C41 process at home
Hello out there...
I have been doing my own B&W developing at home for some time now and I love it. But recently I have gotten a wild hair to try my hand at trying to develop some of my color films. I was wondering if anyone could help me out with how the process would work (for a beginner) or if you know of any good materials that I could teach myself how to develop the C41 films that I have. I appreicate any and all help on this one.
Presoak (turns dark green due to washing out the antihaliation layers - scary when you first do it because no one warns you of these things!!)
Developer, about 3minutes15seconds depending on kit or process
stopbath (semi-optional) 30seconds
Blix or bleach then fix
Warm water rinse (3+ minutes)
Stabliser (about 1 minute)
C-41 and colour film is pretty much standardised. You don't change anything usually. Faster ISO film deplenish your developer more than the lower ISOs. There's not much else to it. I keep everything warm in a big storage tub of water and check the temperature with a thermometer probe.
Someone else will probably come along and tell you the more specifics and what you should and shouldn't do. I'm a maverick and get told off for using Blix so I'll shut up now. I'll just say that I've not had any problems so far and I've done 12 rolls without problem.
As Heather says C41 film processing is very simple and by far the easiest kit to use is the Photocolor II kit, which has been around for years now, and is generally regarded to be one of the best on the market.
The only really critical stage is the Colour Development but its easy to keep the temperature stable for such a relatively short dev time with a developing tank and a bowl of warm water.
I've processed many hundreds of rolls of C41 films over the years with no problems.
No one wants you to shut your mouth, I assume. You have been using the chemistry and procedures (except for the presoak) of a renown manufacturer. I’m doing the same.
eh? I do presoak. The directions that came with my kits says to do a 5minute presoak.
I just use Blix instead of Bleach and Fix separate steps. I never thought to not do a presoak, actually... I think a presoak gives me more leeway with my timings to a point because my film isn't getting cold otherwise. I'm just not using a jobo system or the like...
Ian, What brand is the Photocolor II kit? I've never heard of it.. just Tetenal and Speedibrews and a few other brands for c-41. I use a Tetenal liquid c-41 kit.
Last edited by Akki14; 09-23-2007 at 07:44 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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Heather, Photocolor has been around for a long time, the company who originally made it were the successors to Johnsons Photochemicals, Pip Pippard was the chemist.
Now I think they are made by Paterson. But for many years they were predominant in the UK market for their C41, RA4 and E6 kits.
It's available online at Retro, but maybe its not currently manufactured, Paterson have only just resumed B&W chemistry after their outsource manufacturer stopped making photo-chemicals in the UK.
Last edited by Ian Grant; 09-23-2007 at 08:14 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Additional info.
I always say "Use what works for you", and you should.
I like to point out that a good film blix must be very energetic. So much so that it can decompose the blix by destroying the iron complex and the fixing agent. Therefore, most film blixes are too weak to remove all of the silver from the film.
This small amount of silver can desaturate the color and can give a grainier image.
This is why Kodak, Fuji and Agfa never released a blix for any color film product.
So, these companies recommended a C41 process which was prewet, color developer, bleach, wash, fix, wash and stabilze (called final rinse now).
A stop can be added between the developer and the bleach, but I have never needed one. It is usually 1% or 2% acetic acid.
So am i considering processing my own films at home so thanks for starting this thread Scuba_Phil.
So just to get it confirmed the steps must be:
Pre-wet/soak, Developer, Rinse/Stop-bath?, (Bleach, Wash, Fix)=(Blix), wash & stabilize.
Is everything usually included in the kit? And at what temperatures do you have to pre-wet the film with?
I'd appreciate anyone's answers. Thanks.
100F for the pre-wet, 100F for the development, sticking as closely as possible to that 100F. The blix, wash and stabliser can be around 100F but not so strictly adhered to depending on the kit. The stabliser in my kit can even be used at room temperature days after you've done everything else, but I do it after I finished my rinsing because it's just easier that way.
If you get a "press kit" you may only have developer and blix. I recommend the Tetenal Rapid kit because it has everything in liquid form and includes stabliser. The pre-wet/soak is just normal tap water, ditto the rinse water (though that should be warm, not cold... pain in the butt for me with a really poorly on-demand boiler!). The optional stop-bath can just be the usual stopbath you use for B&W developing but keep the working solution just for c-41 to avoid cross contamination. My kit says the stopbath just helps keep the blix from going bad sooner but it's optional, so I'm not sure if you'd bother with a rinse inbetween the developer and blix (or bleach and fix steps).
If you're used to doing B&W, it's not really that different if you think about it.. you have your developer, your stopbath (which is semi-optional just like in B&W), your fix (but it has added bleach in or you have the extra bleach step), then rinse, then you can think of the stabliser as the equivalent of photo-flo, so you don't rinse it off afterwards but just hang it up to dry with it dripping off.
Originally Posted by Shypii90
If you do not use a stop, don't rinse. Go directly into the bleach. I suggest prewet/develper/stop/bleach/wash/fix/wash/stab or prewet/developer/bleach/wash/fix/wash/stab.
A water rinse after the color developer with no stop can introduce crossover.