This classic technique allows you to examine the film for a few seconds while it is developing using a very dark green Kodak Safelight filter 3. The purpose is to give photographers an empirical method of determining when the negative's highlights are developed to the proper density. The film has to be at least two-thirds developed before you can safely turn on the light without danger of fogging the film. Read the directions that come with the filter very carefully.
Developing by inspection can be a useful technique to learn, but it takes a considerable amount of practice to master it. Modern films have thin emulsions and anti-halation dyes in the backing, making it difficult to see more than dark shapes in the short time allowed.
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