Kodak C41 and RA4 chemistry.
I found a site in my country that can deliver a lot from the Kodak catalog, and i had a little thought of trying Kodak chemistry. But i find this to be an informational mess, a real djungle. I cannot figure out what could be proper for a hobbyist like me, so i have not a clue what to order.
If i search for Flexicolor or Ektacolor i get loads of different products with quite cryptic names, like "KODAK 8X3L FLXCLR SM TANK DEVR" or "KODAK 20 L FLXCLR RA FXR & RPLR". If i browse around at Kodak i do not find any useful info on what is what or what would fit my needs.
So far i have only used Tetenal, that was a no brainer on what to order.. I develop film in a Paterson tank and paper in trays or tubes i roll on the table (those tubes i may be able to develop to something i can sell once i manage to make a decent light trap when changing and screwing off the chemistry holder). I need chems with long shelf life unmixed that can be mixed to working solutions in small quantities. The Tetenal concentrates goes bad in a month or two once opened, and i usually do not develop enough film to use it all up. I have even thought of making my own chemistry from raw chemicals, but there may be some Kodak product that i can use?
What would i get if i order the "KODAK 8X3L FLXCLR SM TANK DEVR"? How long shelf life? How long shelf life has opened chemistry concentrates? How many films will 0.35L develop? Is it even concentrates? What???
These cryptic names can be deciphered if you use the "Art nr" under the name. Copy that number, then go to msds.kodak.com and paste it to the "Catalog/Reorder Number:" field of the form. This way, you'll get the full name of the product and you can go here to get more information about it.
Oh, BTW, if you have a look here, you'll see what you need to develop C41 in small tanks. This page lists everything you need for RA4 in trays/tubes.
Developer comes in a replenisher mix. To get a working solution you take the replenisher and add some water and a "starter" to simulate the effects of having processed some film. I typically mix up working solutions and don't replenish because of the variables in the small tank process.
You need film Developer (and starter), Bleach, Fix, and Final Rinse (sometimes called stabilizer)
You need paper Developer (not necessarily starter if you process at room temperature), and Bleach-Fix.
That's it for chemistry.
Thank you "Anon Ymous", i think that would have been useful info, but i do not get any hits by those "Art nr" on the Kodak msds site. I tried the "KODAK 2X5 L FLXCLR DEVR RPLR LORR R-T-U" Art nr:3780509 - Nothing found.
Yes i have also seen the pages you linked to in your second post, but those pages do not answer my questions about what comes in the packages, shelf life unopened/opened/mixed.
@tiberiustibz: Yes i know that i need Developer, Bleach, Fix and Final Rinse, but there are so many of them. I find 11 kinds of flexicolor developers when i look around.. And something like it regarding ektacolor developer.
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The bottom line is that you can use any of the chemistry. The dilution/times may vary.
Originally Posted by steelneck
There are several types of chemistry. The standard process is called C41B which uses standard flexicolor chemistry. It will say Flexicolor Developer/Replenisher. There are different versions such as LORR (lower replenishment rate) etc but all that changes is the dilutions.
There is a newer minilab based process called RA which uses shorter times for bleach and fix and is used in washless minilabs. Typically these come in cartridges for minilab machines. SM is the small process version which is typically a simple dilution or ready to use and processes with the RA times (one minute fix and bleach) but the chemistry costs 10 times as much.
Developer Replenisher 10 liter size with starter
Bleach III (i bought this from a third party since kodak no longer makes it in small sizes (less than 25 gallons) so you might be forced to use Bleach SM)
Fix 5 gallon size (1 gallon concentrate)
Final Rinse 45 liter size or whatever.
and for RA4 I use the
10 liter Developer
10 Liter Bleach/Fix
I don't know if the sizes are different in europe.
@tiberiustibz: Where do i find things about shelf life? I do not want to buy 10L just to throw away 8. Is the Developer Replenisher concentrates in different parts? If so, how long is the shelf life of opened and partly used concentrates?
Update, i found some info in:
It do not recommend part mix of concentrates and also says that mixed solutions have a life of 6 weeks in full stoppered glass bottles. I think Kodak just went out of the window, unusable for me. I think i will continue with Tetenal and explore mixing from raw chemicals when i find time for it.
I've found that concentrates keep surprisingly poorly and mixed solutions keep surprisingly well. In other words, mixed solutions have never gone bad for me but concentrates have. You would expect that concentrates would be much better but it's not that simple.
That is probably because the concentrates are provided in small bottles with non-airtight caps so you cannot squeeze the air out of them.
For example, I have used RA-4 developer more than 9 months old that was in perfect shape; on the other hand, the concentrate part with CD-3 went bad in just four months. I had some ECN-2 color developer that was over 1 year old and worked fine. Stored in beverage bottles.
I use thin PET soft drink bottles to store the solutions. AFAIK, PET keeps oxygen out better than PE, and thanks to the thin design, I can squeeze practically all the air from the bottle, eliminating the need of nitrogen gas. 0,33 - 0,5 - 1,0 - 1,5 - 2 liter sizes allow me to store any volume I want from 0,2 to 2 liter. I use hot water and let it cool down to get rid of oxygen in water. Using distilled water would probably be even better.
If you want to mix partial, you should at least do it under nitrogen. I'm using butane and refrigerate the concentrates at 5C to slow down reactions with oxygen, but I still have the feeling that they don't keep much longer than mixed solutions.
However, if you mix and store your solutions as I described above, that "6 weeks" may actually be almost 6 months! (Or who knows; maybe even more.)
I've found in my testing with XTOL that lowering temperature slows down oxidizing greatly. You should however be careful so that ingredients won't precipitate.
Last edited by hrst; 05-09-2010 at 08:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.