your tips for drum development of C-41
Post em here. Equipment recommendations. Your method of maintaining temps if you don't have a Jobo. Preferred chemical kits. Single shot or reuse, of what/which? Tricks of the trade. Sheet film tips earn bonus points. You might specify if you are very casual and unpicky or very serious and selective about your C-41 results, if you please.
Me, I'll be using a Unicolor drum on a Beseler roller base for 4x5, once I get started, because it's what I have. But I'm interested in moving up someday. The Jobo 2551 with 2509(n) reels intrigues me for developing 8-12 sheets at once but its not in my budget now. I think I can even use it on my Beseler base.
Sure you can use the 2550 multitank 5 on the motor base, but you will have a hard time controlling temp with that setup.
The budget option choice is the mod54 for sheet film, and then use the same paterson ptp116 with roll film reels for anything else, Morgan the inventor of the MOD54 posted several youtube vids on "how to" c-41 with the MOD with nothing more then a kitchen sink. This is more of a lo fi style for c41, as results will vary, from user to user, chemistry kit to another, and from run to run, as it is hard to duplicate the exact same temps and times with this method.
If you want more consistent results, with less trouble shooting, down time and mystery artifacts to diagnose, you want to go rotation, in a temp controlled environment. while a Jobo processor is a simple and ready made way to achieve exactly that, there are MANY other ways to do this with endless APUG and LFF threads on the subject.
All c-41 kits are not equal, and a liquid, single part mix, long lasting system is what you want, one shot is always best to minimize the chance of contamination. One drop of bleach or blix in even a very large container of color developer, will make the whole batch unusable.
I use a unicolour 4x5 drum four sheets at a time on a unicolour roller base. I find 3oz of developer and blix one shot works reliably. I rinse one minute in the drum then store in an old Yankee tank until all are finished, usually a dozen. Washing is 5 minutes in the Yankee tank.
Temperature control is by placing the 3oz of fluid in a small graduated cylinder and placing it in a larger container with hot water. I monitor the temperature closely and pull when it reaches 92F. By the time I pre-rinse the small quantity is at 90F.
I stabilize in a tray at 25C.
Oh yeah, I use the unicolour dry chemical kit from Freestyle.
See the C41 howto in my FAQ, link in my signature.
Always prewash. Don't use blix if you can at all avoid it. If you must have blix, make sure it's a kit where the bleach and fix parts are not mixed together until you use them, use them up fully and discard them within a day or so.
For 4x5, I use a 3010+CPP2. You will NEED a water bath. Doesn't need to have a powered roller, you can hand-roll a tank on a pair of submerged bearings but your arms will tire as C41 calls for CONSTANT agitation.
I'm getting the Unicolor kit for my first couple rounds, because it's powder and cheap and comes in 1 liter size. If I get serious, and I probably will, I'll probably use Kodak chems. I guess I shouldn't worry about Blix too much for the first couple tries. Since the Unicolor Blix part B creates an endothermic reaction when mixed, I presume the fix is in there. Can it be mixed separately?
I don't see myself rolling a drum in water all the way through the process, so I'll have to use another method like Kilgallb. I read about one person who aimed a hair dryer at the drum as it rotated on a motor base, but I think that would take some testing and doesn't seem like the best idea anyway. I'd like to hear about some of these other aquatic methods.
Your FAQ is coming up 404, polyglot.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
It looks like my website has been hacked and deleted, including all the FAQ content. Not happy.
OK, my website is re-uploading now. The FAQ content should be all back; there are currently ugly warnings at the top of the page and they should be gone soon too.
So you should be able to read my dribblings about C41 now.
Whats the minimum volume of C-41 per sheet, or per 12 sheets, in a 255X tank?
I've been searching threads on c-41 for many days and still came away with many questions. This is why I started the thread to gather this info in one place. Maybe you can mention a few of the "MANY other ways to do this" so I can research them further. I've only seen a couple-the hair dryer idea, hand rolling in water on bearings. I don't count preheating the drum as a temperature "controlled" environment since the temperature is always dropping. But thats what I'll probably be using at first.
Originally Posted by CatLABS
Great writeup poly, thanks!
You need about 50ml per sheet of 4X5 of C-41 developer, for the 2550 you will need a min of 640ml of liquid in the drum when processing 12 sheets which is just over 50ml.
C41 is a very forgiving system. While the system calls for very exact temp control, and continuous agitation, you can manage just fine without either of those things, though like i said above - you will have a hard time matching results or keeping any type of consistency without a proper, mechanical system that regulates temp/agitation.
The simplest method is to use a sink/bucket filled with water at needed temp. for the 3:15 minutes of dev time, the temp shift is meaningless (dev cna shift +/-3 degrees and stay within tolerance)
You will agitate with the tank floating in the water, or agitate with short breaks to submerge the tank and help maintain the temp.
There is never a need to pre wash c41, blix temps can be off +/- 10 degrees and stay within tolerance, stab (or wetting agent) does not need to be tempered in any way.
You should check out our C41 (still out of stock at the moment), and contact me directly, and i can send you the manual for the kit which should answer many questions for you.
If you do get serious with C41, and i hope you will (such an easy and fun process... ), you will eventually want to get a processor with a lift to make life easy.