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  1. #11
    hrst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phirehouse View Post
    While I am not ready to process color at the moment, I do want to learn how to do it. I had always assumed that it would be to difficult for me to master.
    It is so easy that it is mostly boring. You just follow the instructions with a few steps and voila, you have perfect negatives. There's nothing to master, and very little to learn. You just follow the simple procedure and it just works. C-41 is so well standardized. Everything it takes is to keep the chemicals and your processing tank at a water bath at 100 deg F / 37.8 deg C and pour the chemicals in and out with correct timing.

    BW film processing has much more "art" to master.

    Of course you can vary a C-41 process too, but very few do this, maybe because the standard process is a very good bet to begin with and gives highest flexibility in the printing or scanning stage.

    The magic is elsewhere; it is in the post. You can use your time to get to higher levels of color RA-4 printing; when you master the filtration, you can dodge, burn, modify print chemistry, create masks, etc. Here, the possibilities are endless.

  2. #12
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    As far as the 'blix' problem is concerned I do things differently and experience no problems. After development I STOP, then FIX completely, all in complete darkness. Then, in full room light, I BLEACH in potassium ferricyanide (try 10 grams per liter) for about four minutes. Temp not critical but 'warm' does it faster than at room temp.

    (NOTE: if you want to be able to REUSE the PF make sure you rinse the negs before putting into the bleach. Either way is OK but the presence of fixer in the bleach will turn bleach bad after time. I recommend that you do NOT reuse the bleach (hence, no rinse after fix necessary). Since this bleach process is in full room light you can use far less bleach working solution than when developing by turning the reel in a 'ferris wheel' fashion in a cup of bleach. Since bleaching is done to completion, as opposed to development, you do not have to be worried about 'evenness' of this process, just make sure that when you remove the negative all is bleached fully. Excess time in the bleach will do no harm, but not 'overnight'!!!)

    After bleach I put the film back in the original fix for about half a minute, then wash. It works perfectly. I have been told not to do this but after years of success and printing old negatives without angst or deviation, I beg to differ. What works works.

    In fact, you do not even have to do anything after the fix step other than wash. The negatives will print color as beautifully but will be denser to inspect (I love using a magnifying glass here, holding the neg up to the light and placing my eye near the glass) thus a bit of a hassle to deal with on your enlarger's baseboard. Denying the bleach step does NOTHING to truncate the life of the negative, as the fix does what is necessary to remove unexposed halides. Without bleach, you simply have BOTH 'metal' silver (as with B&W) and dyes, with the presence of both actually adding slightly to the overall contrast. In fact, after fixation it might be a good idea to take the time to inspect negatives for underexposure and, for THOSE underexposed, refrain from bleaching so that the contrast will still be sufficient for printing. (This represents your 'last chance' to save a terribly low contrast negative.) I have NOT found the hues to be diluted by deleting the bleach step even though Hollywood sometimes removes this bleaching procedure in order to make colors more pastel in their print film. - David Lyga
    Last edited by David Lyga; 07-16-2012 at 08:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #13
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    Here is Kodak's instruction page for using their C-41 chemicals. It gives step by step instructions and advice on temperature control. I process my C-41 in my spare bathroom because it is so easy.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

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  4. #14

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    Greg, thanks for that link. Printed that info off as quick as I could. Now for the question. Where does one get the Kodak chemicals? A quick web search just gave me photowholesaler in your neck of the woods who are out of stock and Kull and Company who's prices are significantly more, but looks like they may have them.

    Am I correct that for around 300 bucks you can have the chemicals you need to process film? How long will the unmixed chemicals last once opened? And generally speaking, how many rolls of say 35mm film would this amound of chemicals produce?

    More questions......I know the blix kit I got from B&H a month ago or so, that the blix smells awful, does the more straight chemicals from Kodak not have that problem as bad?

    Greg, do you put your chemicals in a big tub too in order to keep the temperatures close to correct during developement? Just wondering how you do your developing.

    Thanks!!

    Bob E.
    Nikon F5, Nikon F4S, Nikon FA, Nikon FE, Nikon N90, Nikon N80, Nikon N75, Mamiya 645 Pro, Mamiya Press Super 23, Yashica Lynx 14e, Yashica Electro GSN, Yashica 124G, Yashica D

  5. #15
    hrst's Avatar
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    David,

    I don't see any reason why your process wouldn't work. Ferricyanide bleach (with bromide) works very well (you should be able to reuse it, too, for better economy!), but AFAIK, it needs either a sulfuric acid stop bath or a sulfite clearing bath, or a VERY long and thorough wash. (And you need proper wash anyway even after sulfuric acid stop or clearing bath.) I haven't tried ferricyanide bleach without proper stop/wash anyway so I don't know how real the risk of forming prussian blue or reacting with residual color development agent is. Apparently it seems to work for you, and that's a good bit of information. Or maybe your 1st fix is doing the thing.

    Anyway, I would increase your second fixer time from 30 seconds to at least 2-3 minutes just to make sure all silver halide created by the bleach is removed. This kind of rehal bleach absolutely needs the fixer after it and it needs to go to completion, as the bleach itself only converts the silver to silver halides, not removing them. Silver halides look milky and gradually turn black in light.

    Also, I can't see any direct benefits from 1st fix - bleach - 2nd fix procedure (instead of just bleach-then-fix), except for what you say about the possibility of examining the negative and doing skip-bleach processing if the negative for some reason is severely underexposed or the film is seriously out-of-date. The first fix is taking approximately half (or a bit more) of the silver halides and the 2nd fix is taking the rest.

    Bleach bypassing does not only cause increased density, contrast and graininess but it also decreases color saturation. This is very simple; when you mix color and B/W images on the top of each other, it is perfectly natural that this happens. However, the effect might not be as pronounced as some expect. IMO, the effect is very clear, still.

    (Most of this was probably clear to you anyway but maybe this extra information helps someone else who wants to experiment instead of using the standard process.)

    --
    Bob,

    Blix shouldn't smell "awful", but indeed it has some sulfur and ammonia smell mixed. Maybe the blix you have differs from what I have used, or maybe there's something wrong with it, or maybe you just have more sensitive nose if you find it awful. Anyway, separate bleach and fix IMO smell less, even though they are not completely odorless either. Indeed, blix tends to generate more gas than separate bleach and fix.

    Still, when the bleach reacts with the silver in the film, some sulfur smell is generated. Fixer has a slight ammonia smell. Both of these odors are very slight IMO, but I guess they could be bad in a small, unventilated space.

  6. #16

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    Hrst, let me ask you additionally, do you use dry chemicals or do you use wet chemicals for your color developing. Also, where to you get your chemicals? The reason I am particularly interested about your chemicals as I see Freestyle (whom I have never done business with) has a huge selection of both color and B&W chemicals.

    I noted that the Arista has extended directions to include time for temperature and using rotary which I have if you think it is even worth doing since what, three and a half minutes developing......I'm thinking, probobly better to simply invert and keep the stuff in a warm bath to maintain temp instead.

    Thanks for the info on the blix, from what I had been reading it seemed as if the smell could be very strong.

    Bob E.
    Nikon F5, Nikon F4S, Nikon FA, Nikon FE, Nikon N90, Nikon N80, Nikon N75, Mamiya 645 Pro, Mamiya Press Super 23, Yashica Lynx 14e, Yashica Electro GSN, Yashica 124G, Yashica D

  7. #17
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    There is a sticky in this color forum about where you can get both small and large batches of chemicals. If you want a small batch, Freestyle sells the Rollei kits and Photographers Formulary sells repackaged Kodak stuff. Both work perfectly fine and cost about the same.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

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  8. #18
    hrst's Avatar
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    I use Fujihunt C-41 kits sold by AG Photographic, UK, but this is a good deal for Europe only, I think. However as Greg said there are other options for the US.

    C-41 cannot be formulated in powder-only kits without compromising quality. The bleach part always involves shipping quite a bit of water with it but we have to live with that. OTOH, you can reuse bleach by vigorously shaking the used solution with air in the bottle, and then mixing half used, half new.

  9. #19
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hrst View Post
    I use Fujihunt C-41 kits sold by AG Photographic, UK, but this is a good deal for Europe only, I think. However as Greg said there are other options for the US.

    C-41 cannot be formulated in powder-only kits without compromising quality. The bleach part always involves shipping quite a bit of water with it but we have to live with that. OTOH, you can reuse bleach by vigorously shaking the used solution with air in the bottle, and then mixing half used, half new.
    I'm not familiar with the Fujihunt kit but the Kodak bleach I use replenishes with just 8ml/36-frame roll.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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  10. #20
    hrst's Avatar
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    Yes, mixing half-half new and old bleach is very conservative and on the safe side. But it's funny that many kits are sold with equivalent amounts of all chemicals; hence, a lot of fully potential bleach is tossed away. Or if you reuse, your bleach reserve accumulates... Even if you only can get kits with equivalent amounts, it is still wise to reuse the bleach, because in the future you might be able to find separate chemicals, and then you will have a reserve of bleach. It has infinite shelf life and with most bleaches, you can go up to mixing 3/4 of old bleach, if properly aerated, with only 1/4 of new bleach.

    I'm not sure, but that 8 ml figure might require a constant agitation with air of the bleach tank solution. That's why it's better to be on the safe side if a really effective aeration cannot be produced, but anyway, it is very economical even with somewhat higher replenishment rates.

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