Dark film base with Tetenal C-41 kit
I guess this has been up before, but I couldn't find anything when searching, so here it goes:
I've just developed my second roll of negative color film ever, and the results aren't quite as they should. I use the simple Tetenal C-41 one liter kit, and a Paterson tank that is kept at (hopefully) adequate temperature with a hot water bath (running tap water).
The development itself seems fine with reasonable contrast and colors, but the film base is quite dark. And it's not orange, but rather a dull, brown-reddish cast compared to the 135 negs I've had developed at labs.
Now, I have no idea of how these films should look like. They are Fuji Reala 100 and Kodak Portra 400VC, both in 120 format. The scans look alright, so it can't be too bad, but I suppose it should come out even better if the film base was clearer.
My first assumption was that the blix time was too short (which is the only possible reason according to the Tetenal manual), but re-blixing didn't make any difference at all. Then I thought that maybe the rinsing wasn't good enough since the cast actually has the same color as the blix itself! But rinsing for 10-15 minutes didn't do anything either.
Any ideas? Both films are expired; 2003 and 2009 (I think) respectively, but kept in the freezer since then. This could be a cause of course, but it's a bit strange that both look identical in terms of color cast. Maybe it's just normal? I'm scratching my head here and even google can't help me.
Here are a couple of the scans, which obviously came out fine anyway...
I'm not 100% sure and I haven't processed at home yet, but I have seen a lot of negative film with my own eyes, different brands different speeds... I used to care a lot about the colour of the film base, also the actual contrast of the font type on both sides of the frame (normally the brand and the film type) how those letters looked after developing..
Sometimes I received from labs negatives that looked weird or 'different' but at the end all those negs scanned and R4 printed properly... so dunno, I wouldn't worry too much, but I would like to know also from someone that knows for sure...
maybe neg manufacturers use different film base, as long as the emulsion is the same, the base can always be compensated in print (the point of being a negative)
but as I said I am just speculating...
I had the same problem with some 5x4 Ektar, only happened once.
I took the sheets to the local lab and they couldn't work out what the problem was.
Only thing i could come up with was cross contamination of the chemicals, re bleaching them didn't make any difference.
I know that the film base differs from 135 to 120 even with "the same" film in B&W, so perhaps this is normal for 120 film?
The main reason for my concern is that the files from the scanner has to be so hard processed that I get quite a lot of noise, which i suspect wouldn't be the case if the film was clearer in the base.
I don't know about prints, because I never do prints.
Maybe it's depending on developing temperature? Since I've ruled out blix and rinse, it could only be the film itself or the developing, I think. It's not likely that I've screwed up the chemicals already!
From what I can remember all my colour films developed in the Tetenal kit had a reddish brown mask but all printed OK. Your scans suggest that the negs will also print OK in RA4, assuming you intend to print in RA4.
I don't think you did anything wrong nor do I think that there is a chemical problem.
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Maybe that's right, and I suppose it must be some tradeoff to a kit that simple. Unfortunately, the second film was ruined by underexposure and/or underdevelopment, but probably it was the film that hadn't been stored properly.
Originally Posted by pentaxuser
Now I have a fresh Portra 400 roll in the camera, so I'm a bit exited!