Homebrew stabilizer for E6 and C41

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Rudeofus, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    Here's the deal: I've developed my own films since 2008 and always did a brief final wash + wetting agent after the stabilizer bath. Photoengineer pointed out that thereby I effectively washed out the stabilizer.

    Since we're talking about hundreds of film strips (C41 and E6), I would like to brew my own stabilizer. From what I've read it's essentially a watery solution of formalin and wetting agent, but there are supposedly some differences depending on the age of the film. All my film was bought in late 2007 or later, so it should be fairly new.

    Can I use a setup of 10ml of 20% formalin plus wetting agent per liter stabilizer bath for both negatives and slides? Shouldn't I bother at all? Are there better recipes out there?
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    A universal stabilizer that works for all films is:

    Mix Photo Flo 200 as directed.

    To every liter, add 10 ml of 37% Formalin.

    PE
     
  3. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

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    Using that formula now for my modified/patchwork E-6 and C-41 processing.
     
  4. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    Would Ilford Ilfotol work as replacement for Photo Flo 200?
     
  5. heespharm

    heespharm Member

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    Yup pretty much the same thing
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I have no idea. It could probably be any non-ionic surfactant with a neutral pH. Since that is what Ilfotol seems to be, I would guess so but only guess. BTW, this is why dish washer fluids are not satisfactory for film. They are anionic and are slightly alkaline even if they contain no dye and no fragrance.

    PE
     
  7. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    Thanks a lot for all these replies!

    Note to all fellow home brewers: In my area they don't sell 37% formalin to ordinary people, 20% formalin is the highest concentration you get. So based on the infos I received here, my formulation will be:

    1 l distilled water
    5 ml Ilford Ilfotol (can be replaced by equivalent quantity of other suitable wetting agent like Photo Flo 200)
    20 ml formalin 20% solution

    I will report in a few weeks whether it destroyed my film and will report in 10-20 years whether it stabilized the dyes properly :wink: :D