Saturday, May 1, 2010

Processing C-41 Colour Negative Film Yourself Cheaply in Australia

Update: After much digging and comparison, You can use the Fuji Starter for Kodak C-41 chemicals (warning: Kodak Flex SM doesn't use a starter, so dont add one if you use SM, and isn't replenished either), Fuji licensed it from Kodak at one point, and well, it's the same stuff.

Also it seems Vanbar has doubled it's price on Ferricyanide, I am experimentnig with a Copper Sulphate bleach (get it from the hardware store or possibly K-Mart/BigW/etc, Vanbar also sell it) and it works great, density is basically the same, very small colour difference if corrected the same as normal bleach, but you dont do that when scanning or printing colour in the dark room.

(Side Note: I plan on creating my own developer concentrate that can be used at 1+100 20 degrees celsius, similar to Rodinal, but a colour negative developer, which should also double as a developer for b&w film, and also substitute for the colour develop stage in E-6, I'll probably make it available $30 for 500ml )

Just thought I'd post a summary on the cost of getting into C-41 outside of the tetenal kits for more economy within Australia (although even Tetenal kits provide excellent value already), in case you think it's expensive, or hard, it is not.

If you can process B&W, you can process your own colour.

Kodak Flex SM Unit Dv 2 ltr (k36SM-DEV2) $18.64
(Flexicolor SM is recommended for tank processing, and doesnt require adding a starter, nor replenishment)

Fuji CN16L C-41 Dev rep N1-CR 850067 (f3-CN16L-DR-20) (20 litre) $88.00
Fuji CN16L C-41 Dev Start N1S 850066 (f3-CN16L-DS-10) $11.00

Kodak Flex SM Final Rinse 1.5 ltr (k36SM-RINSE1.5) $6.27

Agfa 70 BL (C41) 5 ltr (a341-5) $39.61

Photochem Potassium Ferricyanide per 1kg (05524-1000) $19.80

Photochem Potassium Bromide per 1kg (05521-1000) $27.83

(you can also just use non-iodised table salt instead of potassium bromide with no ill-effect for normal colour processing, it should also be slightly faster overall as it has a slight fixing action too - so i wont count the bromide in the cost - ps: dont mix fixer with ferricyanide) - 50g/L ferricyanide, 50g/L salt will work fine.

Kodak +E-6 Fixer & repl > 10lt (k397-10) $6.27

There's also Kodak Flexicolor LORR (lower usage and replenishment rate - basically mixed developer lasts longer sitting around) developer replenisher for $46.75 (10 litre)

But you need the starter for that, which I dont think Vanbar sells, but you could get away with using the slightly different Fuji starter listed above most likely if you want to do some testing before usage.

~$51 to get into C-41 processing with 2 litres of developer, with more than enough fix and bleach.

~$130 for the same thing with 20 litres of developer.

(or ~$79 for the 10 litre Flexicolor LORR)

Shipping Cost: Vanbar charges an $18 flat rate shipping Australia wide, and they do ship these chemicals.

Compared to the $150 5 litre Tetenal kit (I have used this and it does produce excellent results).

The above prices are for the Ferricyanide bleach you mix up yourself, not the Agfa C-41 premade bleach, I also didnt include the Potassium Bromide in the cost as you can just use salt from your cupboard at home.

I've also used the Agfa C-41 bleach and it works very well on both C-41 and E-6 film.

The chemical concentrates unmixed last a very long time, the E-6 colour dev I got from vanbar on special was expire in 2005, but they're still like new, I only mix up the developer as I need it, I don't use it one-shot either.


Anonymous said...

Spoke to Vanbar today - they complained that C41 was too confusing to work out what was needed, hence people weren't that interested.... Maybe they need to build a 'kit' for the various stock parts!

nick said...

Thanks Photo Dan, please excuse my ignorance, but your chemicals for e6 or c41 are full multi step processing rather than the good 3/4 step Tetinal process?
Also How can you advise me setting (starting) up a Fujifilm Fp232b auto processor with chemicals from Vanbar rather than opening an account with Fuji?
What is the difference between startup chemicals and replenishing chemicals?
Nick V