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  1. #1
    cooltouch's Avatar
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    DIY Slide Developing Kits in the 1980s?

    I'm wracking my brains trying to remember the slide developing kit I used for a while in the 80s. Would have been during 1985-87. I seem to dimly recall the box the chems came in was mostly black with example photos on the top and sides. Maybe Unicolor?

    I'm hoping that somebody here might recall what kit it was that I likely used. I'm pretty sure it was a three-bath kit. The chems were liquid, not powder. I do recall that it used blix, and that its temp sensitivity was +/- 0.5 degree F, but I guess that's sort of standard.

    I also recall that I bought it at a well-stocked local camera store, and not mail order. I lived in Southern California back then and I'm thinking it was probably Frank's that I bought it from.

    TIA for any help you can provide.

  2. #2
    Muihlinn's Avatar
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    Tetenal boxes always were black, and matched your descriptions except pictures in the sides, but they have squares/rectangles with some info.
    Luis Miguel Castañeda Navas
    http://imaginarymagnitude.net/

  3. #3
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    I used Unicolor. But the small, quart sized kits I think had the photos, or at least bright colors. I bought the gallon kits which were pretty plain cardboard with text printed on them.

  4. #4
    cooltouch's Avatar
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    I should have mentioned it. I bought the small kits. Unicolor seems to be ringing a bell. Tetenal, not so much, because I recall pretty clearly using a three bath process. Do you recall, Roger -- Unicolor used a three-bath process, right?

    I was told recently by a person who favors Tetenal that he uses it because it is a four-bath process, the last bath being a stabilizer to insure the colors last a long time. I wonder how necessary it is because I've got self-developed slides dating back some 28 years now, and their colors are as accurate now as the day when the slide strips came out of the developing tanks.
    Last edited by cooltouch; 05-05-2013 at 12:45 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5
    RPC
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    How about Beseler? It seems to me they had a black box and 3-step kit but I wouldn't bank on it.

  6. #6
    Muihlinn's Avatar
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    Tetenal was/is 3 or 6 step process, but 3 were what made them popular. One way or another, it could be any brand and my memory is flacky when going back to the 80's :-)
    Luis Miguel Castañeda Navas
    http://imaginarymagnitude.net/

  7. #7
    cooltouch's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys. Well, Tetenal is described as being a three bath plus stabilizer process, so it's really four baths. Tell you what, if their pricing structures were similar to what they are now, I wouldn't have bought it. The 1 liter kit just costs too much.

    I'm gonna start processing my own slides again. Developing costs have just become too prohibitive, and dang it, I like shooting slides. So I'm gonna give Freestyle's Arista a try, see how it comes out. Maybe if I start doing a lot of it, it will make sense to buy Tetenal in the 5 liter size, but the 1 liter kit just makes no sense.

  8. #8
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooltouch View Post
    I should have mentioned it. I bought the small kits. Unicolor seems to be ringing a bell. Tetenal, not so much, because I recall pretty clearly using a three bath process. Do you recall, Roger -- Unicolor used a three-bath process, right?

    I was told recently by a person who favors Tetenal that he uses it because it is a four-bath process, the last bath being a stabilizer to insure the colors last a long time. I wonder how necessary it is because I've got self-developed slides dating back some 28 years now, and their colors are as accurate now as the day when the slide strips came out of the developing tanks.
    I used both a six bath (originally) and a three bath (later) Unicolor.

  9. #9
    cooltouch's Avatar
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    I took the plunge this morning and ordered Freestyle's Arista E6 1-pt. kit and decided to give their Unicolor C-41 kit a try as well. My local camera shop just shut down their processing lab, so now I have to go to a pro lab to get my C-41 medium format film developed (I already have to use the pro lab for my E6). I have a couple of exposed rolls of 220 that I need to get processed. So now, the cost of getting two rolls of 220 developed (no prints) at the pro lab more than pays for the Unicolor C-41 kit, which should allow for at least four rolls of 220, probably more.

    I guess I'll find out soon enough whether I like the Arista E6 kit. If not, I'll just suck it up and spring for the Tetenal 5-liter kit.

  10. #10
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    My kits arrived today. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get everything sorted -- I still have a few items to pick up before I'll be ready to start mixing the chems.

    I was reading through the Arista instructions just now, and sure enough, their directions have caused me to raise a question. It has to do with the agitation method they describe. They mention inverting the tank twice, then vigorously inverting it back and forth for 15 seconds. And then the directions state to continue the previously mentioned agitation every 30 seconds. So, is this correct? Am I really supposed to vigorously agitate the tank for 15 seconds every 30 seconds? This just seems excessive to me. Or am I supposed to do the two gentle inversions every 30 seconds, and not repeat the vigorous agitation, which might have been meant for the beginning of the process only?

    When I develop black and white, I gently invert the tank back and forth for about 5 or 6 seconds every minute or so. So, doing a couple of inversions every 30 seconds makes sense, but not shaking the hell out of the dang thing for 15 seconds every 30 seconds. Am I right?

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