Capacity of Kodak Flexicolor (C41) chemicals

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by warrennn, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. warrennn

    warrennn Member

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    I appreciate that there have been numerous posts about C41 home developing in the recent past, but I have not been able to find people's experiences with the number of rolls of 120 (or 135) film that can be developed using Kodak chemicals. I must confess that I have recently used the Tetenal powders (which uses a blix) and have been happy with the results; but there have been many posts about the superiority of separate bleach and fix and I am investigating whether this would be a good approach for me.

    There seem to be two manufacturers of small batches of non-blix C41 chemicals for home use: the Rollei kit and the repackaged Kodak chemicals from Photographic Formulary. The latter costs $20+ for a 1L kit. Unfortunately, the Kodak docs on developing C41 in small tanks recommend only 2 rolls of 120 film per liter. This comes to $10+ per roll for processing, not a very economical approach. The Rollei kit seems to have a larger capacity.

    I would be interested in people's experiences with the capacities of non-blix kits (particularly Kodak). Thanks.

    Warren Nagourney
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2011
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Each set of chemicals has it's own capacity so consulting the literature for the maker and the specific formulation you are using is important.

    There's the normal Kodak Flexicolor, Kodak SM, the one's you mentioned, plus Trebla has a couple variants, one of which I use.

    Most C41 film is developed in replenished systems, not one shot and toss, and done at exactly 3:15, so capacity has a tolerance based on that exact time. Tetanol and Photo Formulary adjust the time for extra rolls, that changes the capacity.

    Look for "replenishment rate" in the Kodak (or Trebla) info.

    Replenished I'm under a buck a roll and it's not tough once you learn it, basically just pour off a bit of the used stuff after each run to make room then add "x" ml per roll of fresh chemicals to top up for the next run.
     
  3. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    I get 48 rolls of 120 or 35 per 5L in my phototherm, using regular kodak flexicolor chems. I use the dev as one shot, and recycle the bleach at least 3 times. I use fix and stab. as one shot also. I could reuse the fix and dev, but would rather not bother. Fix Is super cheap anyway.
     
  4. warrennn

    warrennn Member

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    I use a tank which requires about 500 ml per roll of 120. If I used it one-shot, I would get 2 rolls for about $14 per roll -- about 3.5 times as much as commercial processing. I have little interest in investing in an automated processor for reasons of initial cost, maintenance and the fact that I don't mind in the least using a tank (with my temperature stabilized bath).

    wn
     
  5. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I'm doing some right now and made up 1.25 liters of developer to do 27 rolls with a tank that needs 570 ml.

    With the chemicals I use about 32 ml per roll is needed to replenish.
     
  6. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    You must be using LORR or LORR LU

    Regular Flexicolor has a higher replenishment rate than 32mL.. it depends on the film.

    Z-131 specifies some replenishment rates.. Portra 160/400 and Ektar sheets specify their own.

    Kodak CIS-49 specifies amounts you need to mix up for replenisher and tank solution in smaller quantitues
    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/cis49/cis49.pdf

    Flexicolor LORR is $46 for 10L worth here.

    That has replenishment capacity of around 285-400 rolls depending on replenishment rate of the film. (for LORR)

    I use a 1.5L solution that I replenish from, so you'd have a bit more than 8.5L worth to replenish with, which at that rate would go 242 to 350 films before running out of replenisher. (for LORR)

    The developer inexpensive, the bleach a bit more expensive. Still economical.


    Regular flexicolor has about half the capacity of LORR (replenishment rate is about twice as much iirc).
     
  7. carpents

    carpents Member

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    Hey Warren,

    I have the Kodak chemicals from Photographer's Formulary. I mixed 500ml back on May 8th, and last week processed my 7th roll of 120 and 5th roll of 35mm on the same chemicals. The film has all been Fuji 800Z, Kodak Portra 800, and Kodak Ultramax 800 (35mm). I am not taking scientific photographs requiring perfect color, and since I am scanning I don't even really have any idea how close the exact colors are. However, I get negatives that look 'right' to me and scan fine.

    Hope this helps,
    Sean
     
  8. John Weinland

    John Weinland Member

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    More a question than an answer, might I suggest that chemical ageing seems to be especially critical with color processing. After a month, whether chemically exhausted according to the manufacturer's specs or not, I have observed that color developer and blix become suddenly less effective. If, like me, you process only a few color rolls each month, you may want to accumulate a good-sized lot of exposed color film in your refrigerator, then mix up a fresh batch of color chemistry and process it all at once - observing the manufacturer's specs at least nominally.
     
  9. warrennn

    warrennn Member

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    Thanks Sean and the others -- I suspected that the Phot. Formulary chemicals would last longer than one roll per 500 ml of solution.

    I mixed up the Tetenal powders (1 liter) a few weeks ago and processed my third roll yesterday -- the results were fine (the last two rolls were 3 year out-of-date NPH and they optically printed fine on Kodak and Fuji papers).

    Frankly, so far my experience with the blix-based Tetenal has been good, so I might forego the use of non-blix chemicals. Kodak certainly doesn't make it easy for amateurs to use their products!

    wn
     
  10. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Kodak doesn't make it easy for us to buy Flexicolor! I can't get it anywhere in Canada or shipped to Canada so I'm stuck with Tetenal/JOBO blix kits but they seem to work fine for me too. I get 25 rolls per litre (non-replenished) before it dies on me after weeks or even months of use.
     
  11. warrennn

    warrennn Member

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    John, one of the advantages of home developing is the quick turn-around -- I am reluctant to "batch process" the film.

    My experience with E6 is that the concentrates last a fairly long time if you use the chemicals one-shot (mixing before use), as recommended by Kodak with its 5 liter kit (I have 7 of them). I started on my first Kodak kit more than a year ago and the results are still good -- the developer, after being mixed, has the light brown color indicative of good solutions. I have heard lots of anecdotal evidence that the C41 chemicals also have fairly good longevity after being mixed. Certainly, my RA4 (Kodak) chems have lasted more than a month after being mixed with little obvious deterioration.

    wn
     
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  12. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    C41 flexicolor developer will oxidize in most tanks/jugs after 4-8 weeks, such that it turns very dark color. That's the only solution of the 4 that has a bad tendency to oxidize. The others keep fine (fix, stabilizer, bleach). RA-4 (RA RT) keeps exceedingly well once mixed. even with no special treatment I have a batch of 10L that has done fine for close to a year. C-41 flexicolor developer is much less stable than that, as noted above (And in Z-131 they mention this too).

    The flexicolor concentrates keep well, though. Even in opened bottles, as long as they are topped up with argon/nitrogen or some other inert gas, the concetrates for developer seem to last fine, several months at least.

    I started out using liquid tetenal 5L blix C41 kit, back when B&H still sold it. It was ok - not bad. I did find the separate bleach/fix flexicolor gave better results overall though. And its much cheaper per roll than any other product.

    -Ed
     
  13. warrennn

    warrennn Member

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    Ed, from your previous post, you must use 100 ml of developer per roll of film (48 rolls/5 l --> ~10 rolls/l-->100 ml/roll for one-shot). Does your automated processor use that little per roll? My tanks require about 500 ml per roll and the economics would be not very good if I used it one-shot. Of course, replenishing changes things.

    wn
     
  14. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Flexicolor turns dark with usage too, I've continued replenishment much longer than 8 weeks in a glass bottle, there's no decrease of activity with semi-regular usage and replenishment.
     
  15. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    Warrenn

    Yes, phototherm ssk uses 60ml per run and 105 ml per roll, so for 4 rolls ( 1 run), it uses 480ml. I use it One shot as i want the best consistency, but I could do replenishment if needed. But overall the cost of the dev is not bad. I think the flexicolor developer to make 5 gallons, is only $23 or so, which works out to about 12 cents (!) per roll for one shot developer cost.

    Ed
     
  16. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Seriously, you get 27 rolls from 1.25 L? I am trying out the Photographer's Formular Flexicolor kit in the next week or two and it's 1 L. I'd be pleased as punch if I could get 20 rolls, mostly 120, out of it.
     
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  17. wogster

    wogster Member

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    Where are you getting the Tetenal kits from?????