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  1. #1

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    Newbie. Canon Ftb Ilford Xp2 400 Super C41 mishap. I NEED HELP PLEASE.

    Hello all, I have just joined and this is my first post, typically it's a disaster and I need help please.

    I am new to film (technically I shot film at college in 1990) but since then haven't done anything until recently. Been very digital until the theft of my entire digital equipment so I decided go cheap and get a film camera.

    So I just bought a Canon FTB for £5 and bought a Canon FD 1.2l 85mm with it for £200. Bargain I thought. The battery in it is a hearing aid battery and I have been compensating for it by attempting to over expose as I shoot. I have been using Ilford XP2 as it's still available in the shops where I live and is 400asa. I checked the meter with my iPhone and wifes camera and it seem accurate enough. So I went out shooting.

    I took my first roll to a lab who promptly put scratches all over it and told me it was my crappy camera.

    Upset with the attitude of the lab technician I decided to develop the next roll myself, well, how hard could it be?

    I got a dark bag, got an iPhone timer app, spool and patterson tank etc. Didi all the usual spooling of the film etc. and started developing.

    Although my roll did not have scratches on it it did have a lot of residue on the glossy side and is for some reason magenta where the lab's is grey. Plus a stupid amount of grain compared to the labs version, though all of the shots look a little under exposed.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I have had a look at some other posts and it suggests the issue I may be having is either, temperature of developer, too much agitation, not enough agitation, over developing the film, shutter timings, bleach exhausted and some others I can't now remember.

    The tetenal C41 kit I bought is apparently 3 bottles worth, Dev/Bleach/Fix and there is mixing of the Bleach and Fix(stabiliser)

    I have now tried with 4 rolls of Ilford XP2 and different times of the day, while adhering to the 38 degrees, 3.15 minute developing time, the thermostat is new I have wet the film on two of the rolls to heat it up prior to developing, nothing seems to make a difference.
    I haven't tried the 86 degrees longer time developing yet.

    Any clues at what I am doing wrong?
    I don't want to waste any more film but I also don't really want to use the lab again because paying for scratched film is not my bag either.

    Thank you in advance at helping an idiot home film developer.

    Regards
    filmnumpty

  2. #2

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    This is the lab version.
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    This is the Tetenal C41 version
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  3. #3
    MattKing's Avatar
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    First: welcome to APUG

    Second: consider shooting and developing standard, non-C41 black and white film - it is easier

    Third: consider using Ilford's develop and print service: http://www.ilfordlab.com/page/57/Bla...-from-Film.htm

    Fourth: others here, who do their own C41, can probably help more with your current procedure
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  4. #4
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filmnumpty View Post
    The tetenal C41 kit I bought is apparently 3 bottles worth, Dev/Bleach/Fix and there is mixing of the Bleach and Fix(stabiliser)
    The Tetenal kit indeed gives you three processing liquids, but their correct description is quite different:
    • CD, i.e. Color developer: mixed from CD1, CD2 and CD3 parts and water
    • BLIX, i.e. bleach and fixer in one: mixed from BX1, BX2 parts and water
    • STAB, i.e. stabilizer: mixed from STAB part and water


    Please confirm that you indeed mixed the liquids as listed here, not as you described it. If not, we may have found the problem right there ...
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  5. #5

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    Different C41 developers are as a rule interchangeable so there should not be a great deal of difference. I see what you mean about the increased grain though. I am not and never have been a lover of XP, I always found the colour mask intrusive. How the lab managed to get rid of it (if that's what you mean) and get a grey background this may have something to do with the grain size, I just don't know. The magenta backing is there so it will be able to be printed on a standard lab printer.

    The Kodak version CN400 is a much friendlier film to use and this has the normal orange mask similar to colour negative films. I have printed them in my darkroom and managed to get a fully neutral black and white image. Something I have never managed to do with XP.

    As Matt (above) suggests try using normal B&W film it is much easier to deal with. This can be bought easily and cheaper than XP via mail order in UK. Order by noon and it is generally there the following day.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by BMbikerider View Post
    I am not and never have been a lover of XP, I always found the colour mask intrusive. How the lab managed to get rid of it (if that's what you mean) and get a grey background this may have something to do with the grain size, I just don't know. The magenta backing is there so it will be able to be printed on a standard lab printer.

    The Kodak version CN400 is a much friendlier film to use and this has the normal orange mask similar to colour negative films. I have printed them in my darkroom and managed to get a fully neutral black and white image. Something I have never managed to do with XP.
    Really?? Intrusive colour mask?? Magenta backing??

    XP2 can be printed perfectly adequately on standard black-and-white paper, or on RA4 paper in an autolab, as per the Harman documentation. The problems you describe sound 'strange' . . .

    Regarding the OP's problems with grain and neg colour. Agitation is unlikely to be too high, as the film is expected to be developed in either a roller-transport processor or in a Jobo system with continuous agitation. Are you carefully controlling the temperatures of all the chemicals, not just the developer? A lower temperature for the bleach or fixer might lead to under bleaching/fixing (with either possibility leaving silver behind and potentially causing a dense and grainy appearance). Double check that the various component bottles were mixed correctly too of course.
    Last edited by MartinP; 03-17-2014 at 06:20 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: gramuhh

  7. #7

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    a comparison pic of correctly developed XP2S and BW400CN is in post #25 of this thread http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/1...bw-film-3.html

  8. #8
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    Hi filmnumpty. If you conduct this simple experiment, you may be able to answer your own question. Simply repeat the whole process just as you did before, with the reel in the tank, but no film. Instead of chemicals, just use water at the correct temperature for each step. At each step, measure the temperature of the water that you pour from the processing tank. What I think you will find is that despite the temperature of your water bath, the actual process has been carried out at a lower temperature than expected and the result is an under developed and under bleached/fixed film.

    The volume of chemicals you are using, plus the short process times, mean that it is very easy to run the process at a low temperature, especially if you are using a plastic tank. A prewash may help (some kits recommend this), but you may find that you can get good results by starting out at a higher temperature and running the process so that the average temperature correct. Experimentation is the key to getting this right.

    You may find that the colour and graininess of your already processed films can be improved by bleaching, fixing and washing again, but that is just me guessing. No harm in trying though!

    In my experience, the only complication with process C41 is getting the temperature right.
    Last edited by AllanD; 03-17-2014 at 06:20 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Heat or light; it depends on your sensitivity.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rudeofus View Post
    The Tetenal kit indeed gives you three processing liquids, but their correct description is quite different:
    • CD, i.e. Color developer: mixed from CD1, CD2 and CD3 parts and water
    • BLIX, i.e. bleach and fixer in one: mixed from BX1, BX2 parts and water
    • STAB, i.e. stabilizer: mixed from STAB part and water


    Please confirm that you indeed mixed the liquids as listed here, not as you described it. If not, we may have found the problem right there ...

    I mixed the kit by mixing the three parts of developer into the correct amount of water i.e. to make one litre of developer. I hope that's right?
    I then mixed in another bottle the two parts of bleach and fixer and water.
    I then mixed the stabiliser in the third bottle with the correct amount of water.
    Not distilled water though. :-(

  10. #10

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    Thank you for that.

    I have some Fuji Acros 100 120 to be developed in Ilfotec HC but am totally stumped on the dilution. It say on the bottle something to do with 1.31 mixture and the stop and fix and wash all have other dilutions. I assume 1:31 means 1 part dev to 31 parts water. As I am a total idiot and didn't pass my math exams I have 1 litre bottles and need to mix the correct dilutions for that. How do I know what the 1 part developer should be?

    Quote Originally Posted by BMbikerider View Post
    Different C41 developers are as a rule interchangeable so there should not be a great deal of difference. I see what you mean about the increased grain though. I am not and never have been a lover of XP, I always found the colour mask intrusive. How the lab managed to get rid of it (if that's what you mean) and get a grey background this may have something to do with the grain size, I just don't know. The magenta backing is there so it will be able to be printed on a standard lab printer.

    The Kodak version CN400 is a much friendlier film to use and this has the normal orange mask similar to colour negative films. I have printed them in my darkroom and managed to get a fully neutral black and white image. Something I have never managed to do with XP.

    As Matt (above) suggests try using normal B&W film it is much easier to deal with. This can be bought easily and cheaper than XP via mail order in UK. Order by noon and it is generally there the following day.

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