View Full Version : C-41 chemicals 3-step

Henry Ambrose
15-Aug-2007, 20:55
I'm thinking of processing color negative film in one of the Jobo automated processors that uses a three step process. (developer, blix, wash) I used Tetenal chemicals in the Jobo I owned years ago but Tetenal is no longer available in the U.S.

Is anyone doing three step C-41 and if so, what chemicals are you using?

What chemicals is anyone in the U.S. using for C-41, whatever the version?

Ron Marshall
15-Aug-2007, 22:00
Have a look at this thread Henry:


Henry Ambrose
16-Aug-2007, 06:58
Good info there -- but I wonder about how to come up with a bleach/fix combination? I'm looking for convenience from the processing machine.

I could set up a little tank line but there's not much room in my little darkroom - not enough to leave it set up and at that point its too much hassle to set it up everytime I want to run film.

16-Aug-2007, 21:57
There's lots of discussion on C-41 on http://www.apug.org .
Some people swear by premixed chemicals, some (like myself) roll their own completely. One contributor (a retired Kodak chemical engineer) emphasises that one cannot formulate an effective long-lived blix and strongly espouses the use of separate bleach and fixer.
My own preferred protocol uses a water pre-soak, developer, stop bath (water rinse) bleach (water rinse) fixer (water wash) and stabiliser. The only solution requiring tight temperature control is the developer. The use of a stop bath extends the life of the bleach which is by far the most expensive solution.

Darryl Baird
17-Aug-2007, 07:31
Freestyle carries a three different three step C41 kits.


Henry Ambrose
17-Aug-2007, 12:42
Thanks Darryl!

i wonder who makes Arista for them?

Ron Mowrey
17-Aug-2007, 13:12

To achieve the degree of color purity and tone scale that C-41 films currently have, they use DIR couplers and high iodide crystals. This and the thick structure makes them nearly impossible to blix. They need a bleach step then fix step. The bleach and fix are more concentrated this way than a single solution would be.

A powder blix will probably not work well at all, and a liquid blix may work to a certain extent but will leave a lot of silver behind in the coating in saturated colors or high density areas, which will dull the colors and increase the apparent grain (silver + dye specks).

We did design, at EK, a blix for film that worked. It was never put into production even though it was patented. All other blixes on the market the last I heard (in the late 90s) failed to remove a substantial portion of the silver from the film. At that time, there were several 'super blix' formuas at EK, but all were rather expensive to produce using organic accelerants.

I am still working on this problem to date. It is not an easy one to solve. I have a potential solution to this problem in-hand, but I cannot recommend any of the so-called blixes on the market.


Ron Mowrey

Henry Ambrose
17-Aug-2007, 17:21
Thanks for your input Ron.