First-time C41 developing at home - came out B&W?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by nick_miller|5, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. I picked up a Unicolor C41 powder chemical kit from freestyle photo and gave it a try last night for the first time. I used a roll of generic Kodak 400 color negative film at the recommended times, and as close as I could be to the recommended temps, but my results don't appear to be in color. I don't have film scanner currently, but using the backlight of my phone on my all-in-one's scanner, I did end up with moire'd image of what appears to be a black and white negative. There's a decided lack of blues and reds when held up to the light, it really just looks like a grayscale negative.
    What would I have done wrong to end up with these unexpected results?
  2. What are the complete edge markings on the negatives?
  3. isn't kodak's only edge code ending in c......kodak BWC 400, kodak's c-41 black and white film?
  4. Doesn't the edge mark on Gold 400 say GC 400?
  5. The edge code on this roll is 400 GC, it's supposed to be Kodak Gold. Was really hoping for a second that I had misread the label or something and bought chromogenic film, but something has obviously gone wrong in the developing. Just trying to figure out what now.
  6. the edge code on your negatives says 400 GC? I'm trying to figure out HOW c-41 can give black and white results from a color film. if the edge code says BWC 400 it's black and white....
  7. I'm pouring over the negatives once again, and I'm actually seeing some colors in places. I think the one shot I managed to "scan" before I went to work was of a particularly grey Washington day, this whole roll is grey cloudy days, but I am seeing some little bits of blue and orange here and there. I may just need to get a proper film scanner, and shoot more than just cloudy days.
  8. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    There shouldn't just be bits of color on the negative. The entire negative should have an orange mask. Look at other color negatives you have and you will see that.
  9. There is an overall orange mask, but I was concerned by a general lack of color beyond that. My original "scan" for some reason doesn't show that at all. I'll attach a photo of one of the negatives held up to my computer screen.
  10. Sounds/Looks to me like you missed one of the steps. Bleach maybe ?
  11. The Unicolor kit combines the bleach
    and fix into one bath. Do I need to
    extend my blix time and/or get more
    exacting with temps?
  12. The second step in the C-41 process, bleaching, breaks down the silver image. Fixing removes the silver, leaving a color image made of magenta, yellow and cyan layers.
  13. More correctly, the bleach step forms silver halide out of the silver. The fixer then dissolves the silver halide. The wash then washes it away.
  14. "get more exacting with temps"
    What temperature were you at?? With C-41 you need to be exact. Not close to exact, not more exact, not kind of exact. Exact.
  15. If there's black in there, you have a retained silver problem. Run the Blix step again, longer. That should get rid of that.
    If the remaining dye is very thin, it's possible the color developer was shot. You don't want to get much oxygen (air) into that when mixing, as the color developing agent is very prone to oxidation. Or maybe you weren't up to temperature on the development step.
  16. Nick, I think you are panicking too early. The negative looks fine to me. Try scanning/printing it. I inverted your second image in an editor and I clearly see green grass and blue sky. Properly scanning it or printing optically should give you a decent image.
  17. Here is one thing to consider: Your source of light from your smartphone. LED light as from a backlighted screen does not have a very wide spectrum. There is a very sharp and strong peak in the blue spectrum with small bumps in the green, yellow and orange. Our vision compensates very well to this nearly monochromatic light source.
  18. I agree with Eugene, above. Have you actually tried printing the negs either optically or from a careful scan? Color negs are notoriously difficult to judge by eye, and can seem to show little color, particularly if the original subject is in dull light or has few bright colors.
  19. Thanks for all the help guys. You're definitely right, it's hard to see the color but it's there. I'm not sure how that initial image I posted came out the way it did, I think my scan software may have defaulted back to black and white after I set it to color or something. Having had a little time to try other ways of at least getting a preview of what I've got, I managed to flip things to a positive in Aperture, and the results look much more promising. I do need to get a proper scanner, but I'm feeling better about my development process now.
  20. There's some articles on the internet about people scanning negs w/ digital cameras, and a diffused light source. I tried it and it worked pretty well w/ just my little digital P&S camera. The white w/ blue trim Minolta Scan Dual early models are great scanners. You can sometimes snag one for $70 or so. I once compared some scans of Tri-X made from a Scan Dual to the same scans from a Nikon film scanner, and except for the difference in file sizes (2880 vs 4000) you couldn't tell them apart after editing. Glad things are going right now.

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