Making the plunge

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by jmartelli, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. jmartelli

    jmartelli Member

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    Recently ive moved back to shooting film and have decided since there is no places locally to develop 120 that i would make the plunge and all the way and develop my own c-41. I am currently researching all that is needed to do this at home and would greatly appreciate any tips or suggestions from any of you on this subject.
     
  2. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Welcome back home!! There are a ton of resources here!

    There is a great thread on where to get c-41 chems here, give that a read:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum40/94134-list-color-chemicals-where-get-them.html

    As far as how it all works, I highly suggest Henry Horenstein's color photography book, sure your library stocks or maybe Amazon or elsewhere will have it for a song.

    Re what you need to actually do it. Pretty similar to B/W, just a few more bottles. I do it without a Jobo, and do it by hand (use SS or a Patterson). Works out great. Do some reading, there is a nice thread re one c-41 maker, Rollei Digibase, that has a wealth of info (btw that is what I use).

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum40/76545-rollei-digibase-c-41-a.html

    You have any specific questions that you need advisement on?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2011
  3. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    If you can find a good used JOBO for sale that makes all the difference in the world. It keeps all of your chemicals and film at the required temp plus you don't need a dedicated darkroom to use it in. Check out Greg Blank's article in the July/August 11 issue of view camera about the JOBO.
     
  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Yes, what he said!
     
  5. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    Now I'm skerrt.
     
  6. jmartelli

    jmartelli Member

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    Thanks Much

    Thanks much for the fast reply and all the information. Ive ordered the color photography book. Im looking forward to getting started developing my own film. Im sure there is alot of pride in knowing you have control of your photo from start to finish.
     
  7. guyjr

    guyjr Member

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    A lot of pride, but also a lot of confidence that you will get reproducible results every time you process. I could get cheap C-41 developed locally ($4.25 a roll for 120), but get very inconsistent results from the lab. Aside from one mistake a few weeks back, my C-41 home processed rolls are batting close to 1.000.
     
  8. jmartelli

    jmartelli Member

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    THanks to all that replied to this thread. I developed my first roll of kodak portra 160 120 film today and all went well. Guess the next purchase will have to be a nagative scanner with decent quality.
     
  9. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    While I currently do the hybrid thing with a Nikon 8000, you can of course get RA4 paper and chemistry (my delivery arrived last week!) and the paper is significantly cheaper than B&W paper. If you already print B&W and you have a colour head on the enlarger, you can print colour too. No safelight permitted though.
     
  10. jmartelli

    jmartelli Member

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    At this point in time a enlarger isn't a option so ill be looking for a flatbed nagative scanner that has holders for both 35mm and 120.
     
  11. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    Heck, you're only 3 hours from me. Come on, well have a printing party. You bring the beer.
     
  12. jmartelli

    jmartelli Member

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    I just may do that. Thanks for the invite! I have a family member that has a office there in memphis that i was thinking about going to visit with so i can get some photos of memphis.
     
  13. postalman

    postalman Member

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    I'm doing some sums to decide how to get into C41 too, but have a few questions about the actual figures rather than manufacturers figures.

    I can get tetenal 1L kits for $44 at my local shop (and yeah, it's 15euro from maco but that's another story), or order a 1L digibase kit from maco, the difference being that the order from germany costs 44 euro to ship.

    Now if the two kits do a similar number of rolls and have similar storage properties, I'll buy locally to save on shipping. But with the tetenal kits rated for half the number of rolls as the digibase kits, I'll pay the shipping costs. So do the tetenal kits actually just do half the number of rolls?

    Also, I'd be looking to mix up 500ml solutions to use over a period of 3 months or so, then make up the other half of the kit (storing using R134a to displace oxygen, out of direct light but not refrigerated). Will both kits give usable results over that time? if the digibase kit can't work under those conditions I'd probably end up wasting half the capacity anyway meaning it's not worth the shipping cost. I scan my negatives and just do hobby stuff, so I'm looking for "good" results rather than reference quality results.

    Lastly, how do the tetenal powder kits fit into this? I generally don't like working with powders and they cost more with shipping from the US than buying the 1L kit locally.


    And also, while tetenal and digibase say 10&20 rolls respectively, how many rolls can I reasonably expect to get using the "good enough" criteria?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2011
  14. Ottrdaemmerung

    Ottrdaemmerung Member

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    Another Memphis guy here, and know guitstik well. I've been developing B&W and C-41 for quite a while now, and just this year made the leap into printing. I still need more practice -- and motivation to print -- but I'm getting there. :smile:

    postalman: The Digibase kit conforms better to the C-41 standard since it uses separate bleach and fix, unlike the Tetenal kit that uses blix. And YES, you can mix up only as much of the Digibase as you need. (I buy the largest capacity kit available, to save on shipping.) Just beware that the bleach and fix have longer capacities than the developer, and the stabilizer longest of all. So don't do as I did and throw out ALL your mixed chemistry when your developer exhausts/expires. You can get roughly 12-15 rolls per liter of developer... possibly more if you have lower quality standards.
     
  15. postalman

    postalman Member

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    Thanks for the info. Is 12-15 rolls per litre for tetenal or digibase? Other reports I've read say 2-3 times the published value can be achieved with ~2.5 being the "it's just getting silly now" point.

    Do you know why tetenal and digibase even have different values? I thought the C41 formula was pretty much fixed. Are they changing concentrations or something?
     
  16. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Actually, while I agree with encouraging optical printing, that's wrong and slightly pessimistic on two counts.

    One, you certainly don't need a color head. I've printed a LOT of RA4 and type R back in the 80s and 90s and never owned a color head. You just need a condenser head with a filter drawer, which virtually all of them have, and a set of color printing filters. It's a tiny bit slower, but only a tiny bit when seen as part of the overall process, but results are fine and indistinguishable (at least as far as the image quality - color heads are diffusion sources and will show dust and imperfections less than condenser heads though.) A color head is easier to use with an analyzer too, but I never had an analyzer.

    Secondly, you most certainly can use a safelight. I have an Osram Duka 50 that works great, and which I now save for color as soon as I can get back into it (used it a lot for black and white in the old days.) If you can find a used one, that's probably best. Set for RA4 it's quite useful, and safe - set for lowest level and bounce off a white ceiling. OTOH, the bulbs are no longer made so when it dies, it's dead. There may be LED light that are RA4 safe; I'm not sure about that. I have a Jobo Maxlux that has a color setting but I've not yet tried it with RA4. The other alternative is a conventional safelight with a color printing filter. I believe it's a #13. In spite of dire sounding warnings in official published Kodak materials, PE has said they routinely used one at Kodak, and I know other people who have done so with no problems. This will be quite dim, but you'd be surprised how little light it takes to make a useful difference. It's much better than nothing. (I even used my Duka 50 for Ilfochrome and type R both of which were "supposed" to be total darkness only, tested and found to be safe.)
     
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  17. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    I use a dim Kodak #13 color safe light filter for color. It doesn't provide much light but I can see where the trays are at least! Using a B&W amber safelight OC (Ilford 902) WILL fog the paper horribly CYAN but try a sheet if you like. I used to do it in total darkness and it can be done but the proper #13 light is better.

    I get at least 25 rolls of out a 1L Tetenal kit. Some people go for 30 or more. I suspect most of the kits will go further than they say.

    RA-4 is cheap, again you have to do more than the Kodak recommended 16 8x10 sheets per litre of solution. I do about 4 times that easily so I get like 500 8x10 or 1000 5x7 sheets out of a Ektacolor RT 10L RA-4 kit. If you buy expired Endura paper it is really cheap, you can get a long roll for $30 if you find a great deal, even $100 is a good deal for what ends up being 500-1000 sheets of cut paper, cents the the sheet! Otherwise pre-cut Fuji Crystal Archive is still quite cheap, certainly cheaper than B&W paper.
     
  18. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Is there a good reference to making color prints from negatives? I assume that if you have a properly exposed and developed negative then you pretty much just have do dial in the filter settings listed on the RA4 paper insert? What about temps? Is it also high-temp?
     
  19. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    My experience is that sodium safelights like the DUKA 10 or 50 are safe at a low setting while still giving enough light to see what you are doing.

    Unfortunately the prospect of working in total darkness which isn't necessary can put a lot of people off RA4 printing.


    pentaxuser