c-41 Film processing.

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by nlochner, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. nlochner

    nlochner Member

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    what is the process sequence when developing c-41 film? what chemicals do you use, and is it very much harder than developing black and white, as i have developed black and white many times. Also, is it exspensive?
     
  2. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    You might do a search, the C41 processing steps, chemistry and such have been discuss a lot around here..

    R.
     
  3. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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  4. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    C41 is quite simple in comparison with E6. In the Agfa process there are only the developer, the bleach-fix and the final wash. In comparison with monochrome processing it is not too much more difficult. Temperature control is critical for the dev (usually around 38C) and time control is also important.
     
  5. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    The official Kodak C-41 processing steps are:

    1. Developer
    2. Bleach
    3. Rinse
    4. Fix
    5. Wash
    6. Stabilizer or final rinse

    This is a total of four chemicals plus water, which is the same as a typical B&W workflow (developer/stop bath/fixer/wetting agent, with a wash between the fixer and wetting agent). The color process does have that extra rinse, though. Some other manufacturers produce C-41-compatible chemistry that combines the bleach and fix (along with the intervening wash) steps into a single blix step, and/or that omit the stabilizer/final rinse.

    Overall, color isn't really harder than B&W in terms of the number of steps. The main tricky thing is that C-41 works at 100 degrees F, vs. the 68 or 75 degrees F that's typically used for B&W. This means you'll probably need to use a water bath or some other method to raise the temperature of the chemistry (particularly the developer) and keep it stable while it's doing its work. This is a bit of a nuisance, but isn't too bad, in my experience.

    As to cost, I haven't done a full cost comparison, but my impression is that color is more expensive than B&W. Assuming you use enough chemistry that you don't throw away large quantities of it, it should be less expensive than a develop-only job at most minilabs -- but if you factor in your own time, that may not be true. You'll have to balance all this against quality and processing time issues, which will vary depending on where you'd get your film processed and your own ability to get temperature and timing down consistently. Remember to factor in the film scratches that you get for free from most minilabs. :wink:
     
  6. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Sorry, I forgot to comment about costs. One other factor cost-wise is using your chemicals before they expire. I use Grolsch beer bottles to store the Agfa chemicals, which expire within about six weeks. For a 500ml kit, I can do 6 rolls of 35mm or 5 rolls of 120. I count 120 film as 1.2 times the usage factor of a 36 exposure 35mm roll.
     
  7. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Cost varies widely based on volume. The more you do the cheaper it gets. When the local shop sold the Agfa 4 roll kit it was more expensive to buy the kit then to send the film to a pro lab. OTOH if you buy the bigger kits or even better the minilab stuff prices drop by quite a bit.

    If you're a sloppy B&W worker you'll find it tougher. But other then the tighter temperture and timing requirements it's no harder then B&W.
     
  8. OldBikerPete

    OldBikerPete Member

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