C41 processing at home...

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Resoman, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Resoman

    Resoman Member

    Messages:
    153
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'll be doing my first C41 processing later this week and, if it goes well, I'll be processing my Ilford XP2 in this manner from now on. The processing kit that I'll be using is the Arista from Freestyle.

    The C41 process looks pretty straightforward, except for the fact that the instructions tell me to wash the film before the stabilizer, not after it. It sounds as if I'm expected to hand up my film, dripping wet with stabilizer, and I'm not very comfortable about this.

    For forty years, I've been gently sponging my black and white film after the wash, and I get immaculate results. I was hoping to do the same at the end of the C41 process.

    So, can I wash the film in a conventional manner after the stabilizer or would this "de-stabilize" my film?

    Thanks in advance,

    Gary,
    East Snook, TX
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,895
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Get used to it. Color film or C-41 B&W film should not be washed or rinsed after the stabilzer. However, they can be gently wiped down.

    PE
     
  3. argus

    argus Member

    Messages:
    2,146
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You will have done washing before this step. Regard it as the final rinse with wetting agent of your classic B/W film and you will feel better (but DON'T skip it!).
    I also found it very weird when I did it the first time.

    G
     
  4. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

    Messages:
    2,411
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Van Buren, A
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The stabilizer (and/or) final rinse required for E-6 and C-41 processing must be used as the last wet step before hanging up. It is vital to the stability and health of the negatives and or transparencies. After soaking in the final rinse, I hang up my film, then dip a couple of photo sponges in the final rinse, wring out, and then gently sandwich the film between the sponges and wipe them down to remove excessive moisture. Just one gentle squeegie type wipe from top to bottom. I never have drying marks.
     
  5. Resoman

    Resoman Member

    Messages:
    153
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Phototone -

    <<<gently sandwich the film between the sponges and wipe them down to remove excessive moisture. Just one gentle squeegie type wipe from top to bottom>>>

    That's exactly what I do with b&w films. It's good to hear that you're able to use this technique with the stabilizer.

    If I thoroughly rinse my sponges after this step, they'll be OK for my b&w films, also?

    thanks,

    Gary,
    East Snook, TX
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,895
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Gary;

    Color stabilzer will not hurt normal B&W film, but plain B&W wetting agent will harm color film and C41 B&W film.

    PE
     
  7. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

    Messages:
    2,411
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Van Buren, A
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    You bet, just saturate them with fresh water a few times and wring out a few times, and as PE says...a trace of color stabilizer will not hurt b/w film.
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,895
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ummm, I wet my sponges with stabilzer to wipe the film down. Wetting with water will dilute the stabilzer by a fair amount.

    PE
     
  9. domaz

    domaz Member

    Messages:
    560
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't bother with the sponges and just sandwhich the film with my fingers and run it down the film. I guess this might be a bad idea with C-41 since the stabilizer contains formalin correct? I do it with the E-6 final rinse (Kodak) which I hope is not so toxic.
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,895
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would not use my fingers with either color film stabilzer. I only use fingers with PF 200.

    PE
     
  11. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

    Messages:
    2,411
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Van Buren, A
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    PE, I was instructing on how to clean the sponges before using them for b/w film. I always rinse out my sponges before use as it softens them up. Then I dip the sponges in photoflo (for b/w) or final rinse/stabilizer (for various color) then wring them out and wipe the film. The only moisture on the sponges at the time of wiping the film is the appropriate "final rinse". Since I use the same set of sponges for all film, I rinse them out thoroughly before each use.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,895
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sorry.

    The method you describe is exactly what I use and what I had referred to.

    PE
     
  13. Resoman

    Resoman Member

    Messages:
    153
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks to all who advised me prior to my first attempt at processing XP2 Super film in C41 chemistry at home. I processed six rolls of 120 XP2 Super film on Friday and it went quite well, so far as I can tell. Maintaining the 102F temperature wasn't all that difficult, and I was able to sponge the film before hanging it to dry, as I do with conventional b&w film.

    I've gotten as far as making proof sheets and the results look good, with perhaps a bit more contrast than I'm used to in lab processed film.

    Thanks again,

    Gary,
    East Snook, TX
     
  14. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,598
    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    So, newby question, what type of sponges are you guys talking about?
     
  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,895
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The soft 3x4 inch yellow sponges you get at the supermarket will do.

    PE
     
  16. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,598
    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks PE

    Mark
     
  17. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

    Messages:
    2,266
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Location:
    Metro DC are
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Gary,
    Could you elaborate on your technique on the temp stability. I am thinking od trying C41 at home as well and would like to get away with purchasing very little extra stuff than what I already have for my B&W film.

    I've always been put off from c41 due to the temperature issue.

    Anyone else want to through their 2 cents as well.

    Thanks.
     
  18. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

    Messages:
    2,411
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Van Buren, A
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Just a note. The temperature issue is more critical for C-41 COLOR film, than for C-41 chromogenic b/w film. You can be "off" a bit more with the b/w and still get good negatives. The reason for this is that the b/w only has one dye that has to form, while the color film has three color dye forming layers and they all have to form at once within a set amount of time and be more or less "equal" in their development,..so the film will balance within normal color-balance parameters.
     
  19. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,239
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's amazing what a search on Google will bring you on APUG. I just processed my first two rolls of C-41 film (Superia 200) yesterday, and I was thrilled with the results. But after the film dried I have an abundance of drying marks all over the film, probably from the stabilizer. So I'll use the sponges next time.
    I used the JoBo Press Kit, and from what I can tell, besides the drying marks, it worked really really well. It would be interesting to know if there is any difference in ultimate film quality between the various C-41 kits out there.

    - Thomas
     
  20. mtjade2007

    mtjade2007 Member

    Messages:
    370
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The problem is the stabilizer or final rinse you used for sure. I don't have water marks on my films and I don't use a sponge. I only hang my films to dry in my bathroom. I use Kodak chemicals and that of course includes Kodak final rinse.

    I like Kodak Portra 400VC medium format (220 mostly) very much. This is my all around national parks film. With quality processing this film's grain is very decent despite people bad mouth a bit about its grains. The colors of 400VC is plenty beautiful to me. It's the best film for me on sunny days. I think I am talking about the older 400VC, not the latest that is related to 400UC.
     
  21. mts

    mts Subscriber

    Messages:
    362
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2004
    Location:
    Los Alamos,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I scratch-mix my C-41 chemistry using PhotoFlo-200 + formalin for stabilizer, with distilled water for mixing. I use 1-2 min. in the stabilizer and I too usually find drying marks. I have long run the sponges along the wet film before drying and this eliminates any of the remaining drying marks. I wet the sponge in wash water or stabilizer and squeeze them out thoroughly before wiping. The result is always clean film after drying. The only effect to which I can attribute drying marks is low humidity that is the norm in New Mexico. Wet film dries very quickly here usually in about 15 minutes.
     
  22. Nasir

    Nasir Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I use Ilford wetting agent in filtered water after the stabilizer for both my C41 and bw films and I don't have drying mark problems. I've never wiped my film down with anything for fear of scratching.
     
  23. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,232
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It's your choice of course including accepting whatever consequences this will bring but I'd have a good look at PE's reasons for not doing this.

    I suspect that a long career with Kodak in the C41 area means that he really does know what he is talking about.

    pentaxuser
     
  24. Nasir

    Nasir Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks, pentaxuser. I will heed PE's advice :smile: