Color processing bleach

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by nworth, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    PE has noted a couple of times that blixes are ineffective at removing the silver from color films, and that separate bleach and fix are really needed for color film processing. I used the Tetnal 3 solution E-6 process a few times a few years ago, and I could definitely see what he means. There was pronounced added density. (This is quite evident in the pre-exposed markings along the edges of the film, which are often invisible when processed in the Tetnal chemicals but are clear with the Kodak 6 solution kit.)

    These days the only kits readily available for either E-6 or C-41 use blix. Has the blix been changed and improved enough to correct the previous problem? If not, can a simple bleach be used ahead of the blix to correct the problem?
     
  2. Photo Engineer

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    Not AFAIK! Still the same old blixes and the same old problems.

    PE
     
  3. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    consider a mix from scratch rehalogenating bleach so that all residual silver is removed in the subsequent fix step.

    C-22 while not as environmentally friendly, in small quanities works well.

    80g of pottasium ferricyanide and 20g of potassium bromide per litre.

    2.5' at 38C 30' agitiation used to do fine for me.

    I replenished 45mL per 80 sq in, and when 1l of replenisher used, would HHW dispose of the resulting 2L of worked and overflow. I may have been able to stretch it longer, but why risk it.


    Once my find of 10L of e-6 bleach concentrate, found for free at the reuse shelf on one trip to the HHW drop off depot, runs out, I will be back to c-22 bleach for my c-41 and e-6 work.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    A few companies have made excellent Blixes, Photocolor in particular. Used correctly Tetenal products are also excellent and they have a very long history which predated Kodak by decades :smile: and they always made/make excellent products.

    There's good blixes and very iffy (not so good) and you need to be aware, blixes neeed regeneration in a part filled bottle plenty of agitation get more oxygen in . . . . . .

    Ian
     
  5. Photo Engineer

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    Lets look at it this way.....

    Bleach III for C41 is used as is. No dilution. That is extreme but is usable for an illustration.

    Now, Imagine a fix that is the same, requiring no dilution for use.

    If you mix them together, you are diluting them 1:1 with each other and you slow things down.

    This is an extreme example of the case. What really emphasizes this is when you surround the silver metal with dye clouds and when the silver has all kinds of "grunge" on the surface that must be scrubbed off before it can be bleached.

    Analysis shows that out of the 300 mg or so per square foot, less than 10 mg per square foot should remain in order to get good grain and color. The leftover silver metal adds to grain and also darkens color. The OP has pointed that out to us. Well, in E6 you can also see a slight distortion in whites due to silver and silver sulfide.

    Mike is correct, in that ferricyanide does a good job removing silver metal. However, IDK if current dyes are tested for image stability with ferricyanide. It is a strong oxidant. Oxidants are bad for some dyes.

    Just saying.

    I am, however, speaking from the POV of one who ran image stability and bleaching/blixing tests for over 5 years, and who took the ICIS short course in image stability.

    In the long run, if you are happy, why worry?

    PE
     
  6. noacronym

    noacronym Member

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    I remember the days of Kodacolor X and Ektacolor that said C-22 on the box. Then around 1973 or so it became C-41. I wonder what the difference was.And wondered if you could actually use either one, or if the film was made for the process marked on the box. Wonder why they changed the process.
     
  7. RPC

    RPC Member

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    They were not interchangable. C-22 developer operated at 75 degrees F and C-41 at 100. C-41 emulsions are hardened and can withstand the high temperature, C-22 films cannot. Development times radically differed. But I believe the bleach and fixer are interchangable except for possible dye stabilty issues PE mentioned.
     
  8. Photo Engineer

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    The film: C41, 2 equivalent couplers, FeEDTA bleach, Non Formalin hardener, no benzyl alcohol, no ferricyanide, Ammonium Hypo near neutral bleach, and etc. The list goes on including DIR couplers and high iodide emulsions. In no way were C22 and C41 compatible except for minor items.

    PE
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I always heard that C22 was rather liberal, whereas C41 takes a much more conservative approach to development :munch:
     
  10. noacronym

    noacronym Member

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    Sounds to me like in the early 70's Kodak practically re-invented color film totally.
     
  11. Roger Cole

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    I tested Unicolor E6 six bath versus three bath when the three bath came out and actually preferred, very slightly, the results from the three bath. But that was so long ago I couldn't tell you any more about why, just that I settled on the three bath. I didn't have any visible problems with it, and went through a couple of one gallon kits back when I was doing E6.

    Weren't there concerns about the permanence of film developed in the three bath stuff versus six? I can't say anything about that. I have some slides from those days which look ok (and none that seem badly faded as far as I recall, but I don't have all of them by any stretch) but I didn't mark them as to which process I used so now I've no idea which are which.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

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    Matt, I am not sure what you mean. Can you elaborate?

    Roger, the 3 bath kit has no stabilizer or final rinse so there may be problems. Both Kodak and Fuji use some form of final stabilization along with a type of photo flo.

    And yes, C41 color neg was a re-invention of color film from the ground up. E6 did not change as much but it was still a rather large leap forward.

    PE
     
  13. Rhodes

    Rhodes Member

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    The tetenal E6 3 bath kit has a stabilizer bath as the final step, with formaldehyde I think.
     
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  15. Photo Engineer

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    Develop, Color Develop, Blix - Ergo, 3 bath. At least that has been reported here over and over, and I tell them to use a stabilizer or final rinse as recommended by the film companies.

    Do you know for sure? I am only quoting a multitude of others seeking advice here and I am only referring to the 3 bath statement by the companies that make 3 bath E6 kits.

    Remember that these companies produce no film and do no extensive R&D. Kodak, Fuji, Agfa and Ilford are the R&D companies that do everything. I must say though that Fuji does little process R&D.

    PE
     
  16. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Ah I see - yes, if I go back to doing my own color I will definitely use a stabilizer, bought separately if not included.

    Are there any hazards to longevity from the use of bleach-fix, or just differences in density and color purity (which may or may not matter to a given individual and their results?)
     
  17. Photo Engineer

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    A bleach and a fix are more stable than a blix.

    A single part blix is very unstable. See posts here!

    PE
     
  18. Roger Cole

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    Well I meant the longevity of the image formed, but that's good to know. Thing is, though, either usually comes together (or did in the old days, I guess now for stuff like Kodak it's big quantities of each solution) in a kit, and however unstable a bleach-fix may be, developer was more so. I mixed enough for one session and used it all one shot so it didn't much matter how long it lasted at working solution. In concentrate form I mostly used it up before it went bad and, if I didn't, it was the developer that seemed to die.

    The big issue now though is that only the kits with combined bleach-fix (oh, ok, "blix") are conveniently available in reasonable sizes (excluding the Flexicolor kit for C41 from PF, but that's also quite expensive compared to the alternatives.)
     
  19. Rhodes

    Rhodes Member

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    Yes, I know for sure, since the only kit I use to develop E6 is the tetenal 3 bath kit that brings a "4th" bath that is the stabilizer! http://www.freestylephoto.biz/pdf/product_pdfs/tetenal/TetenalE6_Instructions.pdf
     
  20. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Tetenal "3-bath" E6 is in reality 4-bath, including stabilizer at the end of the process.

    Tetenal manufactures and sells some low-quality or unusable products, for example, their 2.5 liter "monoconcentrate" RA-4 kit. They even admitted the problem (after first denying it), and said they are working on it. This was somewhere in 2008.

    Hence, I'm not surprised that the OP has problems with their E6 kit.

    I occasionally had some small spots (blix iron deposits??) on bright areas such as skies when reusing Tetenal "3-bath" E6. Otherwise, the results were just fine, but I wouldn't trust it anymore. There are just too many "if"s.
     
  21. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    They still make that monobath RA4AT? I had the same problems - we've discussed that here before. It isn't sold in the US that I'm aware of. I'm surprised they sell it anywhere if it still produces yellow whites like it did for me.
     
  22. Photo Engineer

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    You cannot make a single part color developer or blix and you certainly cannot make a color monobath.

    PE
     
  23. noacronym

    noacronym Member

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    Does Kodak still make it?
     
  24. hrst

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    "Monoconcentrate" is another Tetenal misnomer, just like the "3-bath". Maybe it should read "monoconcentrates"

    It means that there is only one part instead of A+B, so only two bottles instead of four. Mixing is supposedly a lot more "easier". Let's compare!

    Developer:
    Traditional A+B: Add water. Measure and add A. Stir. Measure and add B. Stir. Good to go!
    "monoconcentrate". Heat up the bottle in a water bath for 10 minutes. Shake vigorously for 5 minutes, or until your arms are so tired you cannot anymore. Then shake some more, and you may have the separated layers mixed so that you can measure the concentrate. Oh yeah, it's so easy! (Against all odds, the developer always worked just fine for me. When used with a proper blix.)

    Blix:
    Traditional A+B: Add water. Measure and add A. Stir. Measure and add B. Stir. Good to go!
    "Monoconcentrate". Measure and mix with water. Yes, it's really easier to mix, you may save 30 seconds! Then you can spend hours of making prints which will look ugly with brown whites and muddy colors. And you can get prints that get darker in sunlight, a magical special effect! (Not.)

    I don't know if they make the product anymore. They claimed they are going to reformulate it after my complaint. Supposedly, I was being the first to ever complain about the product that has never worked at all.

    Luckily, they have not incorporated their groundbreaking "monoconcentrate" technology in their "3-bath" E6. Now that would be interesting.
     
  25. MattKing

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    No they licence it. It may, however, be still made using the equipment and premises they sold, by the same employees.
     
  26. Ian Grant

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    Not globally.

    Champion moved their plant from the UK to Spain and then ditched their contracts with Ilford and Paterson when they took over chemistry production for Kodak. It's also forgotten that Chanpion were once May & Baker and manufactured raw chemicals including all the colour developing agents as well as professional & consumer black & white and colour processing chemistry, all amongst the best available.

    Other companies help each other out, Ilford and Fuji havehad links (Ilford has made film for Fuji in the past), Ilford are on friendly terms with Foma, they had links to Oriental and Konica/Sakura, oh and Foma confection for Fuji in a joint funded plant.

    Ian