Flexicolor Minlab F1 and F2 Kit questions. C-41 newbie

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by engineerchris, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. engineerchris

    engineerchris Subscriber

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    I have been lurking for a while, but this is my first post on APUG. A brief intro, I have been a semipro digital shooter for the last 4 years or so. About 6 months ago I developed and obsession with all things film. Since then I have been shooting personal family shots all on film, and my paid work has been mixed film and digital.

    I process most of my film (all B&W and ~50% C-41) in hand tanks with CVS getting the other 50% of my c-41 film. I do this mostly because my confidence and technique is not fully up to speed, but I am working on it. I have been using Tetanol kits for my C-41 up to now

    So... On to my question. I did some extensive research that involved redbull and the internets. Kodak Flexicolor seemed to be the product I wanted, but it was nearly impossible to find one retailer (who would ship to Western KY) with any possible combination of starters/replenishers (LORR?), straight ready to use, or mix and fix (SM?). You would think that someone with a credit card and basic understanding of what they want would be able to accomplish the task of buying something. Nope. The one exception being the Photographer's Formulary kit, but it is rated for 10 rolls of film. I am trying to buy for more like 100+ rolls.

    So as luck (good or bad, hard to tell at this point) would have it. I found a small supply of the Flexicolor SM Chemistry in processor kits for what seemed to be reasonable pricing.

    Unit F1 Mfr# 8740110
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/218299-REG/Kodak_8740110_Flexicolor_SM_C_41SM_Processing.html

    and
    Unit F2 Mfr# 1173319
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/218300-REG/Kodak_1173319_Flexicolor_SM_C_41SM_Processing.html

    This thread was the closest I came to finding a path forward.
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum40/62680-c-41sm-kodak-f1-f2-minilab-kit-mixing-jobo.html

    I did some due diligence from the MSDS and boxes and have confirmed the following. Unit F1 has 4 parts, 3 part developer and one final rinse. Unit F2 has one parts fixer and one part bleach. The F1 processor is rated for 900 rolls. The F2 is 260 rolls. So armed with what I thought was enough info, I bought 1 F1 and 3 F2 kits. My expectation was to reverse calculate the needed volumes and mix up one shot batches of developer with generous replacement and reuse of the other chemicals. Obviously I did not expect 900 rolls of total capacity, but it should last me much longer than 10 roll batch mixing.

    However, when the boxes arrived the units were much smaller than I expected. This makes them much more concentrated that I expected. For example the largest compartment of Developer component is roughly 400ml. The whole F1 kit is about the size of 2 shoeboxes.


    So now I am left with a few critical questions.
    1. Where do I go now to figure out a mixing recipe.
    2. Are the chemicals in the F1 and F2 identical to the standard Sm chemistry but in a more concentrated form.
    3. If they aren't identical do I need a starter.
    4. Should I just punt, write it off as a dumb idea, and keep letting CVS do my processing.

    TLDR; version
    Does anyone know how to use the F1 and F2 SM Minilab Flexicolor kits for hand tank/ Jobo processing.

    Thanks very much in advance for any help you can offer.
     
  2. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    No idea what the dilutions on those kits are. If you can figure it out, let us know as they might be more economical than the other methods.

    One place I have found all the chemistry and they will ship is pakor.com. Hazmat charges run fairly high via them and UPS for some things.

    Adorama will sell and ship everything except the bleach, so that's another source.

    A 5gal developer batch in my experience will process about 225 rolls of 120 or 35mm used 1-shot in a Super Sidekick. That's using the normal Flexicolor chemistry.

    -Ed
     
  3. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    These are the kits for automatic processor that mixes the chemistry on the fly. I suspect the best bet for you would be to call Kodak tech support and ask them directly for mixing instructions. If you are not afraid of little experimentation, you can try mixing based on ratios in Kodak's z101 document, page 2-1. Get the document, but it lists the ratios as follows:

    Developer (3m15s @100F):
    Part A 0.959
    Part B 0.120
    Part C 0.442
    Water 11.48

    Bleach (1m @ 100F) Don't mix, use as is

    Fixer (2m @ 100F)
    Concentrate 7.55
    Water 7.55

    Final Rinse (1m @ 100F)
    Concentrate 0.483
    Water 26.8

    Notice, these are ratio values, just multiply by the same constant to get desired target volume. For example, by multiplying developer parts by 77 you'll get about 1L of solution like this:
    Water 884mL, Part A 34mL, Part B 9.25mL, Part C 74mL

    Remember, mixing order of developer is important: Add Part A to about half amount of water, mix, add part B, mix, add part C, top off to 1 L, mix.

    Good luck, and let us know how it comes out!

    Eugene.
     
  4. fotch

    fotch Member

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    How did you get B&H to ship this? Their site clearly states "This item is only available for purchase in our superstor"
     
  5. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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  6. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    Just wondering if you still need developer starter with this kit. You may need to look at Noritsu's manuals.
     
  7. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Wow, this info is waaaay farther than I ever got trying to crack this conundrum.

    I considered going this way at first also but ended up going with regular Flexicolor because I got lucky and found a Bleach III clone made by some 3rd party.

    I may get the F2 just to score some more bleach.

    Thanks to EVERYONE for the additional info here! ! !
     
  8. danoz73

    danoz73 Member

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    what was the result of this? I really want to use flexicolor to develop 4x5's in a JOBO with C41, but I also can't find the instructions.
     
  9. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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  10. engineerchris

    engineerchris Subscriber

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    I never used a Jobo but the process should be the same as with any other Flexicolor sets. Anikin's post above with the ratio/recipe worked fine for me. No starter is needed, but you should plan on transferring everything to other containers once you open up the proprietary plastic jug/boxes.
     
  11. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    That's great news! I'm glad it works for you. After mixing, how much chemistry does this make? Sounds like we have a pre-packaged and not terribly expensive C-41 kit.
     
  12. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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  13. keyofnight

    keyofnight Member

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    I don't meant to bump an old thread…

    The F1 developer kit looks like it'll last a good amount of time used one-shot; the final rinse looks like it'll last a long time with reuse (but that's no big deal…final rinse is cheap); and it looks like there's plenty of fixer for lots of rolls (but again, E6 fixer is cheap and plentiful).

    But looking at how much bleach there is in the F2 kit, it doesn't look like enough to process the ~200+ rolls claimed in the processing document. That is…the bleach is used full strength and aerated, and there isn't a lot at all. :/

    What have been your experiences?
     
  14. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    When I contacted Champion ( the maker of Kodak chemicals) to see about small home darkroom kits in Canada, they said they'd be happy to supply any mixing and dilution instructions for the bulk chemicals, but were not able to supply hobby sized kits. So- if you're stuck on mixing and dilutions, send Champion Photo Chemical an email. Good luck.
     
  15. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    These kits are setup to replenish.

    I will one shot the developer but the working bleach, fix, and stabalizer are very long lasting and should be used replenished even if you one shot the developer.
     
  16. keyofnight

    keyofnight Member

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    Alright. So I'm looking over the z101 manual, and the replenishments are given as "mL/m 35mm"—I'm reading that as "milliliters per meter per 35mm roll." The replenishment rate section, however, gives different values in mL per roll. It also doesn't give another value for the bleach—it only says something about the importance of aerating and compensating for developer contamination in the bleach (wouldn't I do a stop in 100dF water to prevent that?).

    I'm going to presume that I need to replenish at about ~4mL each time I process a roll. I'll aerate the bleach by pouring it from container to container for a minute every couple rolls. Is that right?

    (I should've stuck to the simple kits…but I've gotta learn sometime. lol)

    Update: I understand now… it's "milliliters per meter of 35mm film." How silly of me. I understand now. Even still, I'm worried that there simply isn't enough bleach here at all. I'm not supposed to dilute this at all?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2013
  17. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    The simple kits aren't that simple in practice, reuse without replenishment means time must be adjusted to correct for changes in the chemistry to maintain consistency and that's a less than perfect situation.

    First before I forget, and because I don't know what kind of tank you use, understand that the tank needs to be able to "breathe" during the bleach step, true of all brands. The process off gasses a bit and will push the tops off. Leave the fill hole uncapped.

    Regarding the bleach, the largest volume I need is 570ml so that is the volume I keep in my 1-liter bottle. I shake vigorously, open the cap and blow fresh air in, recap and shake again, do that a few times between each run.

    To replenish in theory I use the 570ml then put us back in the bottle, if I ran one roll I'd pour off 4-5ml of the solution from my working solution and replace it with 4-5ml of fresh un diluted bleach from the "kit". 5 rolls/25ml. The big investment is the first 570ml, after that its a very frugal process.

    Fix and stabalizer have a different and higher rate, the solutions turn over more quickly.
     
  18. stefan4u

    stefan4u Member

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    Concerning the Developer:

    First of all, make a “tank solution” of Developer with this stuff.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/126540-REG/Kodak_1756337_Flexicolor_SM_C_41SM_Tank.html


    Than replenish (if you have to) take 13ml per meter of film by your replenisher mixed from the F1 Box.
    http://www.kodak.com/global/plugins/acrobat/en/service/Zmanuals/z101_02.pdf

    For intermittent use in a home hobby lab I would not recommend to replenish the developer. You will probably not have the continuous throughput to keep the developer stable. For bleach and fix, on the other hand, replenishing is fine and saves money. Usually the bleach is not only the most stable part but the most expensive too…

    Regards, Stefan
     
  19. keyofnight

    keyofnight Member

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    I'm not too worried about the developer. All three parts are included in the box, and the instructions for mixing them are pretty simple enough.

    I've got stainless steel daylight tanks. I'll make sure I uncap after agitating.

    Cool. I'll aerate mine the same way! I was going to pour the solution between beakers a few times, but that could get messy.

    Alright! I'll need about 450mL for my tank.

    So: is that first 570ml also undiluted from the "kit"? Or did you dilute it with water somehow? I know earlier in the thread, people ascertained that we should use the bleach full strength…but there just doesn't seem to be enough there.

    I just called Kodak about this…they told me to either buy a bleach starter, or to buy the Flexicolor SM Tank Bleach solution. I couldn't get them to tell me what was in the F2 bottle. I guess that's my big question: what exactly is in the F2 bleach bottle? Is it undiluted concentrate for making tank solution? It's called a "replenisher" in the z101 document, but how much different is it from the tank solution they sell?
     
  20. keyofnight

    keyofnight Member

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    Oy! I'm dense! I understand now. Thanks for the help!