Developing Color Film

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by mateo, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. mateo

    mateo TPF Noob!

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    Hello all,

    I've had some experience developing B&W filim and have recently bought a lomographic camera with some 100 ISO color negative film. I've always been a "hands on" person and would like to try developing the negatives myself. I've seen a bunch of threads on how to develop B&W film, but I haven't been able to find anything that specifically lays out how to go about developing color film. What (kind/brand) chemicals? Amount of time per chemical? Any other tips or tricks from the masters like you guys.

    I'm also considering purchasing an enlarger. Anybody know of any places I might be able to find used equip?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    Matt
     
  2. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The process for developing color print film is called C-41. You'll need a C-41
    kit to develop your film. One available brand is by Unicolor. Freestyle Photo
    Supply (easy to find on the web) supplies these along with their own house
    brand Arista C-41. Since you live in a large city you may be able to find
    a C-41 kit locally through larger photo supply stores. It comes with
    instructions and more info can be found by searching the net for C-41
    processing info.

    Used darkroom equipment can be found via Craigslist and other local
    classifieds. It's usually quite cheap. In fact some people are throwing
    away enlargers, etc. these days.
     
  3. Actor

    Actor TPF Noob!

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    My only attemp to develop color film was in the early 1970's. I don't know about C-41 but the requirement for the process I was using demanded very tight temperature control (+/- 1 degree F if memory serves). Unless C-41 is much more forgiving than that I would stick to B&W for a while before attempting color.
     
  4. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Freestyle has an Arista brand C-41 kit with very flexible temperature
    requirements. I believe it is 75-100* F or something like that.
     
  5. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've only developed color positive (slide) film, but color film is really no more difficult then black and white... in fact it's easier to get consistent results with color IMO.

    I just use a styrofoam cooler to maintain water temp.
     
  6. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I use the Arista liquid kit, it's not really that flexible. The directions pretty much have specifics as far as temperatures, although it's probably still pretty flexible compared to some other brands since i'm able to get useable results in my kitchen sink.

    It's pretty easy though, once you get your temperature right, it doesn't take long to finish a roll.

    some of my color self developed pics

    Personally, I find it's easier to just pay a one hour lab 3 bucks to develop my 35mm color. I'll use my color chemicals for 120 film though.
     
  7. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    That is how I remember color darkroom work and that is why I never did set up a color darkroom.

    Today's color film processing might be a little easier but what about the making of prints?

    It has been a while so I could be wrong but I don't remember the temperature control being any less forgiving in print making than it was in film developing.
     
  8. Actor

    Actor TPF Noob!

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    $3? Wow! Good price. Here in central Ohio I can't get that kind of price from a send-out lab, let alone a one hour photo.
     
  9. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy TPF Noob!

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    Try next day service some time. Our next day service at out local Target mini-lab runs me $0.95 to develop a roll of 36 exposures.
     
  10. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, that's developing only. No prints. I take the negatives home and scan them, or pay 3 bucks more for a cd. Still not too bad. This is at Target.
     
  11. epatsellis

    epatsellis TPF Noob!

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    Yes, $3 isn't bad, then again, it costs me around $1.60 to process a 120 roll of C41 and I can do it in about 45 mins dry to dry. Not to mention being able to process at 2 am on a sunday morning, should inspiration strike.
     

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