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  1. #1
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    Tetenal Colortec C-41 1 litre kit: Confused

    Last year I tried the Rollei Digibase C41 kit but the stab-bath left residue on the film- I couldn't solve that problem. So this year I thought I'd try again, now with the 'simpler' Tetenal 3-bath kit (Tetenal Colortec C-41 Rapid Negative 1 litre Kit).

    Everything went fine, I have some nice & clean negatives from outdated Superia 400 lying in front of me. The colours seem OK, at least that's what my scanner tells me. I used to print RA4, but not anymore & no intention of picking it up. It's just that I have quite some colour film left and thought to get rid of it in a playful manner.

    The thing that bothers me/has me wondering is the following.

    The developer concentrate consists of three parts. According to the little manual, all three bottles should contain 100 ml; the labels on the bottles themselves don't state any volume. I thought I'd be smart and make only 1/2 litre of working solution instead of the full litre, reasoning being that decanted-into-smaller-bottles solution keeps longer than working solution and that I wouldn't need more than 1/2 litre for my one 135-36 film.

    So I put 350 ml of water together with 50 ml of each of the three developer parts. That should have left me with 50 ml of each part remaining. But no, the second part contains much less (see picture). Not a measuring mistake when I took the 50ml out, I can be 99.9% sure of that. It seems like the second part didn't contain 100 ml to start with. More like 90 ml or thereabouts.

    Was this a mistake in the factory? Or is that second part supposed to be a bit less? Was it wrong of me to assume 100 ml in each part? Did I add too much of part 2 to the mix? Should I have taken half, less than 50 ml that is?

    Complicating oddity is that on top of the box it says "splitting possible", suggesting that it is not uncommon for people to make less than 1 litre of solution. But then why state in the manual that each part contains 100 ml? That seems like asking for trouble.

    The negatives came out fine, without any obvious colour shift or anything. So it seems like the developer has the three parts in the correct ratio, if that's a conclusion I'm allowed to draw (I have no clue how tolerant the solution is in this respect).

    Did any other users notice that part 2 contains less than 100 ml? Should it be like that? With a new kit, should I take half of what's in the bottle of concentrate or can I 'simply' use 50 ml?

    Just a bit puzzled about the amounts; quite satisfied with the results
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails tetenal_colortec_manual.jpg   colortec_developer_parts.jpg  

  2. #2
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    Hm, little eagerness to reply. Or maybe Tetenal isn't sold much in the English-speaking world.

    Let me rephrase my question (it was a bit longish):

    have any users of the Tetenal C41 1l kit found that some bottles contain less concentrate than others?

    Thanks, Sander

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    Hi Sander
    Sorry you haven't got any help with your question. I do think Tetenal products are generally available around the world.
    Sadly I have not processed C41 for a number of years but I used to split both Tetenal and Kodak C41 kits in bigger sizes than 1L as well as RA4 kits from Kodak and Agfa. The issue you raise troubled me often; so much so that I eventually started to measure the contents of each new bottle before use and while the volumes were mostly close to correct, I found many instances of significant unders and overs.
    The advantage of measuring each bottle and dividing by 2 or whatever number of batches you are making is that you then compensate for any error in your own measuring device. You just have to be careful about introducing too much air into the developers with the additional measurement.
    Funny thing is I could never once detect any difference in the developed film or paper when using a kit that had an incorrect amount of fluid in one or more bottles. Who knows?

    OzJohn

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    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzJohn View Post
    The advantage of measuring each bottle and dividing by 2 or whatever number of batches you are making is that you then compensate for any error in your own measuring device.
    Thanks for your help John. With the above you mean to say that you let the ratio of the different parts (beit developer or blix) be dictated by how much the manufacturer puts into each part of the concentrates?

    IOW, if the amount in one bottle of concentrate is off, you split it in half anyway (or three or four or by however much you want to split), even if that means using less or more of the concentrate than the manual says you should?

    The thing that really bugs me in this home-C41-process is that while there is so much emphasis (from the manufacturer and from the other experts) on being accurate in terms of temperature, times and dilution, the manufacturer seems to throw all our delicate efforts overboard by not providing the correct amounts in the first place (or by not writing a proper manual).

    Why does one have to turn to APUG and its APUGers for things as basic as this?

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    hrst's Avatar
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    I have the experience that;

    1) Working solution keeps surprisingly well,
    2) Concentrates keep surprisingly poorly.

    I know this may sound counterintuitive.

    I think you won't have the problem of concentrates going bad as you have decanted them to smaller bottles, but still, I think you would have no problem with working solutions going bad either. Small kit manufacturers usually give shelf life of one month or so, but OTOH, they also give shelf life of 6 months for the concentrates and I have had the concentrates die before that, but never the unused working solution in 6 months!

    So, if it is just a few months, mix the whole liter at a time and squeeze the bottles well. Store in a cool place (but not too cold) to further increase the life if necessary.

    I use Fujihunt 5 liter kit and because of the hassle in mixing, and decanting the concentrates to better bottles, I decided to mix the whole kit at a time and keep the unused developer working solution in a fridge. No problems yet.

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    I just finished Tetenals 5l E6 kit, which I mixed in soup quantities of 450-700ml over 1 1/2 years. I measured the concentrates with a measuring pipette, and for my final run the remaining concentrates were only a few ml off. Compared to this your quantities seem way off. Either you received a bad batch, or something went wrong in your measurement procedure ...

    BTW: although you have to use three bathes, they call it two bath kit, because they don't count the STAB as bath.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

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    So hrst, as you have used this kit, does part 2 contain less than 100ml?

    pentaxuser

  8. #8
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser View Post
    So hrst, as you have used this kit, does part 2 contain less than 100ml?
    I don't read that hrst has used the Tetenal kit. Or maybe he has. It's not very clear.

    BTW, I am not so much interested in each part having the exact stated volume. I'd rather like to know which statement is true:

    1. The working solution must consist of three equal volumes of each developer part,
    2. The working solution must consist of the content of the three bottles put together (plus some water).

    It seems like the first case is true, since my results are fine and this is the route that I took. So maybe I have answered my own question.

    Still odd that I should be the only one with significantly less than 100 ml in his part 2 bottle.
    Last edited by sandermarijn; 04-06-2011 at 02:41 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: sloppy reading

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    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rudeofus View Post
    BTW: although you have to use three bathes, they call it two bath kit, because they don't count the STAB as bath.
    But three sounds much nicer than two!

  10. #10
    hrst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser View Post
    So hrst, as you have used this kit, does part 2 contain less than 100ml?
    I have used it a few years ago but I mixed the whole liter at a time IIRC. Or maybe not, it might have been that I mixed 330 ml at a time, for three times, and if this was the case, I don't remember having any problems.

    Anyway, my point was that with 1 liter kit you certainly can mix it all at once. It is so much easier and "safer" that way against any kind of measuring errors.

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