Its cheaper and better still to go with the minilab stuff.. The fix one can use in RA-4, C-41, B&W film and paper.... and its cheaper than ANY of the fixers you get in the little bottles.. and its not a "big" investment.. For, at most(!), a few bob more than the 1 litre bottle of "B&W fixer" for amateurs cost you can get a 5 litre jug of mini-lab fixer--- and if you look hard it can even be cheaper. Bleach is really the most expensive part of the process but it has a very very long shelf-life (measured in decades). If you get the right stuff and really need to go 2-step one can mix them into a blix (blixes are really just bleach and fix mixed together with all the cost disadvantages due to fix exhaustion well before bleach exhaustion)... then you need developer... Kodak Ektacolor developer is cheap. 10 litres of the stuff will run in the U.K under 12 Quid. That's hardly much more than you've probably being paying a 1/2 litre kit from Paterson. Get together with 2 or 3 friends and get some bleach and developer and split it up among you. Instead, however, of 500ml of stuff you'll have more than 10 fold the amount of chemistry... (and if you do bleach seperate from fix you may not only improve you quality but you'll save even more).
Originally Posted by digiconvert
But.. its not room temperature stuff right? Kodak provides info on using it at 24C/75F (close enough).
P.S.: You don't have to use use developer, bleach and fix from the same vendor but can mix and match. I use a melange of Agfa, Champion, Fuji-Hunt and Tetenal chemicals!
Edz, thanks for your advice, my degree is in chemistry so I should have twigged on the concentration/time/temperature relationship for the reaction rate (developing time).
I need to do some research on your suggestions, I'm interested in the bit about fix being OK for all processes !
I currently use dev/stop/blix so I might move to dev/bleach/fix (is that the right order) and stay with three steps, the contamination of bleach by dev would be less of an issue if it was cheaper. Comments on this process are welcomed.
I never thought I would be able to process colour after all of the stories about total darkness/temperature variations etc. etc. but I manage in a 90% blackout at the room temp whatever it is with consistent results so I want to keep doing it !
On a final point your use of English suggests a good understanding of the language, " a couple of bob" is not exactly standard English, made my day :-)
In reply to the "who is Paterson" remark, they have for the past several decades been a leading photo chemistry brand in the UK and successors to the well known Johnsons of Hendon firm. The black & white developers were designed by Geoffrey Crawley who is well known and often writes for Amateur Photographer. It seems that the actual manufacture of the chemicals was done by someone else for Paterson and this firm have now ceased UK manufacture which has precipitated the present situation.
It is a great shame and it would be nice if someone else would licence the formulas. Meanwhile there remains plenty of choice with developers from Ilford, Fotospeed, Speedibrews (through Silverprint), Kodak, Agfa (still), Tetenal, Foma (an interesting range stocked in UK by Retro Photography) and many others.
As for colour chemistry, Fotospeed still list a lot of products as do Tetenal and there no doubt are others.
Interesting points made by edz. However with specific reference to the U.K. further clarification would be useful. I think he is suggesting you walk into a minilab and ask it to sell you some of it's chemicals such as bleach and fix? Am I right?If so why not developer as well?
If such a thing is possible then it depends on there being a minilab within reasonable distance willing to sell and in quantities that suit an individual's use. I suspect that most APUGers are too scattered to share chemicals. Dividing larger quantities and then posting chems to each other is really a non starter.
Looking at Firstcall, he is right about Kodak Ektacolor developer price-wise but Firstcall will only sell in large quantities (min 10 litres). Unless you were a large user then the danger is that the developer needs to be thrown away long before it is used up.
On the Firstcall site I couldn't see what the dilution rate is but I suspect that at my rate of usage 10 litres of concentrate would have long since passed its shelf life before I had used an amount that would make it sensible to buy. The amount I'd throw away would mean that it was still expensive. That's why selling in small amounts, even if it is more expensive to buy has its advantages.
So how long is Kodak Ektacolor developer's storage life?
The key may be finding a company who will sell smaller quantities of Kodak's dev and blix than Firstcall.
Anyone know of one? By the way the Roger Hicks site said that Fotospeed was going the same way as Paterson so we can eliminate two of the cheaper providers of colour chemicals.
Unless you can reach an agreement with a convenient mini-lab to buy small quantities at a time then you're stuck with paying retail prices and in the market for small enthusiasts Fotospeed and Paterson were ahead of the others.
It's worth pooling our knowledge of U.K. sources on this one.
http://www.silverprint.co.uk list RA4 chemistry. Tetenal COLORTEC RA4 being available in smaller quantities, and you won't get much cheaper than their SPEEDIBREWS RA4.
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Dave. Always to the point. Thanks. I had forgotten about SPEEDIBREWS.
Originally Posted by Dave Miller
Is someone able to clarify whether this only applies to RA4 chemistry or also to B&W? I really like Aculux 2.
This probably applies to all chemistry until they source a new supplier who will make their chemistry, they do own the fomulae.
Paterson B&W chemicals were first manufactured for them by Ilford ! They were OK but never highly rated. Their first colour offerings were dire, they sold some french C22 chemistry which I tried while still at school aged about 15, "The Pavelle Process". Even the Ferrania slide process (of the time) which was a pig was easier.
The B&W chemistry was always just a variant of othe manufacturers, both the commercailly available products and the FX series of published formulae.
However Edz is wrong in dismissing the colour chemistry, this came from the old Johnson's of Hendon stable and a brilliant photo chemist Pip Pippard who died before his time. His simplified C41 and E6 chemistry was ground breaking, streamling the no of stages, while still giving excellent results, his pioneering work lead the way and many other companies have emulated his work.
Paterson took over the Johnsons photo chemical production, and the colour products haven't really changed since, should say they haven't needed too.
Edz is right in stating that "for home use" the best RA4 chemistry is made for minilabs, the Tetenal packs are sold split up here in the UK and are by far the cheapest way to buy chemistry.
The reference to Fotospeed is strange because a couple of weeks ago they were advertising in Amateur Photographer new odourless additions to their B&W chemistry line. So maybe it's just their colour chemistry that there is a question mark over.
Originally Posted by pentaxuser
Just for clarification, are they discontinuing all their chemistry, or just the color chemistry?