cameras are handy gadgets made for one-time use. Also, they are built simply for the convenience of the user. However, the only tricky thing with these cameras is their film development process. Beforehand, these cameras may be one time, but their films are not different from regular 35mm camera films. Anyway, the film development process is not that easy, but only possible if you follow the proper guideline. And the steps below are organized to help you to develop your disposable camera films at home. 

Tools You’ll Need

  1. A Scissor 
  2. A Can Opener
  3. Developing Tank
  4. Films

Step 1: Load The Film In The Developing Tank

The first and most crucial step to developing the disposable camera film is properly loading the film in the developing tank. The film loading is not hard but a bit technical matter to deal with. 

First, open the film with the can opener and take the film out. When doing this, ensure the room you are working in is dark enough because the film is susceptible to light. 

Then remove the tape one end of the tape and cut the excess portion of the film using the scissor. After that, gently press the end part of the film using your grip fingers and set the entire film in your palm. 

In the following, set the film end to the developing tanks clip and roll the whole film on the spiral. Usually, this is an easy process, but it takes a lot of practice. So, keep practicing.

Step 2: Gather The Essentials

Once you load the developing tank, it is time to jump on the process. But to execute the process, you will need some essentials:

  • The developer (any brand you want).
  • The stopped fluid (the mixture made of glacial acetic acid).
  • Fixer.
  • Running water source to wash the film thoroughly. 

Alongside, get all the essentials in a place where you can work efficiently. Usually, a big tray is a good choice.

Step 3: Get The Process Done

After you are ready with the essentials, it is time to proceed. At the start, pour all the chemicals into beakers measuring your tank size. After that, heat them all as instructed in your film’s body. 

Next, pour the developing chemistry into the tank and shake gently for 6 minutes and 45 seconds. Similarly, repeat the same method of agitation for STOP(30-60 secs) and FIX (3-4 minutes), respectively. 

And finally, wash the film in running water for 10-15 minutes, and your negatives will be ready for use. The process takes 7 to 10 days to get to the desired point. And once it is done, you are all good to go.


The camera is disposable doesn’t mean the film is different. Developing disposable camera films takes the same time as other 35mm camera films. In the right hands, it will take 7 to 10 days. The time may extend if you try to do the developing task yourself. Also, if you are inexperienced, there is a risk of destroying the film. That’s why it is better to take a professional’s help as the films are light-sensitive objects. 

Bordie Capron

Bordie Capron


“Bordie Capron is a Sr. Content Maker who is working in The Clipping Path Service an US-based image and video post-production company for over 7+ years. She completed her degree in graphic designing and worked as a graphic designing expert for several years. She always loved writing”

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