Like many of us, I process my own film and (i) I am not processing high volumes (maybe one roll per week on average), (ii) I want to process the film as quickly as possible after shooting, (iii) I do not want to compromise image quality and (iv) I want to keep the cost of processing as low as possible.
With less than a year of experience and only about 40 rolls processed I am still very new to developing C-41 but I wrote up an article on my blog summarizing what I have experienced/learned and how I go about doing it. I am using Tetenal Colortec C-41 kits because that is what I could get my hands on but most of the process would be similar with other C-41 chemicals.
Link to the article: http://photo.fleurey.com/blog/developing-c-41-color-negative-film
The main takeaway is that I really recommend developing at 30°C (an not 38°C) and that with good care it is possible to reuse the chemistry for more than 10 batches over several month without risking image quality.
I hope it contains some useful information for some of you and I am of course grateful for any feedback if you have suggestions on how I could improve my development technique. Let me know what you think!
A very good article, Franck. What I especially liked was your explanation of your tests and the sets of negatives and positives to illustrate your conclusions.
Does Tetenal gives times for temperatures less than 30C? If it does it would be interesting to see if there were any differences in quality at even lower temperatures
There are those who will say that processing at anything less than 38C results in lower quality or the dreaded colour crossover but you negs and positives would seem to illustrate this isn't the case
This will give hope to those who want to try home processing who do not have a temperature controlled processor and who worry about the longevity of chemicals if there are low volume processors of C41