Quote Originally Posted by Bobfrance
Hi folks, it's my first time here - so be gentle with me!

I've recently returned with gusto to 35mm photography having bagged myself a fabulous Contax G1.

Having studied B&W photography as part of my design course at college (about 15 years ago) I had no problems developing my own black and white negs.

However I just can't get to grips with C41 colour. My results are consistent but consistently poor.

The negs seem a little dense and lacking in colour - especially blues.
The results through my neg scanner (don't have room for a darkroom at the mo') are very pale.

As I said the results are consistent - this is my 3rd roll developed (but I've used two different filmstocks so far).
Each time I have strived for more temperature and timing accuracy than the last but with little improvement.

I'm currently using:
Fotospeed C41 Press Kit Dev and Blix
In a standard Paterson tub
And have used two different thermometers (went digital for more accuracy) and monitored the temp at all stages
Timed on my swiss railway watch.

Am I doing something fundamentally wrong?

All help and advice gratefully received!

Short of being there with you, it's so difficult to advise without seeming to be trite or complacent. I expected big problems with C41, having developed B&W negs but in fact found the process much simpler as it is so mechanical with no ability to use discretion or judgement.

I used a Tetenal kit but Fotospeed has a good reputation. Provided the film wasn't old stock or poorly stored and you used the right temperature and time and assuming the Fotospeed kit was OK then I suspect the problem lies elsewhere. It is unlikely to be the processing. In my experience a few seconds more development doesn't make a difference and the leeway with blix is measured in minutes,provided you make sure you use the minimum time.

I have never found the blix to be a problem.

Unfortunately I have never scanned a C41 neg. All I can say is that looking at negs tells me very little. The colours are complementary anyway and the mask makes things very difficult.

Is it possible to get somebody with a wet darkroom and enlarger to process a print from your suspect negs? If the print turns out OK then your C41 processing has been OK. This would lead me to think that your scanning was the problem.

I live in the U.K. I don't know where you are but I suspect the U.S. Otherwise I'd have a go at print processing from one of your negs. If you are U.K. based then let me know and I would have a go.I am hoping to have my DUKA safelight up and running again in the next few days.

The quickest way but at a price would be to find a professional lab to do a print.

I sympathise with your problem. When I have one that has no obvious answer I feel like the loneliest person on earth.

Good luck