Oct 2012 - I want to hand process C41 in Sydney

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Michael W, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    So, I recently shot quite a few rolls of colour neg in a Diana, and had the thought that I would like to process it myself rather than take it to a lab. I'm experienced with B&W processing, and also with mixing B&W dev powders.
    The obvious thing to do is to buy a Tetenal kit from Vanbar, however when I spoke to them last week I was told these are out of stock and not expected back for 3 to 6 months. I'm reasonably patient, but that's a long time to wait to see my photos.
    I've tried searching ebay but can't find any local sellers. There is someone in the UK selling it, but the $40 local kit will end up being about $70. Freestyle stock a few C41 devs but all the liquids can't be sent internationally. There is a Unicolor powder kit for $20, but regular shipping is about $40, or there is the FIMS shipping for about $20 but I've heard reports of that taking a couple of months.
    I really didn't think it would be this hard.

    What are people in Australia doing to home process C41? Do you buy a lot of kits when Vanbar do have stock? Is there anywhere else I can buy kits from?
    The other option I'm looking at is to buy individual chemicals from Vanbar. I'm sure this will work, although I would have preferred a kit where everything was in the same amounts. This is what I'm considering - (assuming Vanbar has this in stock of course);
    Kodak -Flex SM Unit Dv 2 ltr $22
    Kodak Flex SM Bleach 2.7 ltr $75
    Kodak +E-6 Fixer & repl > 10lt $6.30
    Kodak Flex SM Final Rinse 1.5 ltr $6.30

    The bleach is pricey, but I suppose it should last a fair while, and the other items seem reasonable.
    I'm looking for advice or comments on this, particularly in regards to someone who want to do this in Australia right now, thanks.
     
  2. JamesR

    JamesR Member

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  3. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    Hi James, I hadn't looked at B&H and that does seem a good option. I'd order right away, except they're closed for another 5 days. Oh well, better than waiting 6 months.
     
  4. JamesR

    JamesR Member

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    another option to look out for is Kodak Flexicolour.
    i was in Vanbar Melbourne store yesterday, and i saw what looked to be a small Kodak Flexicolour kit.
    i was just in a small bag, with no info. 3 part process, i think it made 1ltr of solution.
    if i can find out more about it, i might buy and try as well.
     
  5. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Another option if you intend to do a lot of film is the liquid kits from Ag Photo in the UK. Shipping is a killer, but it still comes out to about $1.50/roll for chemistry (80 rolls capacity on the 5L Fuji). It's what I do.

    Edit: though you pay lots for shipping, the whole kit ends up cheaper than buying just the bleach locally!
     
  6. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I suppose that might be the same as the Kodak chemicals I list in the first post that are available separately. Probably Vanbar also package them as kits. I'll email Sydney and ask what they have.
    Ployglot - I think 5 liters is more than i want at the moment. I'll start with some small kits and then decide how to proceed.
     
  7. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    They also do Rollei kits in the smaller sizes, which would be a better option than the Tetenal because they have separate bleach+fix not blix.

    5L of the Fuji is only 40 rolls if you shoot 400 speed. And it keeps really well if you exclude all oxygen - see the FAQ in my signature, it has a C41 section.
     
  8. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I've read your C41 FAQ a few times to wrap my head around the process. Would ideally like a separate bleach and fix. I was going to go with the Tetenal just to get started, on the assumption that I could walk into Vanbar, buy a box and get into it. Now I'm looking for plan B, plan C etc. I'll email Vanbar and see if they have anything and will also compare the AG price to B&H. Funny how the UK can post the liquid chemicals but not the USA.
     
  9. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    In theory the UK can't either but I suspect that some regulations are just being ignored.
     
  10. Mr Student

    Mr Student Member

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    I got a big Rollei Digibase kit from Macodirect.de, works great and even has instruction for working at room temperature (which also works out great!).

    http://www.macodirect.de/digibase-maxi-super-literbrfor-films-40027brfor-films-10021-p-2013.html

    They have smaller kits too, but apparently the unmixed chems can last for up to 2 to 3 years. I've been using my kit in batches and just mixing up a new lot every time the negs come out a little thin (around 12-15 rolls per 625ml working solution).
     
  11. Oxleyroad

    Oxleyroad Subscriber

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    Mr Student, What was the shipping to Melbourne Oz?
     
  12. Mr Student

    Mr Student Member

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    They calculate it by weight and I had a few other items too, (RA-4 paper and chemicals) and that came to about 60 EUR, and I think I could have ordered more and kept the shipping the same. Their prices are great, but with everything shipping to Oz is never cheap.

    e: That was 60 EUR just for the shipping!
     
  13. JamesR

    JamesR Member

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    hey mate, if you order some chems, would you be interested splitting shipping?
    im keen on a c41 kit too, and the postage is split into decent sized segments.
     
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  15. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    The Rollei kit looks great. I just ordered a Tetenal powder kit from B&H as I also needed some paper and neg sleeves. I suppose I'll get 8 to 15 or so rolls out of it and will then be looking for the next option, which might well be one of these kits from Maco.
     
  16. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I checked on the Maco site the 5L Rollei kit is 44 Euros with 59 euros postage, comes to $130 AUD which is not bad for 100 rolls.
    x2 shipping becomes 91 euro, or $225 AUD, for $112 per kit

    Perhaps in a couple of weeks I can share an order with someone in Sydney.
     
  17. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    The B&H order has arrived. I ordered a Tetenal kit but the box says Jobo and the info sheet is the same as the Unicolor one, so I suppose it is some generic chemistry that gets sold under different branding.

    A couple of questions

    1: I'm going to mix the solutions up from powder. Can I use regular plastic jugs from the B&W darkroom to mix in? I have jugs that are used for mixing Rodinal, Xtol etc and are then rinsed out. Is the colour chemistry sensitive in some way that I shouldn't mix the powder in these jugs?

    2: I'll put the mixed liquid into one liter water bottles, but I think I have enough colour film stored up that I can exhaust the chemistry pretty fast. However I'll probably start with one roll of 120, then do a few 35mm, then a few sheets of 4x5 etc. Say if I use 500ml of fresh chemistry for the first roll - do I pour that used dev back into the one liter bottle so it is now a blend of used and fresh, and then pour 500ml of that back into the next tank, and so on? Likewise for blix and stabiliser. I can't see any other way it can be done.
     
  18. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    1) that'll be fine. Just keep your bleach/fix containers separate from your developer containers, same as you would for B&W.

    2) That depends whether you're doing one-shot (use small quantity, discard after one use), replenishing (use some quantity, discard small fraction of it & replace that with fresh), or extending the development time with successive batches (one big batch that slowly wears out and takes more development time). All three approaches are valid and the instructions should give you some idea as to how that chemistry is meant to be used.

    Pro labs generally do replenishment as it's the most stable with large quantities being processed and most efficient use of chemistry. But you need to be developing a *lot* of film. The Fuji 5L kits for C41 and E6 both take the extended-development approach and provide a table of time extensions for successive batches through the life of the chems.
     
  19. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    Great. So I can mix the dev in my B&W dev jugs, and the blix in my B&W fix jugs?

    I was planning to take the third approach, although as I read the instructions it doesn't mention extending the time. E.g. using a 960ml tank it says I can process 8 rolls of 35mm, 36 frame film. A Paterson 3 roll tank holds about one litre so I would pour in 1L and process the first 3 rolls, then pour the used dev back in the bottle. As far as I can see I could then use the same one litre to immediately process another 3 rolls and then another two after that with no time extension.
    They also write that more than the recommended 8 rolls can be processed as long as it's done within the first few days while the chemistry is fresh. They basically just suggest that you keep an eye on the results and stop when you no longer like them.
     
  20. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    He Mike,
    One think I found is that I got better results from using a two reel (500ml) tank than my four reel steel tank. When I did four 35mm films I got some streaking. I did another four films with a pre soak and a little streaking on four frames or so. I think it was taking too long to get the developer in, and the extra 10-12 sec was streaking film as the developer ran by. I haven't gotten any streaking from my 500ml steel tank or my two reel Patterson. If I had a proper darkroom, I'm fill the four reel tank and dunk the film all at once - I don't, so I have to pour through lid. Just my experience.
     
  21. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Yep.

    That's what I do with the Fuji kit, but Fuji provides a list of 5 times (3:15, 3:18, 3:23, 3:28, 3:38) for each 20% of the developer's nominal (16 rolls/L, half that for ISO400+) capacity.
     
  22. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    Great. i feel pretty confident about starting now. Will get into it early next week after I've done my tax. I'll use a 2 roll Paterson 600ml tank and work through some 120 from the Diana, some 45 sheets wrapped around the inside of the tank (do this all the time with B&W), and some 35mm. will keep an eye on the results and increase the time slightly if it seems necessary. The Jobo kit gives 3.5 min as the start time for dev so I should be safe to add about the same amounts of time for every 20% of capacity. Thanks for the help, Polyglot.
     
  23. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Just be aware that the stated capacities of the kits differ, and that their exhaustion rates will likewise not match. So that table of times won't necessarily help you much.

    If you have a densitometer you could put a test-strip in with each batch to track the developer's performance.
     
  24. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    Funnily enough I do have a densitometer but have only used it for B&W film. I will research using it for colour.
     
  25. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    [​IMG]

    I did some C-41 processing a couple of weeks ago - got through two rolls of 35mm, about eight of 120 and half a dozen sheets of 4x5. By chance I had two very similar exposures of 4x5 so I had one sheet done by a good quality dip and dunk pro lab as a reference for my processing. As can be seen they are close enough to identical. The processing was simple enough, although a bit frantic with the primitive method of temperature stability (hot water in a 20 liter tank.) Looks like I'll be teaming up with a friend to split the cost of a 5L Jobo liquid kit for the next phase.
     

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  26. Oxleyroad

    Oxleyroad Subscriber

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    Well done mike :smile: