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  1. #1
    keyofnight's Avatar
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    Re-bleach cut C41 negatives?

    Hey folks! I took a shot at processing C41 negs, and I screwed it up: I didn't aerate the bleach enough or bleach them for long enough (one or the other). I didn't know I screwed up until I tried to scan them a week later—after I had already cut the negs.

    How can I bleach them again? I don't have access to a darkroom, so I can't just throw them in trays or something like that. I was thinking about taping the cut pieces back together (on the non-emulsion side) and respooling it. Would that work, or is that just a crazy idea?

    (I accidentally posted this to the wrong forum… mods, could you help me out?)
    Last edited by keyofnight; 07-27-2013 at 12:52 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Humble request to moderators.

  2. #2

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    What makes you think you didn't bleach them sufficiently? Did you use separate bleach and stop baths or was it a single bath? If it was a single bath you could have a go at bleaching them again but I wouldn't hold your breath about the results though. If it was separate bleach and then fix and the film had been through the fixer then re-bleaching will not have any effect.

  3. #3
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    Yes, why do you think they are mis-bleached?.
    It's a bit odd to judge C41 negs if you are new at it.

    Sometimes they can look quite dense.

  4. #4
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    It can be done in the light.

    I don't know what kind of reels you've got but may be able to put the strips in place without taping.

    When rebleaching or refixing is necessary you just "skip the developer" and "do the rest" of the process.

    Bleach sets the film up for fixing, they are interdependent processes, and the stabalizer/rinse is then naturally required to finish.

    Some extra time in these chems, on the original run or as you plan here, is just fine because these processes unlike the developer are supposed go to completion.

    The developer is the only bath that has to be timed to exactly the proper time.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  5. #5

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    Here's a suggestion: Tell us the exact process and times used and if possible scan as accurately as possible the negs and attach them.

    That is going to be the quickest way to get to answers that will help you

    pentaxuser

  6. #6
    fotch's Avatar
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    What others have said plus taping is a bad idea!
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  7. #7
    keyofnight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMbikerider View Post
    What makes you think you didn't bleach them sufficiently?
    I got that impression from the entire process. When I first processed them, they looked a little dark in comparison to other negatives I've seen in the past. They were also hard to scan—harder than it was to scan negs processed at a lab. The image was desaturated, the grain was worse than I expected, the colors had a 70's kick to them. It didn't look like a color shift, just like a general haze—not a bad effect, but I know this film has a different look to it by default. Here's an example:



    I took a roll of film from the same batch to the local photo lab, and their processing left the film base way lighter, and I can see more under a loupe than I can in the ones I processed myself.

    I did a some research and I found this, which describes the problems I have to the letter:

    "Insufficient bleaching of a C41 negative, e.g. due to exhausted or improperly oxygenated bleach, will cause the film base to be unusually dark. There will also be residual silver left in the film, which forms a monochrome image overlaying the colour image, which reduces saturation and increases contrast.

    What you have is an accidental partial bleach bypass.

    To cure the problem, redo the process starting from the bleach step using fresh bleach and fixer. Don't forget the stabiliser. The negatives should come back to normal after re-bleaching and fixing; if not then there are other problems."

    …and that's why I think it was improper bleaching: I'm a nerd and I look stuff up incessantly.

    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser View Post
    Here's a suggestion: Tell us the exact process and times used and if possible scan as accurately as possible the negs and attach them.
    I use Flexicolor SM chemicals in a steel hand tank and a waterbath at 100°f. I follow Kodak's small tank instructions—all the times I used are there.
    Last edited by keyofnight; 07-27-2013 at 03:13 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8
    keyofnight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    It can be done in the light.

    I don't know what kind of reels you've got but may be able to put the strips in place without taping.

    When rebleaching or refixing is necessary you just "skip the developer" and "do the rest" of the process.
    I have Hewes SS reels.

    If I can do this in the light, I'll just do it in trays in the bathroom.

  9. #9
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keyofnight View Post
    I have Hewes SS reels.

    If I can do this in the light, I'll just do it in trays in the bathroom.
    Yep that works.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  10. #10
    keyofnight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMbikerider View Post
    What makes you think you didn't bleach them sufficiently? Did you use separate bleach and stop baths or was it a single bath? If it was a single bath you could have a go at bleaching them again but I wouldn't hold your breath about the results though. If it was separate bleach and then fix and the film had been through the fixer then re-bleaching will not have any effect.
    You were right... I tried re-bleaching the film and it didn't do much of anything. Again, I use the Flexicolor SM chemistry—the bleach and fix are separate. Could you tell me more about why it had no effect, and what I can do to prevent this from happening again in the future?

    (For reference, here's what I'm dealing with. My hand-processed film is on the left, and the lab-processed film is on the right. Both are Ultramax 400.)

    Click image for larger version. 

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