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  1. #1
    Wade D's Avatar
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    C-41 film development options

    Hi,
    I have about 40 or more rolls of C-41 film shot over 10 years that I rediscovered recently in a storage box.
    Luckily they were stored in a cool, dry place.
    With store processing being non existent or very expensive I need options. I have a nice B&W darkroom
    but have never processed color before.
    I've done some research into the C-41 kits and have read, with interest, the posts here about ease of processing and
    temperature tolerances.
    My questions:
    1. Most 1L kits claim to process 8 rolls. If so I would need 5 kits. A lot less expensive than sending them out. Is this correct?
    2. As an alternate I could process them as B&W. Not what I want to do but an option. How is this done?
    Any input is most welcome.
    Thanks,
    Wade

  2. #2

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    The kits do work, and you can often get more than 8 rolls from the 8-roll kits. However, if you do the math it makes little sense, especially when you add in your own time, when a lab will develop-only (no prints) for near the cost of the kit. My pro lab charges $2.50 per roll (and yes they do mail order) so 8 rolls is $20, about what the kits cost. Unless you have nudes or other private images you don't want others to see, I can't see why you'd develop your own.

    And I develop my own.
    In life you only get one great dog, one great car, and one great woman. Pet the dog. Drive the car. Make love to the woman. Don't mix them up.

  3. #3

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    Dwayne's in Kentucky processes C-41 for something like $4/roll, so that's like $160 + shipping to have a pro do all of it risk-free. C-41 chems in the US is expensive; a 1L Jobo kit will run you $30 or so including shipping, and you might get 10-12 rolls done with that using a rotary processor (something I'm guessing you don't have). So, even with a Jobo, you'd be spending around $100 just on the chemicals to develop those 40 rolls; that's not including any of the hardware.

    So, unless you're thinking about getting seriously back into C-41 shooting, I don't see a reason why you'd choose DIY over Dwayne's.

    FYI:

    dwaynesphoto.com/

  4. #4

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    Costco can process C-41 cheaply.

    Jeff

  5. #5

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    In my experience, a one liter kit will develop 20 rolls easily. I regularly develop 30 rolls from Tetenal colortech 1 liter kits.
    I beleive storage is the key. I mix the entire kit at once, and store the chems in plastic bottles with the air squeezed out in a dark, cool location.
    I measure the amounts I need, develop and then pour back in.

  6. #6
    hrst's Avatar
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    Why don't you buy a bigger kit? Like 5 liters. You won't be having storage problems as you have enough film to process right away.

  7. #7
    mts
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    Since these were exposed over a long time and are not fresh latent images, consider commercial processing one or two sample rolls first. You may find there has been significant degradation of the latent images requiring an extended or modified developing time.

    Processing as B&W is not a good option in my opinion owing to the presence of the orange mask. It is difficult to get a quality image from C41 film processed in other than C41 chemistry.
    By denying the facts, any paradox can be sustained--Galileo



 

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