Did my first roll for C41...

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by cepwin, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    After reading the thread on film development and watching Mr. Harmon's excellent video demonstrating the process I decided to order the C41 kit that was used in the video. After in essence circling around it nervously I made up the kit and ran the roll I just finished though it. Right now they're drying and I definitely has images :smile: A few hiccups. First I couldn't find the scissors when I was loading the film in the dark....had to put the film in a dry tank, close it up so I could turn the lights on and find it. It took me forever to get the film on the reel. Then when pouring the blix I managed to drip it all over the place. Other than making a bit of a mess I think it went pretty well. The 1 liter Unicolor kit is < $20 and was simpler than I thought it would be.
     
  2. mfratt

    mfratt Member

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    I've done all my own C-41 from 35 to 4x5. A few hiccups along the way, but overall consistent results. Much better than paying $3/sheet for someone else to screw up my film, at least.

    I usually develop for 8 minutes at 75 degrees. Much easier to keep consistent than 102 degrees.
     
  3. Bronica645

    Bronica645 Member

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    Even with years of experience if you do not make a mental note where you placed all your items before shutting off the lights you will be farting around in the dark longer. I usually have only a couple of rolls to load therefore I found a change bag or darkroom bag is quicker works the best, I do not have to worry about the film being accidentally fogged.
     
  4. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    Yeah, I knew where where everything was except the scissors :smile: Interesting about going at 75 for eight minutes....if you're getting the results you want then it seems eaiser
     
  5. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    Here are two of the images from the roll...I have a few more in the gallery
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. geoffdodd

    geoffdodd Member

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    They look great. I only shoot b&w because I can develop at home. I've been pretty hesitant to develop colour and hate paying a lab to do it for me. What you using for a scanner?
     
  7. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    Thank you!! I'm using an Epson V600. I went with the 600 because I didn't think I could justify the 2x + cost of the 700. I wouldn't be afraid of color. The main thing that's different is the need for temperature control. I ordered the unicolor kit from freestyle. This is the same kit that APUG member Josh Harmon did an excellent video demonstrating it's use. It's a 1 liter kit which is just the right size for home development. The developer I got for B/W prints makes 5 liters and I had to order containers for it. The Unicolor kit is less than $20 US and does about 8 rolls...much cheaper than sending it out. I'm not sure if it's available where your are or what the equivalent kit would be if it's not.
     
  8. mikecnichols

    mikecnichols Member

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    Funny about the scissors. I once loaded everything in my bag and then put my arms in ready to reel and then realized that all the tools and film were in between the two layers of bag. Oops.

    My only real problem I've had with the developing process is with 120 film. Sometimes, it really doesn't want to go onto the reel. Last time I did a batch of rolls, I worked on one roll for two hours. In that time, the bag started condensing and making the film become sweaty and sticky. I ended up having to go down to my darkroom and get it on out of the bag. Of course, there are hiccups on the roll, but the images really came out nice.
     
  9. mts

    mts Subscriber

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    I strongly encourage separate bleach and fix, because you can 1) visually inspect that they are working as expected, and 2) they are much longer lived than when combined into blix.

    A sulfite containing stop bath following the developer is also beneficial because it eliminates carry-over into the bleach and permits subsequent processing in room light. I follow the stop (1 or 2 mins) with a couple of rinses 90 -100 F, and then open the processing can to proceed to bleach/fix/and wash in room light. If you use a separate bleach and fix, then follow the bleach with another rinse to reduce the carry-over of the bleach into the fix.

    In this way of processing, the bleach and fix last far longer than does the developer and the cost is reduced even further.
     
  10. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    Thank you Mike! Yes, I was pleased with the results.
    mts....I'm curious then, what products do you use? I did hear there are color kits that do separate out the two. I can see the advantages of separating the bleach and fix rather than combining them.
     
  11. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Seems you have a water mark on the yellow flowers (besides some dust). There is something wrong either in the last bath or in your drying method. If you explain your drying method maybe we can offer some suggestions.

    In any case if the water mark is on the support side it can be easily cleaned with no risks.
     
  12. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    Yes, I simply hung it up to dry. I got some of the photo-flo my B/W prints but I wasn't sure if it's OK for color...I would think it would be OK and I should put it in the final rinse for *any* film (correct me if I'm wrong) I have a squeegee but I know some people don't recommend it. I did try to use a lint free cloth to remove the dust before scanning. How's the best way to clean the water marks?
     
  13. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Your C-41 final rinse should contain some product equivalent to photo-flo. Strictly speaking the final rinse is not C-41 so do check your workflow contains a proper final rinse. I think adding some photo-flo to your final rinse shouldn't give any damage.

    Maybe your water is very hard. Maybe your final rinse is too diluted.

    Personally I don't use a squeegee. I just extract the film from the tank, put it while in the reels inside the final rinse (this is considered wrong by some people, on the assumption that the final rinse contains some substance which stick to the plastic reels, my idea is that whatever substance can be removed and in any case I don't observe any deposit), extract it from the final rinse, open the reels, carefully get the film in my hands avoiding it to touch anything and avoiding to touch the images with my finger, and hang the film inside my drying cabinet using a weight to keep it properly extended.

    Some people keep the film oblique so that the water slides more easily along one edge of the film and makes a drop on one of the bottom corner. It's done especially with plane film probably, which is easy to hang by one corner. I don't have enough room in my drying cabinet to keep the roll film oblique but observe no problems in the final result.

    Before scanning I use air (a blower brush, take the brush away and only use the blower) and blow air on both sides. Works a lot. I also scan with ICE at minimum level (reduction of dust artifacts with automatic reconstruction of nearby zones). I observe no dust whatsoever on my scans.

    The back of the film can be cleaned with most everything, even denaturated alcohol on some cotton, the emulsion side is trickier, in those rare occurrences when I had to clean it I use a product called PEC-12 with some specific little towels, PEC-PADS. It works especially well with finger marks, I have no idea if it is effective with water marks.

    Personally I would try to dissolve water marks by re-immersing the film into final rinse and hanging it up again, hopefully the water will dissolve the water mark on the film. That would also take obstinate dust particles away hopefully.

    If you have a shower with cabinet, or a small shower room, a good way to dry your film away from dust is to let hot water run until the room is full of vapour, then wait for the vapour to sit (it will bring down all dust particle in the air), hang your film, close the cabinet, exit the bathroom, close the door, don't enter in the bathroom until the film is dry. Remaining the bathroom stirs air which stirs dust which sticks on your film.
     
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  15. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    Thank you for the tips....I'll have to take them and rinse them with the photoflo added to the rinse water and re-hang. The bathroom I use doesn't have a shower (that's why there is room for a darkroom) but perhaps I can bring it upstairs into one of the other bathrooms with a shower.
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    You need to use something other than photoflo plus rinse water for the final treatment of colour film.

    You need to use "Final Rinse" or something similar - otherwise your film will be susceptible to bacteria.
     
  17. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    Interesting, I looked "Final Rinse" up and it's a stabilizer. The kit I used had a stabilizer that I put it though after the blix and a rinse, so wouldn't that be the equivalent?
     
  18. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Do some forum search. In a nutshell:

    C-41 films need a specific processing step as a LAST step, with no washing afterwards.

    This step was called "Stabilizer" and it contained a low amount of formaldehyde.

    Due to environmental concerns, the C-41 films were updated so that they did not need this stabilizer anymore, but a new product called "Final rinse" was introduced.

    All C-41 films need either Final Rinse or a Stabilizer. You CAN use the old "stabilizer" for both old and new films, but the new Final Rinse can only be used with new films. However, as of today, all film that is still in good condition, is new film compatible with final rinse.

    Both "Stabilizer" and "Final rinse" already contain Photo Flo or equivalent. Adding more will not hurt the stabilizing action, but probably won't help either. If you have drying marks, try to mix stabilizer/final rinse in distilled water and be careful about the drying conditions.

    Old-style stabilizer is also easy to DIY; just prepare a photo flo / whatever wetting agent you use solution as you normally do for BW, then add 37% formaldehyde at about 5-10 ml per liter.
     
  19. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    To resume last bath requirements for E-6 and C-41:

    E-6 (typical colour slide treatment) need formalin either in the last bath (in which case in Kodak/Fuji parlance it is called "stabilizer") or during the pre-bleach stage. If the pre-bleach stage contains formaline, the last bath doesn't need any. In this case the last bath in Kodak/Fuji parlance is called "final rinse".

    In Kodak/Fuji parlance, "stabilizer" has a precise meaning, which can be simplified as: last bath containing formaline; "final rinse" has a precise meaning, which is "last bath without formaline so if you use it in an E-6 process you have to make sure there is formaline in your E-6 pre-bleach stage".

    C-41 (colour negative treatment) can use "final rinse", i.e. doesn't need formaline. But you can always use an E-6 "stabilizer" instead on a colour negative film. You cannot use simple water + PhotoFlo because a colour film doesn't contain any silver in it, which acts as an antimicrobial, so you need to put some antimicrobial on your colour film, be it with or without formaline, be it "stabilizer" or "final rinse", you have to use something of the kind.

    So:

    Stabilizer: works always for E-6 and C-41, you cannot go wrong with it.
    Final rinse: works always for C-41; works well with E-6 only if your pre-bleach stage contains formaline. Otherwise, no good. If your E-6 pre-bleach doesn't contain formaline you must use a last bath containing formaline (i.e. a "stabilizer").
    Water + PhotoFlo: works only for black & White. You need some preservative for colour film.

    Final rinse or stabilizer, as said, are always "final". You don't rinse the film with water after that.

    Other producers than Kodak or Fuji, IIRC, don't necessarily use this terminology so you have to check yourself, when working with E-6, if you have formaline somewhere in your process.

    Probably a lot of repetition in this, but as we would say in another thread, repetita iuvant.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2012
  20. mts

    mts Subscriber

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    I scratch-mix my chemistry.
     
  21. newtorf

    newtorf Member

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    Wow! This is the first time I heard that you can do C-41 at 75 degrees. This will make life so much easier. Just curious. How did you figure out this magic formula? :smile:

     
  22. RPC

    RPC Member

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    If you try it, be prepared to have poor sensitometric results. In other words, characteristic curves that aren't parallel or are misshapen. In other words, degraded color.
     
  23. hrst

    hrst Member

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    It is easier and more quick to just heat it up to about 104-106 deg F and process normally. You get much nearer to the good process (that including preheat and water bath you probably find tedious) like this. You also save time at the correct temperature, because the room temperature development time is LONG.

    For color mismatch and subdued saturation, you can do it in room temperature too, but there is nothing more "easy" in that.
     
  24. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    It sounds then I might be better off using the special pads on the existing negatives and in future change my drying procedure. For B/W use the photo-flow with color, since the kit has a stabilizer already it seems the squeegee is necessary. Also using filtered water would help....I need to replace Pur system that kept falling off so I stopped using it.
     
  25. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    As far as I'm aware, the only C-41 kit available in the U.S. that has separate bleach and fix is the Rollei Digibase kit that Freestyle has for sale. Unfortunately, although it is a great product, it is now only available in one size. Reportedly Freestyle is going to begin carrying Tetenal products soon, but I don't know if they'll have a kit with bleach/fix. The largest size Rollei Digibase kit was my choice, since I could mix up smaller amounts of chemistry as I needed it, and I don't shoot enough color to justify buying large amounts of Kodak Flexicolor bulk chemicals.
     
  26. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    You can get Kodak's Flexicolor chemistry from the Photographer's Formulary.

    http://stores.photoformulary.com/Detail.bok?no=965