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Thread: My first C-41

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    My first C-41

    I drum developed my first C-41 last night, 8 sheets of Ektar 100. I used Unicolor chems that I mixed 2.5 weeks ago, before realizing that my temperature control system was inadequate. I got that rectified, temporarily, with a cheap heated water bath unit off fleabay.

    The good news is, most of the sheets turned out far batter than I could have hoped. At least from what I can tell; I just did straight scans on my Epson 4990, and I've never scanned color negatives before except a couple of my dad's from the 60s. There are some slight color tints toward the blue, but it doesn't look like anything a slight warming filter couldn't correct (as soon as I get one), and a couple of them look like they could make very good prints! This is very exciting for a diehard transparency printer who thought he might never shoot or print color again. I really like the potential I see in these. Hopefully I'll get to trying some prints this weekend.

    One problem-one of the shots was of a snowy lake, late in the afternoon on a mostly overcast day with some sun breaks in the distance. This negative is very thin, and the scan came out very deep blue. Based on the thinness and the lack of detail in foreground trees, I think its safe to say I underexposed by at least a stop. Also, one of my "top" sheets in the drum had slipped down over one of the lower sheets during my first developing run. I'm not sure if it was this one that got covered up at least partly, but I suspect it was.

    Can underexposure and/or underdevelopment result in this deep blue? Sorry, I can't post pics without great difficulty.

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    I have been able successfully color correct via scanning several kodachromes from the 1950s that visually look bright magenta. I dont know if your scanner's software has a color restoration button, but for my epson's software does and using it gets me close enough to where minor tweeking is all I need.
    "If its not broken, I can't afford it."

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    Now that you have done it once, you will be willing to do it again. Enjoy.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

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    Just to be clear, I'm planning to print these in the darkroom so I don't need the scans to look perfect. My goal with scanning is just to get something that will look like close to how an unadulterated first print will look. Hopefully that's what I saw. I guess I'll know when I make some prints how close I am to that goal.

    I don't think the blue negative is correctable in the wet darkroom. If It was an unadulterated Ilfochrome it would be beyond help, but I realize RA-4 is a somewhat different animal. I'm just curious what caused it so I can avoid it happening again.

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    bvy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    My goal with scanning is just to get something that will look like close to how an unadulterated first print will look.
    Be careful here. From my own experience, the scan I get is world's apart from the print I get. Almost always, the print looks better than the scan. In fact, I have to be careful, because I'm often inclined against printing certain frames based on a bad looking scan. And then, to my surprise, the print comes out beautifully. There are exceptions -- very thin negatives, for example.

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    Hopefully once I get some experience I won't feel the need to scan at all. I was just excited and wanted to get a notion what my first negs looked like w/o the mask.

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    The blue shift in the shadows is a quite common complaint for Ektar scanning. It's easy to fix. I just posted this a day ago in DPUG showing how to remove it with tone curves. http://www.dpug.org/forums/f6/can-an...essfully-3438/

    From what I've seen posted a few times here the general consensus is that Ektar prints optically fine, it's just the digital scans that exhibit a color shift like you describe.

    All, please correct me if I'm wrong here. I don't print optically.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    I drum developed my first C-41 last night, 8 sheets of Ektar 100. I used Unicolor chems that I mixed 2.5 weeks ago, before realizing that my temperature control system was inadequate. I got that rectified, temporarily, with a cheap heated water bath unit off fleabay.

    The good news is, most of the sheets turned out far batter than I could have hoped. At least from what I can tell; I just did straight scans on my Epson 4990, and I've never scanned color negatives before except a couple of my dad's from the 60s. There are some slight color tints toward the blue, but it doesn't look like anything a slight warming filter couldn't correct (as soon as I get one), and a couple of them look like they could make very good prints! This is very exciting for a diehard transparency printer who thought he might never shoot or print color again. I really like the potential I see in these. Hopefully I'll get to trying some prints this weekend.

    One problem-one of the shots was of a snowy lake, late in the afternoon on a mostly overcast day with some sun breaks in the distance. This negative is very thin, and the scan came out very deep blue. Based on the thinness and the lack of detail in foreground trees, I think its safe to say I underexposed by at least a stop. Also, one of my "top" sheets in the drum had slipped down over one of the lower sheets during my first developing run. I'm not sure if it was this one that got covered up at least partly, but I suspect it was.

    Can underexposure and/or underdevelopment result in this deep blue? Sorry, I can't post pics without great difficulty.
    Last edited by Lamar; 12-07-2013 at 09:26 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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    I only print optically and don't do any scanning so it looks like we're only able to give partial answers. I do quite a bit of Ektar and really like it. You'll definitely get blue shadows with a blue sky if you don't correct for it when exposing the film. The shadows are primarily receiving reflected skylight, which is blue, rather than sunlight. Especially in a snow scene. With an overcast sky, not so much. If the negative is very thin you can't really interpret too much as far as color cast. It's not going to print (optically) well no matter what you do.

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    On most of the scans the blue is only very very faint, kind of a maybe sort of kind of hint of blue. I was expecting some of that, based on what I'd read about Ektar. So much so that I'm not sure how blue is actually there and how much I'm imagining. The one negative in question is not like the others; it is obviously extremely blue, with maybe a bit of purple. It's way out there compared to the others.

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    Shadows are alwaus more blue shifted on color negatives. Thats because the world is more blue in the shade then in the sunlight. When the negative is thin the scanner has no point of reference (or less of) and tries to match up to the closest possible option.

    Easy to find your white point in photoshop by finding the brightest point (hold ALT down while sliding the white marker in the histogram/levels), then select the white pipet and click that very first white pixel. All other color balance should fall into place.
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