Kodak C-41 Chemistry
In a previous post I mentioned how happy I was with Kodak RA-4 chemistry. I decided to try their C-41, and have a couple of questions for those that use the Kodak chemistry. I've been using Tetenal chemistry, which can be reused, increasing the times for each batch. Kodak's literature says to only use it once. can the Kodak be reused like the Tetenal can? Also, I normally buy the Tetenal 5 liter kit and mix one liter at a time. With the Kodak developer, a couple of the ingredients are in very small quantities. Should I mix the entire gallon of developer at once, or carefilly measure out each ingredient and mix part of the gallon? If I mix the entire gallon and put it in several small brown glass bottles, how is the life of the developer? The literature says 6 weeks, but there's a possibility I may not have enough film to develop to use the entire gallon in 6 weeks.
David, you can reuse everything in the Kodak kit and the Tetenal kit except for the color developer. That is a one-shot due to the nature of the drum process. I also recommend use of a pre-wet for uniformity and prevention of bubbles or air bells.
Just make sure that you periodically replenish the bleach, fix and stabilizer by removing about 100 ml from 1 liter and replacing it with fresh solution. If your fix begins to turn reddish, then you are carrying bleach over into it. This will decrease the life of the fix but will harm nothing. If your stabilzer begins to turn reddish or pinkish, you are carrying fix and bleach over to it and this is not good. If you see floating material in your stabilzer this is not good either, but can often be fixed by just filtering the stabilzer.
I have kept the mixed developer for about 2 - 3 months in a sealed bottle. You can mix it up in portions from the liquid concentrates and the opened concentrates will keep for about 6 months when re-sealed.
When the developer begins to turn from a tea color to a coke or coffee color, it is bad, but the real test is to dip a tiny piece of leader into the developer and see how it goes. If you develop silver and dye, then the developer is likely good.
I one-shot all of my C-41 and E-6 chemicals when processing sheet film in a drum. The small amount of solution used gets pretty close to the exhaustion point with each film batch. (Unicolor drum)
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