Last year, I tried to wrap my head around what C-41 products to buy in order to get started with home color negative processing. I did a bunch of research, read through the forums, and I put together an analysis of what was available to purchase and the pros/cons. I decided that using Kodak chems were the way to go, and then I tried to buy some. After a few more days of reading and trying to figure things out, I threw up my hands and gave up on color for a while. I am now interested in trying again to get a home c-41 process going.

After that preamble, here is what i want to know:

1) Can anybody provide a shopping list of products that can be shipped within the US? I would like to hear from people who have done so in the last 6-12 months and started from scratch. Many of the posts to APUG and elsewhere talk of buying one or two pieces, but not a whole kit.

2) What is the practical difference between the various Flexicolor lines (SM, LORR, etc) in the context of home use?

3) The Kodak publications here and here (pg 7) are in conflict in regard to which products to use. Can anybody shed light on this?

4) I am using a Jobo, and it is my understanding that I will be using these chems one-shot. I keep seeing that the bleach and fix can be used multiple times, but I can't really get a sense of the practical capacity of those two. Kodak has conservative numbers in z-131, and some people state that the bleach and fix can be stretched out quite a bit more. Can anyone shed light on that?

5) I am very fond of Kodak's publications in almost every other area I have looked into, but the Flexicolor pubs (Z-131) are confusing and (for my purposes) very limited. Are there more than those 6 docs, and if so, where are they?

Many of the people who post here have gained their knowledge by working in labs, by going to school to learn darkroom techniques, and by having many years of experience with film and development. Many answers to questions on the forums are formed as either admonitions to beginners to do a little research before asking a question, or as advice from a very experienced pro to a less experienced pro. I fit neither of those categories. I read as much as I can before I post, but I have no practical experience with color development beyond a few rolls I ran through a press kit last year. There is a ton of information on this forum and others, but from a beginner's perspective, it is very confusing to take that information and turn it into a workable process without spending a great deal of money to make mistakes that could be avoided with certain information.

Thanks in advance for any help.