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Thread: Color Processing

  1. #1
    Foamer
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    Color Processing

    Over the past month I've started to think that processing color film isn't as hard as I previously thought. For over a year now I've been processing b&w film and dry plates with no problem, and since last August I've shot a lot of wet plate (4x5, 5x7 , 8x10.). So, maybe color film isn't so hard after all? I will start with 4x5--don't want to mess with roll film. I have both the SP-445 and SP-810. First I need to decide if I want E6 or C-41. E6 is easier to scan--don't have to mess with the orange mask. Downside is the final bleach stains like a sonnabitch. C41 has more dynamic range and is more forgiving. All in all I'm thinking E6 maybe. I could fill my kitchen sink with correct temp water or use a medium sized plastic tub--that might be safer to avoid stains. The sous vide heater I read about on the other thread looks like a good option for controlling temperature. Not sure what processing kit to get, there are several. I suppose the tetenal. I'll need a kit as I've not done color before. They say they can do x8 rolls. I seem to remember that one 35mm roll equals one 4x5 sheet? Looks like all the small kits are out of stock at the moment anyway. I guess while I was out driving hundreds of miles taking photos a bunch of people were stuck at home and ordered stuff out of boredom. (I wouldn't trade places. ) I can wait until the kits are back in stock. Not sure how much color film I will shoot but maybe some. Looking at prices again I think I will rule out shooting 8x10 color. And, 5x7 color has sort of ruled itself out, I guess. I love using my little Chamonix 4x5 and have a great selection of lenses for it so that makes shooting 4x5 even easier.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  2. #2

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    Re: Color Processing

    1 roll 35mm = 1 8x10", IIRC

  3. #3
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
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    Re: Color Processing

    I just started doing C41, in my kitchen with the SP-8x10. I bought the Cinestill liquid C41 kit to get started, mainly because it was in stock locally and I could get it the delivered next day. I also have a Tetenal E6 kit to try next. In research the C41 and Kodak chemistry with the separate bleach and fix it gets a little confusing. I found this website very helpful. https://www.kabbottphoto.com/c-41-wi...color-at-home/ I just ordered Kodak C41 chemistry from Unique Photo. Iím going with the Kodak for couple because of the separate bleach / fix, the fact the the developer will be used one shot. As far as the E6 goes I have to research that more, but initially will start with the Tetenal kit. I may end up using the Fuji Hunt kit.

    This whole adventure started because I got some 8x10 film holders that where loaded with Portra dating from 2010 and 118 sheets of 8x10 expired Astia. I didnít want to start sending expired film of unknown history out to a lab at $10 a sheet plus postage. So far Iíve developed 9 sheet of 8x10 and all the negatives look good. I am very impressed with with the SP-8x10, itís extremely well thought out.

    So yes go for it.

    Roger

  4. #4

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    Re: Color Processing

    I second C-41... Two bath, slight fudge factor, and results that will exceed lab processing you have seen...

    First developer is almost a B/W developer that brings up the silver image, then the bleach that removes the silver, but the dye behind the silver remains in proportion to the amount of silver that was there (x 3 layers)... Not rocket science, but temp, dev time, and dev exhaustion have to be monitored...

    For the water bath, not too complicated once you get the hang of it... First, you standardize a temp that is convenient for you and your set-up and consistently use that temp (as that will be your standard color balance there... There's also the uphill/downhill method to warm or cool your water where you get it slightly over/under the chosen temp and if the room temp is warmer or cooler, you allow the bath (with chem bottles in it) to find the perfect temp in not too long wait... Usually the bath temp changes slowly, so you have a window where the temp is OK for your 3 3/4 (?) dev time... There are easier ways with mixing valves etc, but this also works with practice...

    Once you scan or print from a neg a few times, not hard to get into the color balanced zone...

    Not hard to do...

    Steve K

  5. #5
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
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    Re: Color Processing

    To add to what LabRat said. My target temp was 102į so I started with 103į this was based on the info here. https://shop.stearmanpress.com/blogs...of-the-sp-8x10 . That and the fact that our house is fairly cool, I'm in an San Francisco after all. That was for the SP-8x10 tray which I didn’t try and put in a water bath. I kept all the chemistry in a Jobo tempering bath during the development session.

    Roger

  6. #6

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    Re: Color Processing

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Thoms View Post
    I just started doing C41, in my kitchen with the SP-8x10. I bought the Cinestill liquid C41 kit to get started, mainly because it was in stock locally and I could get it the delivered next day. I also have a Tetenal E6 kit to try next. In research the C41 and Kodak chemistry with the separate bleach and fix it gets a little confusing. I found this website very helpful. https://www.kabbottphoto.com/c-41-wi...color-at-home/ I just ordered Kodak C41 chemistry from Unique Photo. I’m going with the Kodak for couple because of the separate bleach / fix, the fact the the developer will be used one shot. As far as the E6 goes I have to research that more, but initially will start with the Tetenal kit. I may end up using the Fuji Hunt kit.

    This whole adventure started because I got some 8x10 film holders that where loaded with Portra dating from 2010 and 118 sheets of 8x10 expired Astia. I didn’t want to start sending expired film of unknown history out to a lab at $10 a sheet plus postage. So far I’ve developed 9 sheet of 8x10 and all the negatives look good. I am very impressed with with the SP-8x10, it’s extremely well thought out.

    So yes go for it.

    Roger
    For E6 I've used them all. The old Kodak 5L kit, the Freestyle Fuji Pro6 5L kit and the Tetenal kit that Freestyle sells. I've gotten great results from all of these. I think that the Tetenal kits work great as long as you don't overuse them.
    My current project is I've bought bulk quantities of the Fuji Pro6 chemistry made in the US. This is slightly different from the Pro6 5L Fuji kit that Freestyle sells.
    The US still uses a conditioner and a final rinse with a bit of formalin. The Freestyle version is made in the Netherlands and uses "pre-bleach" and a different final rinse that uses Miconazole as a biocide to preserve the film.
    Long story short, I get great results with them all. Astia in 8x10 sounds pretty great.
    By far the most critical step is 1st developer time and temperature, the rest is not that touchy.
    Right now I've got enough E6 chemistry to float a boat. Gives me something to do during the lock down.
    Best Regards Mike

  7. #7

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    Re: Color Processing

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Thoms View Post
    I just started doing C41, in my kitchen with the SP-8x10. I bought the Cinestill liquid C41 kit to get started, mainly because it was in stock locally and I could get it the delivered next day. I also have a Tetenal E6 kit to try next. In research the C41 and Kodak chemistry with the separate bleach and fix it gets a little confusing. I found this website very helpful. https://www.kabbottphoto.com/c-41-wi...color-at-home/ I just ordered Kodak C41 chemistry from Unique Photo. I’m going with the Kodak for couple because of the separate bleach / fix, the fact the the developer will be used one shot. As far as the E6 goes I have to research that more, but initially will start with the Tetenal kit. I may end up using the Fuji Hunt kit.
    Can I ask about the Kodak chemicals. I too am looking at a sort of "build my own kit" from Unique Photo using Kodak Flexicolor. I'm using a JOBO tank but with my own custom rotary - so no fancy lifting heads or anything like that, but a rotary process I can control well enough (for BW I use a 45RPM motor, for color I was using a 78RPM but might prefer to stick with 45 since I currently control speeds by using separate motors). I'm using an Arduino/ATiny85 microcontroller for direction changes and such (which is overbuilt :P) but it works. See https://gitlab.com/m00dawg/devdawg/-...aster/rotary85 for more info on that.

    Anyways, I too am wanting to go to a separate bleach/fix after being spoiled by QWD's ECN2 kit. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the bleach and fixer last A LOT longer correct? The bleach I can even re-generate? They're also flexible-ish on time (and also the most expensive items to order from UQ due to shipping). That means I can easily just buy more developer as needed?

    What are you using for storage of all these chemicals? I use a 5L water bag for my XTOL stock (I do XTOL replenishment) so I'm used to messing with bags...albeit not like 3 bags with crazy color chemicals

    Finally, do you have a suggested list of products to get from UQ? I get confused by the start vs replenisher (or the combo start/replenisher) and the instructions are a bit light.

    Oh finally finally (sorry!) are you using Final Rinse or a formaldehyde stabilizer?

  8. #8

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    Re: Color Processing

    E6 breathing to life in front of you out of the can is categorically worth the stains.

  9. #9
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
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    Re: Color Processing

    Quote Originally Posted by m00dawg View Post
    Can I ask about the Kodak chemicals. I too am looking at a sort of "build my own kit" from Unique Photo using Kodak Flexicolor. I'm using a JOBO tank but with my own custom rotary - so no fancy lifting heads or anything like that, but a rotary process I can control well enough (for BW I use a 45RPM motor, for color I was using a 78RPM but might prefer to stick with 45 since I currently control speeds by using separate motors). I'm using an Arduino/ATiny85 microcontroller for direction changes and such (which is overbuilt :P) but it works. See https://gitlab.com/m00dawg/devdawg/-...aster/rotary85 for more info on that.

    Anyways, I too am wanting to go to a separate bleach/fix after being spoiled by QWD's ECN2 kit. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the bleach and fixer last A LOT longer correct? The bleach I can even re-generate? They're also flexible-ish on time (and also the most expensive items to order from UQ due to shipping). That means I can easily just buy more developer as needed?

    What are you using for storage of all these chemicals? I use a 5L water bag for my XTOL stock (I do XTOL replenishment) so I'm used to messing with bags...albeit not like 3 bags with crazy color chemicals

    Finally, do you have a suggested list of products to get from UQ? I get confused by the start vs replenisher (or the combo start/replenisher) and the instructions are a bit light.

    Oh finally finally (sorry!) are you using Final Rinse or a formaldehyde stabilizer?



    First off, I'm totally new to color developing, so I'm just learning all this stuff myself. Yes Fix and especially the bleach have long shelf life’s. Also the developer-starter has good shelf life, it’s the developer-replenisher that has the short life once it’s mixed. Remember that you mix your developer-starter and developer-replenisher right before you process.

    For storage I just ordered 32oz. glass bottles for everything.

    As far as the list of chemistry I got that off of Karl Abbott's website that I linked to in my previous post. I encourage you to check out Karl's write up, it's pretty thorough and has a ton of links’s for all the chemistry and supplies plus links to a couple of Photrio threads and a bunch of Kodak publications.

    I ordered the Kodak final rinse which I understand is fine for film manufactured after 2002. I also ordered some Formaldehyde to make my own stabilizer based on this post #1 here. https://www.photrio.com/forum/thread...bilzers.89149/

    And finally here's an attachment showing what I ordered from Unique.

    Roger
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 92B1D60E-4F04-4CE9-8FEA-9E693168B372.jpg  
    Last edited by Roger Thoms; 10-May-2020 at 21:28. Reason: Clarity

  10. #10
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
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    Re: Color Processing

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin D View Post
    E6 breathing to life in front of you out of the can is categorically worth the stains.
    I was unaware that E6 stains. Am I going to have issues with the kitchen sink in the house I rent? It's a porcelain enameled cast iron sink that’s under mounted with a ceramic tile counter. It would be a lot of work to replace.

    Roger

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