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  1. #1
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    so i want to develop color film...

    I'm interested in developing c41 and/or e6. I am interested in develop-only as I have no immediate interest in printing or projecting my color negatives or slides. I have no interest in professional scans either. I would be happy to develop the negatives and then scan them with my consumer flat-bed and display the internet jpegs. OK, I know this is apug heresy but I had to make this clear because the answers to some of my questions would vary on my expectations.

    1. What is the difference between a pro lab and your local drug store? I do not know much about color development but I figured that it is a standardized process and the labs just get the same quality ingredients and equipment (I can be wrong, this is my assumption). The only variable, I guess would be the operator, but I don't feel that it really matters if you send it out. I can see that there is going to be a difference if you want to get prints/scans, develop other formats like 120/4x5, use other services like pushing and pulling, and etc. But for the same services/films, is there going to be a difference. Now, I use a pro lab because it is conveniently located and I don't shoot enough film to go out of my way to make things more economical if a drug store were cheaper. So this question is for my curiosity.

    2. Is there a difference in the quality of different chemistry? I'm talking about the general stuff vs propriety blends. Like tetenal vs fuji/kodak. Tetenal seems to be more user friendl but what is the expense? More grain and uglier colors? Realistically I would only use the general stuff because it seems cheaper and more user friendly. I also figured that minute color shifts can be corrected in photoshop. Grain would be less of an issue because I would use 120 mostly. If it matters, I am interested in Kodak Portra in C41 and Fuji Provia in E6.

    3. So I would use tetenal, most likely. What is the shelf life of the chemistry for e6 and c41? Part of the dilemma is that I only shoot 1-2 rolls a week so i don't want to wait months to develop a stock-pile. If I were to go on a trip then maybe I can just buy the chemistry right after thet rip or something...I'm wondering if e6 chemistry is more or less stable than c41 too...I have no strong preference for one or the other but if c41 is easier to develop at home then I'd rather focus on c41 and just send out my slides.
    Last edited by msbarnes; 01-21-2013 at 03:51 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    polyglot's Avatar
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    In theory a corner store can do the same development as a pro lab because there is no interpretation or skill in running a C41 process. However, a store that is operating at low volume and/or with no profit margin is likely to be under-replenishing their chemistry, which means quality will suffer. Especially if they think their customers (not professionals as seen trafficking a pro lab) will not notice.

    Read the colour-dev sections of the FAQ in my signature. Particularly on the bleach+fix vs blix issue as that's the major quality difference wrt home-development options. C41 is easier and has longer-lasting chemistry than E6. It might be more important though to decide you whether you eventually want to print or project. C41 captures far more dynamic range than E6, which is extremely useful if you scan but it requires more skill to get a high quality correct-looking scan from C41 than E6. E6 Just Looks Much Better in some circumstances, though it's generally less colour-accurate.

  3. #3

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    If you are only scanning them then I don't think it makes a great deal of difference. The scanner software will take care of most of the irregularities, colour balance etc..

  4. #4

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    1. nowadays, perhaps not much difference. What matters is volume of film coming in and freshness of chemicals. Some labs like Dwaynes Photo or North Coast Photo have high volume, fresh chems, and excellent quality. But so does my local Costco, at a fraction of the price for dev only. Many places now sadly have lowvolumes, old chems, poor quality.
    2. I started out using Kodak 7 bath E6, ran thru maybe 5-6 5L kits before it was discontinued. Since then, switched to Tetenal, and would never switch back! Same high quality, vibrant colors, longevity, and no grain increase. Simpler and much easier to mix up and use too.
    3. If you get the Tetenal E6 kit, shelf life once opened is a minimum of 8 weeks. Could be longer, if you use a protective spray like Protectan or Dust Off (what I use now, as Protectan is not available in US). I have read posts claiming 6 months, but cant verify. Dont know about the C41.

  5. #5

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    CORRECTION: I looked in my Tetenal E6 instruction booklet, and the stated freshness time is 2-4 weeks for mixed up working solutions, but 24 weeks for the opened concentrate bottles. Gives you much more time to use to use up the kit, as you can mix as little as 250-500mL working solution at a time.



 

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