Tetenal Colortec C-41 1 litre kit: Confused

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by sandermarijn, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Last year I tried the Rollei Digibase C41 kit but the stab-bath left residue on the film- I couldn't solve that problem. So this year I thought I'd try again, now with the 'simpler' Tetenal 3-bath kit (Tetenal Colortec C-41 Rapid Negative 1 litre Kit).

    Everything went fine, I have some nice & clean negatives from outdated Superia 400 lying in front of me. The colours seem OK, at least that's what my scanner tells me. I used to print RA4, but not anymore & no intention of picking it up. It's just that I have quite some colour film left and thought to get rid of it in a playful manner.

    The thing that bothers me/has me wondering is the following.

    The developer concentrate consists of three parts. According to the little manual, all three bottles should contain 100 ml; the labels on the bottles themselves don't state any volume. I thought I'd be smart and make only 1/2 litre of working solution instead of the full litre, reasoning being that decanted-into-smaller-bottles solution keeps longer than working solution and that I wouldn't need more than 1/2 litre for my one 135-36 film.

    So I put 350 ml of water together with 50 ml of each of the three developer parts. That should have left me with 50 ml of each part remaining. But no, the second part contains much less (see picture). Not a measuring mistake when I took the 50ml out, I can be 99.9% sure of that. It seems like the second part didn't contain 100 ml to start with. More like 90 ml or thereabouts.

    Was this a mistake in the factory? Or is that second part supposed to be a bit less? Was it wrong of me to assume 100 ml in each part? Did I add too much of part 2 to the mix? Should I have taken half, less than 50 ml that is?

    Complicating oddity is that on top of the box it says "splitting possible", suggesting that it is not uncommon for people to make less than 1 litre of solution. But then why state in the manual that each part contains 100 ml? That seems like asking for trouble.

    The negatives came out fine, without any obvious colour shift or anything. So it seems like the developer has the three parts in the correct ratio, if that's a conclusion I'm allowed to draw (I have no clue how tolerant the solution is in this respect).

    Did any other users notice that part 2 contains less than 100 ml? Should it be like that? With a new kit, should I take half of what's in the bottle of concentrate or can I 'simply' use 50 ml?

    Just a bit puzzled about the amounts; quite satisfied with the results :smile:
     

    Attached Files:

  2. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hm, little eagerness to reply. Or maybe Tetenal isn't sold much in the English-speaking world.

    Let me rephrase my question (it was a bit longish):

    have any users of the Tetenal C41 1l kit found that some bottles contain less concentrate than others?

    Thanks, Sander
     
  3. OzJohn

    OzJohn Member

    Messages:
    165
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi Sander
    Sorry you haven't got any help with your question. I do think Tetenal products are generally available around the world.
    Sadly I have not processed C41 for a number of years but I used to split both Tetenal and Kodak C41 kits in bigger sizes than 1L as well as RA4 kits from Kodak and Agfa. The issue you raise troubled me often; so much so that I eventually started to measure the contents of each new bottle before use and while the volumes were mostly close to correct, I found many instances of significant unders and overs.
    The advantage of measuring each bottle and dividing by 2 or whatever number of batches you are making is that you then compensate for any error in your own measuring device. You just have to be careful about introducing too much air into the developers with the additional measurement.
    Funny thing is I could never once detect any difference in the developed film or paper when using a kit that had an incorrect amount of fluid in one or more bottles. Who knows?

    OzJohn
     
  4. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks for your help John. With the above you mean to say that you let the ratio of the different parts (beit developer or blix) be dictated by how much the manufacturer puts into each part of the concentrates?

    IOW, if the amount in one bottle of concentrate is off, you split it in half anyway (or three or four or by however much you want to split), even if that means using less or more of the concentrate than the manual says you should?

    The thing that really bugs me in this home-C41-process is that while there is so much emphasis (from the manufacturer and from the other experts) on being accurate in terms of temperature, times and dilution, the manufacturer seems to throw all our delicate efforts overboard by not providing the correct amounts in the first place (or by not writing a proper manual).

    Why does one have to turn to APUG and its APUGers for things as basic as this? :sad:
     
  5. hrst

    hrst Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have the experience that;

    1) Working solution keeps surprisingly well,
    2) Concentrates keep surprisingly poorly.

    I know this may sound counterintuitive.

    I think you won't have the problem of concentrates going bad as you have decanted them to smaller bottles, but still, I think you would have no problem with working solutions going bad either. Small kit manufacturers usually give shelf life of one month or so, but OTOH, they also give shelf life of 6 months for the concentrates and I have had the concentrates die before that, but never the unused working solution in 6 months!

    So, if it is just a few months, mix the whole liter at a time and squeeze the bottles well. Store in a cool place (but not too cold) to further increase the life if necessary.

    I use Fujihunt 5 liter kit and because of the hassle in mixing, and decanting the concentrates to better bottles, I decided to mix the whole kit at a time and keep the unused developer working solution in a fridge. No problems yet.
     
  6. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,563
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I just finished Tetenals 5l E6 kit, which I mixed in soup quantities of 450-700ml over 1 1/2 years. I measured the concentrates with a measuring pipette, and for my final run the remaining concentrates were only a few ml off. Compared to this your quantities seem way off. Either you received a bad batch, or something went wrong in your measurement procedure ...

    BTW: although you have to use three bathes, they call it two bath kit, because they don't count the STAB as bath.
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,197
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    So hrst, as you have used this kit, does part 2 contain less than 100ml?

    pentaxuser
     
  8. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I don't read that hrst has used the Tetenal kit. Or maybe he has. It's not very clear.

    BTW, I am not so much interested in each part having the exact stated volume. I'd rather like to know which statement is true:

    1. The working solution must consist of three equal volumes of each developer part,
    2. The working solution must consist of the content of the three bottles put together (plus some water).

    It seems like the first case is true, since my results are fine and this is the route that I took. So maybe I have answered my own question.

    Still odd that I should be the only one with significantly less than 100 ml in his part 2 bottle.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2011
  9. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    But three sounds much nicer than two!
     
  10. hrst

    hrst Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have used it a few years ago but I mixed the whole liter at a time IIRC. Or maybe not, it might have been that I mixed 330 ml at a time, for three times, and if this was the case, I don't remember having any problems.

    Anyway, my point was that with 1 liter kit you certainly can mix it all at once. It is so much easier and "safer" that way against any kind of measuring errors.
     
  11. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Well no, that's the whole point: mixing everything in once & thus being "safer" against measuring errors doesn't mean much if the manufacturer hasn't been accurate to start with.

    If I mix a possible next packaging in one go, I will first measure the contents of each bottle, in order to safeguard against measuring errors by the manufacturer. I'd consider that the safer method.
     
  12. hrst

    hrst Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You may be right. On the other hand, the manufacturer might have the instruction wrong but the amount of active chemicals in the bottle just right, with varying water volumes! This is the case with many chemicals. For example, most Kodak color chemicals are meant to be mixed as whole bottles, and they don't give instructions on splitting the concentrates at all, nor they will tell how much there should be.

    With Tetenal, who knows? It may be that the instruction is wrong about splitting, and you should have mixed the whole liter at a time without measuring anything; or, it can be that the instruction and concentration is right and they put a wrong amount in the bottle. It has to be either one of those according to your results (and I believe that you didn't make a mistake in measuring), but we can never know which one was the problem, without a chemical analysis.

    I stopped using all Tetenal products because of the quality problems in RA-4. This is actually not surprising.

    However, I have a "feeling" that the most general way for color chemicals is that the bottles have the actual, correct amount that, when mixed as instructed, will give right concentrations. It should be the way they are designed. Then, splitting may be an extra feature. But again, can't know about Tetenal. Maybe you should ask them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2011
  13. hpulley

    hpulley Member

    Messages:
    2,214
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Location:
    Guelph, Onta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Here I can only get the powder Tetenal C-41 kit delivered to me. Since it is powder I just mix the whole thing up, giving me 1L developer, 1L blix and 1L stabilizer. It works great! I've developer 24 rolls with it so far since I mixed it in January.

    RA-4 I can get liquid from Kodak in 10L dev and blix here in Canada or there is a Tetenal 5L kit that B&H will ship. Kodak has instructions on how to make 1L portions of the RA-4 dev and blix, not sure about Tetenal.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    That is exactly the problem, thanks for phrasing so concisely.

    I think so too. Apart from the stab-bath, the chemicals in the larger 5 litre packaging should be exactly the same as those in my 1 litre kit. People must be splitting this 5 litre kit all the time, and apparently (from a lack of posts on the different forums) the splitting works fine.

    I don't believe that Tetenal puts solvent in the bottles first and then adds the powdered active ingredients- I suppose this mixing happens in larger volumes at some earlier stage.

    Then the lesser content of part 2 must be a filling mistake in the factory. Machines are only human after all :sad:

    I thought of this but I figured that Tetenal will never admit to a filling mistake. I wouldn't if I were them. (Perhaps I'm being a bit too negative here.)

    I could ask the people in the shop where I bought the kit (yes, a real brick & mortar shop!). I don't come there often and it's not very close (in relative terms), but if I do I will certainly ask. They are probably the only place in the country where you can still get these kits over the counter, and they should be quite knowledgeable on 'analogue issues'.

    I have a suspicion that the shop will put it down to a filling mistake too.
     
  16. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I have never seen this powder kit in Netherlands, Germany or UK.

    Manufacturers probably feel that Europeans are too clumsy to deal with all those intimidating powders.
     
  17. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,563
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I (clumsy European) strongly prefer liquids as they completely avoid the hassle with mixing and undissolved residues in the bath. Also, if the volume in the bottle of concentrate is as advertised, partial mixing is much easier with liquid concentrate than with powder.

    It may be simply shipping cost which causes dev manufacturers to sell powder instead of liquid concentrate overseas ...
     
  18. hpulley

    hpulley Member

    Messages:
    2,214
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Location:
    Guelph, Onta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    C-41 has some components which are difficult to ship here due to hazardous materials regulations. I don't know why it is safe in powder but not liquid necessarily...
     
  19. hrst

    hrst Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Oh, they did in my case---eventually! I even got a replacement package of RA-4 2,5 liter kit. Needless to say, the replacement package was also defective, just like the product is.

    First, they said no one has never had any problems, but in the end, they said they will reconsider the formulation to fix the problem. I got a feeling that they knew the problem or at least was suspecting it to begin with. Maybe they were lucky to have mostly non-complaining customers.
     
  20. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    This donkey chooses to be one of those customers. Making calls to Germany over 20 euros of chemicals that I'm unlikely to ever use again? Hm, not likely. (Also, my German is pretty crap.) I don't believe in emails, or letters.

    BTW, I do believe that Tetenal have a pretty good reputation for their chemicals, your and my case aside :wink:
     
  21. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    So I am happy with my results, the negatives scan fine that is. I would LOVE to buy RA4 paper & chemicals and start printing away. Problem is that I like doing b&w even more, and two 'workflows' is a bit too much for me, not in the least financially. Also, looking at what's available for RA4 (paper especially), I'm starting to have doubts about the process's future.

    When I started RA4 around 1998 there was so much paper around. I used Agfa, Kodak and Tetenal. I could be wrong, but it seems like they're all gone now.

    By saying this I don't mean to hurt RA4 even more or reiterate what doubtlessly many have said before. It's just my very own personal observation and reasoning. I hugely regret the difference in RA4-availability compared to no less than ten years ago.

    I see no point in investing in a 'hybrid workflow'. Then I may just as well use my digital camera. No offence to anyone- I do see how a hybrid workflow can be lots of fun to some.

    So that's exit colour film for me. Pity. Fortunately there's still slides!
     
  22. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,563
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I wouldn't worry about possible discontinuation of RA4 paper in the near future. Don't forget that a lot of digital images get printed to RA4 paper via light jet, since it still seems to be cheaper and/or more durable than color inkjet prints. Obviously a lot less is printed today than ten years ago, since most digi snappers are content with looking at their photos on the LCD screen of their cameras. But still: the availability of RA4 paper does not only depend on the few remaining color film shooters, so it should be around for a while.
     
  23. hpulley

    hpulley Member

    Messages:
    2,214
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Location:
    Guelph, Onta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I received a 575 foot roll of Kodak Supra and 100-8x10" packs of Kodak Endura and Fuji Crystal Archive II last week. I don't think RA-4 paper is going to run out soon. Why worry about whether it will be around in 10 years, you can print it today!

    Two workflows? Enlarger, adjust dichroic head mixing box for contrast (B&W) or color balance (RA-4), expose paper, develop, stop, fix (OK, blix), wash, dry... what is the difference in workflow to which you refer???

    I used to love slides but no one wants to see a slide show anymore sadly so it is prints for me now.
     
  24. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Will printing on 'digital paper' give an as-good result? Is it hard/harder to get the colours right? Those are concerns I have.


    I much prefer condensor enlargers for b&w, so that means two enlargers. I use different trays for colour and b&w; the colour chemistry especially is hard to remove from plastic trays, IME. I use different lighting to judge the colour prints. Also a different safelight. Different paper & chemistry, obviously (anybody use their colour stop bath for b&w?). Washing and drying are different (I use FB for b&w): no toning and no 'hypo-clear' bath for RA4, no taping it to a glass to dry flat.

    Both processes happen in the same darkroom; that's about how far the overlap goes, for me at least.
     
  25. hpulley

    hpulley Member

    Messages:
    2,214
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Location:
    Guelph, Onta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The old Kodak paper I have is meant for optical enlargers too, seems OK though I am still tweaking things.

    Well, in truth I have one of each enlarger as well. So far it seems I can get the trays clean enough though I use dev trays just for dev, fix/blix just for that, stop just for stop just in case.

    And like you I do prefer fiber so you're right that the wash and dry are different. I don't tape, I use a press.

    But it isn't really that different overall. Scan, photoshop and inkjet is completely different.
     
  26. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    You didn't try the Fuji paper yet? I saw some attractively priced 'lower grade' Fuji paper on the ag-photographic site (this paper). I used to be in love with Agfa paper ('Signum' I believe it was called). Would this cheapy Fuji (the non-II) be in a much lower class?

    I found that with some papers (Kodak Ultra II and Tetenal something) the colours were hard to get right (this was with Reala in 120), but on Agfa things always magically worked out right, somehow.