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  1. #1

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    developing colour film in less than ideal conditions

    Hello everyone,

    this question does contain a small bit of forbidden (non analog) content but my question is really about analog developing so I thought this would be the best place to do it.

    I have experience with black and white film, but not so much with colour. I do shoot colour but usually get it lab developed because I know temperature deviations can cause a colour shift in the film.

    However, it would be much cheaper to develop it at home, and I never print colour film optically, I just scan it. So I guess my question is how much of a colour shift occurs in colour film if the temperatures are not super precise (within 1-2 degrees off)?

    Is the shift small enough to be easily corrected in photoshop after scanning?

  2. #2
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I won't directly answer your question, because I can't. Scanning color film I have no clue what I'm doing. I scan it, work it until it looks like I want to, and print.

    What I can tell you, though, is that it's easy to maintain chemistry temperature. All you need is a water tempering bath and a good thermometer. When I develop C41 film at home I simply put my chemistry bottles with the water bath a little too hot and keep it there until the chemicals are roughly at temperature. Then I let the temperature drop to the correct processing temperature, and then I slowly pitch in hot water to keep the temperature right where it needs to be.

    I can't tell you if my results are fantastic, but I can tell you that I see no difference between what I process and what the lab processes. And for sure I'm able to keep the temperature dead on accurate throughout the whole processing cycle.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  3. #3
    destroya's Avatar
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    It can make a difference in your negs, albeit not a huge one if its off by that small a margin.

    keeping the chems at temp is easy. any large (bigger the better) cheap slow cooker can keep your temps very close to 100 for the entire process. I got a cheap one at walmart for under $20 after thanksgiving that is perfect. just set the temp dial and you are all set. I use two thermometers to make sure the developers atay at 100. Do allow time for the chems to come up to temp and then stabilize as well.

    Here is a great link to a site one of our fellow board members put up that helped me

    http://www.lamarlamb.com/On-Film/Fil...545069&k=mwgyG

  4. #4

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    okay thanks guys - I think I will try it as $8 per roll of 10 shots is getting pricey.

  5. #5

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    I am using the 5 litre Digibase kit
    It cost USD $133 including shipping from Germany to USA
    It will give me 5 sessions over a year or so
    I am ready for the 3rd session now.. I accumulate about 8 rolls of 35mm and 120 per session
    So I will get about 40 Rolls total.
    It is a lot of work though, it takes most of a day to set up, process and clean up and it gets a bit tedious.

  6. #6
    heterolysis's Avatar
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    It will work perfectly for your purposes.

    I've played with the home kits before and pushed/pulled film in them without trouble, and it is not hard to maintain an approximate temperature. Variation of a couple degrees won't be beyond repair in the scans. I've even had fair results with pushing really dead chemistry.

    Do a test strip the first time you make up the chemistry to see if you did it right and if it scans to your liking. If that's okay, I'd say you're in the clear for developing to your heart's content. Do another test strip if the chemistry gets old 2+ months at room temperature. If your scans lean towards being very blue, in my experience, just push the film a bit.

    Beau photo in Vancouver will ship Blix kits. It's a bit silly to order from all the way across the country, but might be easier than getting chemicals into Canada. I'll be ordering from them again soon (in Ontario now)---two of my last five rolls that went to the lab were ruined. It's disappointing enough losing your work, but it's even more frustrating when you paid someone else to do it for you.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat2go View Post
    I am using the 5 litre Digibase kit
    It cost USD $133 including shipping from Germany to USA
    It will give me 5 sessions over a year or so
    I am ready for the 3rd session now.. I accumulate about 8 rolls of 35mm and 120 per session
    So I will get about 40 Rolls total.
    It is a lot of work though, it takes most of a day to set up, process and clean up and it gets a bit tedious.
    According to the specs. The 5 litre kit is good for 110 x iso100 rolls and 100 x iso400. So if you are only getting 40 rolls, you are wasting a lot of chems.

    I got the same kit and I'm going to develop C41 for the first time this weekend. I've just put together this 300W aquarium tank heater controlled by a PID. It holds the temp very steady.

  8. #8

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    Nuff , you are correct.
    Learning as I go, I wanted to space the developing sessions at about 3 monthly intervals, and I can only accumulate about 8 rolls in that time.
    I mix solutions of 750mil, so I will actually get more than 6 sessions which will probably take 1.5 to 2 years.
    I could probably do up to 16 rolls per session, so I feel the 5 L kit would be better value if shared by 2 or 3 users.
    Also there is the shelf life of the kit after the containers are opened, I think I read that one constituent has a life just exceeding 2 years.

    Hope your weekend goes well, I have good success except that the white residue from the stabilizer, occasionally mars a frame - I might try a squeege next time.

  9. #9

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    You are right. I think all of them are good for 3-4 years except developer C (could be one of the other ones) it's only good for 1-2 years. It's colour goes off and it's not good then. It's life can be extended by keeping air out and storing it in the fridge (not freezer).

    One question I have about colour development compared to b&w is, do you people tap the tank to dislodge air bubbles? I do it all the time in b&w, but I've not seen it mentioned in instructions or for that matter anyone doing it in the videos I have watched.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat2go View Post
    I mix solutions of 750mil, so I will actually get more than 6 sessions which will probably take 1.5 to 2 years.
    I could probably do up to 16 rolls per session, so I feel the 5 L kit would be better value if shared by 2 or 3 users.
    Well, I hope the working solution keeps for at least a month or even better 2. I will be mixing 750ml as well (easiest size of bottle to find) and that's good for 15-21 rolls of film.
    At the moment I have 8 rolls ready and 2 more should be finished by next weekend. Also I will be back from quick holiday in 4 weeks, where I assume I will burn between 20-40 rolls of film.
    Maybe even more, since it's going to be in Japan and film is quite cheap over there.

    Also since I'm going to get some iso800 film, I can extrapolate that the solution is only good for around 90 x iso800 rolls? Might be even less if I push it.

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