Getting decent shelf life from C41 chemicals

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by jamie_robertson|2, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. You can do C-41 at home without collecting 16 rolls of film.

    I just read the Kodak Flexicolor bottles, regarding storage:

    Developer and bleach: store in a corrosion resistant container, with a corrosion resistant liner
    Fixer: keep cool

    No mention of refrigeration.

    Suggest you search for and read Kodak publications CIS-211 and Z-131. These are foundational pieces of C-41 documentation. Also go to Photrio and read everything posted by user Photo Engineer, a former Kodak color chemistry engineer.
  2. You can re-generate the C-41 developer till approx. 6-8 months. When using 270ml or 300ml in a Jobo rotary machine like the CPE-CPA-CPP for developing two 135-36 or two 120 roll films you throw away 100ml and replacing it by 100ml fresh C-41 developer but NOT using the Starter again because the Starter is a chemical pre-oldering when making the (Rollei) kit for the first time. For the seperate Bleach and Fixer you can do the same and the Stabilizer you can use till the rest of your chemicals are finished, it keeps very long. So when you have the Rollei (Fuji-Hunt) 1 ltr. kit starting with 300ml using for 2x 2 films and then every time re-generate with 100ml for two new films. In this way you ca do approx. 18 pcs. 135-36 or 18 120 C-41 roll films with it.
  3. Many years ago, I did E6 using the Unicolor kits.

    I would mix up 8oz of chemistry from the concentrate bottles, do the recommended two rolls,
    then down the drain. It might have been a few months between two roll sessions.
    I would always squeeze the air out of the bottles, which got harder each time.

    My choice is to keep concentrates, and not mixed solutions.
    (The developers are split, such that the concentrates are less sensitive,
    though not insensitive to air.)

    The other way, which I didn't do for those, but do now, and learned from my grandfather
    even longer ago, is to add glass marbles to the bottles to fill them up. Some plastics
    can't take the strain of squeezing and will crack. Also, with marbles they aren't trying
    to suck in air.

    Some concentrates will crystallize out if cooled. It is then not always easy to get
    them to dissolve again. (Usually heat helps.) Even my basement darkroom can
    get cool enough, down to 50F, to crystallize some of them.

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