I'm very encouraged by the ease of development. 40+ years ago things weren't so easy so I stuck to B&W. I have 40-50 rolls of Kodacolor and Fujicolor hiding around here that go back at least 10 years or so. I think it will be very cost effective to develop them myself. I might try 4x5 color also. My darkroom is well equipped to handle that size for developing and printing.
The next step will be printing with RA-4 but that will be another thread.;)
Thank you all for the great input!
I do not know about Unicolor, but you can get 16 rolls out of a quart of Kodak developer if you add time after every four rolls, and do them all within six weeks of making the chemicals. (1st time 3:15, 2nd time 3:23.) I never take it all the way to the fourth run through. I use the first two for "important" stuff, and the third for less important stuff (snapshots, cross processing, etc.). There couldn't be that much difference between the developers in the Unicolor and Kodak kits.
Since it is a real Stabilizer you can do the old films with this kit. Newer kits with Final Rinse instead are not enough for old C-41 film.
About that spotting: I've gotten the same exact spotting from the Unicolor kit. (I don't have access to Tetenal and haven't tried other kits, so I don't know if the spots occur with them.) I've tried mixing a couple of drops of Photo-Flo into the stabilizer upon mixing it up, which helps. Or, when you find you've gotten the spots, moisten a small sponge with stabilizer and wipe down the non-emulsion side to remove the spots. But whatever you do, don't moisten the sponge with Photo-Flo like you might do with B&W film: on C-41 film the Photo-Flo just seems to make a "greasy" coating that just stays on top of the film.
Works well here too
I use the Unicolor kits too, and they are very consistant. I add 5 seconds to the developing time per roll of 36 exposure or 120 film. For the 24 exposure rolls I sort of guess a little less. I have no trouble getting twice the rolls the instructions suggest.
For consistant results you need to control temperature. I use a thermostatically controlled bath with a pump to move the water around the tank and bottles. Actually it is just a plastic dish pan, but temperature is very constant at 100 degrees F. I also had trouble with spotting. I add photo flo 1:500 and hang the film at a 45 degree angle with the edge down, no squeegee. No more spots!
Did you use distilled water to mix stabilizer?
Yup, always distilled water, but there must be no surfactants in the stabilizer cause it beads up on the film and won't run off. I don't squeegee film so I had to do something to get the water to sheet off.
The stabilizer should include surfactants.
I use this set up for my C41 development:
Jobo CPA-2 with elevator, 2523 tank (minimum 270ml volume in rotary) and two 2502 reels.
The tank takes 270ml in rotary. I use Fuji Hunt C41 chemicals. C41 developer in 3 parts A+B+C plus a starter, seperate Bleach and Fix and a Stabilizer (indeed containing also a wetting agent).
In this way a piece of cake to maintain the developing temperature of 37,8C +/- 0,5.
I am using the chemicals in one shot but for a 250ml mixture I add extra 10%-20% water (so an end volume of 270ml-300ml). The whole system is very reproducible.
If a large amount of Fuji Hunt chemicals is too much: The same chemicals are sold under Rollei Digibase C41 as smaller kits, incl. everything like syringes etc. It's exactly the same stuff!
I don't think it actually does. I could swear I read that here somewhere. In any case, I am sure I read here that it was okay to add Photo-Flo, so that's what I've been doing. Haven't had any problems.