That's a very interesting thread and especially the thing with dilute single shot developer sounds very interesting for casual C41 shooters. Makes me curious why nobody sells cheap C41 single shot kits to the Lomo crowd. What makes your results even more impressive is that they went through optical printing process - you can't cover up color crossover, poor contrast or other flaws like you could in a hybrid work flow.
I would like to note a few things here, though:
- PE frequently comments that a CD3 based process like RA4 should not be used for processing C41 materials. According to his statements the resulting colors are not long term stable which will obviously only show up in a few years or even later.
- Your statement about dilute BLIX applies only if you use the proper C41/E6 formulas which mandate Ammonium Ferric EDTA or Ammonium Ferric PDTA bleach, not the Ferricyanide bleach you used. With these EDTA/PDTA based BLIXes you run into solubility limits since high concentrations of both bleaching and fixer components are necessary. If you use Ferricyanide, this is normally sufficiently active as a very dilute bleach and the full amount of Ferricyanide can easily be mixed into full strength fixer. The biggest problem with your Ferricyanide BLIX is, as your post already states, the incredibly short shelf life of this mix.
- Using such a dilute developer should, if my theory is correct, yield a sharper but also coarser grained image. Since these low res scans won't show this, can you confirm this from looking at your prints?