Julian, I use C41, or to be more precise, a variation, I use a mixture of proprietary chemicals and my own darkroom mixed chemicals.
The best bet for you is to work out what your country sells to the trade and see if you can work around their 5, 10 or 20 litre kits. Mostly you'll find, from 5 litre upwards, the cost really starts to plummet.
The same goes for the paper printing side of the system. I use RA4 in 5 litre kits but as they were/are Agfa I'll be looking at Kodak or Fuji kits designed for mini labs. I raised the question recently and the replies basically said that the 20 litre (or 40 cannot remember) kits were in lots of ten litre mixes with the bottles labelled so that one can mix up different amounts. I myself need 2½ litres for my paper processor so I only mix up that amount.
For C41 I would suggest that you look at what's available locally, get the minimum amount, run a roll or two through in your Patterson tanks and see how you go. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at just how easy it really is.
What country are you in?
Fuji Reala can be done with standard C41 chemicals. I have used a lot of this film together with Amaloco K54 mononegacolor C41 kit. 3:15min dev. 6:30 min Blix , 3:00 Min. wash and 1:00 Min. stabilizer (wetting agent+formaline 1%).
I know the last additive is discussible.
With this kit you have more temperature variation possible without any problem. 37,8 degrees C. but also 37 degrees C. gives no problem later on the RA-4 printing with my FEM (Wallner) CFL-4012 analyzer.
Blix and stabi can be done 38 derees C. +2/-3 degrees C.
PS. E-6 is much more critical.
Exactly how it works without a lift, and the way I've been doing it for 5 years.
Originally Posted by stanley
As others have stated the C41 process time of 3:15 seems short, but isn't if you're prepared. Just detach the drum and start pouring back into the dev bottle at 3:05. Pour in the next solution and reattach to the jobo.
The process times are nowhere near as critical as some would have you believe, (and neither are the temps with an Agfa C41 kit) - Hmmn, must rush out and buy those. Just stay within 15 secs and you'll be fine.
I'm in the UK so I guess chemicals are in good supply. However, this is another area of research for me and quite possibly I should go off and do my homework before asking any more questions!
Many thanks for all the help regarding the Jobo CPE2. They appear on ebay quite often, so I'll be bidding soon enough.
You can order Fotospeed chemicals. Their C41 is the same as the K54 Amaloco mononegacolor. It's their OEM product.
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I would not try without the lift. Color neg gets marks very easily where the developer first hits it. You need to run at high speed when the developer first enters to wet the film evenly and fast as this is a short process. You may reduce speed ater 30 sec.
Pouring the developer into the tank will wet the bottom of the film and that is all that will be wet until you make it horizontal and rotating. I would predict severe development marks.
The 2500 series tanks and reels are best. The smaller 4/5 " diameter reels seemed to mark more easily with c41, although they work ok with black and white and E6 perhaps because the process time is longer . The black reels that fit the 2500 series are improved over the previous design.
There is something else wrong with your process if this is happening.
Originally Posted by Ronald Moravec
I have processed well over 1500 rolls of 120 c41 film in a jobo over the last 5 years without a lift and even when I was a beginner never had any strange marks on the film.
Perhaps the problem is that you switch to slow rotation (something that is not recommended either by Jobo or by developer manufacturers. All c41 processing should be with a lot of agitation.
Perhaps you have hard water or something else wrong with the water, but I can tell you for a fact that 9 out of 10 jobo users have never had problems such as those you're stating.
Odd. I've always used constant rotation in my CPP-2 Processor (Set at "P") and have never experienced uneven development. The only reason I could think of for the uneveness at the bottom of the roll would be that, for some reason, the tank was not level after becoming horizontal, but that should be the case at any rotational speed.
Originally Posted by Ronald Moravec
Without the lift, the two-three -- five second time between pouring into, and "horizontalizing" the tank should not be of any concern.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Is processing of C41 or E6 films with same method as b/w film (agitation by hand), but of course at correct temperature (about 38 degree) good way. I would like to try it. slide in particular, but I don't know if I will use that much colour films (I am mainly b/w shooter) to justify buying Jobo or other processors...
It's certainly do-able, and in fact I've been doing it myself for a couple of months. Getting the temperature right is a bit of a nuisance, and there's less information on the Web to help you get started, but otherwise it's not really any harder than doing B&W.
Originally Posted by haris