Questions for those who dev. C-41 at home

Discussion in 'Australia' started by NDP_2010, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. NDP_2010

    NDP_2010 Member

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    I am interested in developing c-41 at home and am after some information about what chemicals I will need and what volumes. I have considered a kit however I plan to develop many rolls and I think buying the chemicals in greater quantity will be more economical. I have looked at the site of Vanbar http://www.vanbar.com.au/catalogue/index.php?item1=CHEMISTRY&item2=COLOR&item3=FILM&brand= however I am confused as to what chemicals I need and what volumes.

    If anyone has any advice on which/how much chemical combinations they use that would be great. Also if there is any other suppliers of chemicals there are. The sydney vanbar do not stock much however they are able to order things if I have a specific list.


    Thanks.
     
  2. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I'm actually a mix from scratch c-41 guy, which makes me an outlier. I have nothing against kits, but have heaps of bulk dry chemistry from b&w, so the idea of colur mix up's don't scare me off.

    Developers are the most fragile; most don't last well once mixed, and last even less time once partially used. I currently have 8 reels of films loaded ready to go in the c-41 chems that I plan on mixing tonight, tempering starting tomorow morning before I go to work, and processing tomorrow night. I am extra strange; I developed a c-41 replenisher to keep uniformity as the solution is re-used on subsequent batches

    If other films come along in the next 2 weeks, I can process them also, but I don't count on it being reliable and true on all colour layers as it was when it was fresh.

    I use a stop bath after the developer in my process. It is simple; 10mL of glacial acetic acid, or more of 28% or more yet of table vinegar. Then a water bath. Then a bleach that I mix that gives me 22 rolls capacity from 2L of solution, and it lasts indefinitely. Then a water rinse, and on to a separate fixer, that will do at least 15 rolls per litre, and it lasts for a number of months with no problem.

    The upshot of this is when ordering kits, or components of kits, don't worry if you get more bleach or fixer than you ned up front; they will last. If you order bulk developer concentrate, store what you don't need right away in small glass bottles, filled to exclude all air, and the product will last longer than the kit maker rates it to.

    I hope this information helps, even if it does not directly answer your question.
     
  3. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    OK what I have to say is controversial and downright heresy. (I might get shot.) But it works and I have been doing this for over a decade.

    First, I freely use either C-41 Flexicolor Developer or RA4 Developer/Replenisher RT (roller transport). These developers are available from PDISUPPLY.COM in Rochester, NY in, I think, as little as 10 liter sizes.

    Basically, you can mix (as per Kodak) all at once, or partial only. Then, for working solution, I dilute THAT 1 + 9 (yes, amazing) and add 5g of sodium carbonate (washing soda) per liter of working solution developer. I develop C-41 type films for from 7 to 9 minutes at 100 F. (The fastest films DO require the longer times (ie, ISO 800). I store the dev in soda bottles (the clear plastic ones) and use glass marbles to take up slack. The dev MUST be stored UP TO THE RIM or it will oxidize. It lasts forever this way. Maker certain that the concentrates are also stored 'up to the rim' using glass marbles for slack. Soda or juice bottles (the clear, brittle kind) but one thing that is very important to mention here is that PART C of the RA4 CANNOT be stored in anything other than glass or the original container. This PART C from the RA4 (NOT PART C from the C-41) does not have to be air tight for storage as it is only extremely alkaline accelerator and will eat into the sides of the soda bottles!!!

    Use a normal stop bath, 100 F, but dilute so that you have about 1% glacial acetic acid.

    Then, I fix in normal film fixer, also at 100F, for about 5 minutes. Then I bleach (1g potassium ferricyanide per 100 ml water) for about 4 minutes, again 100 F. Then briefly fix in the same fixer for about one minute. Then wash and dry.

    You might have to slightly modify the times for development. See what you get and be happy with the results.

    Color paper uses the same dilution and addition of sodium carbonate, but you MUST use the RA4 with paper and NOT the C-41 dev. Develop for at least 2 full minutes with frequent agitation. If you want less dev time, dilute less. Stop, Fix, Bleach as per film but for a lot less time. The paper process is all at 80F (ambient). I use trays for ease.

    NDP2010 there is much more I could say about this but I do not want to type for the entire day. Call me at 215.569.4949 if you have problems. I will walk you though the procedure on the phone. -David Lyga
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2012
  4. postalman

    postalman Member

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    I'll be doing my first batch ever on sunday. I bought a 2.5L digibase kit that's been sitting around for 3 months waiting for a free day, and I plan to mix up a 500ml batch to use over the next few weeks (am I being optimistic?). I bought from Maco because vanbar was too much extra (I also bought a big box worth of film)

    My thoughts: why not buy a small kit like me to figure the process out first? Then get ambitious when you get some experience.
     
  5. EdoNork

    EdoNork Member

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    Mike, formulas?
     
  6. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Mike,

    I quit color developing because of too many lost rolls.

    If you have a method of brewing C-41 developer I am another who would like to see it.

    Thanks,
     
  7. Oxleyroad

    Oxleyroad Subscriber

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    I used to do a lot of C41 when I was at uni (20 years ago now), I used Agfa kits as they came in 1 litre kits. I stored all of my chems in swing top Grolsch bottles under the laundary sink. I have used Tetenal kits with no issues since, but as I hardly use colour neg film I have not had the need to process.

    I have never been too critical on my temperture controls as I have processed my 35mm in a paterson tank two rolls at a time. Tried to keep the ambient room temp within 5 degrees of the developer temp. I would store the chemistry such that I would 500ml (1 grolsch bottle) at a time and process 6 films from it. Once 6 films processed discard and start on the next bottle. From memory there is a time compensation in the instructions for subsequent films being processed, but I might be wrong.


    Trust this is of some use to you.
     
  8. ctsundevil

    ctsundevil Member

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    I process C-41 at home a couple times a month. I use Kodak chemicals. Here is the list:

    Flexicolor LU Developer Replenisher LORR Cat# 153 4718 You need a starter with this.
    Flexicolor Developer Starter LORR Cat# 848 5153
    Flexicolor SM Tank Bleach Cat # 882 4690 I think this size is more economical. You have to buy a case of two bottles 2.7L each. No mixing. good capacity.
    Flexicolor Fixer and Replenisher Cat # 169 3837 This size isn't available anymore. The next size up is 5 gallons, still priced very reasonable.
    Flexicolor Final Rinse and Replenisher Cat # 867 3170

    I started using the LORR developer because it was available locally and I'm locked into it because I have a case of the starter. You mix up a replenisher solution of the developer and the fixer and then mix a working solution from that. I mix up a liter at a time and usually process 6 or 8 rolls. I replenish after every 2 rolls until I run out of replenisher. Fixer capacity is about 10 rolls per liter unreplenished. The final rinse is the same. The developer has about half the capacity unreplenished. I don't know the capacity of the bleach, but it is a lot.

    I hope this helps.
     
  9. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    C41 Processing FAQ/howto; chemistry options are listed near the bottom. Sure you can homebrew or use the wrong chemistry (wtf, why!?) but I would suggest that you use the proper chemistry for your first attempt so that you at least eliminate the chemistry as a source of error. Ag Photographic will ship you a Fuji or Rollei kit and it will work perfectly.

    The Fuji kit for example has enough developer chemistry to do 80 rolls (makes it well under $2/roll including shipping for chemistry) and enough bleach/fix for 160 to 240 rolls. I would suggest starting with the kit and once you run it out, consider buying more developer to use with your existing bleach/fix. Bleach is the most expensive part but has a much greater capacity than the developer, so you definitely want to keep that from the kit.

    Vanbar's prices are pretty crazy-high compared to the international market.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2012
  10. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Search this site for 'flexicolor clone' the poster was stefan4u, I think. My full file of colour chems from scratch came from Maxwell Sanford, also known as MTS on this site. He sent me a large file of mix from scratch colour formulae.

    The chemistry mix I presently use is Stefan's. I have even cooked up a replenisher based on it, but have yet to calibrate it rigorously to see if I am totally on the right track.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Mike, thank you.

    As a member of APUG for more than 9 years I am continually impressed at how generous members are. This is a tremendous file that Maxwell Stanford has compiled and I thank him as well. We owe you both our gratitude

    Now to try and digest it.....
     
  12. NDP_2010

    NDP_2010 Member

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    Thanks for all the great detailed replies. It will be a while before I understand most of this but I will try.

    thanks again :D