developer life and pink stabilizer

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by jbl, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. jbl

    jbl Member

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    Is there a way to tell if C-41 developer is still good? I'm looking for something preventively so that I can tell if chemicals I've mixed and are a few weeks old are still able to develop. Is it the sort of thing where if it turns black that's a bad sign or can I do a clip test? I know one can do a clip test with B&W (I've never had to because I use HC-110 and Rodinal one-shot), but I wasn't sure if a clip test is helpful with color. Am I correct that the only thing that really has a shelf-life issue is the developer?

    Also, I've noticed my stabilizer is turning pink. I feel like I've read somewhere that that indicates contamination, but I'm racking my brain trying to find the thread on it to no avail.

    Thanks,

    -jbl
     
  2. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    My C-41 is very dark, but it's replenished. The only way to go back to light colour is to mix up completely fresh solution.

    Stabiliser does come out pink even after the first use.. if you want to prevent or minimise it, do one extra rinse before stabiliser at the same working temperature, and let it sit in this water for 5 or so minutes, the water will come out pink. I've been using Stabiliser one shot.
     
  3. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    I re-use developer and stabilizer (and blix) as so far I've only been able to get the JOBO 1L/2L Press Kits which need to be re-used for them to be cost effective. The stabilizer goes pink unless you wash well and probably a teeny bit pink even if you do wash well, I think it is a bit of blix still coming out of the film so try doing a better wash before you use the stab.

    Yes, you can clip test C-41. The best way to clip test is to buy a roll of Fuji Superia from the drugstore, very cheap. It has red, green and blue in the edge markings so if you load a piece in a tank with an end which has been in the light (for D-max) and some which has been in the dark and do a proper temperature run you can check the clip to make sure that the developer and blix are doing a proper job. A daylight clip test can also be done but it will just go dark and clear which isn't as indicative of working solutions as a piece of film that shows 3 colors AND D-max.

    There is no clip test for stabilizer unfortunately.
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Pink stabilizer indicates that bleach and fix have been carried over into the stabilizer due to inadequate wash. Increase wash times and even agitation if possible. Try more changes of water or increased water flow.

    PE
     
  5. jbl

    jbl Member

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    Thanks.

    My washing technique is to put the tank under the faucet for 3:15 dumping every 30s-1m. Is it worth letting it soak a bit to get more of the bleach/fix residue out? I always noticed that when I washed Tri-X more of the purplish dye in the film base would come out if I soaked in water for 15 minutes with one change of water after washing but before using Photo-Flo.

    Any other advice on how to know if developer is still good. Does the stuff generally last a month if mixed with distilled water and stored in glass?

    -jbl
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    C41 process cycle

    Here is the Kodak official process cycle.

    If this leaves the stabilizer pink, then the final wash step is not adequate.

    PE
     

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