A FEW C-41 QUESTIONS

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by darkroom_rookie, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    As I'm about to embark on my very first C-41 quest in 4x5, I was wondering about the merits and potential pitfalls of the equipment and chemistry I have at hand. I will be developing Fuji 160S in a Jobo 3010, preheated but hand-rolled. The chemistry I can get in reasonable quantities are Tetenal's. C-41 CD-LR 3-part developer,(code: 104155), bleach CN-16 N2, made specifically for Fuji (102660) and C-41 FX-VR, which is an universal C-41/E-6 fixer (102671). Stabilizer is also Tetenal's, but I don't know the code. Are these chemicals good enough for a negative that is to have the finest grain, as it's intended for enlargements? What should I be careful the most about hand-rolling the big Expert drum (starting temperature, agitation speed etc.)? Do I absolutely need starters with developer and bleach?
    Thanks.
    d_rookie
     
  2. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    Anyone?
     
  3. Raphael

    Raphael Subscriber

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    Hi,

    I am just used to the Tetenal C41 2-bath kit (3 parts color developper, and 2 part s Bleach-fix), and the result works well for me, considering my rather unfrequent use of C41 in non-135 format film (I do mainly E6 in all formats).

    Colors are rendered correctly (as long as scanning can be used to check it), and the chemistry is quickly prepared and have a long shell life.

    Sorry to be of little help on your precise flavour of chemistry, I didn't know until now that Tetenal 4-baths C41 exists.

    About the 3010 expert drum you plan to use, I would be (maybe irrationally) afraid of uneven developping when handrolled, but it's just my two cents.

    For 4x5", you can try to get a 2520 drum, which can contains up to 6 4x5 sheets (with the 2502 reel), and is much smaller, but is more complicated when loading.

    I personnally use this setup, but with a Jobo ATL-1 processor.

    Regards,

    Raphael
     
  4. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Is the Tetanal 3-part developer and separate bleach and fix powder or liquid concentrate? I too use the 3-bath kits because they're powder and thus can be mail ordered internationally.
     
  5. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    They're all liquid. These are minilab chems, not "amateur" kits, whatever that means.
     
  6. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Labs couldn't do powder, eh? Too bad. Won't be able to ship that over customs either.
     
  7. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Read the data shets to determine the replensih rates. I am not familiar with the tetenal minilab chems you show an interest in, but they are a most capable firm.

    The data sheets should give you a clue as to how concentrated they are, and the level of dilution to make working tank solutions and replenisher solutions.

    Developer is the tricky one to work with without a starter.

    The developer starter emulates the chemistry that usually builds up from processing films, namely trace elements of bromide and iodide ions that are a side effect of developing the film silver to an elemental state, along with pH adjustments.

    I use a developer for b&w work, diy harveys 777 from the unblinking eye recipe that you 'season' by feeding it a couple of fogged films as it's first step after mixing.
    After the first batch, you save some the overflow from regular replenishment, and then when mixing a 'fresh' batch again, feed in the old overflow, rater than seasoning with fogged films.

    A similar strategy may work here, though tweaking pH to comply with the data sheet guidelines may also be required for in spec results.

    C-41 bleaching goes to completion, so I don't think you can over bleach c-41 with a too active bleach ala no starter.
    Read to see if the first tank solution is diluted replenisher with starter; dilute and skip the starter, and see what you get.

    Fix is fix. Most colour fixes mixed to tank solutions are not strong enough to worry about overfixing.
    With c-41 you don't want any silver left, so too strong is likely not a problem, although I have not ever heard of a fix starter.

    Using cheap drug store film deals for 35mm trails c. and shooting a macbeth chart will go a long way to get your processing tuned up before feeding it important 4xx5 shots.

    As to the processing, I would consider making a roller arrangment of some sort to try to keep the outside of the big drum in contact with a water bath, for the bulk of the 3:15 when temperature control is most important.
     
  8. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    Mike, thanks, quite an exhaustive answer!

    I can get the starter, so that's no problem. Also, I've checked the stabilizer and it doesn't contain formalin, but I can get lab-pure 37% formalin if necessary (or perharps recommended even with brand new films). As to the roller arrangement and constant temperature, could the lack thereof be balanced with drum preheat, two prewets and a slightly higher starting temperature of the developer?
     
  9. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    'Drift though' is viable for colour print processing in tubes/drums.

    I presume it would work, but then again perhaps not as well as constant temperature. I know that colour negative film (c-41) (and reversal E-6) films are what are called integral tripacks.
    There are three acive image layers (as many as 19 layers actually if I recall corectly from my first read of Shanebrook's most interesting book 'Making Kodak film).

    The deepest colour layer may develop later that the top one, and if the temperature has changed at that later time, it may develop to a different end result density than that relative to the density of the top layer, which mostly finished its development perhaps before the deepest layer even got started. The msot telling test for this is to image a white to grey step wedge, and the see if there are colour shifts in the neg betweenn the white and black.

    Trials with a 35mm daylight tank on drift though versus water bath could lead to clues that might hlep you scale if a solution.

    Doing a few 'water runs' to evaluate the temperature issues with the larger drum.

    Adding a layer of insulation to the expert drum, like the silver bubbles that are sold to beef up insulation levels on storage type hot water tanks may be a viable option in this case.