Processing C-41 at home?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by BradS, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    In another thread, somebody suggested that it wasn't too difficult to process C-41 at home. At first, I thought they must be teasing me (which is fine) but, then I thought maybe not....

    So, what's involved?

    Any suggestions about where to read up on the details of the preocess?


    TIA,

    Brad.
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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  3. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    DOH!

    Thanks.


    Brad (Can I get another do-nut?)
     
  4. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Geez, they even have instructions for processing Kodachrome here.
     
  5. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    The simplest way to get started is probably to buy a "kit" of chemicals. Tetenal and others sell these through the usual outlets (B&H, Adorama, Freestyle, etc.), although choice at any one dealer tends to be a bit limited. The kits have a few advantages: They come with complete but not over-complete instructions, so you're less likely to get confused; they come in small enough quantities that you won't throw out a lot if you're a low-volume user; and they're often a bit simpler than the chemistry offered by Kodak (most notably, the kits usually combine the bleach and fix steps into a single blix step, and they sometimes omit the stabilizer). The last of these may be a disadvantage in terms of the quality of the results, though; blixes have a tendency to leave behind a bit more silver than do the separate steps. Stabilizer seems to be a complex topic; it may or may not be necessary, and I've yet to see a simple statement from anybody whose judgment I trust concerning when it is necessary for image stability. Still, for just "getting your feet wet," a kit can be a good way to get started. Once you're more familiar with the process, you can switch to the Kodak, Fuji, or whatever chemicals sold for labs, if you like.
     
  6. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Even if you want to mix your own it's not hard, comparable to mixing a B&W developer.

    C-41 Developer (Official)
    Water (50° C) ........................... 800 ml
    Potassium carbonate (anhy) ........ 37.5 g
    Sodium sulfite (anhy) ................. 4.3 g
    Potassium iodide ....................... 0.002 g
    Sodium bromide ......................... 1.3 g
    Hydroxylamine sulfate ................. 2.0 g
    Kodak Anti-Cal #3 ...................... 2.5 g
    CD-4 ....................................... 4.8 g
    Water to make .......................... 1.0 l

    pH 10.00 +/- 0.03
     
  7. OldBikerPete

    OldBikerPete Subscriber

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    What's Kodak Anti-Cal #3?
    Is that a water softener like (say) Calgon (Sodium HexaMetaPhosphate)?

    Do you have official formulae for C-41 seperate bleach and fixer as well?
     
  8. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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  9. game

    game Member

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    is it also possible to make chemicals for printing rather easily? like ra4 process?
    Not that I am going to, but the thought is comfortable.
    Best regards Sam
     
  10. markbb

    markbb Member

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    The stabiliser step is the easiest of the lot - comparable to the 'washaid' step when processing B&W. Don't do this with the film on the reel.
     
  11. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Just use distilled water and leave out the Anti-Cal #3.

    The developer is the most expensive component and I therefore only mix that from scratch.
     
  12. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Yes. The site that Nick referenced has an RA-4 formula that I've used. It seems fine with fresh Fuji and Kodak paper, but it produces fogging and weak colors with some (probably old) cut-rate Konica paper I bought secondhand on eBay. (That same paper seems fine with Paterson's RA-4.) Here's another site with an RA-4 chemistry formula. I've not used this formula, though. In part I've just not gotten around to it yet, but it also requires a few chemicals that I don't have and I'm not even sure where to get them.