Your Color Process
So I've learned my lesson of letting C-41 chemicals sit for a while and then trying to use them. I think I'm going to wait till I have a bunch of rolls and process them all at the same time before mixing up new stuff.
I was just curious to see what everyone else's process of processing was. Do you all wait? Maybe you have a better way to store chemicals. Let me know!
I usually batch them up as you are proposing.
I have some C41 developer mixed up from 2 months ago that I haven't got around to using. What was your bad experience letting chemicals sit?
I scratch mix 1L at a time, and usually wait until at least 4 rolls are on hand ready to process before mixing; my scracth mixed stuckk, even kept in the fridge, does not perform well for more than two weeks after it has been initially used; it has lasted a month without use, but poops out extra fast after the filrst use. Ideally I try to process eight rolls per litre, with a push to 3:30 on the developer for the second batch of 4 films.
The bleach and fixer in my process last almost forever for me (at least 6 month), so this is what drove me to hand mix the developer as I go.
my real name, imagine that.
I use everything one-shot in a jobo, so reusability is not an issue for me. I've used C41 developer up to about 3 wks after mixing it without problems, even after it has discolored. I'm not sure I'd RE-use it at that age, though.
I store it in glass bottles.
Please see the attached image as to what I experienced. Now the chemicals I used had previously processed 2 rolls of film without problem, but they've been sitting for about 3 months probably and this is what I got. I realize this picture is over exposed as it is, but note the cast as well.
Originally Posted by L Gebhardt
I think the blix and stabilizer are probably fine, but the dev is fried it seems.
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I think you need to be more explicit about what you're doing, since it's possible to interpret your comments in several ways, and a reply to one interpretation when you're doing something else might just lead to confusion, wasted effort, or whatever. Specifically:
- What sort of C-41 are you using? Kodak chemicals? A third-party commercial kit? A mix-it-yourself formula? Some combination of these? Separate bleach and fix or a single blix? (Your final post suggests blix, but I want to mention this explicitly since blixes don't keep well, once mixed.)
- What sort of chemicals are you talking about -- unopened bottles of commercial chemicals; opened but unmixed bottles; mixed and diluted but unused solutions; or mixed, diluted, and used solutions that you intend to re-use a few times? Effective keeping times go down as you move down that list.
FWIW, my experience is mostly with home-brew formulas for developer, but I use commercial bleach and fixer (not blixes). I mix up the developer at 2x strength, which improves the keeping quality of the stock solution. I find that this lasts for at least a month or two without any noticeable degradation, although by two months the solution has darkened noticeably. I haven't performed sensitometric tests, so it's quite possible that my 2x concentrate's properties have changed slightly by the two-month mark. Once I dilute it down to a working strength solution, I do not attempt to re-use it. I have used Paterson's C-41 developer before they discontinued it, and as I recall they recommended re-use. I found that the stuff deteriorated pretty quickly (in a matter of a week or two) once diluted to working strength. I prefer the consistency of a single-use solution, so that's how I use mine.
My understanding is that Kodak's C-41 developer comes in two or three bottles that are mixed together at time of use. I don't know precisely how long that would last before mixing, but it ought to be a while. It should therefore be possible to use Kodak's developer in a one-shot manner without saving up rolls; just dilute however much you need to process whatever you've got in hand, be it one roll or twenty.
As for bleach and fixer or blix, I've tried two or three blixes and I didn't like any of them, so I switched to separate bleach and fixer. I've used Kodak and Silver Pixel bleach and noticed no differences between them. Most of my fixer has been Kodak, but I recently mixed up some from a home-brew recipe on the Internet when I unexpectedly ran out of the Kodak fixer (I thought I had another bottle, but I was mistaken), and it seems fine, too. Separate bleach and fixer last a good long time (months at least). Blixes are inherently unstable, though. PE has posted about this extensively in the past, but I don't have any URLs handy. Certainly a 3-month-old mixed blix is suspect. You might try taking your negatives and running them through fresh blix (or separate bleach and fixer). Unfortunately, C-41 bleach is fairly expensive. I use mine in a replenished manner, according to directions in a Kodak publication. Basically, for every 36-exposure roll of 35mm or equivalent, I toss ~70ml of bleach and add that much bleach replenisher. This helps keep costs under control.
I suggest that the best work flow in the lab for E6 and C41 is single use developer if you are using a tank or drum. If this means saving film to use the developer to capacity, do it. But...... Do. Not. Keep. Used. Developer. The aeration and prewet tend to degrade developer performance with multiple uses.
Originally Posted by brianmichel
Well I don't know why you guys bother developing colour 35mm yourselves.......you can get the neg up to 36 exposures developed why you shop at Tesco for 99p, if they are not busy they will do it in about 30mins. Also Morrisons will dev and up to 27 6"X4" prints for £2.69 (2 day wait tho').
Ok you might get a few spots here and there if you are unlucky but easily touched up in say Photoshop.
Tesco developing of superia 200
I could put up shots done by Asda or Boots as well which are just as good.
I think it's more about doing it for oneself and gaining control of the process than saving money - kind of like growing your own potatoes. And I don't think they have Tesco, Morrisons or 99p in the US or Canada. :rolleyes:
Originally Posted by Excalibur2
I could be wrong though.
Last edited by kevs; 08-20-2009 at 02:33 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: add disclaimer
On average, my results are better than most minilabs here and sometimes better than the best professional labs.