Diluting C-41 Developer: Is there any way to do it?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by DanielStone, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    hey all,

    I had a hair brained idea today, actually about 7 mins ago :smile:. I'm wondering if there is any way to increase the dilution for c-41 developer in order to have a longer developing time. Longer dev time= greater control over pushing/pulling.

    Lately I have been finding myself shooting in higher contrast situations, and I personally like the lower contrast look, and have been pulling -1/2 to 1 full stop in order to get the lower contrast. All has this has been using the Kodak Portra 160/400 NC films.

    So, basically, is there any way to do this, or am I stuck with the standard 3:15?

    Some help/technical insight would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    -Dan
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    In a word "NO".

    The developer is carefully balanced to work with the diffusion inward of developing agent, the start of development in the bottom (cyan) layer and the diffusion outward of the restrainers needed to improve color and sharpness.

    If you dilute it and change time, you upset all of the design criteria.

    I have tried this myself and also lowered temperature to slow diffusion, all to no avail. Crossover takes place with the yellow too high in contrast and the cyan too low and slow. The results were pitiful, so I gave up. I even added a long water soak after development to slow down the yellow and speed up the cyan. Nothing seemed to work.

    But, try it. You might get lucky.

    PE
     
  3. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    Thanks PE,

    i appreciate the quick reply. I'll go over to the 99cent store and get the "sacrificial roll" :smile:.

    I've come to realize that doing the whole 'hybrid' process with my color workflow as a student is much more productive, and time-saving than c-printing. It allows me to reduce contrast without masking/etc....
    but this is for another forum :smile:.

    Another question PE:

    Q: Do you/ or Kodak recommend a water pre-soak before starting c-41 development? I've done it, and not done it, and the results never seem to vary (that I can see). But technically, is it recommended/not recommended?

    You can't even imagine how much your input (that I've read on other's posts and mine) have helped me out :smile:. Thanks very much!!!

    -Dan
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Dan;

    I've used a water presoak for years (20+) for uniformity with no problem, but in the labs for test purposes I used no presoak. I have actually found no significant difference. I have found that the presoak reduces air bubbles on the surface of film. I also find that the temperature boost to 100 F is better with the presoak.

    Thanks for the egoboo! :D I do try to help.

    PE
     
  5. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I find that 3:15 is doable in a darkroom fully blacked out, with a stainles steel tank. Pour dev from a graduate into an empty tank, in the dark, then lower the reels on the spindle into the tank, and put the lid on, and then the lights can go on.

    The other optiin is Paterson's S4 tanks. The funnel lid to the light trap gets the liquids poured in really quickly. Just don't invert, or the stuff will aerially oxidise, rather than develop the film.

    Another toot here for all the knowledge that Ron has posted to share with all of us photo learning sponges out here in apug land. . .
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Blushes!

    Sorry guys, but I'm just an ordinary person who worked at Kodak. Nothing special but I am glad to help. Call on me at any time. Thanks.

    PE
     
  7. rdbkorn

    rdbkorn Member

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  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I cannot judge the results from those pictures, as there is no normal comparison. The flesh tones do look rather reddish though or "beefy".

    Under most curcumstances I have seen, such treatment will not work. Thats about all I can say.

    PE