Mxing your own C41 bleach?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Athiril, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Hey Im currently using the Tetenal Colortec C41 5 litre kit, cost about $150 here, i think there are only 2 places in Australia that sell this stuff...


    Anyway I dont want to buy it in kits after this...costly.. this kit uses a combined process of Ammonium Ferric and Ammonium Thiosulfate for a blix process.

    Firstly, can I use these two solutions in separate baths for separate bleach and fix? Or do they need to be run together?

    Secondly, if I run separate bleach and fix baths, can I use B&W fixer in place of the c41 fix?

    Thirdly, if I run separate bleach and fix baths, is it possible to mix up my own bleach solution from common household/supermarket chemicals (or ordered through a chemist (drugstore for you americans))?

    Ive been researching and experimenting trying to create my own bleach and developing cut off tails of c41 films, and all my mixes have been either inert (no effect on the film), or have indiscriminantly stripped the entire film clear (these tails were exposed to light thus should be black/dark)


    I also want to get into E6 - but the 5 litre kit is $200 with shipping (about $134 US at time of exchange rate - but back last year when we were 1:1 prices were still the same) and E6 rolls are about $22 a roll ($15 US - will be bulk ordering Astia from the U.S with like $40 US shipping that works out to be less than half price still - even with the exchange rate and shipping costs) :/


    Oh, and assuming I can get my hands on formalin/formaldehyde - I can make my own stabiliser by mixing it with cloudy ammonia (the 5% liquid stuff at supermarkets).


    If I can just work out everything where I only need the development chemicals, and substitute the rest of the processses with alternatives outside of a kit, I can substantially reduce the cost for myself.



    p.s: ive been careful to not make any poisonous gasses in my experimentation.
     
  2. OldBikerPete

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  3. OP
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    Athiril

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    I see youre in melbourne, how much does your stuff normally cost you for how much volume/number of films you can process?

    Im 2 hours south of bris on the north east nsw coast, and usually mail order from vanbar in melb.

    edit: just read second page and saw cost break down.
     
  4. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    See if you can find a shop selling minilab jugs. C-41 fix and bleach aren't normally run together. Blix is used for RA-4. I think PE has explained the problems with using blix for C-41.

    The cost for bleach chemicals is high enough to not make it much/any cheaper then buying a 5 litre minilab jug.
     
  5. OP
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    Athiril

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    The tetenal kit says to mix them together, and use them in one bath.

    In any case, its already a "5 litre kit" (each of the 3 baths mix into 5 litres with water, for example 1 litre of ammonium ferric + 1 litre of ammonium thiosulphate + 3 litres of water = 5 litres of bleach/fix).

    Lucky Ive been leaving the concentrates just unmixed and dividing the working solutions down to a few mls to mix up into 300 mls of working solutions at a time.

    I also saw a successful stand development of C41 on flickr using highly diluted chemicals :smile:


    Edit: snipped the below into a new thread instead of hijacking my own thread.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2009
  6. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I have used c-22 bleach on c-41 films quite sucessfully for my purposes. It is followed by a coople of 30 second rinses then 2.5min of fixing. It is 80g pottasium ferricyanide and 20g potasium bromide per litre. I bleach for 2.5minutes at 38C. I actually mix 2 L at once, and use one L as the working solution, and the second as the replenisher. I replenish 45mL per 80sq in of film (ie 1-36 exp 35mm or 1 -120, or 4 4"x5" film sheets.) I save the overflow from after the replensiher, and mix it in dilute form with some fixer to form a bleach for bleaching back b&w prints, ala farmers reducer. When the replensiher is all used up, I usually package the woprking solution up and forward it well labelled to my local HHW depot, when I turn in my used fixers and other hazardous household bits like motor oil, anitfreeze, flourescent bulbs etc.

    I picked this formula up off claudio bonavolta's site (google last name & c41) These formulas have been discussed here in the past by Ron Mowray (Photo Engineer) as to where the weakness in them lies.

    As to fixer - yes B&W fix, as long as it is not an acid fix, will do. Fix well; you want all of the silver out of the colur film. Stabilise with a formalin sort of final rinse, since the home brew fixer will not have the stabilising function incorporated in it.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

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    Well, firstoff Pete's formulas are trash on my screen. I cannot see anything but HTML commands interspersed with garbled text. Sorry.

    Second, C22 chemistry may be too harsh on C41 films and that fix certainly needs a stop bath after the developer and a wash to prevent the ferricyanide from causing severe stain. To be certain, you should have clearing baths in there as well.

    Most everyone is putting their film at risk with these oddball processes and that may include long term image stabilty.

    Yes, you can use the bleach and fix parts separately. They are more stable, but should be mixed with about 1/2 the water so if you have a part that purports to mix to 1 gallon, mix it to 1/2 gallone. Do NOT use B&W fix. Those fixes are not the proper pH. Use C41 or E6 fixes on color film or...

    Hypo 200 ml /l
    Ammonium Sulfite 10 g/l
    Disodium EDTA 10 g/l
    pH 6.5

    As for fix, use standard Ammonium Ferric EDTA solution 200 ml/l + 100 g/l Ammonium Bromide + 10 g/l Disodium EDTA at pH 6.5

    Use these for 6 - 8 minutes each with an 8 minute rinse in between and an 8 minute wash afterwards. The washes prolong the life of the fix and stabilzer. If the stabilzer or fixer start to turn pink, the wash is not good enough.

    PE
     
  8. OP
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    Athiril

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    Do you not mean As for bleach?

    And how would an unbalanced pH fix affect the film? Since the point of a wash is to remove any trace residue of the chemicals left over?
     
  9. Photo Engineer

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    Unbalanced pH will affect bleach rate and image stability.

    PE
     
  10. OP
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    Athiril

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    so that means its also a longetivity issue?

    something id likely only care about doing larger formats, since i digitise mine.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

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    That should be *as for bleach* above. Sorry for the error and sorry I missed confirming your correction. Thanks for the catch.

    PE
     
  12. OldBikerPete

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    For costing of chems from Canada, I used surface freight which takes about 10 weeks. Using that service the cost to me has been about double that of the chemicals themselves. Air freight costs much more.
    If you like I can eMail my full eXcel spreadsheet with all the costs and formulae, including other formulae which contributed to what I finished up using.
     
  13. OP
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    Athiril

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    Sure ill pm you my email, if it works out cheaping than order from vanbar in melborne, then id say we're getting ripped off in this country, just like with the cost of film here, when i can order for $40 shipping from the us for a film at 0.67 cents to the dollar and still come out at half price :tongue:
     
  14. mts

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    First, I second PE's comment that alternative formulae are not ideal for the films in question, particularly with regard to long-term dye stability. The old reliable Fe-EDTA formula given by PE is baseline chemistry for both C-41 and E-6. Nevertheless alternative chemistry has been my choice for the last thirty years or so and I have had excellent success with a quinone-persulfate bleach formula believed to have originated in the former GDR in the 1970s. This is not the persulfate bleach Kodak formula that was used for some motion picture films.

    E-6 takes a more aggressive bleach than C-41 and I found that this bleach works wonderfully for both reversal and negative films. One advantage of the quinone-persulfate bleach is it's use of more readily available and less expensive components. Its operation was described about twenty years back in an article by Dr. Robert Chapman in Darkroom Photo Techniques magazine. If you like I can e-mail you my collection of formulae upon which I continue to rely.
     
  15. OldBikerPete

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    Yes, film prices in Australia are exhorbitant. I find Badger Graphics in USA a good supplier since they are happy to use a relatively inexpensive method of postage which makes them the cheapest USA supplier for my Portra which I buy about 200 sheets at a time.
    And yes, that gets the film to my door at about half locakl price.