My method is to use just about as much water as I would developer. I dump it into the rotating drum and then empty and pour in another dose of water at the same temp. (I have 2 containers of hot water ready for this but I can fill a fresh container if I'm quick enough.) So, it is pour in while rotating and dump then pour in while rotating then dump (making sure this second dump drains very very well) and then dump in developer and start the timer. (I have an auto timer on my Jobo that starts the clock when I dump)
The drain is critical. I think that many people who try this don't drain well. That is a problem. Also, some use 1 or 2 minute prewets and that is actually going too long. It is pour and dump.
I use the same method with B&W film but the prewet is 20 deg C!
I believe that with E6 you may have to increase the first developer by about 30" but I'm not sure with recent films Sorry. If they are dark, that is what you must do. The E6 first developer is a tad quirky, the C41 developer is not.
I had no problems with dry prewarm, but I've been preheating at least for 5 - 10 minutes. Eventually, the film inside also gets warm, but it may take time and is hard to control.
But, as per PE's suggestion, I've also moved to two-step prewash, and this has made my process much more quick and removed any uncertainty I had with dry prewarm. I use something like 5 + 15 seconds.
Pour and dump is easy for an ATL processor. But to drain thoroughly it is a problem. The processor gets only 20 seconds to drain. Fortunately this seems OK if I process two 220 rolls at a time with 640 ml of developer. The developer is not diluted enough to really impact the result I think. My negatives have plenty of density and contrast. There is no color crossover. The colors came out of my scanner look just right without any adjustment. I may have a problem if I only process a roll of 135 with 250 ml of developer.
Jobo processor starts to count down from 3 min 15 seconds as soon as pouring of the developer begins. Draining also begins about 20 seconds before the count down reaches 0. Before I had the ATL and process manual I always press the button of the timer after pouring the developer. I think I began to drain the developer a few seconds before the timer reached 0. I think this 5 - 10 seconds difference is not noticeable considering the latitude of C-41 films.
Before I began the practice of the two step pre-soak I often got color crossover problems and coarse grain. There was enough density on the film. The negs were very difficult to scan. Always needed color adjustment. Histogram would show RGB layers got uneven development. Usually the Magenta is lagging behind R and B (too much green). Well, this is what I saw on one recent roll. If I used 850 ml of developer to process one 220 roll would get OK result. What a difference the two step pre-soak has made. This really tells how critical developer temperature is for C-41.
Last edited by mtjade2007; 08-30-2010 at 03:52 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Thanks for PE and mtjade2007.
I think I would do more experiment using testing slide, especially look for the the quick dump and check the last one ok in terms of drain.
Expert Drum might be different as it got water jacket inside the drum, as well as the 8x10 film is really next to the wall unlike 120 roll. But 8x10 chrome is hard to come by and expensive. Have to think about this.
For ATL1500, I guess I can programme pre-rinse / final-rinse step to do the minimum 10 sec pre-soak and no doubt can check how well it drill once the process stop. (If not, I can drill it between this special programme before start the real one). Not sure this moment but would test.
Very good thread.