E6/C41 stabilising 'out of tank'

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by tim_walls, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    OK, so I've been processing colour for a while now and - I admit it - I've always stabilised in the tank, followed by an immediate and very thorough wash of all components. This has never caused me any problems.

    Now that I'm using an ATL rather than my old CPE processor though, I have no choice but to follow Jobo's dark warnings re. stabilisng out of the tank, as it's not really practical to do it with the ATL (there's no seventh bath for a start.)


    So, my question is... How do you actually stabilise out of the tank? I tried literally just pulling the film off the reel and dunking it in a pot full of stabiliser, but I'm not really comfortable with this because (a) I'm fearful of damaging the film while it's at its most tender and (b) with the film off the real I'm doubtful that I'm getting all the emulsion in good contact with the stabiliser.

    Is there some cunning technique I don't know about?
     
  2. Stan160

    Stan160 Member

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    Can you remove the reel with the film still threaded and put it in a suitably sized container of stabiliser, maybe a manual developing tank if the reel fits?
     
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    tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    Thanks, that's my plan B; but since the whole reason for doing it out of tank is to avoid contaminating the tank and reel - and the reel is the hardest thing to clean - it seems a bit of a cop-out!

    As I say, stabilising in-tank has never given me any problems in the past so I'll go with that if no other ideas surface...
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber
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    I've always stabilised on the reels without any problems, and many of my reels are over 30 years old Jobo & Paterson, they've not suffered or caused processing issues for B&W, C41, E6 etc.

    Ian
     
  5. Trond

    Trond Subscriber
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    I stabilise with the reels in the tank. I take the tank out of the machine (ATL), pour the stabiliser in and just rotates it in my hands for a minute. I haven't had any problems, but the reels and tanks are carefully washed in hot water afterwards. I feel that there is a lot of potential for damage, if the films are removed from the reels and then dipped in stabiliser.

    Trond
     
  6. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I always pull the film off and rock the film in a pulling motion. I'm grabbing the ends that get cut off. Easier with 120 then 35mm.

    You're using Jobo reels so just give them a twist. They should come a part. At least mine have.
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber
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    I have always stabilised on the reels and then used an old toothbrush and washing up liquid to scrub the reels. As Nick has said the Jobos come apart quite easily for film removal(see below) and subsequent scrubbing if done on the reel. The alternative which I have only seen used in a college darkroom and it was wetting agent as opposed to stabiliser was a large tank of fluid and dunking whole film into it for a minute. If the tank is big enough then the film has plenty of room to "snake about" and no part need touch any other part of the film. Uses a lot more liquid of course but avoids reel contamination.

    The tank could presumably be emptied at the end of the session and the stabilisier poured back into a container or smaller containers.

    pentaxuser
     
  8. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I twist open those Jobo reels and let the film fall into a seperate small tank filled with final rinse.
     
  9. rossawilson1

    rossawilson1 Member

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    I don't bother, I'm waiting for some dark demon to pop up and eat my film of the reels.

    I do actually have a dedicated stabilizer reel and tank though. When I do bother, I unreel the original neg a little, then feed it onto the dedicated stabilizer reel and put it in the dedicated stabilizer tank. A little slow but, that's what I do.. very, very occasionally.
     
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    tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    Judging by the number of people here who don't bother, I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that my experience isn't exceptional and there really is no valid reason for Jobo's apocalyptic warnings.

    I wonder if the older formaldehyde based stabilisers were more of a problem and that's where the warning comes from?
     
  11. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber
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    Interestingly, Michael Maunder who produces Speedibrews C41 powder kits or certainly did do until quite recently makes no mention of needing a stabiliser in his kit instructions. I don't think Paterson did either when it produced C41 kits but Kodak and Tetenal do and sell their own stabilisers.

    Others will say that it is essential to prevent the emulsion being eaten by microbes. It may take years to prove either way. We need someone with C41/E6 negs/slides at least 40 years old, say, to tell us if they have microbe damaged emulsion. Of course at that age they may have good or bad emulsion but faded/magenta-ish negs from which good replacement prints may be difficult anyway, making the question of stabiliser use academic anyway.

    Presumably Ilford XP2+ would also need stabilising if C41 negs do. I wonder what Ilford's position on stabilising is?

    pentaxuser
     
  12. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Couldn't tell you what Ilford's position is, but XP2 Super is designed for a standard C-41 process, and the image is made of dyes rather than silver. My guess is that the stabilizer step should not be skipped. Besides, the stabilizer also contains the wetting agent which is important for spot free drying.
     
  13. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I don't think it's the formaldehyde but the photo-flo sort of thing.

    I'm guessing it's possible none of us get close to the volume that creates the problem.
     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber
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    I started colour processing about 40 years ago :D

    But E6/C41 weren't around then, I used Ferrania slide film & a UK made processing kit & the Pavelle process for making colour prints from negatives.

    I switched to E4 films processed in E3/4 chemistry around 1972, I can't remember what the Ferrania kit used but it was complex many baths, E3/4 was far easier & had a stabiliser. When E6 came out I switched to using the Barfen E6 kit, then later the Phototec Chrome 6 kit which didn't use a stabiliser. Many of the slides are now over 30 years old and there's no apparent differences between the stabilised images and the previous stabilised images, and also some lab processed images.

    Ian
     
  15. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    You can get Final Rinse off off tanks and reels easily. I believe, based on the manual for the ATL-2, that the issue on the Jobo is having the chemical piping through the plumbing in the machine, as that is harder to clean.

    I would use Final Rinse by dropping the reels into a Tupperware container full of the chemical. There are a million sizes and shapes from which to choose. One of them should be a nice fit. If you get a stainless steel lift rod, you may find it a bit easier.
     
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