best options for C-41 chemicals for someone using a standard patterson tank

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by destroya, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. destroya

    destroya Subscriber

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    I dont have a jobo, just a plain old patterson tank which works great for me when doing B&W. I want to start doing my own E-6 and C-41 and figured C-41 the cheapest way to cut my teeth. I have read many threads here and on Photo as well to figure out what the most used options are. I found 3 that are all a possibility for me.
    1) Rollei/compard digibase kit
    2) Tenetal 1 or 5L kits
    3) TreblaFilmPAC (if its still available)

    the Rollei kit interested me as a small kit that wasn't to expensive and could develop a few rolls and learn with. but some of the comments about not having enough chemical in the Stabilizer (I think that was the one) bottle to fully fill a developing tank. that worries me. The tenetal would work but i like having the individual steps like in the Rollei or the trebla. But it has enough volume to do several rolls at a higher cost than the rollei. The Trebla looks very interesting to me and would be my leading candidate. But Im wondering if this kit, with its size of chemicals and a design for a more commercial use, would be a good choice for a manual tank system. The cost actaully seems to be lower than the 5L tenetal kit minus shipping. hazmut ground shipping could add a substantial amount to the cost. but even still it would be the cheapest cost per roll if I do develop in volume.

    my plan is to get my quality control down enough to start shooting much more color film adn develop and scan at home once I have the routine down like i do for B&W. I know there are storage issues with the developer #3 in the trebla kit as it seems to be the one that goes bad first. But I would top them off with wine bottle preserver which would keep it hopefully from oxidizing.

    Also, I would love to hear your suggestions for E-6 developing. are there choices other than tental for home developing?

    Anyway, enough babbling. I would love to hear your suggestions and comments

    thanks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2012
  2. pukalo

    pukalo Member

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    Definitely give the Tetenal a try. Quality is fantastic, and it is very easy to use. Plus, it is a long established product that goes back at least 20 years - my pop photos from the early 1990's have the Tetenal kits advertised. Not so for the Rollei. Also, you can order the 1L kit to try out, for reasonable cost and inexpensive shipping from Freestyle. Dont worry, the Haz Mat shipping on the 5L kit is still only around $10-15.
     
  3. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    About how much does it come to in cost per roll? The close-by lab sucks and the good lab is 30 mi round trip. After home processing B&W for little or nothing, I'm getting tired of paying so much for C-41
     
  4. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    Go with the Rollei/Digibase kit. Remember to increase the bleach and fix times, each to about six-and-a-half minutes, and to add rinses after each of those steps. Also, check your part C concentrate after it arrives. If it's dark, it's gone bad.

    Yes, they do give you too little stabilizer. Even if they did give you enough, drying with it will give you fits. Kodak Final Rinse concentrate is cheap -- a five dollar (or so) bottle is good for ten liters -- and it works like a charm.
     
  5. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    I just finished some C41 in a Patterson tank. Came out great. I use the JOBO (Tetenal?) C41 Press Kit from B+H.
    I put a couple of drops of Photo Flo in the stabilizer. Some say do it, and some say don't. I also use a photo sponge moistened with stabilizer to gently wipe the film as I hang it to dry. The film dries spotless.
    Easier than you think. Follow the instructions and temps exactly.
    Good luck.
     
  6. pukalo

    pukalo Member

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    Cost per roll with the Tetenal kit is about $1/roll with C-41 and $2/roll for E6 with the 5L kits. With neg film, if you are shooting 24 exposure rolls, even more. Ditch the local slop lab, try it, you will never turn back!

    Also, with the Tetenal kit, you get enough stabilizer and dont have to worry about checking the chems to see if they have gone bad. Quality control is very high, so that you dont have to worry about these things. The kit is reliable, and just works. No caveats.
     
  7. destroya

    destroya Subscriber

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    are you talking about photoflo or permawash?? have them with my B&W chems.
     
  8. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    A buck a roll? I'd be nuts not to. Especially now that a heated tub has fallen into my hands.
     
  9. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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  10. kmallick

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    May I ask why are you ruling out the cheaper Unicolor or Tetenal powder kit for C41 developing? I have consistently got good results using that kit. mixing is straightforward. ~$20 for a kit develops 12 rolls of 35mm or 120. its very economical in my book. once you get the hang of it, developing C41 is really easy and straightforward.

    I do E-6 at home as well and use the Arista kit available from Freestyle. 1 liter kit develops 12 rolls again. It is a little more involved with more washing steps than C41. However, there is nothing like pulling out a positive film out of the Paterson reels and can. Highly recommended!

    I have found that it takes a little planning to make the best use of these kits. It helps to do the film developing (either C41 or E-6) in a batch to minimize the life of the chemicals after they have been mixed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2012
  11. destroya

    destroya Subscriber

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    I did list the tenetal as an option above, #2. at this point I'll not rule out anything. I ordered the rollei kit as it was the cheapest. i shot a few rolls of K gold 200 and fuji 200 to get a few roles to experiment with. IF this goes well then I'll give E-6 a shot. I get great results using walmart mailer/Fuji development with my E-6, but having to wait a week and half to get the results..... well you know how that is.

    BVY, thanks for the link. I'll check it out. might have to go to Keeble and shuchat ans see if they have any of that chemical in stock. They have a ton of B&W chems but only a handful of color. Areyou saying that I should replace the rollei stabilizer with the Kodak final rinse?
     
  12. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    Yes, I would just toss the kit stabilizer. The final rinse is all you need, and the concentrate lasts forever. I believe I used 4.5ml to 500ml distilled water. I soak for ninety seconds, gently agitating for the first thirty. Then hang to dry.
     
  13. kmallick

    kmallick Subscriber

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    I was in the same boat a few weeks ago. I decided to bring everything home and I couldn't be happier. I can do the C41 and E-6 processing quicker than I can download files from a digital! :D


    Just to clarify, I thought you were referring to the liquid kit like this:

    102226.jpg

    What I was referring to is the Tetenal C41 powder kit (essentially made by Jobo) like this available from B&H. Its the same as the Unicolor kit available from Freestyle.

    109267.jpg 10123.jpg
     
  14. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Kodak does not recommend reusing their Flexicolor developer. This makes the choice of a tank an economic one. A SS reel and tank uses 240 ml per roll while plastic reels and tanks typically use 300 ml or more. For 1 liter of developer this means you can only develop 3 rolls with the plastic tanks as opposed to 4 rolls with the SS.
     
  15. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    I was having issues with my local lab (developing price and poor scanning was in the $7 a roll region), so I got the powered kit from B&H (C-41) and was amazed at how easy it was to develop my own film. My suggestion is try the power first, it's cheap to try and if it works for you....there you go, your in business. If it doesn't, time for the liquid kits.

    Being stupid, I am considering the liquid kits despite overwhelming success with the powered kit. Why? Don't remember now. Only done C-41. And about ready to order my first E-6 because I want to impress my wife with medium format slides.

    Bvy, thanks for your formula, I will try that on my next developing session.

    Bob E.
     
  16. destroya

    destroya Subscriber

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    I think that is the one i was referring to. Its this one at freestyle. I prefer the liquid as i can mix what i need and kep the concetrate in its original bottle, unlike my XTOL which i have to do 5L all at once.
    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/102228-Tetenal-C-41-Color-Negative-Processsing-Kit-5-Liter?cat_id=1001
     
  17. FritsM

    FritsM Member

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    There is supposed to be an agent in the Flexicolor stabilizer that "sets" the color of the negatives to make it more permanent. In the older days, formaldehyde did the job, but after that hit the unwanted chemicals list, there are only traces of it left in the solution. Not sure what component does the "stabilizing" now, but I've used it for many years, as well as the Fuji Hunt and Russell varieties, and the film is definitely stable.

    The E6 stabilizer has a slightly different composition, again, supposedly to stabilize the color of the dried film.

    A good film wiper (or lint-free paper towel) needs to be used to remove the foam and excess stabilizer so the film can dry smoothly.
     
  18. FritsM

    FritsM Member

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    These hobby kits are not designed for replenishment, but I'm sure you could process at least 2 batches in the same soup. That is if you don't care about the quality of the 2nd batch as much as you do about the first. There will be differences between the first "pressing" and the subsequent ones.

    Replenishing:
    You could experiment by replenishing the used developer with some fresh solution. Just realize you can increase the activity of depleted chemicals with replenishment, but you cannot effectively remove the chemicals the film put in there. The 3rd and subsequent batches from the same replenished solution will become even more poluted, and the balance of chemicals becomes very complex.

    Single Shot:
    Since the main reason to process your own film is to obtain best quality and total control, I'd say stick to single shots for the developers.

    Economy:
    I used to buy the 20 liter kits (2x10 liter) from Fuji Hunt (NegaColor) and could process 5 rolls of 35mm (or equivalent) in 600ml solution, using the Jobo 1500 tank series on a CPP2. Very economical and no need to replenish the developer. The opened developer concentrates would last at least 2 months.

    Testing and experimenting:
    I did some qualitative tests on reusing the developer, both with and without replenishing, and concluded that the single shot system gave the highest accutance, and best color, with fewer crossovers. Some may even find the self-processed film to be a bit more contrasty, compared to medium and large lab replenished (and seasoned) tank systems. If contrast is a problem, you can experiment with a slightly diluted developer, say 10%-20% dilution, keeping the time and temperature constant. Reducing time is not wise as 3:15" is shortish already, but you could try.

    I've successfully pushed C41 film 2 stops (and even further) by extending the development time. Try to convince your lab to do that for those 2 rolls.

    Prewetting film is another variable to introduce. Or the use of extra restrainers.
     
  19. albada

    albada Member

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    I've found that 200 ml barely covers a 35mm roll in a SS tank. Maybe the top 1 mm of film isn't covered, but there's no image there, just edge-markings and sprocket-holes, and we don't care if they're underdeveloped. So 1 litre of developer gives you 5 rolls.

    Mark Overton
     
  20. FritsM

    FritsM Member

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    The big problem with home darkrooms is usually the lack of processing quantity. Not many shoot and develop 5 or 10 rolls each week. So it's difficult to be economical by buying larger quantities of developer. Once you open the concentrates the clock starts ticking.

    I remember that the hobby kits have instructions on how to reuse the developer to process more rolls in the same soup. Usually by extending the process time for each subsequent roll or batch. That way you could process 20 rolls from a liter of developer, using it 4 times.

    In my early days I would do that, process one roll at a time and reuse the developer 3 times with slightly extended process times for each additional roll to compensate for the depletion of the developer. Even when using the developer up in the same day (4 batches), I saw differences in the subsequent batches. The effects of reusing are particularly noticeable in the edge markings, and are harder to detect in the image area, until you print.

    You do have to make sure the roll is totally covered in solution, or you'll get processing marks in the image area, and don't neglect the effects from sprocket hole surging in scant solutions.