C41 kit ...

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I called Freestyle, looking for C41 chemicals, and they had ten 1-liter unicolor kits left for seventeen bucks, so I bought one. Last night I mixed the chems up and souped 4 rolls. They turned out ok!

What do you think?

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Inside Monti's La Casa Vieja

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Airplane with Fidelity National Title Building

Portra 400VC with Mamiya 645 and 45mm lens.
 
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Walmart is slowly shutting the doors, they will no longer develop film in-house.
Their send-out service to Fuji will probably be next and will have to do
something like this when it happens. Right now I only pay 91c per 120 roll of
color negative, tax included. E6 developing will also be something to think about.

Thanks for posting and just how difficult is it?
 
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The kit come up a little over two bucks for a roll of 120 or 36 exposure 135. I have a big tank, so I can do two of the former or five of the latter at a time.

It's only incrementally more involved than b&w processing. A large bucket of hot water keeps everything at the correct temperature of 102F (+ or - 2) - at least for the 3.5 minutes of development. Then the second step - blix - lasts another 6.5 minutes, but you can let the temperature drop to 95. The final step, stabilizer is done at room temperature. There is a 3 minute wash in between blix and stabilizer, and that's it. The negatives look milky as if they are unfixed, but don't worry - they get to clear orange after drying.

E6 is another story. It likes to be kept at a more stable temperature and has more steps. But it's doable as well. While I am VERY pleased with my C41 results, I have always found that my own processing of E6 left something to be desired - they often had a purple cast.

But I have seen home processed slides that looked very good, so there you go. I'd recommend the Unicolor C-41 kits to anyone who is already familiar with B&W processing.
 
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Both very interesting and a surprise to see you doing color. I used to do color printing but never did C-41 film developing. I had an additive color enlarger and it was a piece of cake printing with it!
 
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Wow. Henry's charged me something like six or seven dollars for a roll of 120, so this suddenly looks very appealing ;)

The temperature control always had me rather worried about at-home C41 development, however. The last thing I wanted to do was blow a roll because I let the tank cool down two degrees.
 
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Would you consider the quality comparable to what your used to from a lab?
Almost. I saw a couple frames with some minor streaking. I also see this on my B&W when I don't fill the tank fast enough and get right to the initial agitation. As far as the color and density - it's as good as I would expect. The next time I do it, I will use a smaller tank (I used a 5 reel tank, which takes about 23 seconds to fill.)

Both very interesting and a surprise to see you doing color. I used to do color printing but never did C-41 film developing. I had an additive color enlarger and it was a piece of cake printing with it!
I don't think it is a secret that I normally do my color work digitally. But every time I break out the Mamiya, I want to shoot color film. And I had a stash of Portra left over from a project a couple years ago. It expires later this year, so I shot it for my current Fractured Urbania project.

Back in the day, I did Cbachrome printing. I much prefer the adjustable nature of B&W film AND printing. Each step is much more malleable than is color film. I remember doing contrast masking transparencies, and unsharp masking. For the younguns reading this, film unsharp masking is a piece of special film that has a blurred mask exposed onto the film through the original transparency and a diffuser. When put in register and printed, the mask sharpens the print by increasing the contrast of the edges between light and dark. The computer USM mimics this film process - it's from the 50s I think.

Wow. Henry's charged me something like six or seven dollars for a roll of 120, so this suddenly looks very appealing ;)

The temperature control always had me rather worried about at-home C41 development, however. The last thing I wanted to do was blow a roll because I let the tank cool down two degrees.
Having a large tub of water solves that problem. I mixed the chemicals with 110 degree water, put them into 3, 1 liter polypropylene bottles. The bottles were put into a 3 gallon tub. The tub was placed under a sink and filled with 102 degree water. As the water cooled, I scooped some out, and refilled with hot water, maintaining the temperature at 102. After about 10 minutes of doing this the water would stay between 103 and 101 degrees for longer than 20 minutes. Since the presoak, developer, blix and wash steps take only 15 minutes this is long enough.

A caution to anyone who does this: wear a dust mask when mixing the chemicals - a big plume of dust comes off when you pour it into a bottle. I suppose you could mix in a beaker and reduce this, but the fastest way to do it is to dump the powder into a liter bottle that is 3/4ths full of 110 degree water. Just wear the mask. Also if you don't like peeling cuticles, wear nitrile gloves during processing if you use a hand tank.
 
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Hmm, great point. It's definitely worth investing in, if it costs me seven bucks to get one roll sent away for processing.
 
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I'm on my 13th roll with my 1 liter kit, I still see no ill-effects. Furthermore, my soup is almost 7 months old. I do keep the soup in 1L brown glass bottles. I get better results then my local pro labs. I over expose by 1/2 to 1 stop on all c-41 films, it gives me better pop and less grit.

Regards.
 
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I'm on my 13th roll with my 1 liter kit, I still see no ill-effects. Furthermore, my soup is almost 7 months old. I do keep the soup in 1L brown glass bottles. I get better results then my local pro labs. I over expose by 1/2 to 1 stop on all c-41 films, it gives me better pop and less grit.

Regards.
Would you mind posting an example of this? I have always read similar sentiments, but I am curious of the look. Personally, I consistently underexpose C-41.
 
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Hope this helps. Hasselblad with various lenses, home developed and scanned. Clayton, I should clarify by over exposing I meant I reduce film ASA rating i.e. shoot 160 ASA at 100 or ASA 400 film at 320 or 200. Sorry if this caused any confusion.


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