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Thread: C-41 Development - First time

  1. #1

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    May 2018
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    C-41 Development - First time

    Hi guys,

    So, the day has almost come for me to start dev'ing my own color images (4X5 and 120)
    Tmrw I'm starting with dev 4X5 and I'm nervous and excited at the same time. LOL.

    I have a series ready I have shot and I'll start with just one image because I know I have that one double.

    For heating the water and keeping it on temperature I'm using a Cinestill CS TCS-1000.
    I'll develop in a Stearman Tank, and shall be using Tetenal Colortec (1litre).
    I have distilled water.... an electronic thermometer.

    Tonight I'm making a checklist to go by when I start developing, and trying to collect information from Youtube and so on...
    But any tips are always usefull.

    I'll post my progress here also.

  2. #2
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: C-41 Development - First time

    For any developing process.. Label your chemicals... Keep them lined up in the order they will be used. I use a kitchen digital timer for timing the development steps.
    Make it simple and repeatable and consistent based on experience and elimination of possibility of mistake/confusion.
    Dry it in a dust free non-carpeted area. Run a hepa air cleaner or air filter for a while if you need the place to be dust free.

  3. #3

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    Re: C-41 Development - First time

    Quote Originally Posted by jp View Post
    For any developing process.. Label your chemicals... Keep them lined up in the order they will be used. I use a kitchen digital timer for timing the development steps.
    Make it simple and repeatable and consistent based on experience and elimination of possibility of mistake/confusion.
    Dry it in a dust free non-carpeted area. Run a hepa air cleaner or air filter for a while if you need the place to be dust free.
    I always do my work the bathroom and have read somewhere that before working there to let the shower run with hot water for the mist takes down the dust particles.

    Also, Stearman tank is smaller. Does this change the mix in any way. I would think not...

    And also: the instruction provided with the Tetanol package is talking about 35mm and 120mm, but not 4X5? Does that change anything?

    And also 2: I read different things about aggitation....

  4. #4

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    Re: C-41 Development - First time

    Consider starting out with 35mm or 120 before doing 4x5. Sheet film is quite expensive to mess up.

    Agitation with C41 to the best of my knowledge should be continuous. Then again, the C41 process was never developed with contraptions such as the Stearman in mind, so you have to improvise one way or the other. I'd personally consider going the rotation route. A few years ago I did C41 in a Paterson in a water jacket and while it did work of sorts, I wouldn't want to go back. Plus, I imagine getting even agitation in a 3m15s time span at 37.8C sounds like a potential challenge to begin with. I'm sure there are people who pull it off though.

    Re: instructions: C41 is C41 regardless of format. 37.8C for 3m15s development with constant agitation. Bleach and fix as per instructions of the chemistry manufacturer.

  5. #5

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    Re: C-41 Development - First time

    I would suggest you consider using a stop bath after the developer, this will give you breathing time. 30 seconds is perfectly long enough.

    I have used a stop bath after C41 developer for decades, not an issue. From there you carry on with the normal C41 Process.

    The SP445 will do C41 very well. I pretty much only do B&W these days, but shortly after getting my SP445 tank I did two lots of 4 sheets of 4x5 C41 negative, all good.

    As for agitation, you do need almost constant agitation with C41 as the developing time is the shortest in the business. If you do one inversion every 15 seconds, then that is constant agitation in these tanks.

    Temperature loss in the SP445 for that short time will be minimal. If you start out at 38C and use a water bath, then your possible temperature drop will almost not exist. I use an empty 2 litre ice cream container for my water bath for the SP445 and hold the tank upright using two glass jam jars full of heated water for a tight(ish) fit.

    You should be alright.

    Mick.

  6. #6

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    May 2018
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    Re: C-41 Development - First time

    It seems it takes some time to heat up the bottles.

    I was préheating the container with water and have mixed and put in the chemicals but they do not seem to farther than 36ish...
    Maybe I'm still nog waiting long enough... I'll give it some more time. :-)

  7. #7

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    Re: C-41 Development - First time

    Update:

    First ever image C41 I have done is processed and hanging to dry now.
    There is an image on it alright, but I have to wait until scanning.

    I'm was a bit more chaotic during the process than expected.
    I need gloves and a analog thermometer that goes to 40°.

    But so far I know now,.... it is not a complet failure. :-)

  8. #8

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    Re: C-41 Development - First time

    If you're only scanning, you'll get away with most inaccuracies in the process. It's a different story if you ever want to print these optically. I have several negatives here that I once thought were 'just fine, look at the scans' and that turned out to be total crap later on when I learned a bit more about what I was doing.

    I guess what I'm saying is keep an eye open for what your future may bring. You may regret it later if you are sloppy now.

  9. #9

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    Re: C-41 Development - First time

    Quote Originally Posted by koraks View Post
    If you're only scanning, you'll get away with most inaccuracies in the process. It's a different story if you ever want to print these optically. I have several negatives here that I once thought were 'just fine, look at the scans' and that turned out to be total crap later on when I learned a bit more about what I was doing.

    I guess what I'm saying is keep an eye open for what your future may bring. You may regret it later if you are sloppy now.
    I try to be as accurate as possible.

    Anyway: here it is...

    Madeleine by Smith De Westelinck

  10. #10

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    Re: C-41 Development - First time

    Looking good!

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