Any suggestion before I try C-41 film development at home?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by marciofs, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Subscriber

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    I use my kitchen-sink as a bath, and place my working solution c-41 chemical-bottles in there until they are 38 degrees,. I mostly pour a bath around 42 degrees for cold chemicals.
    I also put the empty developing tank in there with the film (it has a lid and floats on top, warming up).

    When dev is 38 degrees, I develop, then I go get the blix and finally I get the stab.
    I don't worry about the temperature much after the dev, blix has a tolerance of +-5 degrees from 38 and stab has +-10 degrees tolerance.

    I don't use gloves or mask, if I spill, it's a few drops into the sink, I don't worry about vapor either, as the tank has the lid on and I place the cap back onto the holding bottle while having the content in the tank.

    I don't develop C-41 on a regular basis, so I think that I get way more crap from living in a city center than the odd C-41 dev. :smile:
     
  2. russell_w_b

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    Sounds like a plan to me... I use 120 film more and more nowadays, and I'm still not sure about joining two 120 films end-to-end in case the tape comes adrift in the chemistry and damages a neg.

    Thanks - I do too. It's Fuji 400 Pro film and seems quite vibrant, though the weather was kind when I took them. I have Kodak Pro image 100 in the Pentax MX so I'll see how they turn out when I shoot a couple of 35mm films off.
     
  3. russell_w_b

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    The colours look fine to me; quite natural.
     
  4. RPC

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    marciofs, the saturation and contrast in your pics is not what I get with Ektar, my pics are more saturated. Your contrast looks low, could be a result of low temperature development. Too, it could just be the scans, (I print optically) but I would always stick with the correct temperature and time for development. That way, you know they are the best they can be. I have done low temperature tests before and found that the degree of contrast and saturation changes and crossover due to low temperature development can vary from film type to film type. PE has commented on this as well. One may look good and another bad. You just never know what you are getting. All color film is designed to be processes at 100F for optimum results and nowhere else. The more you deviate from this, the more uncertainty you have.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  5. You photographs processed well. The fact that the day was overcast goes to the lack of punch that others commended on. Good work, now you have the confidence to develop C-41.
     
  6. russell_w_b

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    Would the subjective effect of crossover be the reason why the spokes on my bicycle have taken on the colour of the grass behind them? This was developed at 30C.

    [​IMG]The Bike Against The Wall by Russell W Barnes, on Flickr
     
  7. RPC

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    Just green reflected off of the grass.

    Actual crossover is not subjective.
     
  8. RPC

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    It could be the scans but even on cloudy days I get plenty of punch with Ektar, more than I am seeing here.

    Underexposure could be a factor as well but the bottom line is you always eliminate a variable when processing correctly.
     
  9. pentaxuser

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    The interesting thing is that I have seen a good number of Ektar prints( scans of prints/ negatives ) and even those developed at 37.7C do not seem to have the high saturation that is said to be a characteristic of Ektar. Yes some had deeper colour but were taken on sunny days. I am think of some tourist shots by TheFlyingCamera. Given the overcast nature of the day in the forest the scans shown seem to have the look I'd want if there were mine - even at 30 degrees C :D

    pentaxuser
     
  10. RPC

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    It really is hard to judge images when all you have to look at is a scan of unknown quality, but unfortunately that is all we have to go by here.

    I develop my film myself properly and print optically. I believe this is the only way you can see the best from film. Doing this I always see what I expect to see. Normal saturation from films like Portra, stronger from Ektar and I am never disappointed. Processing non-standard, and then scanning to me would introduce the potential for too many problems, variables and degradation. I might as well use another, more convenient, medium.
     
  11. russell_w_b

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    You're right; there are fewer variables. I developed at 30C because it was suggested on one of the sites that sell the Tetenal kits that there was a greater chance of consistency. I ummed-and-ahhed about 38C but I did a dry run (wet run?) in the sink and found it easy to maintain 30C for the duration of the development. Given that 38C is quicker and the water doesn't have to stay as hot for so long, I'm going to try this next. If you have nothing as a reference, a photo is only as good as you think it is. But it'll be interesting to compare 30C and 38C developed film as I'll use the same scanning method on both. I'm also mindful of the degradation of the chemicals over time and the compensation required henceforth: another variable!

    There're certainly more variables, but I've now standardised how I scan (actually copy with a digital camera) my negs to achieve as much consistency as I can. In time, if I keep on with colour processing at home (retirement looms) I would like to move on from the press-kit system and see how much of an improvement the extended process offers over the press-kit method.

    But I have no darkroom currently, nor access to one like I used to, so it's a changing-bag on the kitchen table for now, and the hybrid method I currently enjoy.
     
  12. pentaxuser

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    russell_w_b, if you can ensure that the scanning is identical and it sounds as of you can with a digital camera then it would appear that a straight comparison would be useful. Let us see them once you have tried 37.7/38 C

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  13. I develop my film myself properly and print optically. I believe this is the only way you can see the best from film.
    I agree and that is what I do. Unfortunately or by choice some must scan the film.
     
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  15. russell_w_b

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    Well, I'll give it a go. The biggest change will be in the subject matter of course. Not had a sunny day for a while now!
     
  16. RPC

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    Yes, not everybody can have a darkroom. But it isn't that hard to develop properly!
     
  17. RPC

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    Not a very reliable test at all for reasons stated earlier.
     
  18. Pioneer

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    I tried to develop in the sink the first few times I did color. The film always developed, and I had negatives to work with, but the results were never consistent.

    My suggestion for developing color film is to save your pennies (or find your credit card) and buy a Jobo, or a similar system that will maintain your temperatures where they should be during the entire process. That one thing will save you a lot of headaches if you continue to work with color and develop your own film.
     
  19. Fin

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    As others have said so far, some gloves/skin protection is a good idea, as is some sort of ventilation.

    A few have mentioned buying a Jobo. Yes, if you have quite a lot of money and want to spend most of it... Or for quite a lot less, buy a Sous Vide machine and find a large pan or bucket to use it in. I bought one nearly a year ago and it gets use every time I develop any film, colour or B&W. (Well, B&W when it's cold in the darkroom) I simply set it to 39°C (or 21°C for B&W) in a bath of cold water and an hour later the chems and pre-washes are all at the correct temperatures.
     

  20. Absolutely correct. While Jobos and the tanks, reels and drums can be pricey, the capability of getting consistently great results is more than worth it. I bought two processors for between $125US and $150US on APUG. They did not have the tanks and bottles so I get them used at APUG and new at FreeStyle and I sold off one of the processors. That was the best investment I made. I also use the Jobo for black & white film without filling the processor with water. No more developing sheet film in the dark using trays.
     
  21. russell_w_b

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    It's me again... :smile: Well, tonight I successfully loaded two 120 films on the same reel: no overlaps or marks otherwise. I got the first film on, then once past the ball-bearings, held it lightly but firmly with thumb and index finger 180 degrees apart around the periphery. I then wound the reel whilst holding the film stationary until the film reached the inner end of the spiral. Then it was just a case of loading the second film on the reel like the first film. No tape to come adrift, no creasing film ends; nothing...

    I actually find loading 120 films easier than 35mm ones. I've had the odd crink in the negs on 35mm (just with Ilford Delta) but 120 goes on smoothly.
     
  22. OP
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    marciofs

    marciofs Member
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    Just for comparison, this is a photo I took about 7 years ago with Ektar 100. But it was send to a shop for developing. But it was scanned with the very same scan I did with the photos I took and show here. So I believe it's more about the development temperatire than the scanning the problem.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Helios 1984

    Helios 1984 Member

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    Am I too late for a suggestion? Politely ask your cat to go sleep in another room, and don't let him drink from your tray.
     
  24. Martin Rickards

    Martin Rickards Member
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    Your cat's body temperature should be close enough for it to be tethered in your water bath.
     
  25. E. von Hoegh

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    What he (above) said.
     
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