Expired C-41 Bleach Starter

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by fdonadio, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. fdonadio

    fdonadio Subscriber

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    Hello, everybody!


    I will be buying Kodak Flexicolor chemicals next week but I can’t find C-41 bleach starter. Only one place has it, but it’s expired since 2015.

    Should I buy it anyways? Do I keep looking for fresh bleach starter? Or should I just use the replenisher without it?

    Thanks!
    Flavio
     
  2. WilmarcoImaging

    WilmarcoImaging Member

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    I began with 8255549 with no starter.
     
  3. OP
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    fdonadio

    fdonadio Subscriber

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    Strange thing is the CAT # I got for the bleach replenisher is 6595870. Can’t find this number anywhere!
     
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    fdonadio

    fdonadio Subscriber

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    I’ve just found a thread here that discusses the part numbers I have. Apparently, they are specific to South America, as they are cited in Brazilian catalogs as well as in Argentina.

    So, looking at the famous sticky thread about C-41 chemistry, it seems Flexicolor LU LORR is what most people are using and that’s what I have been offered. Still the bleach is listed as “FLEXICOLOR RA BLEACH REPLENISHER NR 2X1,5 L”. I don’t know what this “NR” mean, but I have seen “Flexicolor RA Bleach” mentioned in that same thread and it seems it’s the right thing. Also, that’s what the seller recommends, so it must be right.

    If anyone know better, please help!
     
  5. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    In the good old days, "NR bleach" meant non-regenerated. In other words, the bleach overflow is not intended to be collected and "regenerated." Rather, it is discarded after use. I presume NR continues to mean the same thing. (You weren't planning to regenerate anyway, were you?)
     
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    fdonadio

    fdonadio Subscriber

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    If feasible, I would certainly do it. But, if not, I guess I don’t have any options, right? :wink:

    I have searched and found a lot of people that don’t use starter for the bleach bath. Since bleaching is conducted to completion, I guess I would be safe not using a starter for it.
     
  7. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    In principle, converting a bleach REPLENISHER into working TANK SOLUTION just takes a slight dilution and a slight increase in the pH (these things happen automatically in a normally operated replenished system). So when you use a bleach "starter solution," this is what should happen.

    The dilution is of no significance. Regarding the pH, I can't say for sure - my experience has been mainly with an earlier version of the bleach. But looking at Kodak pH specs for both the replen and the tank solution, their tolerances overlap, so one would think that it may be ok to use "as is." In a worst-case situation, where the bleach was actually a problem, it should still be fixable by simply rebleaching later (plus refix, wash, etc.) If you have a pH meter you would be able to know for sure if it's in spec.
     
  8. OP
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    fdonadio

    fdonadio Subscriber

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    Got my answer here.

    @Mr Bill: I do have a pH meter. Now I just need to figure out the concentration of sodium acetate I need to make a bleach starter.
     
  9. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    Cool, you should be good to go. If you haven't seen it already, kodak CIS-61 has a summary of pH (and specific gravity) values for many Kodak chemicals, both tank solution and replenishers.

    You might find that the pH is already within spec. If not, in a pinch you could probably just splash in a bit of developer, since this is what raises the bleach pH in a normal process. (If you do it this way, add slowly and make sure the bleach is thoroughly aerated.) Best of luck.
     
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    fdonadio

    fdonadio Subscriber

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    Thanks, Mr. Bill! I think I am overthinking this, as I always do. I’m downloading CIS-61 and will try using developer and an eyedropper to adjust the bleach pH.

    I was trying figure out the concentration of sodium acetate in the starter. From the MSDS, I’ve found the pH of the starter concentrate is 9.5 and its specific gravity is 1.15, but I can’t calculate the concentration based on these. My chemistry and math skills are rusty!

    Better to go the easy route and season the bleach with developer. This will also save me some money...
     
  11. RPC

    RPC Member

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    PE has said that starter is not necessary to add to replenisher for C-41 bleach.
     
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    fdonadio

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    Good news: I developed my films and they look good. No obvious signs of retained silver.

    I didn’t measure the pH, just went with water in place of bleach starter.

    I was overthinking it, for sure.
     
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