Monday, January 19, 2015

diy color

This is my setup for color film processing.


If you search the web for tips on doing your own C-41 color film processing you will find people suggesting rather elaborate temperature control schemes, often involving aquarium heaters, turkey roasters or expensive rotary agitators.  None of that is necessary if, like me, you are mostly processing one roll at a time.  I just run some hot water into a plastic pan into which I put the developer, blix and stabilizer to warm to the recommended temperatures.  When the developer reaches 102 deg. I pour it into the developing tank, turn off the hot water and set the tank in the pan.  Since development only takes 3.5 minutes, there is very little temperature change that takes place.  The blix phase is less critical in regard to time and temperature, and the stabilizer goes in at room temperature.   I have developed nineteen rolls of color film using this method and the one-liter Unicolor kit and have not seen any unusual color shifts or other processing problems.  Below are some shots from my last roll shot on Fuji 200 in my Contessa 35.




7 comments:

Jim Grey said...

You are removing any fears I had about processing my own color.

I know, I know, I've been talking about doing my own processing for years now and keep not doing it. But when I do finally take that step, I won't shy away from color.

Nice contrasts from your Contessa. But then, I've come to expect that from Zeiss Ikon lenses.

Mike said...

I've had better luck with the Unicolor kit lately than with b&w which I have been doing for years. The problem is that the availability of films and chemicals has been undergoing constant change recently.

Julio F said...

Good work again. I got a Fuji 200 roll to be processed at the only remaining lab here, just to remember that film can also do color. The Unicolor process seems simpler than some B&W technique.

Mike said...

The Unicolor kit is the best buy in color processing by quite a good margin. I like the short development time as it minimizes the issue of temperature control. It is something of a puzzle as to why only Freestyle carries this product.

right-writes said...

Hi Mike, a very simple set up indeed...

I have been using a rotary system that I picked up on ebay for not a lot of cash. The reason that I did that is fear that the developer doesn't last very long once opened, so I save up around 8-10 films and then process them all on the same day, then scan over the next few days.

Just how long the developer lasts is one thing that I haven't been able to find an answer to anywhere on the net.

I have just discovered Bellini (an Italian chemistry set) and that is supplied as a tiny bottle of concentrate. I have just used a quarter of that to process 8 rolls and all went through well.

But what do you do with your chemicals in between each roll, how do you ensure their longevity?

Mike said...

I have not seen a problem in regard to longevity with the Unicolor C-41 developer that I use. I store the three fluids in plastic bottles in the refrigerator. I have been able to use the developer from one set of chemicals to process about 24 rolls of 35mm film, usually Fuji 200. That is twice what the maker recommends and others have reported even greater use of a single set of chemicals. I haven't really paid attention to the amount of time it takes me to use up a single batch of the C-41 chemicals, so I don't really know the answer to your question about longevity, but it has not really been an issue for me.

J. M. Golding said...

Beautiful color! Thank you for posting this. I'm new to home C-41 and I don't yet have a routine for it, so this is very helpful.