Where to Purchase C-41 Chemistry and ship method?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by jon falth, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. jon falth

    jon falth Member

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    I am taking the plunge, and wish to try processing 4x5 color negative film using C-41 chemistry on my jobo 2300 in a jobo 3010 drum.

    My needs are to process only 10 - 20 sheets a month.

    I was told to use kodak Fleixcolor SM:

    Tank Developer 1756337
    Tank Bleach 8824690
    Tank Fixer 8462681
    Tank Final Rinse 1925254

    Does anyone know a supplier that will ship this chemistry mail, UPS, FEDEX?

    Are there alternative process chemicals available

    I'd appreciate tips and suggestions short of sending out my film for processing.

    Thank you

    Jon
     
  2. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    Jon, A good option for low output C-41 processing is the C-41 Digibase sold by Freestyle in two size kit's. One 10 film (Roll) kit and one 20 film kit.
    The 10 film kit makes 500ml of working solution and the 20 roll kit 1000ml working solution.
    This link should get you going as far as getting an idea about the quality.
    I have developed a few 120 rolls and a few 8x10 sheets and i am impressed by not only how the negatives look but also the RA4 prints from the negatives look.
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum40/76545-rollei-digibase-c-41-a.html

    Freestyle ships the C-41 Kit Fedex ground
     
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  3. mts

    mts Subscriber

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    You can process using alternative C-41 chemistry. See the related thread(s) for details. I scratch-mix C-41 in 1-liter volume. I reuse the chemistry replacing the developer in 4-6 weeks and the bleach and fix as determined by their respective activity levels. With a stop bath and rinses in between steps the bleach and fix last quite a long while--a couple of months at least depending on the amount of film they process.

    Using this method you must invest in bulk chemical stock (the kind in jars, but perhaps it wouldn't hurt to buy some of the Wall St. kind as well), a good scale, pH meter, and some storage and mixing glassware. I find it easy to scatch-mix chemistry rather quickly, certainly no more time than is required for ordering and awaiting shipments to arrive.
     
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  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The Formulary has 1 L kits of C-41 chemistry.

    PE
     
  5. little-infinity

    little-infinity Member

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    I wish I could get my hands on good stuff.

    Nobody wants to ship these to Canada for some reason. What gives?
    And Kodak's Rochester HQ is sooo close to Toronto (don't know if that matters), it appauls me that I can't even get any trace amount of C-41 here.

    Basically the only thing that I can get ar those darn powder kits. Unicolor and Tetenal (I think they're the same too).

    Not fair. :sad:
     
  6. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    On the "four-letter auction site". Search for "flexicolor f1", "flexicolor f2" and "flexicolor rinse".
     
  7. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    pakor.com

    Pakor.com has the kodak chemistry, I've bought it from there and had it shipped UPS. Kodak is cheaper per roll (and IMNSHO, better) than that Rollei/maco stuff from Freestyle. Adorama will sell and ship everything except the bleach (which they sell, but pick-up instore only I think). There's other suppliers online as well.
     
  8. little-infinity

    little-infinity Member

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    Ah poo. Those are C-41 in bulk. I've considered the Tetenal Press Kit, but I'd love to actually use the Formulary's repackaged Flexicolour in 1L. I definitely don't need that much. The entry on their website only says "Developer" but I assume this kit also contains the bleach, fix, and stablizer?
     
  9. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    Liberty film supplies in minnesota.
     
  10. mabman

    mabman Member

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    Actually, Photographer's Formulary *will* ship their repackaged Kodak Flexicolor 1L kit (repackaged because Kodak only sells larger quantities now) to Canada - I checked with them. I haven't been able to find another retailer who will ship liquids chems to Canada, and the local photo store who deals with Rollei film has indicated their distributor can't get the Rollei-branded Fuji chem kit, either.

    The other places, it seems, don't want to be bothered with the cross-border hazmat paperwork (I don't blame them, it's not their primary business).

    Unfortunately, the Formulary-repackaged kit is not overly cost effective vs. local dev. only processing. The kit is US$28.95 plus US$35.75 for shipping (via USPS) to me here in Winnipeg. Assuming a capacity of 16 rolls x 36 exp (same listed capacity as the Unicolor kits), that's $4.04/36 exp. roll. Dev-only is $4-5 at most places I've checked.

    I was about to go the powdered-kit route as well, but I've managed to hook up with a fellow Winnipegger who has repurposed some Konica mini-lab chems for home use. So, that might be one route if you're in TO.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Well, the Formulary kit works for me. I have used it and gotten fine results. It is cost effective when you consider that the developer has the lowest capacity and when you have it up and running, all you need is fresh developer. The solid powder kits are not as good, as are kits with a blix. Liquid kits with a bleach then fix are best for C41.

    I would add that they are packed under nitrogen for the ultimate in stability.

    PE
     
  12. jon falth

    jon falth Member

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    Bit by bit, because of this community, this seventy-something newbie, is becoming at least a little more knowledgeable about chemical sourcing.


    Thank you, all, for taking the time to reply…


    Just a few months ago, and after some fifty, or too many years of wanting and waiting a darkroom, I enthusiastically looked forward to purchasing a jobo atl 2300 and doing some b&w, c-41, and e-6 processing.

    I optimistically scrounged around for an expensive jobo expert drum, a tempering valve, plumbing, filters, and an electrical outlet.

    Now, when I went to buy the chemicals for E-6 processing, I'm finding that kodak has discontinued their 5 liter, six bath chemicals, and I'm seeing people not happy with the three bath chemicals and various issues.

    Not only, for a new user anyway, is it hard to find the chemistry, but with both E-6 and C-41 processes, many companies will not ship, and require in-store purchases, or if they ship, the costs are expensive.


    Could I have gotten into this film processing affair, at a worse time, at least what seems to be for chemical availability?


    At my age, I my enthusiasm for ‘affairs’ is rapidly becoming rather limited…
     
  13. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

    I think that as a community we will make this the best of times. Will it be as easy as dropping off a roll at the local 1 hour joint? No.

    But I believe as we work through the changes as the new poineers, we'll leave a trail for those behind us that will be solid, repeatable, and reliable.

    We'll get there.
     
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  15. AgX

    AgX Member

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    jon falth,

    Kodak is not the only manufacturer of E-6 5L chemistry.
    Inquire at the industrial-importers of the competitors.
     
  16. jon falth

    jon falth Member

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    Thank you for the tip.


    But at this point because of my unfamilarity with the processing industry elsewhere, I am not aware of who are the active players, importers/exporters, of similar chemicals in this arena...
     
  17. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    I just bought and used the E-6 kit that Freestyle sells, it worked great! It was on my doorstep within a week of my order for $5 shipping, in fact the biggest problem I had was locating containers to mix and store the chemistry because the kit arrived so fast.

    For C-41 I was looking at this kit http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/109267-REG/Tetenal_T109306_C_41_Press_Kit_for.html#reviews from B&H, but with people saying that powder is not the way to go for BLIX I'm not sure.

    I don't know if anyone has ever brought this up, but I wonder if a local photo processing place can or would sell you chemistry from their minilab?
     
  18. RPC

    RPC Member

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    Chemistry, paper, film, it is all getting harder to get. Anyone doing color darkroom work at this stage of the game who plans to do it for a while should, in my opinion, strongly consider looking into mixing and using home brew chemistry as has been suggested. In addition to the real stuff I used home brew recipes for RA-4 and C-41 with good results. It may not be quite as good as the real stuff but it is that ace in the hole for when the real stuff gets even harder to get, or finally goes away.

    RPC
     
  19. little-infinity

    little-infinity Member

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    So what exactly does the Formulary kit contain, and what makes it so dangerous? (I assume the bleach right?).
    Are the chemicals already mixed in their working solutions (developer, bleach, fix, stablizer/rinse)? Please pardon me if I am straying a little offtopic.
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The Formulary kit contains everything you need for C-41 film processing as liquid concentrates packed under nitrogen.

    You mix up working strength according to instructions and use as per Kodak's C-14 instruction sheet.

    You do not need to buy anything extra.

    PE
     
  21. RPC

    RPC Member

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    So in your opinion would the Formulary kits have the same shelf life as the Kodak kits, considering they are "repackaged"?
     
  22. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    In theory, they should be as close to the originals as humanly possible. After all, that is the way they are packed at the plant.

    PE
     
  23. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    As to a Canadian source, consider the present owners of Mondrian Hall/Treck Hall - Unisource.

    They are a wholesaler- mostly of office supplies, but with a printing and photolab arm via acquisitions.

    They will sell to end users once you give them your credit card and they establish an account in thier computer.

    Then they will quote you the price of what you are interested in. I know it is a little wierd from the usual retail experience.

    They carry an extensive list of kodak chems; figuring out the catalog number you want can be tricky; and cross referencing the kodak # buried in thier catatlog # is usually required.

    The up side is that Unisource seem to have a bunch of local depots in various Canadian cities, and you can order and wait a day or tow and then go and pick up from thier depot.

    In my expereince buying from them a few times they don't charge any up front hazmat or courier charges for pickup, although there are such fees buried in the price they qoute you. Don't expect a b&h price when you are ordering only a small amount, but once again, if you can pickup, there are no other fees apart from sales taxes.
     
  24. little-infinity

    little-infinity Member

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    Thanks!

    Do you know where their GTA depot is? I take it they're not interested in offering chems in small quantities?
     
  25. domaz

    domaz Member

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    One option is to buy the Formulary 1L kit. Now if you want to process more rolls remember that you can re-use bleach twice as much as developer. So buy your Developer,Fixer and Final Rinse from Adorama in larger sizes. Now you can process quite a few rolls by re-using the Bleach but running the Developer and Fixer one-shot for more consistency. Not that expensive and easier to order the chemicals this way.
     
  26. neelin

    neelin Member

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    On a slightly different tack, in a pinch...

    Find a minilab that uses "ECOJET" dry C41 chemistry. It's supplied in tubes of tablets. Developer, Bleach, Fixer, Stabilizer. The mini-labs buy it in 1000 roll capacity kits (24 exp). ECOJET labs are used for sure in NA & Europe. The chemistry is supplied by Tetenal.

    I've gotten some "reasonable" results with it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Still working on tweaking the mix to get rid of the ears :wink:

    If anyone goes this route, I'd be happy to provide more information. I believe the ECOJET kits are less than US$350 (per 1000 roll) & I a 100 roll capacity split off of a kit would be 12/16/40/1 tablets of d/b/f/s.