Kodak C41 and RA4 chemistry.

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by steelneck, May 8, 2010.

  1. steelneck

    steelneck Member

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    I found a site in my country that can deliver a lot from the Kodak catalog, and i had a little thought of trying Kodak chemistry. But i find this to be an informational mess, a real djungle. I cannot figure out what could be proper for a hobbyist like me, so i have not a clue what to order.

    The site:
    http://www.pcdoctorn.se/CBB.aspx?q=b:147;pl:1

    If i search for Flexicolor or Ektacolor i get loads of different products with quite cryptic names, like "KODAK 8X3L FLXCLR SM TANK DEVR" or "KODAK 20 L FLXCLR RA FXR & RPLR". If i browse around at Kodak i do not find any useful info on what is what or what would fit my needs.

    So far i have only used Tetenal, that was a no brainer on what to order.. I develop film in a Paterson tank and paper in trays or tubes i roll on the table (those tubes i may be able to develop to something i can sell once i manage to make a decent light trap when changing and screwing off the chemistry holder). I need chems with long shelf life unmixed that can be mixed to working solutions in small quantities. The Tetenal concentrates goes bad in a month or two once opened, and i usually do not develop enough film to use it all up. I have even thought of making my own chemistry from raw chemicals, but there may be some Kodak product that i can use?

    What would i get if i order the "KODAK 8X3L FLXCLR SM TANK DEVR"? How long shelf life? How long shelf life has opened chemistry concentrates? How many films will 0.35L develop? Is it even concentrates? What???
     
  2. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Hello steelneck.

    These cryptic names can be deciphered if you use the "Art nr" under the name. Copy that number, then go to msds.kodak.com and paste it to the "Catalog/Reorder Number:" field of the form. This way, you'll get the full name of the product and you can go here to get more information about it.
     
  3. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Oh, BTW, if you have a look here, you'll see what you need to develop C41 in small tanks. This page lists everything you need for RA4 in trays/tubes.
     
  4. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    Developer comes in a replenisher mix. To get a working solution you take the replenisher and add some water and a "starter" to simulate the effects of having processed some film. I typically mix up working solutions and don't replenish because of the variables in the small tank process.

    You need film Developer (and starter), Bleach, Fix, and Final Rinse (sometimes called stabilizer)

    You need paper Developer (not necessarily starter if you process at room temperature), and Bleach-Fix.

    That's it for chemistry.
     
  5. steelneck

    steelneck Member

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    Thank you "Anon Ymous", i think that would have been useful info, but i do not get any hits by those "Art nr" on the Kodak msds site. I tried the "KODAK 2X5 L FLXCLR DEVR RPLR LORR R-T-U" Art nr:3780509 - Nothing found.

    Yes i have also seen the pages you linked to in your second post, but those pages do not answer my questions about what comes in the packages, shelf life unopened/opened/mixed.

    @tiberiustibz: Yes i know that i need Developer, Bleach, Fix and Final Rinse, but there are so many of them. I find 11 kinds of flexicolor developers when i look around.. And something like it regarding ektacolor developer.
     
  6. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    The bottom line is that you can use any of the chemistry. The dilution/times may vary.

    There are several types of chemistry. The standard process is called C41B which uses standard flexicolor chemistry. It will say Flexicolor Developer/Replenisher. There are different versions such as LORR (lower replenishment rate) etc but all that changes is the dilutions.

    There is a newer minilab based process called RA which uses shorter times for bleach and fix and is used in washless minilabs. Typically these come in cartridges for minilab machines. SM is the small process version which is typically a simple dilution or ready to use and processes with the RA times (one minute fix and bleach) but the chemistry costs 10 times as much.

    I use:
    Developer Replenisher 10 liter size with starter
    Bleach III (i bought this from a third party since kodak no longer makes it in small sizes (less than 25 gallons) so you might be forced to use Bleach SM)
    Fix 5 gallon size (1 gallon concentrate)
    Final Rinse 45 liter size or whatever.

    and for RA4 I use the
    10 liter Developer
    10 Liter Bleach/Fix

    I don't know if the sizes are different in europe.
     
  7. steelneck

    steelneck Member

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    @tiberiustibz: Where do i find things about shelf life? I do not want to buy 10L just to throw away 8. Is the Developer Replenisher concentrates in different parts? If so, how long is the shelf life of opened and partly used concentrates?
     
  8. steelneck

    steelneck Member

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    Update, i found some info in:
    http://www.kodak.com/global/plugins/acrobat/en/service/Zmanuals/z131_01.pdf

    It do not recommend part mix of concentrates and also says that mixed solutions have a life of 6 weeks in full stoppered glass bottles. I think Kodak just went out of the window, unusable for me. I think i will continue with Tetenal and explore mixing from raw chemicals when i find time for it.
     
  9. hrst

    hrst Member

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    I've found that concentrates keep surprisingly poorly and mixed solutions keep surprisingly well. In other words, mixed solutions have never gone bad for me but concentrates have. You would expect that concentrates would be much better but it's not that simple.

    That is probably because the concentrates are provided in small bottles with non-airtight caps so you cannot squeeze the air out of them.

    For example, I have used RA-4 developer more than 9 months old that was in perfect shape; on the other hand, the concentrate part with CD-3 went bad in just four months. I had some ECN-2 color developer that was over 1 year old and worked fine. Stored in beverage bottles.

    I use thin PET soft drink bottles to store the solutions. AFAIK, PET keeps oxygen out better than PE, and thanks to the thin design, I can squeeze practically all the air from the bottle, eliminating the need of nitrogen gas. 0,33 - 0,5 - 1,0 - 1,5 - 2 liter sizes allow me to store any volume I want from 0,2 to 2 liter. I use hot water and let it cool down to get rid of oxygen in water. Using distilled water would probably be even better.

    If you want to mix partial, you should at least do it under nitrogen. I'm using butane and refrigerate the concentrates at 5C to slow down reactions with oxygen, but I still have the feeling that they don't keep much longer than mixed solutions.

    However, if you mix and store your solutions as I described above, that "6 weeks" may actually be almost 6 months! (Or who knows; maybe even more.)

    I've found in my testing with XTOL that lowering temperature slows down oxidizing greatly. You should however be careful so that ingredients won't precipitate.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2010
  10. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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  11. steelneck

    steelneck Member

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  12. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Well that 9 months old was Tetenal but I have currently 5-6 months old Kodak which is still fine. It's the one AG Photographic sells: Developer Replenisher RT/LU to make 4x5 litres CAT 529 2396. Works at room temperature, no starter needed. I think you should make 5 litres at a time but it seems to keep for 6 months even when you use it! So probably a bit longer in tight bottles that are not opened until needed.

    Tetenal has problems with their RA-4 blix.
     
  13. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    This is the Kodak RT roller transport developer
    KODAK ECLR 4X5L DEVR RPLR RT/LU (5292396)
    it is four 5 liter kits. Each kit would be three bottles, parts A,B and C.

    This can be used at 20C without adding the starter.

    A link to a uk website http://www.ag-photographic.co.uk/kodak-ra4-developer-kit-4x5l-295-p.asp at least has a photo. :smile:

    http://www.ag-photographic.co.uk/kodak-ra4-blix-kit-4x5l-296-p.asp for the bleach-fix kit.


    This looks like the bleach fix kit, but a smaller package
    KODAK 3X2.4L ECLR SM TANK BLEACH-FIX (5284021)

    and a matching developer kit.
    KODAK 3X2L ECLR SM TANK DEVR (5284013)

    Kodak sell different sized packages in different countries, the last two are three kits per box, each one making 2.4 or 2 liters of working solution.

    In Canada and the US, the 10 liter RT developer and bleach fix kits are four kits to a box from Kodak. The mail order places will open the boxes and sell the kits separately. Other distributors will only sell sealed boxes, like pcdoctorn.se
     
  14. steelneck

    steelneck Member

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    Thanks Bob and hrst (those links to ag-photographic told me more than Kodak could). What is the difference between RT/LU and SM TANK, is it only the packaging or? Can the SM version also be used at room temp? SM is after all what Kodak suggests.

    Now what about C41 Flexicolor?
     
  15. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    The values they give are very conservative. I mix the developer up in 4 liter batches and place it in glass bottles. I use 3 1-liter bottles, 1 500-mL bottle, and 2 250-mL bottles so I can always remove the quantity I need of chemistry and still have full bottles. I have been using the same 19 liter kit of developer for a year and a half. If you feel the need to, you can top off the open concentrate bottles with nitrogen or wine preserver to extend the shelf life. I have not had a problem with using concentrate that has been open for 18 months. It goes bad when the part C turns opaque black, which hasn't happened. It still mixes a nice clear tank solution. I've used working solution that was 6 months old, stored in a full plastic bottle, and it worked absolutely fine.

    I also use the developer and fix one shot for two reasons. First I have an excessive amount of chemistry. Second I see no reason to jeopardize consistency to save a few cents. I use bleach 2 or three times, but I also have a truckload of that.

    I also use distilled water to mix stabilizer. No marks that way.

    Especially for bleach, I've found that eBay is a very good source for cheaper chemistry.
     
  16. steelneck

    steelneck Member

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    Now i read a post by PE here on apug that the RT/LU _cannot_ be used at room temp, and he said that he would use the replenisher straight for room temperature processing.. What replenisher?

    Kodak is a complete informational mess, so far rendering their products useless since i cannot even figure out what to buy. I think i stick with Tetenal until i find some CD4 and CD3 to experiment my self, even that seem simpler than to figure out Kodak. Yes, i am writing out of frustration now. Godbye.
     
  17. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Time to read more carefully. :smile: You don't add the starter to the RT developer/replenisher for room temp use, you just mix parts A, B and C according to the ratios on the bottles. RT stands for roller transport FYI.
     
  18. steelneck

    steelneck Member

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    Yes, but this was RT/LU not RT, and somehow i tend to believe mr. PE when he says RT/LU wont work at room temp. I forgot the link:
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum40/70465-kodak-ektacolor-ra4-developer.html

    He is referring to the same 4x5L product at ag-photographic as was mentioned in this thread.

    Is there some way to close a thread? I have given up on Kodak now and i do not want to waste peoples time on giving me more answers that just makes things more confused.
     
  19. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Well, the one I've bought from Ag Photographic says: RT/LU replenisher, and I use it with perfect results in trays at room temperature (24C). I've made side-to-side comparison with Tetenal room temp kit and it gave exactly the same color balance (no filtration change) with a little bit less contrast (better; Tetenal was a bit too high). I can't see any problems. The self life seems to be excellent, too. I just recently discovered this really is not the one Kodak recommends for tray processing, but still seems to work perfectly the same way PE has described for RA-RT replenisher.
     
  20. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    I'd guess the only difference is the european 4 x 5 liter packaging of the developer/replenisher RT/LU. The LU is for low utilization, which is the also intended market for the 10 liter kit in north america.

    PE last comment on it was IDK, I don't know. Which is reasonable, as that specific packaging is not available in the USA. Conversely, the 4x10 liter packaging isn't available in europe either.
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The RA-RT Replenisher with no starter is what I was stating to work at room temp. The LU has been adjusted for lower replenishment rates, so the replenisher may be different. I cannot imagine them making it different though as they all must work with the same paper, so the LU should work. Just do not use the starter. I have not, AFAIK, made any posts regarding the LU except to explain the name LU = Low Use. BTW, RT might also mean Room Temp, not Roller Transport. :D

    PE
     
  22. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    From Kodak, for RA-4! I cant type that many :smile:
     
  23. steelneck

    steelneck Member

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    OK. Thanks for straighten this out PE, the same to hrst. I will try the RT/LU, it looks like the Kodak chem for RA-4 can be used for a hobbyist like me.

    But the C-41 does not seem to be as useful for me. Yesterday i stumbled upon the Rollei Digibase chemistry for C-41, that seem to be optimized for exactly my kind of hobbyist use. As far as i can tell, it looks to be able to be mixed in very small batches down to a single film (250ml) while maintaining the shelf life of the remaining concentrates. It has also bleach and fix separate, not blix with questionable life as Tetenal. Found it at macodirect.de:
    http://www.macodirect.de/chemistry-rollei-c-416_404_534.html

    The Rollei C-41 chemistry looks very promising as far as i can tell, but i do not find much info, either from Rollei or users writing about it. Very quiet about it here on apug too. Anyone with experience of it?