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C-41 Negatives Development

This is the main development process for color negatives and some chromogenic B/W films.

Amongst the numerous available chemistries, here are three possibilities:

Kodak Flexicolor

Beside the industrial versions, this process is also available for rotary tubes and one-shot processing without replenishment.
Flexicolor remains a chemistry mainly orientated to big processor using replenishment and is not ideal for one-shot processing in rotary tubes.

Conditioning available in Europe, the products are sold separately:

The documentation supplied with the chemicals being rather limited (only dilution informations are given !), here are some useful links::
Kodak Flexicolor, summary page
Jobo, C-41 Process
To be read carefully before starting !

My procedure using Jobo CPA-2 processor and 1500 series tanks, directly inspired from the excellent advices available on the Jobo document:

You need a lot of Flexicolor chemistry per roll (250ml/135-36), it is not usable with every drums configuration because of the excessive weight that may damage the processor (1 liter of chemistry max with CPA-2).

Step 250ml 500ml 1000ml Time Comments
Pre-heating       5' No water 37.8C
Developer A: 37.5ml
B: 4.5ml
C: 6ml
A: 70ml
B: 9ml
C: 12ml
A: 150ml
B: 18ml
C: 24ml
3'15" 37.8C +/- 0.15C
Bleach 165ml 330ml 660ml 6'30" 24-41C
Bleach oxygenation by shaking vigorously during 30" the product in a container twice the volume of chemicals.
Wash       3'15" 24-41C
Running water
Fix 42.5ml 85ml 170ml 6'30" 24-41C
Wash       5' 24-41C
Running water
Final Rinse (Stabilizer) 9ml 18ml 36ml 1' 24-41C
Light agitation to avoid foaming. Do not use the developing reels and tank, use a separate recipient.
Dry       ~30' @ 40

Chemicals quantities per number of films

250ml = tank 1520 / 1x135-36
500ml = tank 1520 / 2x135-36
1000ml = tank 1520+1530 / 4x135-36 (3x135-36 when 400ISO and more)
Dividing chemicals is possible but you have to be careful when you measure the quantities: the smaller you go the more risks of incorrect proportions you may have.

The more critical step is the developer where the temperature/time must be match closely. The other steps are less critical, and are taken to completion, when doubting, it's safer to lengthen the times than shortening them.

Rotation speed is 75 rpm (position "P").

For quality reasons, I do use demineralized water for the developer.

Color chemistries are highly sensible to contamination by other products, ware should be cleaned very thoroughly between each mixing or use separate utensils for developers and the other chemicals.

The final rinse (stabilizer) is hard to clean completely and can influence the next development. So, use another tank for the final rinse and don't immerse the reel, just open it and let fall the film in the product. Agitation should be light to avoid foaming.

Do not dry the films over 43C.

Push/Pull Process:

Pull process is not advised, Push processing is possible with some by increasing developer time of 30" each stop of underexposure.
Anyway, the results decrease in quality ...

Tetenal Colortec C-41 Rapid

! Kit not yet tested !

This kit is specially developed for rotary tube processing.
To use the chemistry completely (between 60 and 80 135-36 for 5 liters), you must re-use the chemistry while increasing the processing  times.

Kit available in Europe:

My procedure using Jobo CPA-2 processor and 1500 series tanks is directly inspired from the excellent advices that were (long time ago) available on the Jobo website:

Step 140 250 625 800 1000 Time Comment
Pre-heat           5' No water 37.8C
Developer A: 14(18.7)
B: 14(18.7)
C: 14(18.7)
A: 25(33)
B: 25(33)
C: 25(33)
A: 62.5(83)
B: 62.5(83)
C: 62.5(83)
A: 80(106.7)
B: 80(106.7)
C: 80(106.7)
A: 100(133)
B: 100(133)
C: 100(133)
3'15"/6'00" 37.8C +/- 0.15C
Stop 4.2 (100%)
5.25 (80%)
7.5 (100%)
9.4 (80%)
18.75 (100%)
23.45 (80%)
24 (100%)
30 (80%)
30 (100%)
37.5 (80%)
0'20" Useful only when Blix will be re-used.
Acetic acid at 3%
Bleach/
Fixer (Blix)
A: 28(37.3)
B: 28(37.3)
A: 50(67)
B: 50(67)
A: 125(167)
B: 125(167)
A: 160(213)
B: 160(213)
A: 200(267)
B: 200(267)
4'00"/15'00" 24-41C
Bleach oxygenation done by shaking vigorously during 30" the product in a container twice the volume of chemicals.
Wash           5' 24-41C
Running water
Stabilizer 5(6.7) 9(12) 36(48) 28.8(38.4) 36(48) 1' 24-41C
Light agitation to avoid foaming. Do not use the developing reels and tank, use a separate recipient.
Dry           ~90'
~30'
@ 20C
@ 40C

All quantities are in milliliters.

Chemicals quantities per number of films

140ml = tank 1510 / 1x135-36
250ml = tank 1520 / 2x135-36
470ml = tank 1510+1530 / 3-4x135-36
625ml = tank 1520+1530 / 5x135-36
800ml = tank 1510+2x1530 / 6-7x135-36
1000ml = tank 1520+2x1530 / 8x135-36
Indicated quantities allow the chemistry to be used twice before being discarded for films of 200ISO or less (80x135-36 per kit), when a majority of films of 400ISO or more are used, increase the quantities by a third (values between parenthesis, resulting in 60x135-6 per kit).
The first time is for the first run, the second for chemistry used already once.

Dividing chemicals is possible but you have to be careful when you measure the quantities: the smaller you go the more risks of incorrect proportions you may have.

The more critical step is the developer where the temperature/time must be match closely. The other step are less critical, and are taken to completion, when doubting, it's safer to lengthen the times than shortening them.

Rotation speed is 75 rpm (position "P").

For security reasons, I do use demineralized water for the developer.

Color chemistry is highly sensitive to contamination by other products, ware should be cleaned very thoroughly between each mixing or use separate utensils for developers and the other chemicals.

The final rinse (stabilizer) is hard to clean completely and can influence the next development. So, use another tank for the final rinse and don't immerse the reel, just open it and let fall the film in the product. Agitation should be light to avoid foaming.

Do not dry the films over 43C.

Push/Pull Process:

Pull process is not advised, Push processing is possible with some by increasing developer time of 30" each stop of underexposure.
Anyway, the results decrease in quality ...

Home-made Chemicals

First comment, I haven't tried this chemistry. 
The following information has been retrieved from the web and particularly an excellent post by William Laut on rec.photo.darkroom dated August, 27th 1999.

The text in its original english version does also contain the RA-4 chemistry for the process of color negative paper:

C-41/RA-4 Home-made Chemicals

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