Development involves precipitation of silver atoms at the site of the latent image to form silver grains, which are visualized in a microscope. A generalized method of development involves immersion of the emulsion coated sample in a suitable fine grain developer (for example Kodak D-19 or Microdol X) for a standardized period of time (usually for a few minutes). After rinsing in distilled water the emulsion is fixed in sodium thiosulfate solution for at least 20 minutes and then washed extensively in distilled water. Care has to be taken to ensure that at no point is the surface of the sample contaminated with any precipitate or other material. After washing, the sample can be stained before examination under the light or electron microscope. It should be noted that different developers yield different numbers of grains (different sensitivity); moreover, the shape of the silver grains deposited also varies with developer, a factor which affects the resolution.

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