C-41 processing at home

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by madhan, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. madhan

    madhan Member

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    Hi Friends,

    I am living in Chennai(Madras), Tamilnadu, India.
    I am using Nikon F4, FE2 & F80 bodies for film. I would like to start C-41 processing at home as good labs are hard to find these days.
    I hope that this topic is discussed earlier. Sorry for asking once again. Can you guide me what to do from start to end.

    Madhan
     
  2. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Madhan, there are going to be plenty of naysayers for my daring to say this but here goes.

    I use Kodak RA4 dev/repl RT (roller transport) for ALL color developer, both paper and film. I dilute heavily (1 part manufacturer's recommendation + 4 parts water). That means with a 10 liter size I am able to make a total or 50 liters of developer.

    My process as follows: with this developer dilution you will have to develop film for about 12 minutes at 100 F (about 38 C). Then put the film through stop bath (I use 0.5 %: or 5 ml glacial acetic acid per liter or 18 ml of 28% acetic acid per liter). I then do something rather unorthodox: I fix the film in normal film fixer for about 5 minutes; this will even be OK at room temp for the fix. Then room lights can come on and the rest can also be done at room temp if you wish. If you wish to go further bleach the film (1 gram potassium ferricyanide per 20 ml of bleach: you do not have to mix enough to cover the film as this is quite expensive; instead you can mix only about 100 ml worth and run the film though it after you have cut it into '5 frame' lengths. It takes about 3 minutes to bleach.) Finally run the film for about one minute in the previous fix, then wash with final wash water having a bit of wetting agent. Dry. (Adjust the dev time if the negs are either too contrasty or lack contrast. Regardless of what anyone says, faster color films need a bit more development to attain necessary contrast. For 800 ISO try 15 minutes, etc.

    Paper: use the same dev dilution at room temp for about 2 minute development. Then stop, fix, then, if you wish to go further, blix. My blix is made up as follows (and lasts about 1 hour before going bad):

    diluted bleach: 1 gram potassium ferricyanide per 100 ml water (lasts indefinitely)

    diluted fixer: 1 part film strength fixer + 1 part water (lasts indefinitely)

    mix 1 part diluted bleach + 1 part diluted fixer to make the paper bilx. Keep paper in this for about 1 to 2 minutes until print becomes slightly warmer. Wash and dry. - David Lyga

    ONE VERY IMPORTANT POINT HERE: COLOR DEVELOPER WILL KEEP INDEFINITELY IN CLEAR HIGH DENSITY PLASTIC BOTTLES (SODA, JUICE) IF FILLED TO THE VERY BRIM (USE GLASS MARBLES TO TAKE UP THE AIR SPACE). THIS IS SO EVEN IN THE DILUTION I RECOMMEND. IF YOU WANT FURTHER CLARIFICATION PLEASE EMAIL ME AT DAVID33X@YAHOO.COM
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2011
  3. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    All I can say is that it's not hard to do. Get the kit of chemistry and follow the directions. Do that and it works the way it should, first time, and every time. I would do it more often myself, except that it is far more economical to send my C-41 film out for development only than it is to stock up on chemistry that I don't use much of. Your situation is obviously different, and might be worth the trouble of obtaining a 5L kit from Kodak or Fuji/Hunt.
     
  4. Domin

    Domin Member

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    Developing color film in RA4 chemicals is controversial at best.

    Claims about indefinite keeping of ferricyanide bleach and color developer are simply NOT TRUE.
     
  5. sandholm

    sandholm Subscriber

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  6. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    I use a replenished Kodak kit, but using Kodak E-6 fixer (since that's so damn dirt cheap). It's very rewarding to process colour.

    Domin: It's more oxidising than the atmosphere, so it'd have to oxidise the atmospheric air/the atmospheric air reduce it, obviously it doesnt have indefinite usage.
     
  7. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Domin:
    Claims about RA4 dev not keeping not true you say? I invite you to test my 10 year old diluted RA4 dev any time you are in Philadelphia. Sometimes pragmatism does, indeed, trump theory. - David Lyga 215.569.4949
     
  8. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Easiest one to ship is the Tetenal/Unicolor/Jobo 1L and 2L powder kits. They're even safe for airline carryon. Freestyle and B&H carry them. I use them and while they say they don't last long when mixed I've been using my kit since January and it still works. I've gotten more capacity out of it than advertised too, already at least 20 rolls in (losing count) with my current 1L kit which was advertised for 8-12 rolls.
     
  9. domaz

    domaz Member

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    The Formulary C-41 kit is the easiest to obtain non-Blix C-41 chemcials bar none. You don't get much volume (1L)- but it's a much better alternative than paying hundreds of dollars to get huge amounts of chemicals IMO.