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  1. #1
    jperkinson's Avatar
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    C-41 sheet film development woes

    Ok, here's the long-winded story... I really need to ask people's opinion on this...

    Last weekend I shot 4 sheets of 4x5 Kodak 400NC in my view camera for a project I'm working on... At the same time I shot some Fuji Provia slide film of the same subjects (I typically will do this - shoot 2 4x5 sheets and 2-4 6x6 slides at the same time).

    On Monday night I developed one of the sheets and it came out WAY underexposed. Well, I had bracketed so I went to the next sheet which was even worse (I figured I had miss-metered since it was a difficult shot). I went to the next pair that had been shot in nice natural light. Same thing...

    I got my slides back from the lab last night and they were perfect. So, it's not the meter. I calculated exposure correctly on the sheets. What went wrong?

    Well, I suspect it's my chemicals. I use the Tetenal 5ltr kit and it's been almost 2 weeks since I mixed the chemicals, the chemicals had been stored well, and only 2 rolls of 120 had been processed before these sheets (at initial time of mixing). Should I be mixing a new batch about once a week? Or does anyone suspect another problem?

    I'm shooting 2 more sheets tomorrow night and processing with fresh chemicals to see if that's the issue.

    Also, I'd like to know people's experiences with the Tetenal vs. Kodak C-41 kits.

    Thanks,

    John P.
    www.orbit1.com

  2. #2
    AllanD's Avatar
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    Could you have put the film in the DS the wrong way round ? I only suggest this because I have done it myself !
    Heat or light; it depends on your sensitivity.

  3. #3
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Hi John

    It is possible that the dev has oxidized and gone bad, I would suggest it is your chem. Can you not mix at time of procesing, we do small batches of C41 here sporatically and find mixing at time of processing is the best.

  4. #4
    jperkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanD
    Could you have put the film in the DS the wrong way round ? I only suggest this because I have done it myself !
    DS? Not sure what you mean, but I can say the film was loaded and developed in on of the J and C tubes with the right amount of devloper.

    I've been using these tubes for the last couple of weeks with very good b&w results, and I wanted to try it with some color stuff.

  5. #5
    jperkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie
    Hi John

    It is possible that the dev has oxidized and gone bad, I would suggest it is your chem. Can you not mix at time of procesing, we do small batches of C41 here sporatically and find mixing at time of processing is the best.
    Hi Bob,

    I looked at the date I mixed it (Mar 21st), and that's exactly 2 weeks prior to this incident. I had marked 2 rolls of 120 souped on that mixture during those 2 weeks, and I know I've kept mixtures around for 3-4 weeks and used them without ill-effect.

    From now on I plan on only mixing 500ml at a time and using it all in one night..!

    I will do a test with fresh chem tomorrow evening...

  6. #6
    AllanD's Avatar
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    By DS I mean dark slide (film holder).

    I have used made up C41 developer that was older than 2 weeks, although this was a homemade brew kept chilled in tightly sealed bottles. I think the longest time between mixing and using was about three months ! I have never had an obvious problem with density (as judged by the numbers on the film rebate). I don't know about the commercial kits, but these devs are made to be robust.

    I use C41 dev on a one shot basis. In my CPE2, it gets well shaken and looks horrible when it has done its job, so I have never been tempted to put it back in the bottle.

    I know its obvious, but could your process temperature have been wrong ?
    Heat or light; it depends on your sensitivity.

  7. #7
    jperkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanD
    By DS I mean dark slide (film holder).
    Hi Allan,

    I've made pretty much all the classic mistakes, but I'm very careful when loading $2+ sheets in holders..! I certain I didn't load 4 sheets wrong...


    Quote Originally Posted by AllanD
    I know its obvious, but could your process temperature have been wrong ?
    It was very close to 100F, and if anything it was 101F (not lower).

    I just find it very hard to believe that the developer was oxidized. This entire thing is driving me crazy, and the weather here is horrible so it's kind of hard to get out side and take a pic. I guess I could use flash inside or something silly like that...

    Again, thanks for responding. I will be sure and do a test with 2 sheets tomorrow evening or by Friday for sure. I will post back with results...

  8. #8

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    I use the 5 litre Tetenal kit, I think they recommend 6 weeks shelf life after mixing. I've used it more than 3 months down the track with no problems. Just make sure all the air is squeezed out the bottle.

    Clayton

  9. #9

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    Hmm...

    If you exposed the negative film in the same manner as you did the slide then the negative will be greatly underexposed. To be more percise, proper metering for slide film requies reading the highlights. You do NOT want to do that with negative film. With negative film it is very important that you meter the shadows.

    -Stephen

  10. #10

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    Ever considered switching to a digital back....just kidding

    I use amaloco chemicals and have used 1 month old developper and too low temperatures (34-36C) and still had decent results...

    Did you accidently set something wrong on the camera (I know it is hard to check)? I once made the mistake of switching the flash sync from X to M and ofcourse all my sheets were blank.

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