Kodak C-41 Gallon Sized Color Developer Capacity

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by dave_cheng|1, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. The winter has kept me idle for photography for a while. I managed
    to shoot a few rolls last weekend. I am ready to process the films
    with my ATL-2300 using Kodak's C-41 chemicals.

    Well, I have had a long history of processing problems in E-6 (and
    probably in C-41 as well) so I am trying to be very careful this time
    to make sure I do everything correctly. I looked up Kodak's web and
    found tech pub Z-131 sectin 3. In this pdf document there is the
    capacity table of Kodak's gallon sized C-41 developer for various
    format of films. It says 5 rolls of 220 negatives for the gallon
    without replenish. So that's 760ml for one roll of 220 negative.

    If this is true I have a problem. I can't process my 220 rolls with
    this chemical on my Jobo ATL-2300. Take Jobo 1540 tank as an example.
    This tank can be loaded with 2 rolls of 220. But the max amount of
    chemical it can take for rotary processing is 470ml. Obviously it
    can not possibly develop 2 rolls of 220. And obviously it can not
    process even one roll either.

    I now suddenly realize why I have not been too happy with my c-41
    runs in the past year of dozens of rolls of 220 negatives. Somehow
    my 35mm runs were OK but not the 220 runs. I have had poor results
    of E-6 runs for the same reason only been more obvious.

    So is Jobo specs of the capacity of 2 220 rolls in one 1540 tank with
    470ml of chemical deceiving or is it Kodak's C-41 developer
    lack the strength for my Jobo processor? Kodak's tech pub z131 says
    the gallon sized developer is designed for rotary processing. But
    its capacity table says no it is too weak. The 1540 tank is already
    8 inches long. With only one roll of 220 in it more than 50% of the
    tank is empty. I would feel very funny to use even bigger tank in
    order to accpt 760ml of developer.

    Just processed a 220 roll of NPS160. The negative came out a little
    thiner than I would have liked. I think this roll is basically ruined
    again just like my dozens of rolls before. This time I seem to have a
    clue. The Z131 says it all.

    Oh well, Can Kodak do something this small right? How can I possibly
    use the gallon developer to develop 220 negatives even one roll at a
    time? At least I would expect the developer potent enough at
    470ml to process one 220 roll. I have been buying only 220 rolls
    and now I think I am stuck with the developer and ATL-2300 unable
    to process the 220 rolls.

    I can foresee someone to come out to say the chemical is capable
    at 470ml for 2 rolls. It will do it but will never yield the colors
    that I have been waiting for from Portra UC, NC and VC. I once
    processed a roll of VPS-3 expired 3 years. I was shocked to see how
    good it was. It was a 35mm/36 roll. Now I finally know why.

    Kodak has been always a respectful company for me but once again I
    feel disappointed. I now have no choice but look for chemical
    alternatives, perhaps Trebla chemicals which is available here.
  2. Ever thought of increasing the temperature in 0,5?C steps or the time in 10sec steps if your negatives are too thin and you've ruined dozens of films? Also, maybe it is not mainly a problem of the developers capacity, but on roll film spirals the agitation of the developer within the film spiral might be less then with the smaller 35mm films. This can also cause under-development.
    BTW, 220 film will get extincted quickly.

  3. Dear Dave,

    Send them an e-mail. I have found them to be very helpful in the past.

    Neal Wydra
  4. I can't process my 220 rolls with this chemical on my Jobo ATL-2300. Take Jobo 1540 tank as an example. This tank can be loaded with 2 rolls of 220. But the max amount of chemical it can take for rotary processing is 470ml. Obviously it can not possibly develop 2 rolls of 220. And obviously it can not process even one roll either.

    Go onto eBay and buy a 25xx/28xx drum, lid, and matching reels. Cheers!
    Dan Schwartz
    Cherry Hill, NJ

    Owner of two ATL-3 processors Click here to visit my home page!

    [Note: All links open a new browser window]
  5. Dave;

    It seems to me that we went through this a while back.

    The 1540 will process 220 film in the C41 process. I have done it many times.

    Ron Mowrey
  6. Ron,

    I always use the larger 2000-series tank, to get better solution agitation...
  7. Dan;

    I do as well, but I also use the 1500 series. I just wanted to reassure Dave. I would suggest that he follow our lead and move to the 2000 series. I should have mentioned that myself. Thanks.

    Ron Mowrey
  8. Dave,

    My experiences are with Jobo, Tetenal C-41 (5L kit), and 35mm film, so take what I say with a grain of salt. First of all, I have the 1540 tank and the 470mL number is the MINIMUM. You can definitely use more chemistry. I don't know the maximum capacity, but it might be mentioned either in the documentation or on the tank itself. Also, my experience with the Tetenal kit is similar in that the chemistry recommends 1L/4 rolls of 135-36 film, but the 1540's 470mL figure contradicts it; however, I have been able to use less chemistry with good results (after overcoming a problem that you can search here on photo.net). Second, are you making sure that the second reel is in the tank even when you develop a single 220 roll? That's important for both chemistry level in the tank as well as agitation. Finally, I second the recommendation to contact Jobo. Their technical support is known to be good and I doubt that you're the only person with this problem that they've encountered.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  9. Ron, Dan: I have around a dozen 1500 series drums and 2 dozens of 1501
    reels. These drums and reels are very well designed with lots of room
    for losts of rolls. But the chemicals are not powerful enough to match. I wonder if Kodak sees that as an opportunity to make their chemicals to match JOBO's capacity. Kodak could dominate the chemicals for people who use JOBO machines. Although that may not be a big market but it should be easy to do.

    I will look into 2000 series drums and reels. I know my ATL-2300 will
    accept them. Meanwhile I will try to attach a 1520 to a 1530 to make it a bigger drum and process another 220 roll with 760ml and see if I am ringt about the chemical capacity issue.
    The NPS roll I did yesterday came out with density OK but a bit
    more grainy and color balance off a bit.
  10. Haz, I just pourd 500ml of water into a 1540 drum and level the drum
    horizontally. The water was just about to overflow out of the tank.
    I did not have the reels nor films in the tank. If I did I am sure
    it would be impossible to pour more tham 500ml of chemical into it. This is for rotary processing. If you process with the tank vertical you can double the amount of juice in it.

    It's an interesting idea to have a second reel, although no film, in
    the drum. I will try that. But bottom line the chemcial must have the
    capacity (strength) to begin with.

    It's kind of funny. Before owning the ATL processor I process manually
    with good result mostly. After I got the ATL I have had so many poor
    result. And it took me so long to eventually realize the cause. I will
    contact Jobo and see what they will say. Thanks.
  11. Dave;

    My point in my first post was that the 1500 series tanks and reels do work with EK C41 chemistry and the recommended fill rates. I have done it many times.

    I can exactly duplicate the local professional labs in my output. I get the same contrast and color balance.

    I must agree with Dan about the 2500 series tanks. I use them as well. In fact, now I use my 1500 series mostly for B&W and the 2500 series for color. I find that the 1500 series reels are slightly harder to load, especially with 120 and 220 film.

    Ron Mowrey
  12. Dave,

    I guess I'll see you on eBay bidding for 2502 reels and 25xx/28xx (same thing) drums!


    eBay user Mac-NT
  13. "the 1500 series tanks and reels do work with EK C41 chemistry and the recommended fill rates."

    Ron, you did not mean that the 1540 tanks with 470ml to process 2 220 rolls, did you? The 1540 takes two 1501 reels so it will accept 2 220
    rolls but it can be fed with only 470ml chemical. I think it will
    overflow a bit and at the end of the development the waste developer bottle will collect only about 400ml developer from the drum. With only one 220 roll it will have 450ml+ in there.

    I had hoped it would do well with only one roll. But it looks like
    it is marginal in my opinion. I will run more experiments soon.

    Dan, there seems to be a lot of 25xx/28xx drums on Ebay. There are many buyers too. My local supplier often has used ones at half price too. I think I will not rush to Ebay to take all and leave you none.
    Ebay is a good flea market for darkroom stuff indeed.
    Thanks for the drum suggestion.
  14. Dave;

    Jobo recommendations for the 1540 tank and 2 220 rolls of film will work.

    Ron Mowrey
  15. Ron, if so then the gallon developer would process 16 rolls of 220.
    Kodak's z-131 says the capacity is 5 without replenishment. Are you saying the actual capacity is more than 3 times the official number?
    I constantly got poor result to process 2 rolls and just had a marginal result from one yesterday. When I processed one 35mm/36 roll in the same tank with the same 470ml then the result was super. I wish what you said were true. I am doing a 400VS 220 now with 640ml in a jumbo tank. I will
    report the result in a couple of hours.
  16. Dave;

    My instruction booklet, from EK, which I just read says 1 roll per pint without development compensation. There are 8 pints / gallon, so that is 8 rolls / gallon.

    It goes on to say that with development time compensation, you can process 3 rolls / pint or 24 rolls per gallon, by adjusting developmen time and using no replenishment.

    So, I'm just agreeing with what my booklet says, and what I have actually done.

    Ron Mowrey
  17. Ron, I have been buying this gallon C-41 developer for years. There has never been a booklet in the boxes, not one like what you got. There is always a large sheet of paper folded 4 folds that has 8 different languages telling how to mix the developer (Part A, B and C, etc.) There is not a single hint about the c-41 process nor the capacity of the developer. It's a box of chemical with no instruction about the process at all.

    Kodak's 5 liter E-6 kit has no instruction whatsoever either. There is
    only mixing information printed on the box and no mention of the E-6
    process whatsoever. I really don't get it. Anyone who considers to try to process their own slides at home when looking at the kit will most
    likely shy away from looking at the kit and finding no instruction.

    Samething for Kodak RA paper chemicals. Frankly I am experienced in
    paper processing with older generation EPP2 and EPP200 chemcials. But
    every time when I looked at RA chemical boxes at my local darkroom supplier I walked away more than 10 times because lack of instruction in the boxes. Each time I told myself to go back to study the chemical then come back to get them. I never did. I have a full setup of color
    darkroom with a 6x7 color enlarger and a Omega Chromegatron Prolab color analyzer and a Durst roller transport paper processor that has been converted to RA-4. It is the Kodak chemicals that has pushed me
    away from doing it again.

    Your gallon developer must be from a previous generation that has long obsoleted. I liked the hobby pack in the old days. They were good
    products full of instruction and that's how I got started.
  18. Dave;

    Yes, the information sheet I have is no longer supplied, but then the developer has not changed formula in about 30 years. So, the data sheet is still valid and it does work!

    That is the correct capacity of the developer, and I continue to use that capacity chart. It is basically identical to what Jobo uses on their tanks.

    BTW, using 2 rolls at one time is NOT equal to running two rolls in succession. With 2 rolls at one time, you don't need to adjust development time, but running one roll after the other you do, as chemical build up and dilution take place. So, these two scenarios are not the same. I hope you are aware of that distinction as well.

    Ron Mowrey
  19. Ron, one pint is about 500ml. According to your instruction booklet that's 1 roll per 500ml. So Jobo's number (2 rolls per 470ml) is already false. I have done many rounds of proceesing 2 rolls at 470ml. Each time the result was obvious and poor. When I did one roll yesterday my NPS160 came out very grainy and skin tone was off although film density looked not bad. I just had my 400VC dried. Cut one frame and scanned it. Boy, this may be the best 400VC I ever had for a long time. Its grain is finer than the NPS160 I did yesterday. The image has more contrast as it should and color is very good as far as comparing to the NPS 160. I have a proof now of what I have long been suspecting the problem. I have little doubt that the gallon C-41 developer can process only 5 rolls with no replenishment as Z-131 says.
  20. The image posted above is raw staright off from my scanner unmodified. 100% view of this image shows very fine grain better than the NPS160 shot attached in this post.
  21. Now a little bit of tweaking the VC400 shot becaomes this:
  22. And here is Table 3-3, which is the capacity of unreplenished solutions:

    Dan Schwartz
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    Click here to visit my home page!

    [Note: All links open a new browser window]
  23. ...And I just finished assembling Z-131 into a single PDF manual Here.

    Dan Schwartz
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    Click here to visit my home page!

    [Note: All links open a new browser window]
  24. Dan, thanks for the effort. It is what I saw from Kodak's web site.
    It is clear that the gallon developer can develop only 5 rolls of 220
    or one roll per liter. That's 1/4 of Jobo 1540 drum's capacity.
    If this is what Kodak has in their mind to sell such a poor product
    that's fine. But I don't understand why they hide such capacity info
    deep into their web site and not clearly stated in their box.

    Ron, I am not sure what you said about Kodak C-41 formula not changed
    for 30 years. I think Hobby Pack had more develper strength than
    the gallon developer per liter, if I remember correctly. Hobby Pack
    C-41 kit made 2x500ml but could process at least one 220 roll per 500ml if I remember again correctly. In my opinion when Kodak
    discontinued Hobby Pack their film sales began the down hill journey
    soon after. I am not sure if they are related though. I did stop
    shooting films together with all my darkroom hooby until some 10
    years passed. At the same time I also witnessed most minilabs in my
    area switched from Kodak to Fuji Hunt chemicals.

    Will you believe it, if Kodak sells good home use processing
    kits their film sales will turn around and face a uphill battle?
  25. Dave,

    Take a look at chart 3-2 again: The Flexicolor developer replenishment rates of 102 & 151 ml per roll of 220 constitutes the amount of exhaustion (depending on film type: See table) when processing a number of rolls of film. But, if you try to process one roll of (say,) Portra 400 size 220 with 170 ml of developer, you'll get into trouble, especially in the 1500-series drums.

    In other words, I just plain don't like the 3 inch drums in a Jobo: Get a 25/28xx drum and a few 2502 reels, and put your problems in the rear view mirror. After all, you have an ATL processor (I have two!), so that means you care a bit more about your color developing than Joe Homeowner and his inversion tank! :)
  26. Dave, Dan;

    The C41 developer formula is the C41 developer formula and has been from day 1.00 with no changes inluding the Hobby Pac.

    If it changed, you would observe severe changes in curve shape, speed, grain and sharpness. Fuji would have seen the same and there would have been chaos in the market place.

    The original sheet that I have says as I stated above that 1 roll can be processed in 1 pint, or 8 rolls / gallon. You can process 3 rolls per pint - reusing the developer and adjusting development times.

    If you develop 2 rolls in 1 pint at the same time, you don't need to adjust the development time, as the 'seasoning' is not present that you get from reusing the developer, which EK says not to do.

    The capacity figures from the older data sheet are less conservative than the new ones, I guess. IDK. I know that I routinely process 2 220 or 1 220 and 1 120 roll of film or even 1 220 and 2 120 rolls in my 1500 series tank. I have no problems.

    Remember that if you make a more concentrated developer in color, you change the results. If you reduce time to compensate for a more concentrated developer, you still exhaust it at a proportionate rate to the original C41 and have to make some adjustment. In the end, you have an exhausted developer. I suggest that if someone gives you a formula that has more capacity, you will find it is just a less conservative estimate than EK for the same or a similar formula.

    Ron Mowrey
  27. Dan, that's exactly what my problem is. JOBO's 15xx drums are so neat
    and a simple 1540 takes 2 220. Isn't it great? No!!! Boy, did I learn
    a leson. My first reaction when realizing the capacity issue was to
    blame Jobo's design of a system with a drum that is useless. But
    when I realize it can not even process one roll of 220 then I have
    to think if I should blame Kodak.

    Jobo line of processors are so popular. And Kodak home processing chemicals are the only game in town. But they are not designed for Jobo processors!!! Ahhhh!!!!!!!!!!! Isn't it brain damaged? I had
    hoped that I was wrong. But unfortunately I am not wrong. I have so
    many useless 15xx drums and reels now. BTW, by using 25xx/28xx drums
    and reels I will still need 760ml one shot for one roll, right?

    I remember seeing from time to time used equipment dealers selling
    long stainless steel tanks with capacity of 4 to 8 or even more 35mm reels. Guess only one ore two can have films loaded and all others
    have to be empty kaus the developers are not capable!!!

    Oh, even those popular small stainless steel tanks that hold two
    35mm reels or 1 120/220 reel are pretty useless now because they
    only take less than 500 ml of juice so forget about 220. You owuld be
    lucky if your 120 will develop fine.
  28. "I know that I routinely process 2 220 or 1 220 and 1 120 roll of film or even 1 220 and 2 120 rolls in my 1500 series tank. I have no problems."

    Ron, I used to do that too and thought everything was fine. But when
    processing E-6 like that I had very obvious poor results. Then I
    began to wonder why my Potra 160/400 VC/NC always got grainy scans
    and not so pretty skin tone. I tried NPS and it wasn't any better.

    Well, I have some Konica VX-100 rolls that are only half the length
    of requalar 120s. I shot some of them in Hawaii. I had one roll
    developed alone in my 1540 tank with 470ml developer. The result
    kind of woke me up from a long nightmare. I did not expect the
    Konica long expired sample films to be any good. But it outperformed
    all the Potra/NPS 220 rolls (fresh in date) I shot during the week
    in Maui. All my Velvia 220 rolls were pretty much ruined as well.
    Somehow I had one 120 Velvia with me and it survived.

    If Kodak Z-131 says 1 220 per liter there must be a reason. If
    I process 1 220 with 470ml the result is marginal. The flower image
    I posted wasn't too bad. But I know I have much better ones if processed peoperly.
  29. Dave; I searched my library and found identical documents on capacity dated 1977, 1986, and 1996 from the EK color handbooks and data sheets included in kits up until recently. There have been no changes in the developer. There has been a change in the bleach, fix and stabilzers, and there are new C41-RA bleach, fix and stabilizers that are even faster and different. I append a rather poor scan of one document here. This also agrees with the Jobo data that I have over the same time period. Remember, developing one roll of 220 followed by 1 roll of 220 is different than doing 2 at one time due to dilution effects from the pre-wet, and seasoning effects that build up in sequential processes. Ron Mowrey
  30. Guys;

    Sorry about the size, but I had difficulty getting a good scan. It was a black print on green paper document that gave poor results during the scan.

    This shows up to 3 220 rolls/pint sequentially. I get 2 / pint at one time with no compensation then toss the developer.

    Ron Mowrey
  31. Ron,

    After re-reading the posts between you, me and Dave, it's obvious something is happening with Dave's C-41 (and E-6, for that matter) developer liquid volume and Jobo 1540 tank combination. Exactly what it is, I don't know without looking at, and calibrating the processor with a catch bottle and my own thermometer.


    I'm assuming you calibrated the volume of fluid pumped into the tank? Personally, I always like to catch the effluent from each chemical step in a marked 1 or 2 liter pitcher or bottle, just so I can verify everything is OK; and if not, take corrective action if possible. You should do a "water run," i.e. fill the chemical bottles with water and measure the dump volume, as an air leak can reduce the volume of a given chemical pushed into the drum.

    Dan Schwartz
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    Click here to visit my home page!

    [Note: All links open a new browser window]
  32. Dan;

    Once, I put in less than the required solution and the only thing that happened was that the last shot on the 220 roll was lost with streaking and developer and water marks. The 120 roll in with it was OK. But, you might be right.

    I had a problem with the drum slowing down with a 2500 series drum loaded with about 6 rolls and a full load of developer. It didn't lose me anything, as I cranked up the speed in time, but it would have led to a problem if I had not. I doubt if the 1500 series would have that problem unless Dave's machine is running slow.

    I agree that something is happening with Dave's process as I can follow the EK manuals published for 30 years and get the results that both EK and Jobo predict.

    All EK solutions are adjusted to follow approximately the same profile for replenishment. That is why Jobo and other drum makers can publish recommendations and why everyone builds drums of about the same size. And these work for B&W as well, you notice, unless you use some extremely dilute B&W developers.

    It all centers about the chemistry of development. Once a proper developer is formulated and a time profile is established, it turns out to have just about the same capacity as any other developer.

    Manufacturers may vary in the safety factor, but the developer itself has a given capacity due to the general design principles used in formulating the developer.

    If the developer is too strong, the time is too short to control, or contrast is too high, or fog forms etc. If it is too dilute, the shoulder rolls over, contrast is too low, etc. You see what I mean? There is a 'common' sweet spot that all developers have that place them all within the Jobo sweet spot.

    Ron Mowrey
  33. "I'm assuming you calibrated the volume of fluid pumped into the tank?"

    Dan, My yesterday's run was programmed to use 640ml and at the end of
    the development step there was indeed 600+ml of developer effluent in
    my #4 bottle. I did not check the amount of efflunet in #5 and #6.
    They were just about the same or I should have caught it long time

    Ron, thanks for the effort for scanning the old document. Yes, it did
    say 1 220 roll per pint. If this is correct then the JOBO 1540 tank
    can process only one 220 not two as it can be fed with max of 470ml only. My NPS160 processed two days ago with 470ml ended with marginal
    result so it is close to the number on your document. Z-131 reduces the number further down to 5 rolls per gallon. This number is more conservative so it is probably the number for optimal result.

    So after all the gap between the numbers from Kodak and my experience
    is finally getting really close. I think I will process a single
    220 roll with 640-760ml if I am able to figure out which tank to use.
    It is too risky to process one with 470ml to me still. And I don't
    know how you (Ron) can do two at a time still.

    I will try to do a complete physical exam of my ATL-2300 just in
    case I am chasing a bug all over everywhere not knowing taht it is
    in fact right in the box in front of me.
  34. David wrote:
    Dan, My yesterday's run was programmed to use 640ml and at the end of the development step there was indeed 600+ml of developer effluent in my #4 bottle. I did not check the amount of efflunet in #5 and #6. They were just about the same or I should have caught it long time ago.

    As the mohyle said, "Measure twice, cut once..."

    I will try to do a complete physical exam of my ATL-2300 just in case I am chasing a bug all over everywhere not knowing that it is in fact right in the box in front of me.

    Speaking of giving a rectal, be sure to calibrate your thermometer using your "body temperature" as a reference....

    Dan Schwartz
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    Click here to visit my home page!

    [Note: All links open a new browser window]
  35. Dave;

    Look again, you will see 3 rolls of 220 / pint with adjusted development times, and as I said that is sequentially and the adjustments are for dilution and seasoning.

    You can do 2 in one pint with no adjustment if you do them at the same time. At worst, if you are concerned, the table says you can do two with a small adjustment in development time if you really feel it necessary. In no case should you see a severe problem.

    Ron Mowrey
  36. Why do Kodak recommend 3 roll films 220 per gallon with one-shot development, when the same development can be done with so much less chemistry? Is it only to avoid the change in development times?

    It seems excessive to me dumping 3.9 liters of expensive chemistry for 3 films.

    Will the same maximum density be achieved with the smaller amount of chemistry and prolonged development? If there are any side effects, what will they be?
  37. Michael;

    They do not. They recommend 1 roll / pint with no change in time, so that is 8 rolls / gallon. It is 24 rolls / gallon with adjustment of time, or about 2 rolls per pint if you do 2 at a time rather than sequentially. This latter is as per Jobo instructions.

    Ron Mowrey
  38. "You can do 2 in one pint with no adjustment if you do them at the same time. At worst, if you are concerned, the table says you can do two with a small adjustment in development time"

    Ron, I have done many times 2 rolls with no time adjustment so far.
    I could not bear with the quality of the result. All my Portra NC/VC
    all appreared very grainy and colors very hard to balance. But densities on both films looked fine.

    My latest single 400VC roll with 640ml came out very fine grained.
    I was surprised that 400VC, which has a bad reputation of being coarse,
    is in fact very fine grained. NPS 160 is supposed to be extremely
    fine grained film. But the one I did with 470ml came out worse than
    my 400VC. That's not real.

    Well, I'll try to listen to the master and do my experiment all over
    one more time. I will have to shoot a few more rolls this weekend.
    I have no more rolls to develop right now. I need to shoot 3 rolls.
    That's challenging. I will just get snap shots fast if weather permits. This is worth the effort. Hopefully I will figure out a
    workflow to achieve optimal results.
  39. Dave;

    Overuse of the developer would probably not cause the severity of the problem you have observed. IMHO, you would see a speed loss and a drop in contrast. It would be similar to a 'pull' process of about 15 to 30 seconds, which I do from time to time with no problem.

    If you notice in the table above, the adjustment for the second roll of 220 in 1 pint is only about 10 seconds. In a 3' 15" development time that is about 5%, and is rather insignificant in the face of the times used for push and pull processes.

    Something else is going wrong.

    I suggest that you make two standard exposures 'or more' and run one in your best process and send the other to a trusted pro lab. Then try printing these at the same color filtration (your best) on your enlarger. See if they match. I do that regularly, and they match to within 0.1 on the red axis, with identical on-easel speed. I use the MacBeth checker or the EK color chart as reference in a picture.

    Good luck to you.

    Ron Mowrey
  40. Ron, I will include a Macbeth color checker shot in each roll of
    my next experiment. The only problem I can think of is they will be
    shot at a different time because my camera does not use a removable
    back for quick shuffle of films. I have a Macbeth digital densitometer
    TR-527 that will be useful to numerically check the results.

    I am not sure I can get it done in one weekend. But I will try to get
    it done soon. Thanks for all the advices. I would love to be able to
    process two rolls of 220 in one 1540 drum with 470ml. I'll get back
    here to report the result soon.

    Dan, thanks for all the advices from you too. Your pointer to the
    plugin site is great. I will spend some time there. I once studied
    FilterMister coding for a while then forgot it all after about a year.
    Very good stuff.
  41. Dave;

    I'll post the densities of my checker for comparison to yours when you get your data. I have an EK densitometer.

    Ron Mowrey
  42. Ron, my densitometer came from an electronic savage yard. Although
    it appeared to show some numbers I am pretty sure it is not calibrated. So if I do get some readings the numbers should only be considered as a grant of salt. Only if I see differences between different processing runs then it would mean something.

    BTW, I have long thought of replacing those gelatin RGB (or CMY) filters inside my densitometer. I suspect they are far too faded but have not figured out where to get replacement. Do you have any idea how this can be done?
  43. Dave;

    The filters are Wr98, 99, and 70 for narrow cut. There is a broader cut with more transmission, but these will do.

    How big are they? I have some small pieces of filter I could spare.

    Ron Mowrey
  44. Ron, thank you so much for your generosity. I remember seeing filter numbers inside the densitometer. At least I remember one of the number was something like 47B. I am not sure. I will take it apart again to see what the numbers are. I'll take a good look to see if I should consider doing anything to them at all. It may not worth the effort unless I can get it calibrated.

    I have the Kodak book "Handbook of Kodak Photographic Filters". It's
    the best book I could find about filters. I think 98, 99 and 70 will do the job. 25, 47B and 58 should be fine too but I am not sure.

    Well, I have never figured out how and where to purchase filters described in the book. I wonder in fact if I can make them myself by using an inkjet printer to print patches of colors on transparency film. Well, it's just a thought. I tried it but the result did not
    look good so I tossed it.

    Thanks again, Ron. You are a great helper here. I sure appreciate it.
    I'll let you know if I need the filters from you.

  45. David,

    Printing out "filters" on an inkjet printer ain't gonna cut it: You need transmission filters.
  46. Dave;

    I think I may have a set of those other filters as well. If you use a set less than 1 inch square, I think I can manage it if you need it, but even so, EK still sells 2x2 versions.

    Ron Mowrey
  47. Dan, there is an inkjet startup here in the Santa Clara Valley that
    specializes specialty ink for printing filters. The filters they print
    will be used in making the filters behind LCD panels. The filters
    are basically tiny pixel sized RGB filters. It is quite feasible to print tiny filters by using inkjet printers. I agree that printing
    color patches on transparency film won't cut it but if I can figure
    out how to print on mylar sheet it may work. Well, it may be tough to
    print pure RGB with narrow bandwidth. But it sure can be done. The
    trick is in the ink. I had been among the audiences of the speeches
    given by the founder of the company. The filter they print can withsatnd the backlight of LCD display (or TV) without fading.

    Ron, the filters I need should be in the size of a dime. Thanks again
    for offering the filters. I will definitely get back to you if I am
    sure I will not waste them from you. Thanks again for helping.
    Have a great weekend.
  48. Ron, the question Michael Beckman asked was a very good question.
    I too wonder if reuse of the developer with extended development time
    will have any side effect in grain size and colors, in addition to
    achive the desired density. Looks like your answer is no. That's
    good news to hear. But I seem to have problems in grain size and colors.
    Well, because I reuse my bleach and fixer too. Are grain size and
    color affected by the bleach? I think they are. Can you shed some
    light in this area? BTW, the experiment I did in the past 3 days
    all used fresh bleach and fixer. Thanks a lot again.
  49. Dave,

    You can buy Hoya (not Tiffen!) camera filters, which have the color "doped" into the structure; then use a glass cutter to trim it down -- Any hobby shop that sells stained glass supplies has them.

    Don't fool with the inkjet stuff, since it'll still have to be calibrated once it's printed... And there's no guarantee that the television receiver grade stuff won't fade over time -- Remember: NTSC = Never Twice (the) Same Color!
  50. Dave;

    Michael's question was, I believe, could you use less fresh developer with longer time to achieve good curve shape, grain, color etc. He was not asking about 'seasoned' developer if I understand him correctly.

    Here is my answer. Seasoned developer gains in restrainer concentration and loses in developer and alkali concetration. The time compensation for one roll of 220 is about 5% which is just at the detectable level in sensitometry. I don't think that there will be much change, as the local concentrations of these chemicals will be much different due to micro effects and diffusion. However, with the right amount of developer solution present, those things should be in reasonable balance.

    If you use too little solution and extend the time, I would imagine that the situation would be slightly different in that the total alkalinity would be different.

    Here is a hypothetical example of a film that needs 1 liter per roll. If there is 5 g/l of CD4 in the developer and after 1 roll it is 5% used then you would have 4.75 g/l of developer. However, if you used only 1/2 liter, expecting to increase development time, you only have 2.5 g of developer present even though it is still at 5 g/l, so the mass effect is different in developer, buffer etc and might affect the process as it has to be spread out over the same area. You can extend this by imagining the continuing decrease of the amount of developer to the point where it will no longer wet the entire surface of the film. So exhaustion is not the same as dilution or decreasing the quantity below a critical level.

    EK has defined this critical level as 1 pint or about 470 ml for one roll of 220 film.

    As for bleach and fix, EK states in my literature and manuals that these solutions have about 2x the capacity or more and about 2x the keeping or more than the developer. In practice, I find this to be more like 4 - 6x in both capacity and keeping, but I do extend my bleach and fix times.

    Ron Mowrey
  51. Ron, I was thiking, instead of 470ml per roll one shot, to process
    with 640ml (or up to 1 liter) per roll then reuse with exteded time
    for the second roll. The result of the first roll would be perfect.
    But I worry about the 2nd in grain and colors (not so much about density).

    I can believe (with a little doubt due to experience) 470ml per roll
    one shot. If 470ml is the critical point for one 220 roll then I should never try to develop two rolls at one run with the same amount
    of developer. This is basically what my probelms were last year.
    How about process only one 220 with 470ml then reuse for the 2nd
    roll but with a liter of this used (once) developer with extended time? If it gives OK density will it result coarse grain and poor colors? I don't mean that I will do it rather I woder what would
    the result look like.
  52. Dan, color TV CRT fades from deteriating phosphorus materials behind
    the screen. But it is color dyes or pigments behind a LCD screen.
    It may take 100 years for pigments to fade. It may take 100 years for
    dyes based on nano technology to fade too. The pixel sized filters
    behind LCD screen are very pure and accurate in colors (RGB). If a LCD
    display does not have pretty colors it is the CCFL light souce that
    does not emit pure RGB mixture of light. CCFL light source is similar
    to CRT tube in that the light comes from phosphorous materials.
    Well, CCFL has a 500,000 hours MTBF life on average. If you leave it on it will
    take 10 years to lose half its brightness. TV CRT tubes are much shorter around 1000 to 2000 hours only. Plasma display also has only
    one to two thousand hours before losing half of its brightness.
  53. Dave;

    Sorry I was not clear then.

    Taking the 5% change in process time as an estimate in the change in chemical balance if you will, then a 5% error in overall characteristics of the film, compensated for by development, will be barely noticeable. This is due to the fact that the effects in question are balancing each other and end up making little change overall when one does things properly.

    Doing two rolls at the same time should have even less effect as the changes are not complete in the developer, but are taking place slowly and locally for all practical purposes in each individual roll of film.

    Therefore, there should be no problem either way when you run up to 2 rolls of film in one pint either consecutively (I don't really recommend this due to the dilution effect of the prewet) or at the same time (this is what I do).

    Ron Mowrey
  54. Dave,

    Repeat after me... Bigger drum, bigger drum, bigger drum.

    You won't be able to cram a pint into a 1540 drum and have it slosh around enough to not worry about local exhaustion, which is what I'm thinking is the problem.

    Here's a quickie test: Load four 135-36 C-41 rolls (320 square inches -- Same as two 220 rolls) into the smallest 15xx drum the 4 reels will fit in. Process, and look for "weird stuff" in the vicinity of the sprocket holes.

    For what it will cost you for a few test rolls of 160 square inch 220 film, you can buy a 25xx drum & a couple 2502 reels... And put your 220 problems to bed once and for all.

  55. Ron,

    I am looking at Kodak publication Z-131, Table 3-3, where it says that one gallon of C-41 developer has a capacity of 5 or 4 roll films 220, depending on the film. That's not the 3 films per gallon that I implied above, but it is still quite a lot of chemistry per film, and I wonder why other manufacturers quote much higher capacity for their C-41 products.
  56. Michael;

    If you look at my scanned capacity information it shows 1 roll / pint or 8 / gal unadjusted and 24 / gallon with adjusted development times.

    I get 2 rolls / pint undadjusted using Jobo recommendations which work just fine if you do both at the same time.

    Kodak is being very conservative, I guess as they are changing the suggested capacity downwards. The data I posted were valid from 1977 - 1996 or thereabouts. Or perhaps someone made a typo in the new instructions as the old ones were good for about 20 years. I know that the developer has not changed in that time.

    Ron Mowrey
  57. Dan, I understand your point. I will be looking for 25xx drums and
    reels. But Ron insisted that he could do 2 220rolls in one 15xx drum
    with one pint (470ml) of developer. When I did that the result was
    always poor. And Kodak Z-131 seems a confirmation of that. Now I am
    willing to believe that it may be OK to process only one 220 roll
    in a 15xx drum at a time with same 470ml of developer. My NPS roll
    was not great still. I am skeptical about two 220 rolls with one
    pint developer. Well, 25xx drum will allow me to pour in a lot more developer. What I really hoped is to do 2 rools per 15xx drum (470ml).
    It seems impossible now.

    I did go out today but the weather has changed enough to make me
    turn back with no shots taken. I will have to wait for another week
    as the forcast says it will rain tomorrow.
  58. Dave;

    If you do 1 roll in 1 pint and it is not good, then something BAD is going on there!

    I guarantee it.

    Ron Mowrey
  59. Ron, it is the two rolls that I have doubt. But I will not rule it
    out without further experiment. Thank you so much for all your input.
  60. Dave;

    The problem I have is that your original post here says that with even one roll, the negatives are thin. That is what makes me feel that something else is going wrong.

    I was doing some thinking about your problem, and I wondered if you might have had some of the prewet left in the drum when the developer went in. That dilution would cause the problem you report.

    Ron Mowrey
  61. Ron, I have quite a bit of doubt in 2 220 rolls in one 1540 drum with
    470 ml of developer. I am a little skeptical about 1 220 roll with
    same everything of the rest. If I remember correctly results of my
    1 roll runs were mixed. Some might have been good but some not.

    The ATL-2300 has a problem based on my observation of the machine.
    If I run a cleaning cycle by filling all chemcial supply bottles with
    water and let the machine go through a flush cycle to clean all
    bottles and hoses, at the end I will see some residue water in the hoses between the supply bottles and the pump. I estimate the amount of water in the hoses is around 10 cc.

    I have not figured out how to get rid of the water from the hoses
    yet. I did empty all supply bottles to make sure no water remained there before pouring in fresh chemicals. Maybe the residue water
    in the hoses is ruining my processing?

    I do not prewet my films. The tank was always dry to begin with.
    In the 4 minute prewarm cycle I am sure no water got into the tank.
    I have done a measure of processing temp. It was 100F right on.
    The amount of efluent was around 450ml+/-.

    BTW, the density of the resulted films seem dense enough. The grain
    and color balance are the complaints I have. Most my Portra 160/400 NC/VC seem quite grainy, except the recent 400VC. I like 400VC now.

    Managed to shoot half a roll of 400UC today in San Francisco's Golden
    Gate Park. Once it is done I will try it alone in a 1540 with 470ml
  62. Dave;

    Again, with weak development, grain and balance don't suffer. Speed and contrast go first. That is why this entire scenario is bothering me. Something is going on here.

    BTW, a prewet is recommended by both Jobo and EK, as the preheat cycle does not heat up the inner portions of the drum evenly the way a water prewet does. Also, the prewet swells the film allowing smooth penetration of the developer solution. Could that be the problem? IDK, but I always prewet film and paper, even B&W in the Jobo.

    Ron Mowrey
  63. Dave;

    One little thing that might influence your results. If your atl does not rinse out all bleach and fix properly after you're done with it, that might account for your problems with grain and colour. Just an idea as you say you have residual water in connecting hoses and that density does not suffer, but grain.

    Never used kodak c41 myself, but have achieved exellent results with two 35mm rolls in 250 ml developer both from jobo and agfa which would correspond to one 220 roll in film area. This in a cpa with 1500 series drum.

    This is why i suspect you might suffer some contamination. maybe there's some nooks and crannies in hose-joints that might hold solution. Good luck troubleshooting your atl!
  64. Anders, That's a good point. I believe the cleaning cycles are factory programmed but I can always reprogram it if I need to. The residue
    water was found in the hose between supply bottles and the pump. There is one hose for every supply bottle. So the residue water should have no chance to contaminate other hoses. But without dismantling the machine I can't tell exactly.

    Able to process 2 35mm rolls (36 exposure) per 250ml is fantastic.
    I am going to have to experiment with 35mm rolls to see if it will
    work for my 2300. Thanks for your input.

    Ron, the reason I do not prewet before the developer step is to
    avoid further diluting the developer that is already low in volume.
    I am going to have to try it next time. Thanks for the tip. I was
    actually concerned about prewarm myself. It is true the prewarm
    cycle is not likely to warm up the reels and films in the tank.
    Thanks again for your invaluable help.
  65. "BTW, a prewet is recommended by both Jobo and EK"

    Ron, I looked up Kodak web pages but could not find the recommendation
    of prewetting the film. I alos checked Jobo instruction manual it
    actually recommends not to prewet but to prewarm the empty tank for
    5 minutes. I remember reading some c-41 processing articles that
    strongly opposed to prewetting of films. It will reduce developer
    strength significantly as the film will have already absobed much
    water in it. The developer comes in contact with the film later
    will be diluted by the water already absorbed in the film.

    I am afraid I do not agree to prewet the film.
  66. Dave;

    I have examined three sources by Jobo. I have not looked at any EK refereces yet.

    In the Journal of Rotary Processing, one chapter refers to prewet for film and another refers to pre heat of film and pre wet of papers. This is followed in the other two books (the CPP and CPE manuals) by similarly ambiguous comments. So, it appears that you are right about Jobo.

    However, I use a prewet for every process including B&W. I get results comparable to the local pro labs.

    Sorry about the confusion. I'll look for my EK references tomorrow, but I would imagine that it only applies to paper. IDK.

    Ron Mowrey
  67. Dave,

    If Ron says to prewet, then do it! :)
  68. Dan, it probably won't go wrong. I will try it to see if it makes
    things better.
  69. Guys;

    Thanks for the confidence, but I do it and it works for me. That does not mean that the procedure is recommended or right.

    If you try it, I hope it works for you Dave.

    Ron Mowrey
  70. Ron, many years ago when I did simple stainless steel tank processing
    I always prewetted my films for sometime. I don't think I had problems.
    But then I saw the article that opposed it so I stopped doing it.
    If it solves my problem it may be a good solution. I prewetted the film
    at around 105 degree to make sure when the developer met the film
    it wasn't cooled down below 100.

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