Anyone do C-41 processing at home?

Discussion in 'Scanning and Scanners' started by SAlred, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. SAlred

    SAlred Member

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    Hi,

    I've just this past week restarted my home processing of Tri-X after a lonnng hiatus. In the meantime I've been using Ilford XP-2, which I think scans very well with my rig.

    But: it seems that every lab to which I send the XP-2 for processing, both local (Penn Camera in Washington, DC), and mail order (A&I in California), scratches the blasted negatives.

    I have never considered at-home C-41 processing, but I'm wondering what the state of the art is these days for low volume users. Is Jobo still the way to go?

    In the meantime I'm going to fine tune my Tri-X processing, but I'm curious whether it would be feasible to process XP-2 at home.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Baxter Bradford

    Baxter Bradford Member

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    Very easy 2 bath process from a C41 kit in a Jobo. Although apparently good results can be had without, plenty of details on APUG if you do a search.

    The Jobo also works very well for normal B+W films. I have great results from Pyrocat HD (again plenty of details on APUG) with different films. Apparently not all Devs work so well in rotary processors.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2007
  3. rgacpa

    rgacpa Subscriber

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    I do my own processing (C-41, E-6, BW) and find the JOBO necessary for C-41. Temperature control is very important with C-41 just as it is with E-6. JOBO is great for that.
    JOBO CPA processor (4 bottle) would be fine for C-41, not so fine for E-6 (where you need all 6 bottles).
    As for BW, I still do by hand. Pyro is great for scanning, but I've standardized my zone control on Barry Thorton's diXactol Ultra (for FP4) and Exactol Ultra (for HP5+). Pyro rotation development is tricky as the rotation tends to oxidize the developer faster than hand/semi-stand development. So, as stated above, the APUG is a good source for using pyro developers in a JOBO.
    Good luck! JOBO processors can be had very inexpensively off of that-auction-site-that-shall-not-be-named.
    Bob
     
  4. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have found that the jobo is overkill for c41 that is done in quantities of 3 rolls or less. It is as easy, if not easier to hand process c41 as you would B&W. My problem with the non 'pro' jobo's is that they do not wash the film, or pour and drain chems. For the investment you get a big tempered agitator. With developer only being used for 3.15 min's and being the only step where temp is critical the tempering is of questionable value.

    For doing sheets or many rolls the jobo's become much more practical.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2007
  5. thebanana

    thebanana Member

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    jd, do you do your own cross-processed stuff? If so, what equipment do you use? I've found one pro shop in Winnipeg that will do cp, but wonder if doing it at home might be easier (relatively speaking, of course:smile: ). Cheers,

    J
     
  6. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I do my own and use a wing-lynch. The wl requires a healthy investment of time/money/space to setup, but is infinitely better (in my mind) to a jobo.
     
  7. reub2000

    reub2000 Member

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    XP-2 contains silver halides that turn to silver, right? So why can't it be processed in a black and white developer?
     
  8. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I assume for the same reason it doesn't work for clour film. The silver activates the dyes which creates the image.
     
  9. OldBikerPete

    OldBikerPete Member

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    I do C-41 processing of 5x4 sheets at home using a Jobo CPE-2 with lift. At the present I only have a single reel and the appropriate tank but eventually I will have to get multi-reel setup when I start using more sheets. I make up my own solutions from formulae I published on APUG and obtained the chemicals from JDPhotoChem in Canada.
    In color processing the single most important factor is reapeatable conditions. For that reason the CPE-2 is invaluable. I, too have done color processing using a hand-agitated tank immersed in a bucket of tempering water and the two techniques are incomparable.
     
  10. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree to a degree, but would also argue that repeatabiity for c41 is not nearly as critical as it is for E6 or even most b&w. C41 in my experience is the most forgiving process of the three. Or said another way, the hardest to screw-up. I use Kodak chems and don't bother to emerse the tank when hand processing.
     
  11. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber
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    John,

    If I read that correctly, you don't rest the tank in a heated water jacket?
    What temperature are you processing at? My darkroom room temperature is normally around 20-22C.

    Tom.
     
  12. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I haven't done hand processing in 3 or 4 years. When I did I would temper dev/bleach/fix/stab in 39c/102f and presoak the film in the same for 2mins. I would pour the chems in and give constant agitation with inversions without further tempering. The lab environment was ~20c/68f and my hand griping the ss is generally 37c/98.6f. I am reasonably certain that the dev may have dropped as much as 3 or 4 degrees Fahrenheit (or about 2-3c) whilst processing, but because of the foolproof aspects of c41 i have never noticed a difference from film souped in a refrema, jobo, WL or by hand. I validate this via printing not with sensitometry. C41 seems to be bullet proof or maybe walmart proof. I have only had issues when the dev was not mixed properly.
     
  13. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member
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    There was a discussion a forum a while ago about XP2 where they were talking about the vulnerability of XP2 to getting scratched when it was still wet. Personally I have never had a problem, although I have not used any for a long while. But C41 colour film which I do use a fair bit of and always home process, is more or less the same as XP2, does not show any particular trend to getting scratched. o why XP2 should be more susceptible, I have no idea at all.
     
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