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  1. #1

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    C-41 troubleshooting

    My first attempts at C-41 processing with a tetenal kit were mildly successful, and I've since moved to using kodak developer and a separate bleach/fix. I had horrible color shifts and stains at first, which I attributed to insufficient washing between dev. and bleach (I'm using a ferricyanide bleach). Here's a control strip that I just developed next to the reference strip:



    The base is a bit more orange and a bit lighter. You can't see it on the scan, but the black is darker on the reference than the one I developed, so I'm suspecting underdevelopment.

    I've been doing my processing like this:

    1. Pre-soak @ ~100F / 1-3 minutes (while I wait for the developer to heat up)
    2. Develop @ 100F / 3:15 minutes
    3. Stop @ ~100F / 1:00 minute (acetic acid, pH = 4.5)
    4. Wash @ ~100F / ~3 minutes
    5. Bleach @ ~100F / 6:00 minutes
    6. Wash @ ~100F / ~3 minutes
    7. Fix @ ~100F / 4-5 minutes (TF-4)
    8. Wash @ ~100F / ~10 minutes
    9. Stabilizer @ ~100F / 1:30 minutes

    I noticed that 1 minute is usually the recommended time for the pre-soak. Will a longer pre-soak mess things up? Other than that, I'd suspect my temperature is off. I only have one thermometer and no way to tell how accurate it is. Can anyone enlighten me?

  2. #2
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    I presoak for random times. As long as the temperature is high enough I think you're good.

    You might try heating the water bath to 102 to compensate for heat loss in transfer. As a feeble ballpark test, get a glass of ice water and stir it and use your thermometer to read it. If it's far from 32 degrees you have problems.

    As far as I'm aware using Ferricyanide bleach and non-color fixer is detrimental to the final image. To what extent that occurs, I have no idea. I would recommend finding Bleach III or SM from kodak and see if that makes a difference. Color fixer is also very cheap, so I would recommend using that.
    --Nicholas Andre

  3. #3

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    I'm pretty sure the (biggest) problem is temperature. I found another thermometer and the difference was about 5 degrees (F).

  4. #4
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    You need a stop/clear between the developer and the bleach. See my other post on this!

    PE

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    You need a stop/clear between the developer and the bleach. See my other post on this!

    PE
    I forgot to mention that, but I did do it.

  6. #6
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Where are the color patches? That might help.

    But, it does look like underdevelopment. OTOH, this film series was not designed for a ferri bleach with a clearing bath. So, IDK what is really going on here.

    PE

  7. #7

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    Color patches? The only thing the box contained was a pre-processed strip and several sealed pre-exposed strips of film.

  8. #8
    Stephen Frizza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    You need a stop/clear between the developer and the bleach. See my other post on this!

    PE
    stop and clear? Im embarrassed Ive never heard of this. I use a technolab dip and dunk film processor and its baths in sequence are dev,bleach,wash,fix,wash final rinse, dry..... my chemistry is carefully controlled and as a result my control strips for C-41 plot perfectly. can you explain this stop/clear between dev and bleach? or provide me the link to the thread on this?
    "Its my profession to hijack time" ~ Stephen Frizza.

  9. #9
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    I get the sense the stop and clear is only necessary with a ferricyanide based bleach. It's not specified in the actual c41 process because the bleach performs this function on its own.
    --Nicholas Andre

  10. #10

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    Yeah, its unnecessary if you use the normal kodak bleach. I'm just too poor to buy the real stuff.

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