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  1. #1

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    Help on C41 processing please..!

    I've been developing B&W for sometime at home. It's no big deal. But the places that i can get my negative rolls developed are getting less and less, more and more expensive and the results are getting worse and worse. So... that's gotto be done at home as well. I've got (what people call) a dip and dunk processor with 3 tanks, one for each developer, bleach and fix. For intermediate washing stages i'll use an external tank (bucket) of warm water. From what i've read on the net the steps are

    1) Presoaking in water
    2) Development (3':15")
    3) Water rinse
    4) Bleach (depends on the chemical but i guess something like 6':30")
    5) Water rinse
    6) Fix (as bleach)
    7) Stabilizer (pass if you don't have one)
    8) Runing warm water for 10 min.
    9) Wipe and Dry

    Question 1 : At what stage i can turn the lights on? I guess it's the end of "fixing stage" but can't make sure of it.
    Question 2 : I haven't got a bleach starter but only replenisher. It's a Kodak RA Flexicolor Bleach Replenisher (LORR). Can i use bleach replenisher without a starter by diluting it with water? Say 4 parts of water to 1 part Bleach replenisher. How would that effect the timing?

    Thanks to you..!

  2. #2
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    Can you turn the lights on with your dip & dunk process? I just use a Paterson or stainless steel with reel(s) system and for that I can turn the lights on after the film is loaded on to the reel(s) and put into the container with the top on.

    For the developer I place the tank into a pan of water (102 degrees) to maintain temperature during developing. The other steps are not as critical for constant temp.

    I don't use replenisher. Is it worth it? Depends on how much color film you process.

    Try Arista 41 from Freestyle. I use it and Am very satisfied with the results. They use a Blix which is bleach & fixer combined. Works for me. Takes less time & I like that. I buy the kit that has the liquid chemicals already provided for stock and I dilute for working.

    The instructions for Hand Tank or Dip & Dunk:

    Step 1 Pre-Soak 1 min @ 102 degrees

    Step 2 Developer 3.5 min. @ 102 degrees.

    Step 3 Blix 6.5 min @ 95-105 degrees.

    They recommend taking the tank lid off for the rest of the steps listed below..

    Step 4 Wash 3.0 min. @95-105 degrees.

    Step 5 Stabilizer 1/2 to 1 min. @ room temp.

    Step 6 Dry the film

    The instructions have chemical reuse & solution capacities sections. Once I'm done with my batch of films I throw away the working solutions.

    Here is a pdf on Freestyles Arista:

    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/pdf/AristaC41.pdf

    Hope this helps you!
    Last edited by wclark5179; 03-23-2010 at 06:32 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Bill Clark

  3. #3
    hrst's Avatar
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    Swap 7 & 8. So, stabilizer is the final rinse.

    And go directly to bleach from developer. This is the usual practice. Water rinse can cause development to continue irregularly.

    And you don't need to wash for 10 minutes if the water changes well. 5 minutes is surely enough. 2- or 3-stage washing, or dumping the wash water a few times, is recommended.

    Bleach doesn't need a starter.

    You probably could turn the lights on in the halfway of the bleach.

  4. #4

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    Hey... thank you very much guys. Hrst, you've been very helpful..! So the correct order is

    1) Presoaking in water
    2) Development (3':15")
    3) Bleach (depends on the chemical but i guess something like 6':30")

    4) Water rinse
    5) Fix (as bleach)
    6) Runing warm water for 5~6 min.
    7) Stabilizer (foto-flo if you don't have a stabilizer, pass if you have neither)
    8) Wipe and Dry

    where bold stages are to be performed in the dark. One last thing; Can i use foto flo instead of a stabilizer?

  5. #5
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    You can turn the lights on once the film is in the bleach step. I'd give it 30 seconds though. Bleach does not need a starter, nor fix. The stabilizer must be the final chemical to touch the film, and cannot be skipped. You need 3 minutes running wash. BTW wash must be at temperature, though stabilizer can be at room temperature.

    Bleach comes pre-diluted. Diluting it 1:4 would kill it.

    EDIT: No you cannot use photo flo. Color film stabilizer prevents bacteria from growing on the film. You must use kodak stabilizer (or another color stabilizer) diluted to specifications. I typically mix it with distilled water to prevent gunk.

    Do not wipe. Just hang.

    Bleach III takes 6.5 mins, Bleach SM takes only 1. It depends. If you are unsure use 6.5 minutes; it can't hurt.
    --Nicholas Andre

  6. #6
    hrst's Avatar
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    As Nicholas said, use a proper stabilizer. Don't skip it. If you have to scratch-mix it, you can probably use photo-flo AND very dilute formalin (formaldehyde), which is the old stabilizing agent that should work also on modern film (hopefully).

    You can wipe if you want, but dip your squeegee in the stabilizer solution before you do it. I like to wipe as I find it eliminates drying marks on my workflow.

  7. #7

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    I've eliminated drying marks by mixing photo-flo into the stabilizer itself. Not doing that, I have found no way to dry the film usably; the stabilizer leaves drying marks that are bad enough to see from the next room, and leaves the negatives basically unusable.

  8. #8

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    Thank you Nicholas. I was a little confused on the use of bleach replenisher. The bleach replenisher that i have is the only one that i can find. The market demand seems to be only for replenishers. However reading this post in a previous thread i understand it can also be used as a fresh bleach too. OK it's solved. (i think)

    Thank you hrst. I have photo-flo. Today i'll try to get some formalin (formol) from a pharmacy store. I assume photo-flo and formalin mixes 1:1 and then diluted 25:1 or so with water before the use right? I believe the dilution water has to be sort of distilled or so to eliminate drying marks. Tap water is full of lime here for instance.

  9. #9
    hrst's Avatar
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    Try to google for C-41 formulas/recipes to find the "correct" formalin content. It's probably much less than 25:1 if you begin with 40% formalin. It's very toxic, be careful not to breathe or spill it!

  10. #10

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    Googled and found figures like 200:1 photo-flo and 100:1 formalin dilution with water for home made C41 stabilizer. Such as 5ml photo-flo and 10ml formalin mixed to 500ml water and then more water added to make 1lt C41 stabilizer.

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