C-41 Thread #14,398

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Sjixxxy, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy Member

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    Ok. I've been reading various threads here and on other sites for about the past six hours. While I believe it should be simple, my head is hurting.

    I only want to do c-41 at home for 4x5 & 8x10 negatives. I currently send to Samy's and am happy with the price and service. However, waiting to build up enough exposed film to send out can sometimes take me a month or more, and then another week and a half round trip for the processing.

    I just want to know if the following idea is viable. I didn't seem to come across a mention of it while I was swallowing information today.

    I'm looking at the big Arista liquid kit at Freestyle. http://freestylephoto.biz/20414-Ari...-Negative-Developing-Kit-1-Gallon?cat_id=1001

    The data sheet shows that 8oz of working solution will yield 8 sheets of 4x5. For absolute simplicity sake, could I just whip up small batches of chemistry for what I need on a given day, dump it all at the end and expect the concentrate source to last for a reasonably long time?

    I did notice this comment about doing pretty much the same thing with Kodak chemistry. Once I tried to track down the separate parts was when my head started getting muddles. I'm hoping using the Arista chemistry would work, and just require a single item order.
     
  2. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    The Arista chemistry uses a blix, so I wouldn't use it as long as there are other options. For small batches, the Rollei stuff comes in tiny kits, but it is expensive. I'd do the homework required to use Kodak chemicals. I haven't exactly figured it out myself since the demise of the 1 gal. kit, but it can definitely be done, and for quite cheaply.
     
  3. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy Member

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    Am I correct in assuming that for the bleach & developer where there is a Starter & Replenisher, that all that would be needed for a home one shot environment would be the Starter? I'm not tending to see anything labeled just plain old "Developer"
     
  4. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Replenisher is just developer without the starter added.
    So you get replenisher & starter, use the starter whenever you make a fresh litre or whatever size working solution you decise to make.

    I make 1 Liter and replenish for small reels & tanks and it works for me.


    For the bleach I have some off brand replenisher and was told here starter is not needed.
     
  5. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    The info is out there, I've posted it before myself, on what to buy/use for the kodak C-41 chems. the Kodak stuff is WAY cheaper per roll, and better quality, I think.

    Dev needs starter, bleach and fix don't need starter.
    Bleach is expensive and expensive to ship, but can be re-used multiple times.
    I use fix and dev one-shot, because I can, and because it's fairly cheap to do so.
    final rinse is dirt cheap, also use that one shot.

    I usually buy the 5-gal quantities of stuff, and mix 5L at a time, which will do 48 rolls of 35mm or 120, one-shot, in my processor. It would also probably do at least 48 sheets of 4x5 film, if not more.

    -Ed
     
  6. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    I'm about to order some Kodak Flexicolor SM chemicals, and I notice in the publication CIS-211 that they do not list a starter for the developer. Anyone know if it's not needed? When I call Kodak I only get a voice mail for this department.
     
  7. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy Member

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    Still trying to figure out this Kodak situation. Whoever left the comment in one of the threads saying that starting a meth lab has better information seems about right.

    I feel I should just keep with Samy's and let them deal with the chemistry while making use of the time that I won't be mixing and hovering over a processing tube.
     
  8. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I dont use the SM stuff but Color developer is the only thing I use a starter for.

    It's crazy how far a 5 gallon developer kit will go if you replenish.
     
  9. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    That was me; and I still stand by that statement.

    (Not that I know anything about making meth, but if a guy with six teeth can do it I know it can't be that hard.)
     
  10. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    If Kodak (or Fuji for that matter) wanted to get people started on C-41 at home, much like Ilford can get people started doing b&w at home, I'd probably be doing it, you'd probably be doing it, hell, your mother would probably be doing it.
     
  11. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    C-41 at home is easy. For some reason people poo-poo the blix kits which have everything you need in one box for small batches of film. Tetenal/Unicolor/Jobo color kits are as easy as B&W and are what I use. No searching around for starters and replenishers, buying and storing huge quantities of chemicals, just 1L/2L kits to do tens of rolls of film for under $1/roll. Just a satisfied customer...

    Now, would I like it if Fuji and Kodak sold "all included" 1L/2L kits with separate bleach and fix? Sure but they don't so for convenience and ease of use, I suggest the all-in-a-box kits.
     
  12. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Hooray for small blix kits like Tetenal, because they are easily available to buy!

    But, boo for them, because they COULD as well make them real bleach-fix kits, and still make them as easily available! That's just stupid.

    I started with Tetenal blix kits and they worked just fine, so, don't be afraid of them if the another option is to not shoot as much film.
     
  13. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Sorry, but what's wrong with the blix in general? (question #2,045)
     
  14. hrst

    hrst Member

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    The fact that it cannot be guaranteed to remove all silver and halides with every film in every case. This may cause increased graininess, increased density and subdued colors. This is a summary of the discussions, the bottom line being that Kodak has studied the film blixes but decided not to use them. Use the search function to find more... PE has written most of the posts about this subject. This was discussed more frequently a few years ago.

    However, in most cases, blixes seem to work well enough, or even perfectly, and if nothing else is available, why not use them. This is a typical example of differences between "99%" and "100%".

    It's just funny; separate bleach and fix are easier to design, keep better, are the standard process, and are guaranteed to work. Some small manufacturers apparently try to act wiser than they actually are, and try to show off with skills they do not actually have, designing "revolutionary" products that are not that revolutionary, just problematic. The catastrophic design of Tetenal's "mono-concentrates" (RA-4) is a good example of this. This "innovation" is luckily not used in their C-41 or E-6 chemicals.
     
  15. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Interesting, thanks hrst.
     
  16. vertex ninja

    vertex ninja Member

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    Photographers Formulary does sell 1L Kodak kits. Hopefully 2 and/or 5L kits aren't far behind.
     
  17. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Interesting -- I'll have to see if they ship to Canada.

     
  18. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The listing on Photographers Formulary's site is hard to find - it is under "Developers - Holography" and is mis-described as a developer kit, rather than a complete kit.
     
  19. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Photoformulary's systematic mismanagement of their search functions is so frustrating... they're only shooting themselves in the foot!

    There are misspellings, mis-categorizations, and worst of all very rigid search terms. For instance, if I'm looking for GP-2, typing "GP2" will return no results. Same thing for sulfite & sulphite, though they may have fixed this upon my request.

    Sigh...
     
  20. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    It is also nearly $30 for one liter, plus shipping, which is ridiculous for the number or rolls you get out of it. One shot use gives you four rolls, so over $8 per roll. Go through the chems twice and you take it down to over $4. You have to go through the chemicals four times just to get the cost down to a bit over $2 per roll. And then you have bleach that is still good for 8x as many rolls as the developer used one shot, but they don't sell separate developer. This means that you have to buy the whole kit again, which includes bleach – by far the most expensive chemical used in the process – that you don't need until you go through another 7 batches of developer one shot. At that price, you might as well just use a lab and enjoy the extra time and darkroom space you get by doing so.

    A few years ago, before Kodak discontinued their 1 gallon C-41 materials, I used to spend $70 for enough chemistry to equal two one gallon kits, or about 7.5 L. I bought two developers, two fixes, two Final Rinses and one bleach. I would get 60 rolls at the very least out of the two gallons, going through the chemistry only twice, ad then get even more by cross processing or developing less critical negs on the third time through the developer. (You can go through it up to four times, or replenish.) On top of that, I could do it with a six mile round trip and support a local business. So, my cost was around $1 per roll going through the chemistry only twice, plus random extras. Compare that to the $4 per roll cost of using the PF/Rollei kits twice through; they are nearly four times as expensive per roll as the 1 gallon kit, which was already more expensive than the bulk chemicals at the time. Buying the bulk chemicals probably takes it down to 50 cents a roll, though that is only from memory; I'd have to do all the numbers again to know for sure. Is it really going a good idea to pay PF or Rollei 8x as much just for decanting and labeling chemicals that can be bought directly by the home user?

    I really think it is in our best interests to buy the bulk chemicals. I was excited to hear about the Rollei and Photographer's Formulary kits, but they are priced far beyond reason.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2011
  21. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I'd encourage you to inform PF of their nonsensical pricing/packaging structure.
     
  22. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    I bought one case each of the Kodak SM chemicals. This is as follows:
    Developer Cat. No. 175-6337 (6x2L)
    Bleach Cat. No. 882-4690 (2x2.7L)
    Fixer Cat. No. 846-2681 (2x3.9L)
    Rinse Cat. No. 192-5254 (12x1.5L)

    Shipping was calculated by weight and the total cost of the chemicals and shipping was around $250. Assuming I use it one shot in my Jobo tanks (and I will until I do some control strip tests of reuse) that use 270mL for 6 sheets of 4x5, that comes out to 266 sheets at $0.94 per sheet. The alternative is the only lab left in Miami at $2.50 per sheet. This would use up all my developer, but not the other chemicals. The Formulary 1L kit is $45 after shipping to me. That is $2.50 per 4x5 sheet, but I could stretch it to $1.87 if I use 250mL per run rather than the recommended 270mL and single shot.

    According to Kodak, the SM chemicals do not use a starter.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2011
  23. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    If you live in Italy you can buy a Rollei Digibase C-41 "maxi" kit, 2,5 litres, for less than €40 including shipping. That is supposed to make 55 ISO 100 "rolls" (I suppose they mean 135/36) if ISO 100, or 50 rolls if ISO 400.

    http://www.westernphoto.it/prodotti/DIGIBASE_C_41_MAXI_KIT_2_5_litri

    (this shop also sells on eBay, it's where I bought my E-6 kit).

    If you are in Germany, you can buy it at Macodirect (and at other venues I suppose).

    The Rollei Digibase C-41 has bleach and fix (no blix).

    There is a recent thread here:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum40/76545-rollei-digibase-c-41-a.html

    If you really get 50/55 rolls out of that kit, that means a cost of less than €1/roll, which is IMO quite acceptable.

    Strange this kit is difficult to find in the US. Maybe the importer is prepared to order some quantity if so requested.

    Fabrizio
     
  24. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    PF will ship here but at $29 plus $29 shipping I won't be ordering it, $68 is too much for me to ship a 1L kit. I might be able to get better economy if I ordered a few kits but they only have 5 in stock and I can get 4 1L Tetenal kits shipped from B&H for under $10 shipping and under $20/kit, much less money.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2011