C-41 processing for neophytes

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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  2. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    It's an interesting link, but the photos that are posted, look like he used expired film. There are some strange color shifts in those pictures. Is he doing "lomo" photos?
    I don't mean to be nit-picky, but when I do break out my color negative film, I like true to life colors normally.
     
  3. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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  4. Rom

    Rom Member

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    Thanks for sharing. Indeed lomo style but it's still interesting for a b&w shooter like me who wants to begin in developing some color films.
     
  5. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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  6. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I don't mind his Lomo colours. I do mind the marks and stains all over his images. This week I've processed a lot of C-41 with very good results, clean and with colour that matches a pro lab reference. Got my info from APUG and polyglot.
     
  7. wogster

    wogster Member

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    The problem is, some people will THINK this is the proper way of processing colour film, when they see results that are muddy with horrible colour, they will be convinced that it's impossible to do at home, and they will run out and buy a digital camera, because they don't want to pay $15/roll for lab processing.

    I once decided that half the stuff on the Internet was BS, and the other half was someone pushing an agenda..... I have yet to see someone prove that wrong....
     
  8. macandal

    macandal Member

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    Ok, so..., where?

    So, now that I've learned to process my own B&W film, I wanted to learn how to process color. So, where could I go for instructions on how to do it? Since the link posted by Mainecoonmaniac does not appear to be the right way to do color, where can one learn the proper way? Is the link posted by polyglot it? Is that better? Thanks so much.
     
  9. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    Read the Polyglot link, watch some of the tutorials on Youtube and you should be ready to start. You might find some contradictory info on Youtube such as people washing the film after the stabiliser, in which case refer back to the Polyglot instructions. Also follow the instructions that come with whatever kit you buy. It's a pretty simple process - the key thing is temperature control in the developer stage.
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    A couple of points here:

    The example from the OP is good film with a bad process. It has severe crossover and some other problems to boot, and he does not recognize it which is even worse. This may be due to his technique or due to the process temperature which is low. Also, black plastic garbage bags leak light big time. Look through one! Nuff said on that!

    Don't use this guys advice.

    Use 100F, use a real changing bag, use a prewet to temper the tank, and use a bleach then fix to insure that all silver is removed.

    PE
     
  11. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    As an aside, I haven't searched very much admittedly, but every video I have seen on YouTube on standard processing (I have no idea about all those people doing alternative processes) has made me cringe. It seems that care, control and comprehension are no longer required - or are these videos made as 'black-flag' operations by digi-zealots??

    After thirty-five years in the darkroom maybe I've turned into an old fogey and Lomography is the one true-path(TM).
     
  12. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    I think what we are witnessing is the nacesant renaissance of experimenters, not a disregard for procedure.

    Remember that for decades the high priesthood of color proclaimed how difficult it was.

    Just like folks experimenting with two color separation using red and green filter, which produces acceptable but not true colors, those guys experimenting without much guidance are getting something rather than nothing.

    If we want them to buy the hell out of C-41 film so we'll have some ourselves we need to encourage them. And throw out the challenge to them that color isn't as hard as everyone thought. You don't need a $50K lab to get it right.

    Honestly the color in the link was no worse than a red/green two color image, and we ooh and aah over those.

    It's true that the lomo guys experimenting with C-41 "could" get superb quality color with the tools whereas a red/green separation cannot get past its inherent limitations. So the lomo crowd leaves a lot on the table.

    But far better that they do something rather than nothing.

    So I'm taking the position that while Lomography isn't "the one true path" at least I'll acknowledge that it is "a true path."

    In the mean time, if you want true color take PE's advice and don't follow this example.


    MB
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Michael;

    gave up on our your 2 paragraphs.I

    Kf a color process is wrong, then it is wrong. No further comment!

    PE
     
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  15. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I don't mind people experimenting. The problem with that link is the guy is being presented as someone who knows what he is talking about, and anyone who follows his advice expecting good results is going to be disappointed.
     
  16. wogster

    wogster Member

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    If you can do B&W your already more then half way there, you just use a different set of chemicals at a different temperature. You have a developer, a bleach, a fixer and a stabilizer or final rinse. This isn't really any different then your B&W where there are also 4 chemicals, developer, stop, fix, photo-flow. The place to start, process at the temperature in the kit, for the time indicated in the kit.
     
  17. feromarcin

    feromarcin Member

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    He writes, that You can process 24 films in one liter. But capacity of the solutions is only 16 rols per liter. I think, the problem is there.
     
  18. macandal

    macandal Member

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    Ok. I'm a little confused. Everyone talks about a "kit." I never bought a kit when I started developing my own B&W. I bought a developer, a fixer, and Permawash separately. Never as part of a kit. Is this where the peculiarities of color come in place? Where you can't mix chemistry as you can in B&W and you need to buy a proper "kit," apparently put together by someone who knows what he's doing, so you can properly develop a color negative?

    For example, look here:

    :confused: "Kits" :confused:

    Buying one of these kits will give me all I need to process my own color film?

    Thanks.
     
  19. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Those "kits" come from companies other than Kodak or Fuji. At one time, Kodak sold C41 kits and I believe that they still sell E6 kits. Way back when, Kodak and others sold B&W kits as well. Kodak's most famous one was the TriChemPack. This included a universal MQ developer, a stop and a fix.

    PE
     
  20. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    You can buy colour stuff separately (and that's how labs do it, 50L+ at a time) but there are so many components that the manufacturers tend to sell kits. It's the easy way to make sure you aren't missing a component.

    A proper C41 process requires a developer (3 concentrates), bleach, fixer and stabiliser. That's 6 different concentrates you need to mix up into 4 baths, which means that buying separately is annoying, especially if you don't know exactly what you need. E6 is slightly more complicated again.
     
  21. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    But…once you get your processes sorted it is no harder than b&w. :joyful:
    Just a bit more labor intensive.
     
  22. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Certainly. Just takes a bit more setup and a few more things to mix together. If you have a temp-controlled bath it's really no harder at all.

    I haven't tried without a temp-control bath (non-standard temperatures invite colour crossover) but have experimented with adjusting times a bit (pulling for contrast reduction to fit with modern high-contrast RA4 papers), and I can say that time control isn't really critical.
     
  23. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    I read on another thread about a year ago that one of those turkey roasters would make a good heated bath for C-41 chemicals. Has this been confirmed by anyone? It's the temp control that gets me in trouble.
     
  24. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    Turkey roasters, aquarium heaters, etc. all sound like an awful lot of trouble. Temperature control is critical but not that critical. Even so, the developer is the only temperature-critical step, and three minutes goes by fast. I fill a Playmate cooler with hot water and after several dry runs, found a water bath temperature that maintains the 100F developer temperature through the duration. I repeat the test periodically as variables change -- ambient temperature, developer loss, etc. -- and adjust accordingly.

    I'm not an expert -- just started doing this myself. But this is working well for me thus far...
     
  25. kerne

    kerne Member

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    The roaster is set it and forget it. I've got two marks there on the dial. One for 97F RA4 and one for 105F E6. Keeps it +-2F all day long. :smile:

    [​IMG]
     
  26. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I'm kind of terrified that you can buy a food-warming device that will happily keep your food right in the middle of the bacterial-growth zone.