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  1. #1

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    Souped color for the first time..and it was BAD!

    I recently developed my first 2 rolls of portra 160 by hand using a Jobo Tempering box to maintain my tempe for the C41 press kit. I followed the directions to the second (or as close as I could) and Im pretty sure my procedure was correct.
    The problem is that even though my photos were exposed correctly, the colors were…well… nasty. They almost had a cross processed look. The colors were just plain off. The negatives were exposed correctly, and I had details in both shadows and highlights..
    So, Im not sure what went wrong. One thing maybe is that during the non agitation time, I didn’t place the canister back in the bath to keep warm so it might have cooled enough during development to cause a shift? Maybe my hand agitation was off? I checked my temp with 2 separate off unit thermometers, and at least when I started I was dead on.

    So, Im really puzzled by this and I need to work out how to do this by hand. I just sent off 2 rolls to Richard Photo, and it was $50 which makes color film work completely out. I know there are cheaper places, but if Im doing 2-3 shoots a week with 3-4 rolls of color per shoot, itll break me. Since I only do this as a hobby, Id like to figure out a better way…

    Any ideas what would make my colors shift and go…blah?

  2. #2
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    Are the colors muted or just real wonky?

    If they are muted my guess is incomplete bleaching/blixing.

    If the colors are really off I'm thinking the developer.

    Are you sure you mixed everything correctly?

  3. #3

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    Which chemistry did you use? List your process order and times as well.
    By the way, the best way to check your temperature is inside of the tank
    in the middle of the development cycle. If you don't do pre-soak or a
    significantly long pre-heat, you will be surprised at the temperature drop.

  4. #4
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bibowj View Post
    I just sent off 2 rolls to Richard Photo, and it was $50....

    ?????!!!!!!

    Negative-only processing is cheap [if you can find someone who still does it]; Costco charged $1.59 / roll [when they still did it] and they did it while I shopped.

    At those prices I never had any reason to do my own C41. That may have to change - since Costco quit I've been sending it out to Dwayne's. I need to find someone local again...

    Costco's prints weren't much to brag about, but then neither are Dwayne's.
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  5. #5

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    Sorry if it sounds a silly question, but why do you think the colors are wrong? I only ask because I'm understanding that this is the first time you have processed your own C-41, and, unlike B&W, it is very difficult to judge the result by examining only the negative, and almost impossible to judge the color without actually printing the neg, or unless you are a very experienced worker (which I'm certainly not!).

    I'm assuming that, if you're judging from a print, that nothing could haqve gone adrift in either darkroom printing, or scanning/printing?

  6. #6
    hpulley's Avatar
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    Please post samples. We can't diagnose anything without that and details on the kit you used, how you mixed it, how you processed the film, times and temperatures for each step, etc.
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  7. #7
    polyglot's Avatar
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    How do you know the colour is wonky? Did you scan the film? Did you print it to RA-4? Have you successfully scanned or printed at home some lab-processed C-41 previously?

    Scanning C-41 is really hard and it's easy to get what looks like nasty crossover if you're not careful with how your inversion deals with the film-base colour.

  8. #8

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    One thing maybe is that during the non agitation time, I didn’t place the canister back in the bath to keep warm so it might have cooled enough during development to cause a shift? Maybe my hand agitation was off? I checked my temp with 2 separate off unit thermometers, and at least when I started I was dead on.

    The tank , reel,and film must all be tempered to 100 before adding the 100 deg developer

    This means you soak the loaded tank with no developer in 100 deg water for 5 minutes minimum , then add developer. You cooled the developer down by putting it into a cool container.

    And the tank needs to go back in the water bath between agitations which take place at 15" intervals. 15" = continuous which is what C 41 is made for. Too cool and/or not enough agitation and you will get underdevelopment, pale colors, and probably crossed color curves that will not balance out no matter what you do. Try photoshop and a luminosity mask to balance shadows and highlights differently.

    I never had a bit of trouble scanning C 41, but you have to color balance it just as in RA4 printing or depend on an Auto function.



 

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