Old film processing

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by smiggsy, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. smiggsy

    smiggsy Member

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    Hi,

    After many years of b&w processing, I've had my first go at colour. I discovered a quantity of 35mm & 120 Kodacolor films that I had exposed during the 70's stored in a wardrobe! I purchased a Tetenal C41 kit and developed 2 films using my Jobo CPE2 & lift.

    After following the process instructions to the letter, both films were blank. The leader was fogged as usual, but even the Kodak name & frame number were missing. One film showed very light signs of margins between frames, and partial images although very faint.

    I have another 8 rolls remaining, but don't want to risk having the same results without some expert advice. Do I need to increase development times etc or due to the age of the film, am I wasting time and chemicals?

    I know I have some sentimental images on the films, so would really like to recover something from them if possible.

    I've just processed 2 rolls of recently exposed films, and they're perfect. So proving there's nothing wrong with chemicals, equipment or me!

    Any advice would be appreciated.


    Regards, Barry
     
  2. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Are the chemicals correct for the type of film you are processing? Were color negative films of the 1970s actually supposed to be processed in C-41 chemistry? Should say on the film.
     
  3. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    If I remember right, kodacolor2 was c-41, so kodacolor would be c-22.
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    After some research I have found that C-41 chemistry appears to destroy emulsions intended for C-22 process.
    There are those who process it as a service (expensive). Your best bet is probably to process the film as a b&w film and scan your negs.
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

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    If something with the exposure was wrong, there would not be the rebate-signing missing.

    If the processing was totally off there would not be a developed leader.
     
  6. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    I had an issue like yours, look for a guy on here talking about CN17 Agfa processing in C-41, he discovered that he could process older emulsions like CN17 and C-22 in C-41 by NOT heating the developer and keeping it at room temperature and then developing for a longer timeframe (but I can't recall the procedure off hand). The images he got were beautiful. It's the HEAT that destroys older emulsions that weren't designed for such temperatures.

    Good luck and please post results.

    If you have money $ there are labs that specialize in this but you'll pay upwards of $40 per roll! Haha


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    There is some discussion in here regarding C-22 in C-41, but Stone covered it in a nutshell. It's a timely discussion for me too, I unboxed an old Kodak folder of mine a few days ago and found that it still had film, C-22 Kodacolor-X in my case. But I'll probably just process it as B&W.
     
  8. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    I believe there are ways to process it in room temp C-41 for around 20 minutes. You'll never be able to print them optically, but you can correct the colors in a scan, and have usable images.
     
  9. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    Why couldn't you print it optically?


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Why has the leader been developed and the rest of the film not?
     
  11. smiggsy

    smiggsy Member

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    Many thanks for your response guys.

    Just to confirm, the films I developed are Kodacolor II which is C41 process.

    I'm confident that correct camera exposure was used at the time, so I can only think that they've not aged very well.

    If it's possible to get more reliable results developing them as b&w, then I would. I just want to get a reasonable scanned image from them.

    I also have 4 C22 process films from the 70's, and don't know what to do with those!


    Barry
     
  12. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    Barry, do as I said, find the thread on times for processing C-22 in C-41 with the adjusted temperature.

    As for the Kodacolor II ... not sure how to help posting some pictures of the film itself (not a scan) might help some of us figure it out with more detail on what "didn't come out" means by seeing it.

    Good luck!
     
  13. werra

    werra Subscriber

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    C-22 film in C-41 at 20C:

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    Wait are you the guy I was referring to? Can you post the times :smile: I never wrote it down last time .. I will this time I swear! lol
     
  16. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    That would be my question as well. If C41 destroys the emulsion of C22 films at 38 C then what is different in the exposed leader which it seems has been satisfactorily developed?

    I know we expect PE to comment on any difficult issues with colour film but I do hope he will contribute here

    pentaxuser
     
  17. kevs

    kevs Member

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  18. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I had mis-read part of smiggsy post and while my question on C22 above still stands, it is now asked out of interest.

    Much more relevant is why if the correct C41 process for what were C41 films has worked on the leader, it hasn't worked for the rest of the film?

    As I understand it the leader is in fact the same emulsion as the rest of the film but has simply been "zapped" with light. If this bit reacts properly to light and developer then why hasn't the rest?

    We need you desperately P.E. Well the OP called smiggsy,Agx and I do to give us an answer :D

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  19. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    The film leader received infinitely more (literally) light than the exposed frames.
     
  20. smiggsy

    smiggsy Member

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    Once again, thanks for your replies.

    Like you all, I am puzzled with my results. Both films loaded on the spirals ok. The chemicals were fresh and at 38deg. They had 3mins 15sec in developer, 4mins in blix, a 3min water rinse, and 1min in stab.

    Just imagine a correctly exposed and developed film with the usual fogged leader. Then completely erase all the images and name and numbers from the edge, and that's what they look like! On one film, looking very closely there are the faintest signs of a few margins and parts of some images.

    As I have the equipment and chemicals, I would really prefer to try and get good results than "give in" to a processing house.

    I too would be very interested to have the details to process C22 in C41. I'll patiently wait for the experts response.


    Barry
     
  21. AgX

    AgX Member

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    But (leaving aside the fenomenon of solarisation) there is a level of saturation of the halides (that will produce Dmax in development). And the exposure of the rebate-signing is in the same range.
     
  22. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Yes, but in the same soup, at the same temperature, they got developed, and the other 'stuff' did not. What else can it possibly be? It is, all other things equal, the only variable.
     
  23. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The leader might show printed out silver (thus without development) due to the strong exposure you hinted at.
    Which would mean that bleaching would have not worked either.
     
  24. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    I wonder if PE just searches for "PE" every night and responds when he can LOL


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  25. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    If it were my film, I would develop the C-41 for a longer time or even at a lower temperature and even longer time yet. I would bleach/fix it for longer time too, like ten minutes.

    From my understanding Blix is to completion. I think 4 minutes is too short for such aged exposures.

    You are going to get color shifts anyway that will have to be corrected in post.
     
  26. werra

    werra Subscriber

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    C22 dev as a starting point 20 minutes at 20C, bleach 10min, fix 10min. Bleach and fix times are a bit overkilled, with fresh chem they will go to completion faster (5-6 min).

    For C41 film dev time is a bit longer, 22-23min, for those Agfacolor CN17 films I use slightly less, 18 min.

    All those times are with replenished Tetenal ergoline minilab C-41 chemistry, separate dev/bleach/fix. Between steps I rinse 2x15 inversions with water. After final wash ca 1min in C-41 stabilisator. That's basically it.
    My usual room temperature is ca 22C, so the actual times are accordingly a bit shorter.