Just read through all the replies so far and want to thank all of you who answered. You have all been of enormus help to me and I really appreciate it. I am going to check out the "C-41 for dummies" for sure. I am glad to see that I am not alone when it comes to deciphering info from Kodak and the store websites about which chemicals I need.
Originally Posted by djnicepix
I believe (my own opinion), that since the age of digital, folks are able to push the shutter button and get instant gratification with a picture on the monitor. Not may folks who love the REAL deal of film. In this light, the manufactures must produce products that make profit and pay shareholders dividends. This is expected as it is only to make money that a company is in business! So, this will leave a much smaller core of niche companies that are able to produce films and chemicals. I do believe that film WILL stay always but be supplied as such mentioned above.
I will leave this thread open here for all to add to as they wish and fill it up with more great ideas and comments.
Also, I have purchased the Tetnal Kit and it is on the way. It did seem the most logical and COMPLETE simple kit available to experiment with.
My heartfelt thanks again to all.
Good luck Dean, keep us posted.
The Kodak bulk chemicals last a very long time when not diluted for use. Since they are liquid you can mix up small lots pretty easily. Kodak even tells you how much to use per liter of working solution. I've done this for a number of years, taking a 3.5 gallon kit and making up a liter at a time. The bulk chemicals seem to stay fresh even a year or more after breaking the seal.
The SM kits are tuned for use in a small darkroom, as opposed to a production, machine processor, environment. I haven't tried them yet, but they seem to be a wise way to go.
As detailed in many places on this forum, you really need a separate bleach and fixer for the best results on color film. Many kits use a blix, which does not fully clear out the silver. The kits work, but the results have definite quality problems for the processed film.