Occasional C-41; Which Kit?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by bvy, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I've been deliberating over which C-41 kit to try for very occasional (infrequent) development -- i.e. one or two rolls a month: The Arista liquid kit (1 Qt.) or the Unicolor powder kit (1 L). I'll be using a small Paterson tank.

    For most things, I'm happy to drop my film off at Target. Processing is 95 cents. But certain things they can't do (medium format, cross-processing), and other things I might not want them to do (critical rolls, Ektar). I've been developing a lot of black and white over the past year (D76) and I think I'm ready to try C-41.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    For infrequent use like two rolls per month, I'd stick with Target, inc your Ektar 100. The powder kits don't last long when mixed, so you would be processing every 6 months or so. Can't comment on the Arista liquid as I have no experience with it. I'd suggest you up your quantity a lot and go for the Kodak chems listed in the sticky at the top of the forum. :smile:
     
  3. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    The Fuji chemicals refrigerate well (once mixed) for a few months at least and I suspect the Rollei ones will be similar. You can get some very small Rollei kits, like 1L that does about 16-20 rolls. Shoot a bit more, stock up for a couple months and there you go.
     
  4. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    Yeah, occasional and home-processing C-41 have "compatibility" problems. One part of the developer is wicked unstable when exposed to oxygen.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The Formulary sells repackaged Kodak kits in 1L sizes. I'm using them.

    PE
     
  6. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    PE: how many rolls of 35mm can you do with the 1L kit?
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Same capacity as 1L of Kodak chems. It is on the EK web site, but I forget the figures OTOMH. It is Kodak chemistry repacked under nitrogen.

    Sorry.

    PE
     
  8. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Yeah I've looked at that. I also forget the exact numbers, but whenever I read them, I get the sense that it will cost me in the neighborhood of $2-3/roll based on the kit cost. Which seems too expensive to me.

    Ok, I looked it up again (here). That document states that the capacity for the bleach, fixer, and final rinse are 10 rolls of 135-36 and not to reuse the developer. My SS 4 roll tank is about 32 oz or ~1 liter. So I'd use up the all of the developer in the first 4 rolls. Even if I did reuse the developer by adjusting times (assuming you can do so) and got 10 rolls out of the liter kit, that's still about $3/roll, ignoring shipping.

    Am I missing something here?
     
  9. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    It's a matter of volume. If all you do is 10 rolls, then this is the kit to get. And yes, it will cost about $3/roll for the professional quality processing done by the person who actually cares about the film in question :smile:. If the price is your concern, and you are planning to do more than 10 rolls, then get separate chemicals - the cost per roll will be much less, though initial cost will be a bit over $100. Or you can get the Formulary kit to start with and buy the chemicals separately as you run out of them. You are likely to run out of developer first, then fixer and then bleach. That gives you time to watch e-bay for bargains :whistling:
     
  10. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Ok, just making sure I wasn't missing something obvious.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

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    There is another and better reference which gives the method for reusing the developer. Basically, you extend the development time for each roll or group of rolls.

    You may want to check that reference out as well.

    PE
     
  12. warrennn

    warrennn Member

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    Do you have a reference for this? I looked at all of the Kodak docs available from their website and didn't find anything about extending the development times for C-41. In fact, all of the C-41 papers explicitly stated that one should never reuse the developer (for small quantity processing).

    Thanks.

    Warren Nagourney
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    well, good thing I copied this!

    This is from the C41 process manual. The data is missing from the Kodak web site, but I fortunately have it in my archives.

    Oh, you owe me. I posted this several times before. :D :D

    JK.

    PE
     

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  14. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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  15. warrennn

    warrennn Member

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    Great! Thanks very much.

    wn

    ps. For 120 film (12 exposures), do we use the 126 entry?
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I can answer that.

    The times relate to the area of the film. 120 film has the same area as a 135-36 roll.
     
  17. warrennn

    warrennn Member

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    Yes, thanks, my question was pretty dumb -- I should have realized that.

    wn
     
  18. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I assume this is the Flexicolor kit. How is it more conducive to infrequent C41 developing relative to the ones I mentioned in my OP?

    I'm now considering this kit and also the Digibase kit, as they are liquid and not powder based. A more general question: Can I mix smaller amounts of working solutions with these liquid concentrate kits -- say, enough to develop one or two rolls as needed? (I wouldn't even consider this with a powder kit.)

    I would expect the shelf life of the working solutions to be the same no matter what kit I prepare it from.

    Thanks for all the responses.
     
  19. Photo Engineer

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    This is a large Kodak C41 kit repackaged under nitrogen into 1L kits. It is no more or less useful for infrequent processing than the size would indicate. It is better than a 20 L kit, in that sense as it lasts longer and keeps better due to packaging and size.

    Once a 20L kit is opened, it begins aging unless opened in an inert atmosphere. The repackaging process does this. Once part of this kit is used it starts aging. The 1L kit can be used as desired with the capacities given above.

    PE
     
  20. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    Here's my approach for occasional use:

    Use distilled water. Boil it and let it cool just to the right mixing temperature. For 1L and 2L kits, mix all developer at once, separate into gas-impermeable bottles just the right size for your development tank filled to the brim, and put them into the refrigerator. Mark them "C-41 beer. Drink only if desperate." I have not noticed much of a degradation even with 6-9 month old developer stored that way. I'm sure densitometer might disagree, but I doubt it is any worse than Target's under-utilized/under-replenished developer. Bleach, fix and final rinse are better off being mixed right before use, and they last quite a long time as a concentrate anyway.