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  1. #31

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    Hello Kino,

    I noticed that you live in Dayton. I have been home brewing my C41 and RA4 chemistry for the past couple of years and am quite happy with results I have been getting. If you would like to try some home brewed chemistry before making an investment into the necessary supplies, PM me. I live in Centerville and work in Moraine. I could make you a sample batch of the developers I have been using if you would like to pick it up.

    For C41, I have been using the published Dignan C41 developer (not the divided formula) and use it on a one shot basis. I use a potassium ferricyanide bleach along with a fixer formula also published by Dignan. I have a blix formula that I have used with success but have switched to a separate bleach-fix process for fear of silver retention. I never noticed a problem with the blix, just playing it safe with a separate bleach-fix as discussed in other threads. When I did use the blix, I always mixed it fresh for that developing session and tossed it afterwards.

    For RA4, I had some trouble with the Bill Laut formula but it was a good starting point. I found it to be very hot and caused excessive contrast and some yellowing of the whites (chemical fogging?). I invested in a cheap pH meter and found that if I bring the pH down to 10.2 (according to my meter anyway) that I get very nice results. I also switched from sodium chloride to potassium chloride and increased the quantities to reduce fog and contrast. For the RA4 blix, I just use the Kodak 10L kit as the prices of ferric ammonium, EDTA make brewing your own cost prohibitive.

    I have only used these formulas with Fuji films and papers in a Jobo Duolab processor. Completely untested with any other film/paper brand, so your mileage may very.

    I enjoy brewing/developing my own. It does take time, but I find it rewarding. I mostly shoot b/w and shoot color sporadically. I mix up what I need, when I need it and do not have to worry about expired developer, etc. I find it very economical as well, costing less than $0.60 to develop a roll of film if doing 4 or more rolls at a time. I mostly shoot 120, so this is much cheaper than the $6-8 charged at Click Camera or Malones for film processing only. A liter of RA4 developer costs me about $1.40 and I can easily process 20+ sheets of 8x10’s in a liter using the vertical slots on my Duolab. When I process 11x14’s, I have to use the drum. The drum has a tendency to oxidize the developer so I use it one shot this way giving me about 7 – 11x14’s per liter.

    As for E6, I have not tried brewing my own.

    Regards,
    cmichael
    Last edited by cmichael; 08-09-2006 at 02:56 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmichael
    Hello Kino,

    I noticed that you live in Dayton. I have been home brewing my C41 and RA4 chemistry for the past couple of years and am quite happy with results I have been getting. If you would like to try some home brewed chemistry before making an investment into the necessary supplies, PM me. I live in Centerville and work in Moraine. I could make you a sample batch of the developers I have been using if you would like to pick it up.

    Hi CMichael!

    Wow, it's my lucky night! That is a very generous offer and, yes, I'd love to try your formula and discuss the ins and outs of compounding this chemistry. Glad to see someone else from the greater Miami Valley on APUG! I live in Clayton (just off of Main Street South of Englewood) but work on Area B on Wright-Patterson AFB. You aren't by chance the person in Moraine who shoots Circuit Cameras, are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by cmichael
    For C41, I have been using the published Dignan C41 developer (not the divided formula) and use it on a one shot basis. I use a potassium ferricyanide bleach along with a fixer formula also published by Dignan. I have a blix formula that I have used with success but have switched to a separate bleach-fix process for fear of silver retention. I never noticed a problem with the blix, just playing it safe with a separate bleach-fix as discussed in other threads. When I did use the blix, I always mixed it fresh for that developing session and tossed it afterwards.

    I am a novice to color processing but I think I understand your rationale for keeping the steps apart. Seems to make it cheaper as well if you compound from minilab chemistry or mix it yourself as you do.

    Quote Originally Posted by cmichael
    For RA4, I had some trouble with the Bill Laut formula but it was a good starting point. I found it to be very hot and caused excessive contrast and some yellowing of the whites (chemical fogging?). I invested in a cheap pH meter and found that if I bring the pH down to 10.2 (according to my meter anyway) that I get very nice results. I also switched from sodium chloride to potassium chloride and increased the quantities to reduce fog and contrast. For the RA4 blix, I just use the Kodak 10L kit as the prices of ferric ammonium, EDTA make brewing your own cost prohibitive.

    I have only used these formulas with Fuji films and papers in a Jobo Duolab processor. Completely untested with any other film/paper brand, so your mileage may very.
    Valuable information. Did you invest in film and paper control strips or just judge your results from your experience with the color film/paper/filter pack combo?

    Quote Originally Posted by cmichael
    I enjoy brewing/developing my own. It does take time, but I find it rewarding. I mostly shoot b/w and shoot color sporadically. I mix up what I need, when I need it and do not have to worry about expired developer, etc. I find it very economical as well, costing less than $0.60 to develop a roll of film if doing 4 or more rolls at a time. I mostly shoot 120, so this is much cheaper than the $6-8 charged at Click Camera or Malones for film processing only. A liter of RA4 developer costs me about $1.40 and I can easily process 20+ sheets of 8x10’s in a liter using the vertical slots on my Duolab. When I process 11x14’s, I have to use the drum. The drum has a tendency to oxidize the developer so I use it one shot this way giving me about 7 – 11x14’s per liter.

    As for E6, I have not tried brewing my own.

    Regards,
    cmichael
    Wow, sounds like very economical means of processing once you get dialed-in and going.

    Oh, I guess you missed Malone's auction! They went down about 6 months ago... I bought a paper safe at their dispersal auction.

    As for E6, I will probably stick to minilab chemistry or kits until I get some mastery of the negative/positive color. I am already going 6 different directions, but it is fun!

    I will PM you with my contact information and perhaps you can do the same for me.

    Good to hear from you!

    Frank
    (kino)

  3. #33

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    Today, during lunch break, I was able to contact "Mike", the sales rep at CPAC Imaging and speak to him about his line of mini lab color chemistry (they have b&w too).

    They have RA4, C41 and E6 color and is one of the few places that sells b&w kits for bulk processing.

    Mike seemed very helpful and spoke at some length about CPAC's involvement in the Industry (they used to supply Bessler's kits when they sold them), was very helpful with suggestions for using their bulk mixes in a one-shot application such as a Jobo processor. He was also very interested in APUG and said it sounded like a place he would certainly like.

    Mike said their smallest kits were 10 liter kits but the 25 gal kits would probably be the best value IF your volume could justify it. He said that they guaranteed their chemistry for 1 year after date of manufacturer as long as it was in the original packing and he suggested a nitrogen blanket for extra insurance against oxidation.

    He was unsure but seemed to think I could purchase directly from them via credit card at 800-325-4404 + press 2, but if not, there are several dealers around the USA; no mention of the rest of the World and I forgot to specifically ask if they shipped overseas.

    OK, I hope to call tomorrow and get prices and let everyone know.

    Hope this adds to the general knowledge of what is out there and what is available to the home color processor.

    Too bad we can't build a color FAQ and get this all in one place...

    Frank

  4. #34

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    PM sent Kino. I have not invested in color control strips and do not have any equipment to check density, color curves, etc. The quality of my results is purely subjective. Too bad about Malones, that used to be a nice store.

  5. #35
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    Having mixed all of these chemicals (C41, RA (equvalent while I was working) and E6) I find that this is equivalent to self flagellation.

    Good luck. And, I hope you have a good pH meter.

    PE

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kino
    Today, during lunch break, I was able to contact "Mike", the sales rep at CPAC Imaging and speak to him about his line of mini lab color chemistry (they have b&w too).

    They have RA4, C41 and E6 color and is one of the few places that sells b&w kits for bulk processing.
    (snip)

    I now have the price lists for CPAC minilab bulk chemistry and will email them to anyone who is interested and PMs me with a email address. Please do NOT post your email address openly on this forum or you will probably have your email harvested by spam artists. Thank you.

    Frank

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