Where to process older C-41 film that needs formaldehyde stabilizer?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by B&Wpositive, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    Are there any labs that will process C-41 film using formaldehyde stabilizer? I'm thinking of older film that requires it, and also E6 film to be cross processed.

    Who still offers such processing?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    If you cannot find a lab to do this, ask that your lab not cut the film

    Then do your own final rinse, and hang the film to dry.

    An approporate rinse is photo flo wetting agent, diluted to about half the recomneded amount in my experience, with a few ml of Formalin added in.

    Trying to source Formalin, a 37% saturated solution of formaldehyde in water may be a challenge.

    The other option, also challenging, is to source paraformaldehyde, which I understand to be dried formaldehyde, or at least is an analog to Formalin once it is in solution.

    The lack of a Formalin rinse will not be an issue if you attend to it a few days, or perhaps weeks afterwards, if the negs in the interim are kept in a cool dry place. Being kept dark may help also.
     
  3. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Do it yourself! Get the Tetenal/Jobo/Unicolor C-41 chemicals. Their stabilizer still contains hexamine which breaks down into formeldahyde which stabilizes old color films. I use them on my expired Kodak and Fuji films and it works well.

    MSDS:
    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/pdf/msds/unicolor/Unicolor_K2_Powder_C_41_Kit.pdf

    If you just want to stabilize it yourself, the stabilizer is available separately in liquid form as well:
    http://www.tetenal.com/index_c.htm?AKT=01120020002000100000&L=UK
    http://www.tetenal.com/index_c.htm?AKT=01120020002000400000&L=UK

    Some or all are available at Freestyle, B&H and others. The powder kits can be shipped or carried on aircraft fine but the liquid kits often have flight restrictions.

    The 2L powder kit at Freestyle looks quite economical too! 16-24 rolls advertised and I get more than advertised.
    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/10124...m-Negative-Processing-Kit-2-Liter?cat_id=1001
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2011
  4. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    Easy (and cheap) to find Kodak Flexicolor C-41 Stabilizer III on eBay. I got a bottle.
     
  5. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    Hmm. I really do not want to use the stuff myself. It's one of the more toxic chemicals. And I come into contact with enough chemicals in my organic chem lab course.

    And so many people have E6 commercially cross-processed all the time. I bet no one is using formaldehyde stabilizer for this and most people are probably unaware. Funny how no one thinks of these issues.
     
  6. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Oh come on, I handled pickled frogs and pigs and things in biology class long ago. No big deal I think. It's not like I'm drinking or eating the stuff.

    The people who have non-stabilized E6 will care in a few years when they've shifted or faded away...
     
  7. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Also, formalin is present in stabilizer in very low concentration. I don't personally even use gloves when handling film taken from the stabilizer, but of course I recommend using gloves when handling any processing chemicals.

    Formalin becomes bigger problem environmentally, or when you get exposed to it all the time. It's used to preserve textiles, and it's not unusual that the concentrations exceed the maximum allowed. And, if you smoke you get quite high doses all the time, or if you live in a big city with heavy traffic, the formalin in smog is of great health concern. It's a factor of concentration and exposure time. Smoking gives you high concentration, and poor air quality or some textiles at home give you long exposure. Using stabilizer in darkroom gives short exposure and low concentration.
     
  8. Jayd

    Jayd Member

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    Just how old of film needs this kind of process ? I have a pretty good stock of expired Konica and Fuji Pro 160.
    Jay
     
  9. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Not that old, I think film made before 2000 needs the older stabilizer rather than final rinse. PE, please correct if I'm wrong...
     
  10. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    I had some Kodacolor VR 200 film, code: CL, generation 5, with expiration date of 9/1998, emul # 2422512. I bought the film in 1996 or 1997 in CVS, and I used a roll that summer. I had two more rolls that I used 2.5 years ago that were in the freezer. Now here's the question: One of my all-time favorite photos was taken on that first roll, so I want it to survive long-term. Did this film need formaldehyde stabilizer?

    Processing instructions state that one should use Flexicolor chemistry or the Kodak Hobby-Pak kit.

    Thanks.
     
  11. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    I use Stabiliser III on mine.
     
  12. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Yes, I believe that one needs stabilizer.
     
  13. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    That's not good. My film was processed via send out through CVS and done by Qualex (Kodak Premium Processing at the time). I wonder if they used stabilizer. Maybe we should check with PE to be sure.
     
  14. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    Yes, the color stability of that VR200 film would be enhanced by a formaldehyde stabilizer bath. Flexicolor Stabilizer III is for sale at $1 a bottle with $13 shipping right now on eBay. I bought a bottle from that seller, no problems at all. Just treat it with respect -- wear good nitrile gloves, don't sniff it.