Regular C-41 developer does not require starter. It already has the necessary ingredient. Starter is used to make working solution out of replenisher, not regular developer. Replenisher lacks the ingredient.
Jeez. This (LORR, not LORR, Starter, not Starter, Blix, not Blix) is why I usually end up throwing up my hands and sending my beautiful color film to a lab!
This thread is great, but still a little confusing to the uninitiated. I hope I don't go too far in the weeds asking noob questions.
So, for someone looking to start from scratch with C41 TODAY, I could buy the following (links to UniquePhoto from earlier posts)
Final Rinse: http://www.uniquephoto.com/film%2Dca...inse%2D1925254
1. Is this all I need to develop film at home with small tanks? Do I indeed need a developer starter (such as this: http://www.uniquephoto.com/film%2Dca...Dgal%2D8485153)?? The bleach is described as a replenisher -- does this mean I need a starter for the bleach too (i.e. http://www.uniquephoto.com/product/k...n-8566796/)??? From reading Table 4 in this PDF (http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...is49/cis49.pdf , also linked to from previous post), it appears that you do need to add starter to dev and bleach... fixer is fine as-is.
2. How about stabilizer? I seem to remember seeing several posts by PE stating in no uncertain terms that color film NEEDS a formaldehyde stabilizer or it will degrade. Something like this maybe??: http://www.uniquephoto.com/film%2Dca...lons%2D1965482
3. Can someone with more experience go into how one reuses bleach. Does it lose it's gusto like fixer and get replaced, or is it indeed a replenishment operation.
4. Using these specific chemicals, what are the ideal shelf lives for unmixed source solutions stored in a cool dry place with most of the headspace displaced by canned air or similar method for keeping oxygen away? I believe I read above that part C of the developer was the worst offender, but this is a long thread and I might be mistaken.
5. Very few mentions of home dev'ed E6 anymore. Is it a lost cause to try to do this at home anymore, unless you can get hands on a Fuji/Hunt kit? This seems near unfeasible in the US at costs that aren't easily beaten by my local Wal-mart (who sends E6 to Dwaynes for $5/roll). I sure do love me some chromes fresh out of the can, but ever since I used the last of my Kodak kit, I've more or less given it up. Even the 3-bath kits seem too pricey...
Thanks in advance to those who have knowledge. I hope that the answers here can summarize and/or clarify things.
By the way, the total cost of the above items at Unique Photo is just under $130 shipped to 27516. I included the two starters I asked about in question #1.
As to expense I already expressed an opinion about diminishing returns, buying in huge amounts, not getting the chemistry right. Hey, if it's good for you, do it. For many of us Kodak is not the way to go.
Tetenal is 2nd tier, no doubt. Kodak (and Fuji) are first tier. Kodak doens't open-source the C41 details, so tetenal is not the same as kodak C41. and yes, I tried the tetenal kit first, (blix liquid version), it was definitely subpar and more expensive than the Kodak C41 chemistry I tried afterwards.
The amounts for a kodak C41 home setup from scratch are not huge. 3 or 4 boxes or bottles. Cost per volume is WAY cheaper than tetenal. I could only see doing tetenal or a small kit if you do < 20 rolls of film a year or something.
re: LORR and other C-41 versions - really, it's not too hard, the Kodak Z131 (?) publication covers them all in detail. I think there are 4 versions, regular C41, LORR, RA or R and maybe one other. A couple are designed for low-volume minilabs. At least one is designed as washless or super-low water usage. These special versions generally are more expensive and somewhat less easy to find than regular C41. Kodak does indeed not make it easy to figure it all out, but it is doable.
Bleach I don't believe needs a starter, at least not the usual Bleach III type bleach. (I will have to double check that). There is a kodak product called bleach regenerator that is used to regenerate the used bleach. It can be used almost indefinitely. I have a single 5L batch of bleach I have used at least 6 or 7 times, using regenerator after each full usage of the 5L.
final rinse: only older film needs the formalin based rinse (stabilizer). Think older films like Ektar 25 or something. PE has posted the cutoff date before, I forget it offhand. All recent films are fine with non-formalin based final rinse.
C41 fix is uber cheap and can be used for B&W film and paper by changing the dilution.
bleach, mixed or unmixed lasts basically forever. Oxygen actually helps it. part C of the Developer is the most prone to going bad, but well sealed unmixed should last at least a year. I try to use up mixed c41 developer in 4 weeks at most, usually less as I have a backlog of film to develop and tend to do it in batches. Fix is good for a very long time. Final rinse is good indefinitely.
Drumlin, your links mix 3 different types of C41: LORR, RA, and SM. I'd stick to one type for everything. THe normal C41 is what I would use, avoiding the above 3 types. For uniquephoto links, this is what you want:
you also need Kodak C41 developer starter, which they don't carry. Available from Adorama:
Note: unique is probably not the cheapest place to get this stuff, and some places carry it in smaller amounts (particularly the bleach). Also, shop around as some places charge hazmat shipping to ship this stuff, and some don't.
Once you figure it out the first time, it's not hard to sort it all out the next time around.