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  1. #1

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    Who's using homemade C-41 chemistry and how does it compare to commercial chems?

    There are a number of formulas available on the internet. There are a number reports on the internet stating that "Yes, the home brew formulas work!". Who here is using the homemade chemistry formulas? Which formulas are you using? And, how do the results compare with your experience with profession commercial chemistry, e.g., grain, color saturation, color balance, and film speed?

  2. #2
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    I use a number that I have collected over the years. Maxwell Sandford I think sent me most of them. The C41 I currently use was posted here, as Flexicolour clone, and works well. Its developer posted quite atreatise on his testing regime.

    The RA-4 I use is from Maxwell's collection, and others, such as Ron Spier's old posts from the usenet days of perhaps a decade ago.

    I saw an online posting of Maxwell's stuff discussed here a few weeks ago.

    I have yet to find an as good as Kodak E-6 for all the steps for slides. Pre bleach, bleach, fix and stabilser I am happy about home brewing. The first developer home brew is almost the same. CD is a trick one, and I am still gathering notes on how to try to equal the commercial mix.

    Kudos to Rowland Mowrey and Ian Grant for all of the knowledge they willingly share as questions on chem processes come up on this site.
    my real name, imagine that.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Mike.

    I just caution all to use CD4 for C41, CD3 for E6 and RA processes. Make sure you use a proper final rinse. And try to avoid a blix for films. Also, ALL color film developers, including the E6 first developer contain Iodide to prevent runaway crosstalk. In addition, E6 uses Hydroquinone Monosulfonate instead of HQ. I know, I know, HQ can be made to work, but it is too active for proper color, grain and sharpness when direct comparisons are made.

    Best of luck.

    PE

  4. #4

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    [QUOTE=Mike Wilde;1162136]The C41 I currently use was posted here, as Flexicolour clone, and works well./QUOTE]

    Do you have a link to the formulas?

  5. #5
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    I can't find the file at the moment to give credit to the originator.

    C-41 Flexicolor Clone Developer

    H2O 800mL
    -Distilled or Reverse osmosis filtered and pre boiled while covered to drive off dissolved oxygen, and cooled to room temp

    wetting agent 1mL
    - I use only a drop of tween 20, and stir to disperse it well

    old style calgon 2g
    ( I use this only if I am not using distilled or R/O water. I have heard that new calgon is not the same. I am working my way through a 1kg bottle over 10 years old, but mostly use R/O.)

    Potassium Carbonate 34g

    Sodium Bicarbonate 1.9g

    Soduim Sulfite (anhydrous) 3.5g
    ( I make up a stock solution with r/o water of sulfite when the stock I buy is still fresh, and add it at a rate of 25mL per batch to get 3.5g equal to anyhrdous per litre of sulfite.)

    Potassium Bromide 1.4g
    ( I keep this around as a 10% stock solution, since I find it easier to break up the lumps of this stuff only once in a while to measure, and also use it by the splash in b&w paper developers as well.)

    Potassium Iodide 1.4mg
    ( Again a very weak stock solution of 1g per litre, and then I just keep 100mL of it around, and make up another 1l when the 100mL runs out. I am concerend about algae with too long storage of such a weak solution. )

    Hydroylamine Sulfate 2g
    ( This is corrosive, and appears to be mildly hygroscopic too, but I have never gotten around to figure this organic compound will survive any time as a stock soution to counter the moisture gain)

    CD-4 5.3g
    ( Do not be concerned if the solution fizzes as this is added, mine does.)
    (Store dry in small sealed glass bottles in the dark/dim most of the time to keep it fresh)

    Distilled or R/O water to 1L.

    pH greater than 10.11

    (I use a small Omega unit, that eats batteries if they are left in, but otherwise has lasted at least 5 years with intermittent use, and perioding KCO3 storage solution conditioning)
    (I adjust with more potassium carbonate to raise when required, but usually for me it lands at a bit above 10.11 as mixed.)
    my real name, imagine that.

  6. #6
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    I've often wondered why is it that Blix is bad for film, but not for paper.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  7. #7
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    Developer, as above, used 1 shot for best results, time 3:15 at 100F.
    ( It can be reused after a short reheat the same day or next day if results are non critical. It will continue to develop even when black and mungy, but I would not trust the results. With 35mm I see bromide streaking on reuse.)
    ( I try to accumulate 4-35mm or 4 120 rolls and develop them on at once in the same litre loading 2-120 reels on one reel end to end on Paterson reels)

    Water bath stabilize the tank for 3-5 minutes before the first developer goes in keep the solutions to 100F. Keep the tank in the water bath for the developer stage at a minimum. Temperature control is not as critical beyond the developer stage, but try your best.

    I stop bath with one shot 10mL glacial acetic acid per liter, 45 seconds.

    I rinse 30 seconds ( two tank changes ) with water after the stop before the bleach

    Bleach: 80g Potassium Ferricyanide and 20g Potassium Bromide per liter (filtered tap water) (pH 5.6) , for 2:30.

    I replenish from a batch of the same at a rate of 45mL per 80sq in, but you can visually just extend bleach times to times beyond 2:30 if not replenishing until the image is well bleached.

    Rinse well with two tank changes before the fixer.

    Fixer can be flexicolor, or DIY:
    Water ( filtered tap water) 750mL
    Ammonium Thiosulfate, 60% - 160mL
    EDTA 1g
    Soduim Bisulfite 12g
    water to 1L
    Soduim Hydroxide 2.5g
    (I actually keep to as a stock as a 20% stock)
    (Nasty stuff - read the msds carefully first, and use the right PPE)
    pH to 6.5 - fine tune with the amount of NaOH

    Fix for 2:30, and resue until it fixer tests as saturated; I find I am good for 15 rolls at least.

    Wash for 4:00 running water, or 8 tank changes.

    Stabilze:
    800mL distilled water (make it as clean as you can get it at this stage)
    Photoflo 200 0.8mL
    Formalin (37% aqueous Formaldehyde) - 3mL
    (some will argue this is not needed with commercial proceses, but I include it when DIY chems are upstream).
    distilled to 1L
    I reuse this for a few days or longer, but using it once guarantees minimal spots.

    Stabilise for 1 minute. I recommend taking films off reels and stabilize in a jug so as to not risk carry over to the developer the next time.

    Good luck with this experimenting.
    my real name, imagine that.

  8. #8
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    Mike;

    I would fine tune the fix pH with Ammonium Hydroxide and Acetic acid. (both 28% or more dilute).

    PE

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    I've often wondered why is it that Blix is bad for film, but not for paper.
    There are several reasons, first of which is the fact that film has up to 3x the amount of silver halide and second of which, the films are very heavy in iodide which slows bleaching and fixing.

    But also of major consideration is that mixing bleaching agents and fixing agents together dilutes them enough to reduce capacity and activity.

    In addition, you need "boosters" in both sides of the chemistry that can be antagonistic to each other or just plain limited in solubility.

    All of this in combination makes a blix less efficient with film when compared with silver. I might also add that in reversal films, 100% of the Silver halide is left as Silver metal which really makes the burden on the bleach portion rough!

    PE

  10. #10

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    High Mike !

    I’m happy to hear that my C-27 is working well for you,
    the formulation is designed for “brew and use”, there is basically no need to measure/adjust the pH if given components are used in the exact amounts. Only a good scale is necessary…

    Regards to Canada,
    Stefan

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