Over-diluted C-41 dev

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by polyglot, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Hi all,

    Processed my first C-41 tonight. It worked, but not without me making two expensive errors; of course my only two errors in 200+ rolls of home developing came with my first use of expensive chemistry!

    Anyway, I accidentally got 200mL of stop-water in my 500mL of colour developer (the bottle was catching dev drips, I forgot to move it before dumping the stop), so it's more-diluted than it should be by a factor of 1.4. Presumably I can still use it but with a longer 1st-dev time? What time should I run it for?

    I made up 1L from the 5L Fuji kit, used 500mL in the Jobo (this got accidentally diluted) and will continue using the other 500mL for now. I also managed to tip over and spill about 25% of my Dev Part B: the blast of butane I was putting in there to preserve it knocked the tiny bottle over :sad:

    So I'm seriously pissed off at myself. However, I'm hoping you guys can let me know how to recover from the dilution issue...
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I have made similar mistakes. What really sucks (costs), once you get to the point where you buy the chemical separately, is dumping fix into bleach.

    If you have a truly unimportant roll to test with go for it with extra time, otherwise I'd toss it.
     
  3. mkillmer

    mkillmer Member

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    Uhgg - I feel for you!
    I have been using the Tetenal colrtec c41 and can only talk about my experiences with that chemistry, but I suspect they are similar.
    I have always been loosing developer - I think because I dont pre-wash - anyway - my developer level keeps going down.
    I have the 1 litre kit.
    After about 20 rolls I had to top up the dev with water as I no longer had sufficient to safely cover the 120 film spool. I added 250 ml to about 600 ml. not too far off your ratios. I had adjusted my times already because of the number of rolls I had developed. My change was to add 15 seconds to the dev time - I did that at roll 16.
    After adding the water I did not increase the length of time, but I increased the temp from 38C to 40C - I have had no problems with my development, however my developer is getting old and thick now so I will probably get a new batch of chems any day now.
     
  4. mkillmer

    mkillmer Member

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    I recommend you dont dump your chemicals! even if you dont trust the developer, you can always use it for cross processing
     
  5. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Polyglot, you are speaking indecipherable languages when you tend to panic over such trivialities.

    First, I am unorthodox in the extreme when I dare develop 'C-41' film: I do so in RA4 chemicals DILUTED 1 + 4 water (16 minutes at 100 F) and get enviable negatives. YOU, on the other hand, do not deviate from the C-41 chemistry so you cannot be as bad as I.

    For the 'solution' I would heartily recommend this: with an unoffensive dilution of only 40% excess water I would give about 20% to 33% excess development time (do a 'clip test'). I like my negatives a bit more contrasty than is deemed 'normal' for color work, so you be the judge.

    Finally, master of languages, I, personally, do not use 'blasts of anything' to preserve my color chemicals (or BW, also). I store in clear, plastic bottles (soda, water, juice, they are everywhere even 'down under') and fill them to the very brim (essential). THEY DO NOT 'BREATHE' AND ARE AS GOOD AS GLASS. I use glass marbles to take up any slack. Tiny 50ml liquor bottles are also excellent (the ones with the metal caps). I have set aside color RA4 dev in 2003 this way as a test and STILL good as new. - David Lyga
     
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  6. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Yep, I have at least one unimportant roll, maybe two. What are your suggestions for time increase, assuming fresh dev (it's had one roll through it) ?

    (E6 film is too expensive to waste on cross processing! I just don't understand that particular aesthetic)
     
  7. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    The loss you are see mkillmer, is normal.

    Every roll uses up/soaks up/carries over some. You'll see the same thing for paper

    C-41, like most commercial processes, is designed to be replenished at a set rate per roll which keeps the chemicals at the right strength/activity.
     
  8. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Do, as I say, a 'clip test'. Take an inch or so of unexposed film and put it into the back of your manual 35mm camera and expose normally. Then process using, say, 25% more time. Then look at the neg (best with a magnifying glass) and carefully scrutinize the highlight and shadow detail. - David Lyga.
     
  9. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I'm all for experimental, non-standard uses.
     
  10. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    David: good to know that you're confident of the looseness of the process! I'll go with +25% for a first try (4:00) and see what the contrast looks like.

    Given that currently these will be hybrid-processed, I'm sure that nearly any developing error (including crossover) is correctable. However, I don't want to soup a bunch of rolls only to discover in future that those ones can't be optically printed.

    Edit: I just had a thought that should have been obvious an hour ago... it's all moot since I can just add a little more concentrate to bring it up to 1L of dev in that bottle. I can still run this one by the book! Of course that means I'll have about 1.5L of dev mixed up when I really wanted 0.5, but the 1L bottle I can squeeze to have zero air and there are reports of it keeping OK like that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2011
  11. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Polyglot, yes, the best thing is to bring back your chemicals to standard dilution and just carefully preserve the diluted chemistry.

    All this makes me even more convinced that one-shot processing is the way to go. One can occasionally make mistakes during the dilution process, but then he'll only have wasted 140 ml or 250 ml of final solution.

    No sooner than yesterday I made such a mistake. I diluted my first developer but I inadvertently took the chemical from the first component of the colour developer (almost identical flask). When I begun diluting the colour developer, I found that I was taking the first developer (instead of the first component of the colour developer) in my hands. In that particular case, I just prepared the first developer, put it in the colour-developer flask, went back to the first developer (which only contained the first component of the colour developer) add the second component, and so I ended up with a normal first developer, and a slightly diluted colour developer (170 ml of final solution instead of 140 ml), the colour developer in flask marked "1" and the first developer in flask marked "3". Colour developer goes to completion, so I adopted a 10' bath instead of the canonical 6' bath, and it all seems to have worked very well.

    But in any case I could have discarded the colour developer and re-mixed it again, it was only 140 ml of final solution, nothing to cry upon.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    You have likely ruined the developer. The only way to tell is a test of the process.

    BTW, fix in the bleach is not a total disaster. The bleach can be used until it becomes cloudy or begins to smell of Hydrogen Sulfide. It does not ruin the bleach outright. The same is true of bleach in the fix. This is not instant disaster either.

    PE
     
  13. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Even after bringing it back to the proper concentration? Note that it was wash-water (the first flush after developer) that went in there, not acidic stop bath.

    I hope that's not the case because that's what I've just done. And I don't see how it'd be possible either.
     
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  15. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    polygot: Just add more concentrate to it.

    Mix up some more developer, sans 200ml of starting water.. mix together.



    Also you are supposed to dump bleach straight after dev, not wash, or at least use stop straight after dev. Using water can easily give very crappy negs, shouldn't be a large significant effect with water on the lower pH side.. but still has an effect I found of increased overall density. I always used a rinse after dev, my place on the north coast.. never had problems..soon as I moved down to Melb, couldn't figure out why my negs were so dense and crap after mixing fresh everything. Eventually used a stop bath after dev, then just bleach after dev, negs were excellent.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2011
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Yeah, I was wrong. I was thinking Acetic Acid stop. You can do as Dan says and it will work.

    Sorry.

    PE
     
  17. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    OK, so maybe I'll give up washing the negs after dev - it's habit from B&W and not wanting to change the bleach pH too much. They look pretty similar to lab-processed C-41 in terms of density; maybe a tad more but I haven't done a side-by-side comparison.

    Edit: assuming I'm a tightwad and want to stretch bleach as far as possible, is there something I can add to it to counter the effects of there being a little dev present and make it last better?

    Anyway, I'm gonna call it a success (click for larger):
    [​IMG]
    Why yes, this is the internet. We have cats here.
     
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  18. mkillmer

    mkillmer Member

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    That's an interesting tip, Athiril, thanks! - I live in melbourne and I wash after dev - I will try without.
     
  19. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Even on the tetenal kit you do not rinse before the blix (referring to the book from my old tetenal kit).

    I would use a stop bath after dev, then rinse, and bleach if you are concerned the pH will rise on the bleach before the end of it's useful life. I've use the home brand 99c 1L vinegar at 1+9 before, worked well.

    Tetenal instructions for their kit;

    "Stop Bath (TETENAL Indicet 1+19 or 3% aceticacid: 20s) increases processing reliability when the bleach fix bath is re-used several times)"




    My place on the north coast where I had no problem rinsing didn't have fluorinated water if that makes a difference.
     
  20. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Cheers - I'll try dev/stop/wash/bleach next time; vinegar and dry citric acid are pretty cheap. Vinegar is usually about 5% acetic acid though, so I would expect 1+9 to be a bit too dilute, at least for B&W.
     
  21. mkillmer

    mkillmer Member

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  22. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Tetenal Indicet is B&W stop. You just want to drop the pH into acidic range to halt development, some tap water around here is even pH 9 with plenty of crap in it.

    Just used some now on a higher pH split-bath experiment (pH ~11.6, ~40.5g/L sodium carbonate), more alkali than C-41. I didn't even measure it, just poured a bit into a beaker of 500ml of tap water, dumped it in, agitated, let it sit for 20s, then felt it with fingers as pouring out, feels hard/"dry" (acidic) as opposed to lubricated/oily/soapy (basic/caustic).


    I don't use tetenal anymore (nothing wrong with the results it gave me), just replenished is so much more economic and easier (imo), I got my kit in 2008 or 2009, maybe they modified the manual.


    I tetenal indicet is listed as 10-25% citric acid in the MSDS. Dry citric acid in the supermarket in the baking section is like $3 or so. Many options there.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2011
  23. Relayer

    Relayer Member

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    overdiluted color developer isn't a problem. follow is the sample semi-stand developing in my custom one-shot color dev with concentration of CD-agent in 10 times less than in stock. 5 year expired Agfa Vista 400@400 1hour at 23C, agitation 5 rotation per 20min

    [​IMG]

    something like Dignan split C41? very interesting. I was made some experiment with modified split C41.
     
  24. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Like Dignan NCF-41, but changed around a bit, and using CD-2, developing Vision Print Film (where CD-2 is the correct developer), also threw in some ECN-2 film (CD-3 native). I should just mix up a CD-2/ECP-2 based developer altered to give low contrast (for pictorial results), but this is promising so far (as it's just for a single film).

    Last time I tried semi-stand C-41 1+9 for an hour, it was good, but very grainy, but you've done more series of agitation.
     
  25. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I give up. You guys do what you wish, but 10 - 20 years from now, when your images are "dust", I will be too. :D So, there will be no complaints. CD2 makes FAR LESS STABLE IMAGES than CD3 if the film is not tailored for the process. Good luck guys. But remember that you cannot mix and match color developing agents.

    PE
     
  26. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Ron;

    The film I am using is made for CD-2, it is ECP-2 process.

    Formula is on page 23 here -
    http://motion.kodak.com/motion/uploadedFiles/h2409a(1).pdf

    I can get my hands on ECP-2 kit chemicals here.. but I am trying to use this film for pictorial photography, not film prints.

    Trying to find a good split-bath formulation by experiment for it for the below reasons, and ArtCraft is not actually allowed to send CD agents outside the US, but did anyway last I ordered. Hence I can't get my hands on anymore CD-2 atm, so split-bath.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]