The quality of films from certain manufacturers wasn't up to the Agfa, Fuji, Kodak standard. I have to agree about the quality of many small C41 & E6 work alike kits, most always got poor reviews and that certainly resulted in poor sales in the UK. I can only think of 3 manufacturers who made good kits, Barfen (I used their E3 then E6 kits), Phototecnology and Tetenal, of those 3 only Tetenal remains,
It's worth mentioning the histories of some of the alternative Chemical suppliers particularly as Kodak's the newcomer .
Johnson's & Sons began manufacture of Silver salts for photography in 1839, they followed up with manufacture of processing chemicals, developing agents, and a range of colour developers. They were involved in the manufacture of early colour materials in the 1930's. Their research team certainly had the capability to manufacture alternative chemistry for Colour processing. The company was taken over in 1974 and the chemistry division was closed, however the Technical Director (Pip Pippard) along with other employees set up a new company Phototechology with the rights to the formulae etc and launched a highly successful rage of colour chemistry soon after the launch of C41 & E6 films.
May & Baker (Champion Photochemistry) another old company founded in 1851 they soon moved into production of photo-chemicals, they became French owned in 1922, they manufactured chemicals including developing agents and colour developers, they also diversified into pharmaceuticals and agro-chemicals. The company split up, the Photo chemistry became part of Champion who later merged with Canadian & US manufacturers. May & Baker chemistry was widely regarded as being one of the best commercially available alternatives to the major Film manufacturers own. This company is more than capable of manufacturing first rate colour chemistry and was manufacturing Ilford & Paterson chemistry (inc the former Phototecnology products) until they moved their plant to Spain & Kodak outsourced it's own chemistry manufacture to them.
Tetenal, yet another old company beginning in 1847 selling chemicals for the wet plate process, well known in Europe for their excellent photo-chemistry. They manufacture some of Ilford's chemistry range as well as supplying their own C41/E6 & RA-4 chemistry. Again equally as good as the competition.
There are of course far newer companies supplying alternative colour chemistry, some far better than others.
How long does the remaining 8 or 9 liters last?
Originally Posted by Bob-D659
So would it be safe for one to use a Fuji kit on Kodak films?
As I found that B&H offers a couple of kits from Fuji, as well as Tetenal.
Yes, that's what happens in many labs\ anyway,
Fuji and Kodak cross license C-41 and E-6. There will be no problems. AFAIK, there are no similar license agreements with any other companies.
Originally Posted by SoSideways
Above all, beware of any company offering a blix kit in one part. You stand a chance of having it spoiled by the time you pick it off the shelf. It should be a two part kit.
Also, color developer kits should be at least 3 parts for keeping.
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PE & Ian. An interesting and well explained thread with useful correspondence. I am left with a number of questions:
While both Fuji and Kodak make both film and chems, I think we can all safely accept that either's products will produce indistinguishable results with either's products although in theory if the film is made for the developer then ideally this suggests that its Kodak chems for Kodak films and Fuji chems for Fuji films but this is probably so nitpicky as to be inconsequential. However it raises the question of "third party" chemical manufacturers who do not produce film. Such manufacturers/ sellers are:
Tetenal C41 and RA4; Fotospeed RA4; Nova(U.K.based) C41 and RA4 although Nova admits its liquid kits are essentially Tetenal kits. However it produces a powder C41 kit whose origins aren't mentioned. In this later category of powder comes Speedibrews( essentially one man called Michael Maunder) who still makes powder C41 and I think powder RA4 kits.
Interestingly while Fuji and Kodak confine themselves to separate C41 bleach and fix kits, Tetenal sell small liquid C41 kits which have blix. It begs the question: If C41 blix is OK why bother with making and selling separate kits of bleach and fix which Tetenal do and if combined blix is essentially OK but carries longer term issues then why not for the sake of the customer produce small separate bleach and fix kits. Fuji Hunt just about manages this with its 60-80 film kits although if you are an occasional user then even 60 film kits may "die" before you get through processing that many?
If we accept that Tetenal and Nova/Tetenal qualify as being the equivalent of Fuji/Kodak in terms of quality and Fotospeed RA4 meets the same standard, it leaves then one "maverick" that PE might caution against which is Speedibrews. Michael Maunder's kits are as far as I know entirely of his own making.
Yet Martin Reed of Silverprint still sells them and indeed I have used one of his kits and while I have yet to make prints from the film, it certainly looks OK. I cannot see Silverprint stocking Speedibrew C41 unless Martin was very happy that it qualifies as a proper C41 kit. It just wouldn't be worth his while to sell kits that might come back to haunt him in even the medium term when he also sells kits that are known meet all the standards.
I have also developed from the powder C41 kit from Nova and that too looked OK and printed OK. Maybe the difference between these powder kits and the Tetenal liquid blix kits and Fuji /Kodak separate chems kits lies several or even many years into the future should an attempt be made to print again from old films. However even were this to be true there is no way to know how long film processed in Kodak/Fuji C41 separate bleach and fix kits will last or is there?
PE In your research into the problems of C41 blix kits can you say what conclusions were arrived at in terms of longevity compared to separate bleach and fix processing.
This could be very important for users. It certainly is for me. If we knew how long a film might last processed in combined kit then we'd at least be in a position to decide whether the wastage of large separate chems quantities was a price worth paying depending on how long our film might last.
To be practical about this, I'd say at my age that I'd be happy with a film that will allow me to print from it satisfactorily in say 15-20 years. Even this may be hopelessly optimistic in terms of what my active lifespan might be :
Thanks for any answers and comments
The problem is that Ron's experience at Kodak was with US kits using Blix. It's well known that Pip Pippard at Phototechnology overcame the issues with his formulation, there was a lot about this in the UK photo magazines at the time as people were sceptical at first. I remember discussing the issues with a senior Ilford research chemist (very early 80's) and they rated the Photocolor products including the Blix very highly, they had tested it thoroughly. The Tetenal Blix should be equally as good, these are highly reputable chemical companies not back street US bucket chemists
Ilford had been actively carrying out colour research, they had planned to try & break back into the colour market and initially sold re-badged Ilfocolor & Ilfochrome films, unfortunately they chose the wrong partner Sakura(Konica) and the films weren't as good as Agfa, Fuji & Kodak, or even 3M/Ferrania and the project failed. As you know there's the areaat Mobberley that was earmarked for a potentila clour coating line (building).
Fotospeed do, I found their E6 MSDS when we were discussing the use of HQMS for home brewed colour processes yesterday. You can download it from their site as a PDF file.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
It's fair to say Keith that virtually all the kits in the UK that had bad test reports where imports from the US, that goes for E6 & C41.
Ian, back in September 2000, I had a week at Lakeland photographic holidays.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
The guest films were processed there, using Tetenal 3 bath E6 kits and a basic Jobo CPE2+ with lift and the results were excellent.
I wasn`t aware of HQMS as a developing agent until it was mentioned yesterday by PE, so I did a Google search to find out a bit more about it, hence the Fotospeed msds.