developing color

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by msbarnes, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    I'm thinking of developing color film.

    I'm interested primarily in Kodak Portra 160, but maybe Fuji Provia 100...those are the only color emulsions that I like. Sending my film out to labs is getting costly and so I am considering giving up color entirely or just shooting it once in a blue moon.

    Well since I don't shoot loads of color it makes sense for me to pick one process (c41 vs e6) to economize in the chemistry. How "difficult" is processing color at home? I believe that the most difficult part is maintaining a constant temperature. I'm sure I can google the steps and figure it out but what is your experience with home processing C41 or E6 without expensive equipment? Any developer kits that you would recommend (for C41)?

    Michael
     
  2. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    It's not hard at all and you should definitely give it a go. I would recommend that you start with C41 because it is easier, cheaper, far more forgiving of minor errors and more available, plus you can actually make colour prints from your C41 negs (and for cheaper than you can make B&W prints!). Chromes are nice to look at but harder to display.

    There are processing howtos and other recommendations in the FAQ in my signature.
     
  3. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    Thanks I checked out your howto and it seems doable.

    I plan on using a 20L tub to start...a jobo in the future perhaps but not right now.

    You listed some recommended chemistry but is there a difference? Well I imagine there is but is it pronounced? From what I'm reading on bhphoto and freestyle, it seems that Rollei, Tetenal, and Unicolor kits are designed for home development more or less while Fuji/Kodak are for minilabs. With this logic, I would expect the former group to be more tolerable to temperture fluctuations?

    Any recommendations on which kit to start with or if it is better to buy all the components separately? I'd imagine that it might be more economical that way.

    Anyone familiar with Kodak Flexicolor? http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/27592-REG/Kodak_1953009_Flexicolor_C_41_Developer_Starter.html
     
  4. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    The main thing is to try to avoid blix-based kits. I use the Fuji 5L kit myself; while it's the same stuff that runs in minilabs, it's packaged & designed for home use without starter & replenishment. You just make up a batch and use it a few times, running the developer a little longer each time.

    Start with whichever kit you can reasonably get your hands on. Seriously, don't bother with buying separate components until you're running significant quantities of film. Buying separately means you need to worry about 5000 different little product variations (RT/LU, LORR, etc), replenishment, starters, different replenishment rates and a whole bunch of other crap that you just don't need to worry about at this point. The quality won't be any better than buying a good non-blix kit like the Fuji Press or Rollei Digibase.
     
  5. clayne

    clayne Member

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    I agree. Get a simple kit blix or no-blix right now. I posted up my methodology with pictures in the "macgyvering your own color" thread:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/viewpost.php?p=1508960

    C-41 is even easier than E-6. After you get into it/used to it, then go look for more split out chemistry. I use the Tetenal kits.
     
  6. Ambar

    Ambar Member

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    Thanks Michael for the post! I feel the same and have been wondering similar thoughts. For the past months I've halted my colour picture taking but this is an unsustainable solution for the long run.
    And THANK YOU polyglot! Thats and awesome webpage full of good info! I'm enjoying the read.. First I thought I'd go straight into E6 but you've convinced me to stop by the C-41 station first.