Tetenal C41 vs Kodak

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by L Gebhardt, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    I have used Tetenal C41 kits in the past and had very good luck with them, even with reusing the chemicals to get more life from them (as per the directions). The last set of C41 chems I bought were the Kodak 1 gallon dev and 1 gallon fix and bleach. As you know these small sizes seem to have been discontinued. From all the threads I have seen recently on mixing your own C41 I suspect many others are in the same boat as me in not wanting to spend $250 on bleach in the 12 gallon size.

    Is there a good reason not to use the Tetenal 5L kit? I can't remember why I switched, but I think it was comments about their 3 bath E6 kits that made me move to all Kodak. No I am thinking I will go back to Tetenal for C41 unless someone gives me a good reason not to.

    One bonus is you can get it shipped from B&H.
     
  2. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Check out Trebla chems. Not used them, but am thinking about it. They have a FilmPac for about $70 that has everything you need except for the dev starter, which costs about $3. Look at labdepot.com.
     
  3. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    Do you know if the Trebla kit is this suitable for Jobo processing? Can it be replenished this way to get close to thier stated 475 rolls? Lastly are the results as good as the Kodak or the Tetenal?
     
  4. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I'm not sure myself. The member on here on APUG who uses it likes it a lot. I'd like to get into C41 myself, but its next to impossible to get the Kodak stuff without buying 10's of gallons of the stuff. The bleach is the kicker. Search for 'flexicolor' on this forum to find the recent thread about this. I think the Trebla kit makes 12.5 gallons of developer if you used it single shot. My tanks use 8 oz per roll, so that comes out to be 200 rolls if you did single shot.

    As far as the kits with blix, I've read that you are better off with separate bleach and fix.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Trebla is a division of CPAC which was started by some Kodak engineers who left the company and began their own chemical supply company centered around processing and silver recovery. They do know the chemistry well, but I cannot comment on how good their current kits are. Quite a few labs use them.

    PE
     
  6. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    A few more suggestions:

    • Check eBay. From time to time you'll find bleach or other chemicals pop up. (Bleach is of most interest to me since that's the only part that's not cost-effective to mix myself.) I bought some Fuji bleach a couple of months ago for a good price, for instance.
    • Check Unique Photo. They've got a bunch of hard-to-find stuff, including both Kodak and Fuji C-41 chemicals, the last time I checked. Their Web site is the worst e-commerce Web site I've ever seen, though; finding specific items can be tough even if you know exactly what you want. I've managed this task the couple of times I've ordered from them, but you may want to call them to talk to a salesperson if you have problems.
    • Get friendly with local minilab owners/operators. I see reports from time to time from people who can get small quantities of color photochemistry from minilab operators. I've never tried this myself, though.

    Concerning the original question, unless I'm mistaken, the Tetenal C-41 kit uses a blix rather than separate bleach and fixer. I've tried C-41 blixes before, and I've never been happy with them; I get increased grain and lower contrast. PE has posted extensively on this subject in other threads, giving technical details of why this happens. Thus, I personally am not anxious to use a blix again. Some people are perfectly happy with C-41 blixes, though.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Blixed films have a bit of a look like bleach bypass processed film. I do know how to fix the problem and am working on the problem.

    PE
     
  8. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    It's now coming back to me as to why I started with the Kodak over the Tetenal. It was the ability to use a separate bleach and fix over the blix. Glad I asked again instead of just buying the stuff. Not that I saw any problems with the negatives, but it's better to do it the right way. I guess I don't know what bleach bypass processed films look like.

    When I finish the rest of the Kodak chems I'll get a kit from LabDepot and see how that goes. Thanks all.
     
  9. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    I just sniped two gallons of Kodak Bleach SM (wicked fast bleach III which works in one (1) minute) off ebay for about 1/3 price which was awesome. They shipped it (illegally of course) right to my door. Lovely. The developers are easy. Some local photo stores even stock them.
     
  10. danzyc

    danzyc Member

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    for photo engineer : Blixed films have a bit of a look like bleach bypass processed film ..........i think that you have exagerated a bit...i use a blix and i develop my 16mm negative film with bleach bypass at professional cine laboratory...there s a LOT of difference...i have talked with a professional chemical here in italy (ornano) that have made bleach III (the first bleach III over the world) he told me that the only problem with a blix is that i should use it one shot!
     
  11. Photo Engineer

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    Danz;

    When you mix a blix, especially from a liquid kit, the two parts tend to dilute each other. This dilution effect, coupled with the high silver and use of DIR couplers cause a lot of silver retention in the film. We were able to design only a limited number of blix formulations that did the proper job, and all of the others left some level of silver depending on the film / emulsion design.

    This retention caused what best can be described as a muted color, increased grain and higher contrast somewhat similar to bleach bypass but not exactly, as the CLS layer was removed but is not with bleach bypass.

    Now, you are doing 16 mm color negative film. This is a motion picture film. I cannot say what effect it would have as all of our work was with consumer film. You do not even give the brand. Many negative films do not use the technology (or at least did not) that Kodak and Fuji did due to patent restrictions. This would allow easier blixing, but would degrade sharpness and color fidelity.

    So, to answer you properly, I would have to say IDK in your case.

    PE
     
  12. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    You can also happily dilute C41 chems from Tetenal just fine, you can also do stand development for high dilutions, see here:

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/ishootfilm/discuss/72157607394125990/


    Id just like to point out to you guys that Tetenal uses a separate Bleach and Fixer, the 2 x 1 litre bottles are your bleach and fix respectively, if you mix them together it becomes a blix, but you can keep them separate and do fix and bleach separately, or bleach bypass if you wish.

    The clear Ammonium thiosulphate is the fixer, and the red ammonium ferric EDTA is the bleach, you do not need to follow tetenal's directions and mix them together.
     
  13. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    That's a very useful bit of information. Have you done this? If so how do you dilute. Just make 5L of each from the 1L bottles?
     
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  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Athiril;

    In the examples you refer to for stand development, the results display "beefy" flesh tones and lots of grain. In fact, the poster complains about the grain. I doubt if you can improve C-41 just by stand development and certainly not by processing at room temperature. At 68 degrees, if you could do it, the development with normally mixed C-41 developer would be about 30 minutes or more, but if you try it, the bottom layer is very underdeveloped and there is a lot of crossover. Tsk.

    As for the bleach, of course you can use a bleach then fix sequence with a 2 part kit, but you have to use the proper dilution. At the time of the finalisation of the C-41 process and in more recent years, research has shown that the blix approach does not generally work due to two problems, namely stability and concentration.

    Separate solutions are more stable and can be made more concentrated. A proper approach is to use new chemistry for the fix stage which is the driving force for both stability and reactivity.

    PE
     
  16. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    "Film is some un-named fuji C-41, asa 200." and its 35mm = grainy.

    I'm going to try this in 120 when my RB67 shows up with some Reala 100.

    The colour looks fine to me, I dont think we're all after a spot on colour reproduction system so that cadbury's purple = cadbury's purple.

    And as you know, colour can be affected by scanner and user trying to adjust it to what he or she thinks is correct, the user is likely to not be on a calibrated system either.

    So I think it is incorrect to assume that perceived colour difference of an un named film of who knows what age on what is likely to be an uncalibrated unmanaged system is due to unorthodox development.

    However I quite like the results, and the benefit of the digital darkroom is you can tweak it to where you want it.



    When I'm doing non-experimental normal C41 development, I typically just use the same amount as you would normally.

    Normally its 3L + 1L + 1L, I use the same amount of chemical that would go into a blix bath.

    Eg instead of blix 180ml + 60ml + 60ml, I just use water 240ml + 60ml (for 35mm development, 300ml solution).

    So 1+4.

    I also save it in a bottle and re-use it, I thoroughly wash between baths so that I can re-use chems too.

    Though as with B&W dev, I've also used high dilutions and have just left it sitting there, agitating now and then, with no apparent difference to me.
     
  17. Photo Engineer

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    Well Athiril, the Cadbury's purple may still be purple but may be desatureated or more heavily saturated depending on use of blix or some other development process. In the case of bleach bypass or blix processing, you add neutral density everywhere plus yellow which must be filtered out in printing. The silver increases the appearance of neutral grain.

    In the case of altered development cycles, the image structure (grain and sharpness) can suffer as well as create the crossover I mentioned above and this will not give Cadbury's purple.

    But, if you like it, use it. You are the person you are trying to please and I'm only pointing out possible pitfalls. I have been working on all of these problems since about 1965 after all and have done a lot of quantitative work on them. My goal however is to get the most optimum result from the widest range of products.

    I do recognize the value in the art of some of these process variations and the fun inherent in experimentation or just plain play!

    PE
     
  18. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Thanks for the response if you check out - http://www.flickr.com/photos/maestropastelero/2920660136/sizes/o/

    You can see the grain structure - to me the grain doesn't look bad, but I have just gotten back from processing some Elite Chrome 400 with a bleach bypass and it is the worst grain I have ever seen on such a colour film.

    I also have a suspicion that the grain wouldn't be as prominent if you were to 'overexpose' the film for stand development.

    I'd also like to see the effect of significant overexposure enough to bring a high dilution development times back to something resembling normal
     
  19. Photo Engineer

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    On the basis of a single photo with no comparison and not knowing the process cycle or film details, then I cannot judge the photo.

    Bleach bypass on a chrome film leaves 100% of the silver in the film, for all practical purposes. It leaves both the negative and positive silver images behind which is the worst of all worlds and should give slides that are nearly opaque.

    PE
     
  20. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    I forgot to mention I cross-processed it with C41 :smile:
     
  21. Photo Engineer

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    It is still a single photo wiith no comparison.

    I have posted a direct C-41 comparison of Supra 160VC to EPP in C-41. That is a more realistic comparison if you wish to look at color and image structure. On a single stimulus basis it is impossible to make a judgment. It is like a single point hanging in space with no reference.

    PE
     
  22. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Just to be sure I have understood this. You are using bleach and fixer at 1+4 by using 60ml of bleach +240ml of water then 60ml of fix +240ml of water. Doesn't this alter the water to chemical ratio from that suggested by Tetenal in which it's 3 parts water to 2 parts chems(1 part bleach and 1 part fix).

    It has obviously worked for you but will this 1+4 dilution give the right ratios for long term film stability?

    My knowledge of C41 chemistry is far too poor to know if I have made a valid point or not.

    I have used the Tetenal kits in the past but have never seen any reference to making up separate bleach and fix kits. There may of course not be anything to be concerned about simply because Tetenal make no mention of the alternative of making two separate bleach and fix solutions. It might simply be that Tetenal do not share PE's concerns about blix or it regards the long term detriment to be so slight as to not be worth the extra time it takes for separate bleach and fix. After all one of its marketing slogans seem to be how short the blix time is.

    Anyway if for this purpose, we accept that bleach and fix is better, can you say how long you give bleach and fix processes?

    Secondly and I hope you don't mind me making this request, could PE comment on the point of correct dilution and what he regards as the correct bleach and fix times and how many times each diluted solution can be used.


    If I am to try mixing separate bleach and fix solutions then I need to be sure I do not make things worse by getting dilutions wrong or over using solutions.

    I hope you can appreciate my concern.

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  23. rootberry

    rootberry Member

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    I agree with pentaxuser. I am just starting with c41 using some powdered unicolor kits, and I'd also like more info on the tetnal kit. I was just about to buy one of these kits, and like the idea of buying 80$ worth of chems at a time instead of 200$+!

    Cheers
     
  24. Photo Engineer

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    Here is some information on powdered C-41 kits then!

    It is virtually impossible to build a dry bleach, fix or blix kit for film as the ammonium salts needed cannot be made easily and inexpensively in their dry form!

    Therefore, the kits are made from the sodium salts and are quite a bit less active than their comparable ammonium salts. They also have much reduced capacity! Watch out for the C-41 dry kits. You can do it with them in a bleach then fix, but you need a long time in the solutions to complete the action of bleaching and fixing.

    This is exactly the reason for abandoning sodium and solid kits for these processes. I remember demonstrating the first Kodak liquid blix kit for EP-2/3 for Paul Vittum in his newly refurbished office. He told me that the bottles better not leak or he would fire me! :smile: That was a joke on his part of course as the new carpet was green and clashed with the red blix. The purpose of the meeting was to describe the use of the new all ammonium solutions and to discuss the various patents for making Ammonium Ferric EDTA.

    Please see the patents by K. Stephen and J. Surash for more information. They may have gone into detail there, but IDK, I had their internal reports to go by and their talk to Vittum that same day!

    PE
     
  25. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Mine came as a totally liquid kit.

    I have used fix on much higher dilutions too.

    But the way I see it if you want to follow the normal directions is to just use the same amount of chemical per bath. IE: in the Blix bath if there is 60 ml of Fix and 60 ml of Bleach, use 60 ml of fix and 60 ml of bleach in separate bathes.

    Photo Engineer made the comment about them diluting each other, if so, then they are more active than when in a blix bath.

    AFAIK - A fixer's only job is to remove unexposed silver.

    C41 fixers are thiosulphate (rather than bisulphate like some B&W fixers) based - they take longer to fix than bisulphate fixers (ive tested a b&w bisulphate fixer and it doesnt seem to work on c41 film), so I can only see fixer ruining long term stability is if you had a high dilution and didnt leave it in long enough to do its job - and if you dont wash properly after the fix bath.

    Someone can correct me if I'm wrong here.


    edit: cant talk about the longetivity of my negs though..ive only had them for not long! and no way to artificially age.
     
  26. Photo Engineer

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    Bisulfate is not used as a fixer. Thiosulfate is the fixing agent of choice in all fixers that I know of. Bisulfate may be an ingredient in some fixers.

    In a blix, a fixer can actually drive the bleaching reaction towards removing the silver image and so can assist if the blix is formulated correctly, but most blixes are not done correctly for film.

    PE