Water/drying marks on self-processed Portra 400

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by jackbaty, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. jackbaty

    jackbaty Member

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    I've recently tried my hand at processing C-41 at home. Using the Rollei Digibase C41 kit, I've had some minor success. The problem is that the negatives (Portra) have water marks down the length of the film. Here is the process I'm using:

    1. Pre-wash 1:00 (Recommended by the Digibase kit)
    2. Developer 3:15
    3. Wash 2:00
    4. Bleach 4:30
    5. Wash 2:00
    6. Fix 6:30
    7. Wash 2:00
    8. Stabilizer 1:00

    One mistake I may have made is I didn't use Distilled water for the Stabilizer. One roll I used my fingers as a squeegee before hanging and the next I didn't. Same result. Here's an example:

    [​IMG]

    Any advice on preventing drying marks would be appreciated. In the meantime, is it feasible to simply re-wash the negatives in distilled water and re-dry?
     
  2. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Good to see you're enjoying your F6 :wink:

    I don't squeegee at all. Try putting some photo-flo in your stabilizer, it should help.
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Jack;

    They sure are hard to see on my monitor, but I can say that normally you do not need to use DW to mix the Stabilizer or the Final Rinse (which ever you use). If these are indeed drying marks, I suggest that you get a very soft sponge at the supermarket, and wet it in the stabilizer. Then, when the film is done with the stabilizer, you gently wipe the film down with the sponge to remove concentrations of the solution and leave the film reasonably "dry".

    You may be able to save these by redoing a water wash, then Stab. Then use the sponge method. Sometimes though, the damage is done.

    PE
     
  4. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    Ditch the stabilizer. Buy Kodak Final Rinse -- $10 for enough concentrate to make 10 liters. Concentrate lasts indefinitely.
     
  5. cbphoto

    cbphoto Member

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    I found the Rollei stabilizer did this as well. The Kodak Final Rinse is really cheap and readily available. That solved my problem.
     
  6. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    I see all these threads constantly about water marks. I've used Kodak Photo-flo for 40 years and NEVER had a water spot. Each time I see a new thread about it, I scratch my head.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The last step in E6 or C41 must never be Photo Flo alone!

    PE
     
  8. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    Acknowledged.
     
  9. jackbaty

    jackbaty Member

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    It sounds as if Kodak Final Rinse is worth a shot. I've not used Photo-flo with color processing as I'd been warned elsewhere against it.

    I'm going to try giving the spotted negatives a bath and dry, then order Final Rinse for next time. Thanks!
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The Kodak and Fuji final rinse solutions are both mixtures of what amounts to Photo Flo 200 and a preservative. This preservative is essential in order to prevent deterioration of the negatives.

    PE
     
  11. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Jack,
    Nice Shepard. I miss mine.
    Related to Charlie the guitarist?

    At the final rinse is when I use distilled or Brita filtered water and get away with regular city tap water for washing up to that point.
     
  12. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    The first thing I noticed was your wash times are a lot shorter than the ones I give. The intermediate steps in my experience should never be less than 3 minutes (except the one between the developer and bleach and the final one. 6 minutes before putting it in the stabiliser.

    I live in a moderately 'hard' water area. i.e. it has a high lime content and this will leave drying marks unless you are meticulously clean. Try extending the washing/rinsing times and then get back to say what you find.
     
  13. Arctic amateur

    Arctic amateur Member

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    Is Kodak Final Rinse the same stuff for E6 and C41, or are they different?

    The stuff doesn't seem readily available outside the US. A bottle of E6 final rinse costs $3.95 at BH Photo Video, + $52.75 for shipping to Norway. Why are Kodak color chemicals so uncommon in Europe?
     
  14. jackbaty

    jackbaty Member

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    Rewashing the spotted negatives seems to have worked pretty well. I may have added a scratch or two in the process so I'll be more gentle in the future. I simply dropped the cut negative into a dish with Stabilizer and swished everything around for a minute or so, then carefully (but not carefully enough) ran a damp sponge along each of them.

    I may try longer washes next time per BMbikerider's recommendation. Overall I'm finding C-41 development to be much easier than expected, and the results (besides the above issues) have been very encouraging. Being able to process Portra 400 in 120 without having to ship it somewhere is terrific, and a _lot_ less expensive.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  15. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Great news. Glad that worked out and yea…
    introducing new scratches is always a danger.

    Your process will perfect as you go so now you can shoot, shoot, shoot 120 without the processing costs looming in the back of your mind.

    Have fun!
     
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Glad it worked out for you.

    And NO, C41 and E6 Final Rinse solutions are not the same.

    You can make a common substitute as follows:

    Mix Photo Flo 200 as instructed.

    To one liter of this add between 3 and 10 ml of 37% Formaldehyde solution (Formalin). The range given is what I have seen in EK formulas. I use 10 ml.

    This works for C41 and E6, and works for C41 films of all ages.

    See the long thread here on stabilizers for color films.

    PE
     
  17. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    I once played around with some left-over colour film and the Rollei Digibase kit. The results were excellent, apart from the exact same marks that the OP has shown us. I remember trying all sorts of things (demi-water, squeegee, adding photoflo), but the stain persisted. Then the kit was all used up and I never tried colour negs again.