Any success with old (brown) C-41?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by RedSun, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. RedSun

    RedSun Member

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    I have a case of rather old C-41, 3x5L. The part C is like coffee color. But all bottles are still sealed. Part C still looks fluid, not decomposed.

    I tried this set of chemicals once, but all bottles were opened and half full. I remember the part C looked like some flakes floating around. The film was developed, but with green tone and was not useable.

    I am going to give this a try again, but from sealed bottles. Hope the result would be better.

    Has anyone had any success with old chemicals? particularly with darl part C? I would like to hear your experience...
     
  2. pentaxpete

    pentaxpete Subscriber

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    Part C is the developing agent with some Sodium Metabisulphite acid preservative - BUT if the plastic container gets infused with air after a long time it can neutralise the acid with Carbon Dioxide in the air so the chemicals can oxidise and 'go off' .
     
  3. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    Carbon Dioxide in water is acidic by itself will definitely not neutralize an acid.

    Nevertheless, compared to aerial Oxygen, all developers are reducers, even in an acidic environment, which means they will go off after some time. Since that part C going bad seems to have struck quite a few people, there are some threads/postings how to replace this part C with Sodium Metabisulfite and CD-4, all of which can be ordered from Photo Formulary.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's Oxygen not Carbon Dioxide that can infuse through some lower density plastics and cause oxidation of the developing agent. Also Metabisulphite breaks down slowly if there's Oxygen present and once this has all converted to sulpahates it no longer protects the developing agent from oxidation.

    Ian
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Carbondioxide will diffuse through bottle walls too.
     
  6. RedSun

    RedSun Member

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    I remember at least someone, a older gentleman, said his part C was dark colored and he had no problem with it....
     
  7. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    As a younger gent RedSun, you should do what youngsters do and experiment with it without regard for what anybody tells you. :wink:

    More seriously though, deterioration in storage is typically gradual; first one molecule of oxygen sneaks through and reacts with the Metabisulphite inside, then another until the Metabisulphite is done. Even then it's still one molecule at a time, reducing the usability little by little until the developer dead.

    It is possible that your chems may work great for a while, it's possible that they won't work at all, it's possible that they may work just once, and it's possible they may work only partially. That's the rub, the problem; the one thing you can probably plan on is that it won't work as reliably the new stuff.
     
  8. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    I have used coffee brown C41 developer in a bind and the film came out fine.

    But there is no guarantee yours will.

    Also I tend to change most chems before they are expired, because it minimises the x-factor.

    Chems are fairly inexpensive, even C41, so there is no need to waste time and film on old chems.
     
  9. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    It will diffuse through plastic bottles, then discover an acidic fluid (called C41 CD part C) on the other side of the bottle wall, say "never mind!" and return through that same bottle wall. Sadly the Oxygen isn't repelled by the acid, but actually bound by the color developing agent, which means more will come and eventually degrade the whole liquid.
     
  10. RedSun

    RedSun Member

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    I have several cases of this stuff. I'll try to see how good/bad they are before I dispose them...