Kodak Flexicolor C-41 chemistry
I've been using the Tetenal kit to develop C-41 film and I'm ready to move to a separate bleach/fixer process. I've been looking at the Kodak Flexicolor chemistry and searched the forum for information but I haven't found a clear description of the process and which chemicals to buy.
Could someone describe their experiences with the Flexicolor process. I'm particularly interested in the benefits of one-shot vs replenishing, which products and sizes you'd recommend for 10 rolls/month, and any other insight you might provide.
Also, Adorama lists two Kodak C-41 developer replenishers (one is labeled simply c-41 developer and the other is Kodak Flexicolor). Which one do you use?
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corre, download the Z131 from kodak to get started, it will answer alot of the basic questions.
If you plan to process 10 rolls a month you should forget about buying small retail sized packages that are far more expensive after adding up. You should buy a larger package that is enough for a year's consumption. Within the entire set of C-41 chemicals there is only one bottle, called Part C of the Developer, that will go bad in a month or two after the bottle is opened. Everything else will last easily more than a year even with opened bottles. Each time I mix and make 10 liters of developer. But I mix it in a concentrate volume. Instead of making it to 10 liters I make it to 2.5 liters and store it in 5 500 ml bottles. This makes it last longer than 2 months. I easily consume all 10 liters in 2 to 3 months. I use the developer one shot. I tried replenishing but it never worked well for me.
This is the Kodak C-41 developer I buy these days:
Flexicolor Developer Starter LORR – 8.3gal, Kodak part number: 8485153
Flexicolor Developer Replenisher LORR – 10L, Kodak part number: 8121857
This starter costs less than $10 each. And the Replenisher costs less than $100 for one carton with 3 sets (10 lietrs each set) in it. I am not sure the current prices are. Last time I got a deal with less than $300 and many boxes of it.
This is the C-41 bleach I use:
Flexicolor RA Bleach Replenisher NR – 5L, Kodak part number: 8255549
And here is the fixer I use: Flexicolor Bleach III – 1gal, Kodak part number: 8940801
I also use Kodak's C-41 Final Rinse. I bought a box full of it from eBay for a song. This stuff is cheap too.
This is where I bought most of my chemicals: http://www.changsphoto.com/inventory...dakprochem.php
This supplier is located in Los Angeles California and they have warehouses in Los Angeles and Hayward (SFO Bay Area). You should be able to find a similar supplier like that in your city or state.
Concerning replenishing: I don't bother with developer or fixer, but I do use replenishment with the blix, since it's the most expensive part of the process and it lasts a long time. I don't process as much as 10 rolls a month, though; at that sort of volume, replenishment of other components might make sense.
The Trebla Filmpac kit works great. I've been using it single-shot (except the bleach), and found that I can mix up as little as 1/3 liter working strength at a time without any problems. You'll need the kit and the developer starter:
My biggest hang-up was the lack of detailed instructions. So I mostly use the Kodak tech pub as a guide and modify it with what information I do have from the Trebla.
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You mention two developers, one of them being replenisher, but also mention replenishing didn't work for you. So which dev do you use?
See this is where all the confusion comes from when folks talk about C41...
Also, the fixer you mention in the post is a bleach product...is that correct?
I think what all us C41 newbies need is a list of this, this and that...with no ambiguities.
Plus all the mention of starters, replenishers and plain old dev gets super confusing, as does the Kodak pub.
Isn't there any place out there with a straight talking guide to C41?
this is exactly why I always got 3rd party C41 chemicals
It's not hard.
Developer: Two Categories:single use and replenisher. One you use and toss and the other you replenish. The solution you mix up first is called the "replenisher." You can use this to add specific amounts per roll of film to your "tank solution" to maintain proper activity over time. However, when you first make that tank solution you have to dilute the replenisher slightly and add a "starter" to simulate the seasoned tank.
There are two types, Developer Replenisher and Developer Replenisher LORR (this means lower replenishment rate, usually for use in larger processors where this is a big advantage.) You should probably get the Developer Replenisher RT and the Starter. I got the 19 liter size because it cost about $25 and will last me till doomsday.
For bleach there was Bleach III which came prediluted and you replenished if you wanted to. Now I think you have to find the Kodak Flexicolor Bleach SM (small tank size) or order 40 gallons of bleach III for $250. Search for the Bleach III discontinued thread for a link to the new bleach.
For fix you dilute the concentrate to a replenisher. You then are supposed to add some more replenisher for every roll you process. I just use it and dump it personally.
The last thing you need is a stabilizer. This serves as a wetting agent and a microbe killer to prevent fungus from eating your film later on and sometimes something to help film from fading. You mix up a replenisher and replenish if you want, I don't.
There are instructions for the specific times and washes on the kodak website.
Sorry, I forgot how confusing it can be as I am no longer a newbie. There are two ways to make working developer solution. The first is simply making it from a Developer chemical package and the 2nd is making it with Developer Replenisher. However, you will find that Developer Replenisher is more likely available than Developer. The reason is mini labs and pro labs buy only Developer Replenisher to replenish their working developer in their processors. They seldom ever need to make fresh developer. They keep replenishing everyday. So what do they do if they do need to make fresh developer from scratch? Kodak provides a developer starter to do that. You first mix and make a developer replenisher. Then you add developer starter to it. The resulted solution is a standard fresh developer.
This is why I buy developer starter and developer replenisher. I do not replenish. I use both to make my developer and use it one shot only. Yes, there is a LORR and a Standard Developer Replenisher. I choose LORR version. I believe it has twice the capacity of the standard developer.
Kodak bleach and fixer also come as replenisher. Labs buy them for replenishing. But you can use them as bleach and fix without adding starters. This is a confusing part too. But there is no need to add starters to bleach and fix replenisher. I reuse bleach and fix. When I feel they are about exhausted I dump half of it and top up with fresh ones. This is in fact replenishing. I think this is why they are called bleach and fix replenisher.
C-41 processing is really not difficult to do at home. But in order to increase productivity so the you don't wear yourself out you will appreciate to have a JOBO processor to help you. I did with simple reels and tanks for years but eventually took a plunge and bought a JOBO ATL-2300. It was an investment I never regret it. It really enables me to process all the films I shot without wearing me out.
OK, much thanks...
I'm going to look into this soon, and will try to post a recap before I buy chems...just to make sure ;-)