Author Topic: Next Step: Developing Color Film  (Read 426 times)

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MiguelCampano

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Next Step: Developing Color Film
« on: May 17, 2017, 03:30:24 PM »
Hi all,

So, this past weekend was my birthday (25 years young), and my roommate bought me a bunch of color film as part of my gift, so now I have 4 rolls of Superia Xtra 400, 2 packs of x3 Kodak Gold 200, x3 Kodak Ultramax 400 and a 5x pack of Kodak Portra 160. He also got me 2 rolls of Fuji Provia 100F. Considering that around 90% of my pictures are taken in B&W, which I develop at home, I haven't had the need for buying color chemicals, and so the only few rolls I've shot in color go to my local lab for $6.50 a pop for negatives only, uncut.

With that being said, I'm interested in doing my own C-41 developing at home (and E-6, eventually), but I'm rather confused as to what kit to buy and quantities. I have been eyeing the Unicolor Powder kit, as well as the Arista liquid kit but it seems that they're only good for 6-8 rolls which is only slightly cheaper than my lab after price+tax+postage is included.

Any recommendations + tips on this subject?

Thanks!
Miguel.

jharr

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2017, 07:43:14 PM »
I use the Unicolor 1L kit and I usually get ~ 30 rolls (35mm x 24 exp) before I replace it. The manufacturers recommendation is for professional labs that operate under very tight tolerances. After about 15 or 20 rolls do a strip test before every batch and you will be fine. Be careful not to cross contaminate the developer with blix. That will kill the dev solution. Just ask Satish. :P
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MiguelCampano

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2017, 08:05:33 PM »
I use the Unicolor 1L kit and I usually get ~ 30 rolls (35mm x 24 exp) before I replace it. The manufacturers recommendation is for professional labs that operate under very tight tolerances. After about 15 or 20 rolls do a strip test before every batch and you will be fine. Be careful not to cross contaminate the developer with blix. That will kill the dev solution. Just ask Satish. :P

Thank you! That sounds way better. I'm thinking about getting some of those amber glass bottles to store the chemicals after use. Is it necessary to rinse the tank in between adding chemicals or can I just pour, recover then pour whatever is next in sequence without rinsing?

Francois

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2017, 08:45:31 PM »
Also, on the pack I ordered from Argentix, they say that the slightest trace of soap can kill the developer. So make sure you rinse the bottles extremely well if they are recycled.
Francois

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jharr

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2017, 09:21:39 PM »
Thank you! That sounds way better. I'm thinking about getting some of those amber glass bottles to store the chemicals after use. Is it necessary to rinse the tank in between adding chemicals or can I just pour, recover then pour whatever is next in sequence without rinsing?

Some people rinse between dev and blix. I don't and haven't seen any evidence that the dev has any effect on the blix. I use separate funnels for each solution to get them back in their bottles (translucent, but not amber or air-tight). I also am just careful not to set the bottles next to each other when they are open and definitely label the caps so you don't switch them. Really just a few good habits and you will be fine.
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thatguychad

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2017, 10:08:29 PM »
To add to what others have already said, I use the Unicolor kit and it's the only C-41 kit that I have experience with. I get it from Freestyle or FPP since I'm usually ordering something else from one of them at the same time. I do rinse between dev and blix out of an abundance of caution to ease my mind and give me some more time sometimes because I forgot to pour the blix before my develop timer was up. I use my C-41 kit for about 12-15 rolls because of a bad experience that may or may not have been the kit exhausting (it was probably just me not blixing for long enough.)

I've used two E6 kits, the Tetenal and now the Unicolor kit and they're slightly different. The Tetenal kit has 1st Dev, Color Dev, Blix, and Stabilizer. The Unicolor kit has 1st Dev, Color Dev, and Blix and the times are slightly different from the Tetenal kit. Both have given me great results.

As for bottles, I use a mix of amber glass (from photoformulary) and the Datatainers that you can get everywhere else. For me, the plastic bottles pour nicer; I'm always cleaning up dribbles from the glass bottles...some worse than others. I use a hot water bath to bring my chemicals up to temp and I haven't tested, but I don't think it makes much of a difference between the two as to which container heats quicker or more evenly. The Datatainers are slightly taller and have a smaller girth, so the hot water bath doesn't come up as far as on the glass bottles. Given the choice to switch to a single bottle type, I'd choose to go with the Datatainers. jharr has good advice for the bottles, label the caps and bottles so you don't confuse them and keep them organized. Use the same routine every time one you figure out the process. I also put a piece of blue painters tape on the bottle to tally the number of rolls processed (you only need to do this on one of the bottles) and the date it was mixed.

Oh...happy birthday!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 10:13:04 PM by thatguychad »

Francois

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2017, 10:19:43 PM »
Happy Birthday Miguel!

May is such a busy month for Filmwaster's birthdays :)
Francois

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2017, 12:19:46 AM »
I use the Unicolor 1L kit and I usually get ~ 30 rolls (35mm x 24 exp) before I replace it. The manufacturers recommendation is for professional labs that operate under very tight tolerances. After about 15 or 20 rolls do a strip test before every batch and you will be fine. Be careful not to cross contaminate the developer with blix. That will kill the dev solution. Just ask Satish. :P

What he said :D I've used the Tetenal liquid kit and the Unicolor powder. I've stuck with the powder just because it's marginally cheaper; however, I did like the liquid a little better because I could easily mix up half batches and liquid concentrates are not as noxious as powders (I don't recommend mixing half batches of the powder, though it is possible). I get anywhere between 12 and 20 rolls of 135-36 per liter (or 120, same surface area), and I can't tell why some batches start to fade after 12 while others keep going to 20. But I do a clip test EVERY SINGLE TIME. For a couple of reasons. First, my dev has died a sudden death a couple of times due to fixer contamination. Second, I find that making anything a habit makes me more likely to remember to do it.

I don't stop or rinse between dev and blix (forward contamination is fine, backward contamination is death), and I haven't stabbed in a couple of years. Stab is supposedly only necessary for older film emulsions (which is what I shoot half the time anyways :D ), and even then just for archival purposes, but not for modern emulsions like Gold or Superia or whatnot. I just detest the extra step, and sometimes the stab leaves drying marks.

As far as bottles, I use an accordion bottle for the dev (again part of my paranoia of it dying an untimely death), but a plain Datatainer for the blix. I figure, bleach needs oxygen to work anyways, why keep it from what it loves? ;D

MiguelCampano

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2017, 04:07:21 AM »
Thank you all. This is very useful. I'm definitely planning on start developing color very soon... And I'm almost convinced that I'll start with C-41 and then, eventually, go to E-6.

I've seen on eBay a bunch of expired/old c-41 kits... Any experience with those? For a more washed-down look I'm assuming that expired film does the trick.

thatguychad

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2017, 04:12:12 AM »
How cheap are these expired kits and how much is your time and effort worth? For the $20 I spend on a new kit, it's worth not having to worry about whether or not it'll work.

MiguelCampano

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2017, 04:14:07 AM »
How cheap are these expired kits and how much is your time and effort worth? For the $20 I spend on a new kit, it's worth not having to worry about whether or not it'll work.

Agreed. I was just wondering as I've seen some Kodak E-6 kits, sealed in box but old. But you're absolutely right, plus while I get the hang of things it's best to be assured it works.

MiguelCampano

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2017, 07:57:03 PM »
Thank you all. This is very useful. I'm definitely planning on start developing color very soon... And I'm almost convinced that I'll start with C-41 and then, eventually, go to E-6.

I've seen on eBay a bunch of expired/old c-41 kits... Any experience with those? For a more washed-down look I'm assuming that expired film does the trick.

My girlfriend just ordered me a 1L kit from Unicolor as a "gift", so we'll see. I'mm be shooting several rolls this weekend, Portra, Gold, Superia, and then play around with the chemicals once they arrive.

Now that she bought me the kit, I'm thinking about buying an E-6 kit to at least just have it. I have two rolls of Provia that need to be developed so I'll probably pay for those and see how they come out first.

Kayos

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2017, 05:47:35 PM »
I use what is now branded Rollei, but it was something else before

I also heat them up in water bath, this is heated with aquarium heaters controlled by a PID

MiguelCampano

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2017, 06:01:18 PM »
I use what is now branded Rollei, but it was something else before

I also heat them up in water bath, this is heated with aquarium heaters controlled by a PID

Hello Kayos,

I've seen many great reviews about the Rollei Digibase kit. I might try it out at some point.

Also, I just saw your blog... Very nice pictures! I see that you use a Canon EOS 3... I'm hoping to purchase one in the near future, although I'd settle with an EOS 1N  :D

Kayos

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2017, 11:35:54 PM »
I use what is now branded Rollei, but it was something else before

I also heat them up in water bath, this is heated with aquarium heaters controlled by a PID

Hello Kayos,

I've seen many great reviews about the Rollei Digibase kit. I might try it out at some point.

Also, I just saw your blog... Very nice pictures! I see that you use a Canon EOS 3... I'm hoping to purchase one in the near future, although I'd settle with an EOS 1N  :D

I'd sell mine, also has a genuine split screen for manual lenss

Indofunk

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2017, 01:31:40 AM »
I use what is now branded Rollei, but it was something else before

I also heat them up in water bath, this is heated with aquarium heaters controlled by a PID

Hello Kayos,

I've seen many great reviews about the Rollei Digibase kit. I might try it out at some point.

Also, I just saw your blog... Very nice pictures! I see that you use a Canon EOS 3... I'm hoping to purchase one in the near future, although I'd settle with an EOS 1N  :D

I'd sell mine, also has a genuine split screen for manual lenss

I'll happily act as messenger for this deal, since I'll be in Leeds in July, and Philly ... well, that's basically just a suburb of NYC, innit? :D Let me know if you want to do this, because I know shipping charges are prohibitively expensive o'er the pond :o

Kayos

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2017, 06:42:35 PM »
I use what is now branded Rollei, but it was something else before

I also heat them up in water bath, this is heated with aquarium heaters controlled by a PID

Hello Kayos,

I've seen many great reviews about the Rollei Digibase kit. I might try it out at some point.

Also, I just saw your blog... Very nice pictures! I see that you use a Canon EOS 3... I'm hoping to purchase one in the near future, although I'd settle with an EOS 1N  :D

I'd sell mine, also has a genuine split screen for manual lenss

I'll happily act as messenger for this deal, since I'll be in Leeds in July, and Philly ... well, that's basically just a suburb of NYC, innit? :D Let me know if you want to do this, because I know shipping charges are prohibitively expensive o'er the pond :o

Even if he doesn't want it (and the dedicate speedlite, instruction book etc) we should meet up again for another swift half :)

Indofunk

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2017, 06:58:47 PM »
I use what is now branded Rollei, but it was something else before

I also heat them up in water bath, this is heated with aquarium heaters controlled by a PID

Hello Kayos,

I've seen many great reviews about the Rollei Digibase kit. I might try it out at some point.

Also, I just saw your blog... Very nice pictures! I see that you use a Canon EOS 3... I'm hoping to purchase one in the near future, although I'd settle with an EOS 1N  :D

I'd sell mine, also has a genuine split screen for manual lenss

I'll happily act as messenger for this deal, since I'll be in Leeds in July, and Philly ... well, that's basically just a suburb of NYC, innit? :D Let me know if you want to do this, because I know shipping charges are prohibitively expensive o'er the pond :o

Even if he doesn't want it (and the dedicate speedlite, instruction book etc) we should meet up again for another swift half :)

This will definitely happen, and it won't be that "swift" because quite a few halves will be consumed  ;D

MiguelCampano

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2017, 04:56:10 AM »
I use what is now branded Rollei, but it was something else before

I also heat them up in water bath, this is heated with aquarium heaters controlled by a PID

Hello Kayos,

I've seen many great reviews about the Rollei Digibase kit. I might try it out at some point.

Also, I just saw your blog... Very nice pictures! I see that you use a Canon EOS 3... I'm hoping to purchase one in the near future, although I'd settle with an EOS 1N  :D

I'd sell mine, also has a genuine split screen for manual lenss

I'll happily act as messenger for this deal, since I'll be in Leeds in July, and Philly ... well, that's basically just a suburb of NYC, innit? :D Let me know if you want to do this, because I know shipping charges are prohibitively expensive o'er the pond :o

Hey.. Not  bad idea, at all..

jharr

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2017, 01:40:22 AM »
Okay, I'm going to throw a flower foul on this thread for talking endlessly about color development and yet having no color photos. I mean there's even a reply that contains 5 nested replies within it and if that's not deserving a flower foul, I don't know what is.

This, by the way is Ektachrome Slide Dupe dev'd in old Unicolor. I probably have 20 + rolls (35x36 or equivalent) through it and it's going strong both heated and at room temp.


Winter Aloe Flowers by James Harr, on Flickr
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 01:42:24 AM by jharr »
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MiguelCampano

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2017, 02:11:32 AM »
Okay, I'm going to throw a flower foul on this thread for talking endlessly about color development and yet having no color photos. I mean there's even a reply that contains 5 nested replies within it and if that's not deserving a flower foul, I don't know what is.

This, by the way is Ektachrome Slide Dupe dev'd in old Unicolor. I probably have 20 + rolls (35x36 or equivalent) through it and it's going strong both heated and at room temp.


Winter Aloe Flowers by James Harr, on Flickr

Very nice! I can't wait to see the new Ektachrome this year. Once I start developing slides I might pick a few expired rolls and give it a go.

How do you store your chemicals once mixed? Just in a dark, cool place with dark bottles?

Indofunk

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2017, 02:37:40 AM »
Okay, I'm going to throw a flower foul on this thread for talking endlessly about color development and yet having no color photos. I mean there's even a reply that contains 5 nested replies within it and if that's not deserving a flower foul, I don't know what is.

This, by the way is Ektachrome Slide Dupe dev'd in old Unicolor. I probably have 20 + rolls (35x36 or equivalent) through it and it's going strong both heated and at room temp.


Winter Aloe Flowers by James Harr, on Flickr

I'm going to foul YOU for misusing the flower foul. There was no "over my head technical talk" in this thread, so no flower foul was invoked. However, of course, your point about needing to have color photos in this thread is 100% correct and I will therefore forgive your false flower foul and add my own color photo ... from my first home-developed color roll in 2014, which happened to be an E6 film (Agfa Precisa) cross processed in C41 :)


A romantic winter's day by Satish Indofunk, on Flickr

jharr

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2017, 02:59:50 AM »
I store all of my chemicals in my office which is dimly lit by a window that gets no direct sun. They sit on the floor which I suppose is a bit cooler than the air. They are in clear plastic bottles. Sometimes I put a puff of lighter gas (butane) on top before capping them, but usually I forget. So basically I treat them very poorly and they are very tolerant.

Satish, it was a TFF (technical flower foul) which can be called by anyone for any reason when a thread is deemed in need of a photo. :P
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 03:01:41 AM by jharr »
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Indofunk

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2017, 03:25:37 AM »
Satish, it was a TFF (technical flower foul) which can be called by anyone for any reason when a thread is deemed in need of a photo. :P

Well, you didn't specify that it was a "technical" flower foul. Again, due to the lack of photos in this thread I'll give you a pass this time, but please specify next time ;)

Kayos

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Re: Next Step: Developing Color Film
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2017, 08:31:47 AM »
But surely discussions around meeting fellow filmwasters and alcohol are allowed?
I'm pretty sure Satish wants to take another candid picture of me as he had the wrong shutter speed last time