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Developing C-41 Color Film w/ D-76 B&W Chemicals


thewilliam2 2 1.3k
12 Jan 2018 3:39PM
Phil, before you get upset, did you give up before reading the last sentence?

Some 20 years back, I was stupid enough to let a wedding guest touch one of my 35mm cameras. What I didn't notice after getting it back was that the film speed setting had moved from DX code to a value that under-exposed the film by about 3 stops. Luckily, all the exposed film that was in my pocket had been given the wrong exposure and, because these films had to yield artistically pleasing results, I had to find the correct dev time.

My friends at Kodak Professional advised me to expose a whole roll in similar lighting at the same wrong ISO setting and then clip test until I found the optimum dev time. This was a quick and easy method so I shared it so that the OP could also find the dev time.

No offence intended to anyone.

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Euan65 Plus
2 316 United Kingdom
12 Jan 2018 6:15PM
Whilst you can develop C41 film in b/w chemicals, you will get lower quality high grain image compared to just using b/w film in the first place. I've done it just to prove to myself it works, but the results aren't terribly impressive.

C41 development isn't as hard as many people think. in some ways it's actually easier than b/w because the timings never vary whatever the make or speed of film or whether you've under- or over-exposed. Another great advantage is that you can shoot different frames of the same roll of film at different exposure indices and you still don't change the processing regime. C41 is designed to be operated by semi-skilled trainees, all the skill is in the chemistry. The ONLY tricky part is getting the temperature right, and even then it's not too hard if you use a large plastic bucket or box as a water bath.

Tradtional b/w is trickier to get right because you do have to use the right concentration of the right developer for the right time and it's different between films, push/pull processing is meaningful for b/w but largely a means of parting the gullible from their money with C41 (except in extreme cases), and so on. OTOH, it is nominally easier because you do it at room temperature and the whole process is usually slightly quicker and certainly not as messy.

For a true first try, have a shot with HP5+ film and Ilfosol 3 developer. It's a pretty bulletproof combination.

But don't be afraid of C41.
Philh04 Plus
14 2.1k United Kingdom
12 Jan 2018 6:17PM

Quote:Phil, before you get upset, did you give up before reading the last sentence?


Perhaps you should have read my post... Instead of appearing to address your post to me in what comes across as a condescending manner, you should have addressed the OP...

Clip testing was common place particularly under difficult lighting, when using roll or 135 then frames were often dedicated for that purpose, when time allowed then polaroid, particularly for 5 x 4 earned its keep.

Before trying to process his C41 in D76 the OP needs to have a good idea of what will scan well and what will not, the lower contrast will not be a problem as the tonal range will be greater... we are not talking about wrongly exposed film but processing in formulae not intended for the medium.

Philh04 Plus
14 2.1k United Kingdom
12 Jan 2018 6:34PM

Quote:Whilst you can develop C41 film in b/w chemicals, you will get lower quality high grain image compared to just using b/w film in the first place. I've done it just to prove to myself it works, but the results aren't terribly impressive.


There is some evidence out there that disagrees even down to specialist groups (personally I don't see why one would want to) with individuals claiming finer grain with greater tonal range along with low contrast negs, I believe the tonal range and lower contrast are related to the lower silver content in C41 as silver does not, essentially, form the final negative.

Interested to know, when you tried it was the orange dye base still present?
thewilliam2 2 1.3k
12 Jan 2018 7:47PM
Back in the good 'ol days of film, one friend who did a lot of hand-coloured work, often modified his processing so that he deliberately got degraded results, but to a carefully controlled extent.

I'd suggest that, if the OP is looking for optimum technical quality, each film type should be processed in the proper chemistry. Many of us have developed film in the "wrong" chemistry because it gave us artistically pleasing results.

There's one suggestion that I would make: keep careful notes of temperature, time, agitation etc so that when you get an interesting and useful effect, it can be repeated.

The first cross-processing of tran film in C41 chemistry might well have been done in error! When I had to recover some wedding films that had been underexposed by some 3 stops, the tests showed that it could yield artistically pleasing images. Although never exploited, it was always there as a possibility.
iKokomo 1 1
12 Jan 2018 10:13PM
I heard from somewhere else that the Caffenol process might work great for this? I have heard of that developing process. Is this a viable option for what I am trying to do? If Yes, Any tips and tricks to Caffenol that might be different from using commercial chemicals? Thanks!
Snapper Plus
14 4.4k 3 Scotland
13 Jan 2018 12:06AM

Quote:I heard from somewhere else that the Caffenol process might work great for this? I have heard of that developing process. Is this a viable option for what I am trying to do? If Yes, Any tips and tricks to Caffenol that might be different from using commercial chemicals? Thanks!

The problem here is that Caffenol isn't a straight formula, but it has certain variables. I'm not sure that you would want to try something as vague as this as a developer in your stated circumstances, but feel free to try on one film if you have the necessary ingredients.
Philh04 Plus
14 2.1k United Kingdom
13 Jan 2018 9:03AM

Quote:I heard from somewhere else that the Caffenol process might work great for this? I have heard of that developing process. Is this a viable option for what I am trying to do? If Yes, Any tips and tricks to Caffenol that might be different from using commercial chemicals? Thanks!

Walk and run are two terms that come to mind... Learn the basics first.

Once you have mastered the basics then you can start to experiment.

Time & Temperature plus good agitation technique plus learning what a good negative, for your purposes, looks like.
thewilliam2 2 1.3k
13 Jan 2018 11:27AM
I've just read the OP again and more carefully this time.

When starting out, wouldn't any novice be better off using a "normal" film and a developer that's been designed for that film? Room temperature processing is considerably easier for a novice, which is why colleges do it this way.

C41 film can be developed commercially.
Philh04 Plus
14 2.1k United Kingdom
13 Jan 2018 11:44AM

Quote:I've just read the OP again and more carefully this time.

When starting out, wouldn't any novice be better off using a "normal" film and a developer that's been designed for that film? Room temperature processing is considerably easier for a novice, which is why colleges do it this way.

C41 film can be developed commercially.



Yay we agree !!!!! GrinSmile

Learn to walk before trying to run...
13 Jan 2018 2:03PM

Quote:C41 film can be developed commercially.

I suggested this two days agoTongue
Cheers
Alan
thewilliam2 2 1.3k
13 Jan 2018 2:54PM

Quote:
Quote:C41 film can be developed commercially.

I suggested this two days agoTongue
Cheers
Alan



Quite right! But doesn't it strengthen our point if several of us agree?

The cynical side of me would point out that I don't often agree with another contributor. Savour the experience! WinkWinkWinkWink


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