Shipping Kodak C-41 chemical

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by dave_cheng|1, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. Just looked up B&H for Kodak C-41 developer 1 gallon size. But B&H says
    it can only be purchased in store. Due to shipping regulations they
    can not ship it. So if people don't find it in their local photography
    supply shops they have no way of getting Kodak (and others) chemicals
    to develop their own films.

    Does anyone ever mail order Kodak C-41 chemicals? Does this imply
    earlier death of films? I understand environmental concerns but if all
    those photo labs are using these chemicals everyday just about
    everywhere in our cities why the same chemicals of a tiny box can not
    be shipped? Such government rules seem telling us that it is OK to
    burn wood but not OK to light up a candle. It is OK for Walmart to
    drain hundreds of gallons of used chemicals everyday but not OK to
    mail a small box of developer.

    Anyone has any suggestions except forgetting about films?
  2. Order liquid chemicals from Adorama. They ship them.
  3. As noted above, Adorama doesn't have any problem shipping chemistry, although I recall there are certain products that can't be shipped by air. That's hardly a loss, because the stuff is too heavy to warrant air shipment anyway.

    But where are you located? B&H and Adorama are both in New York City, if you're not in the NE you very well could find someplace closer and save on the shipping. I'm an hour from Seattle and now buy all my chemistry from Rainier Photo ( and have had nothing but good results. (Note that they really aren't all that heavy into the internet, so you should check out their prices on line and then call them on the phone.) Glazer's Camera ( is also well regarded, but they don't seem to stock as much chemistry as Rainier. Either of those are going to save you money if you are in my corner of the country.

    If you aren't close to New York City or Seattle, you might want to ask around at your friendly neighborhood minilabs. They probably buy their main C-41 stuff from a big outfit that won't be interested in small orders, but they certainly have to buy odds and ends of other stuff and probably know who sells it reasonably close. I would think that there's a city big enough to have a store like that within UPS Zone 1 from you, which will save a fortune on shipping stuff that is, after all, almost entirely water.

    BTW, I don't work for Rainier Photo, but I do plug them every chance I get because I want them to stay open and stocking E-6 chemistry for a long time.

  4. Hi Van, thanks a lot for your reply. I am in California. My local photo supply does not inventory anything other than smallest boxes of Kodak C-41 "water". But my stomach is larger than that. I need bigger boxes. I figure if B&H does not ship it I could have my friend in NY city to buy it for me then ship. I guess it's not an option either. The "water" is not shipable without meeting something called "hazmat" requirement.

    I can see that such hazmat requirement is nothing but good for protecting the environment from getting wet from the "water". What I don't understand is if Walmart is pouring hundreds of gallons everyday what difference does it make if I spill a few drops on the way shipping it.

    I'll try Adorama or make a deal with a friend who owns a minilab. The problem is my friend does not always have small leftover for me.
    Thanks again.
  5. Local is better, but as far as shipping the stuff is concerned, miles are dollars so the closer you get the better off you'll be. The Seattle sources I mentioned will cost you less for shipping than the New York sources.

    In terms of hazard, I'm guessing that the concern is that the concentrates will corrode the aircraft. If it spills on a truck they hose it out, if it spills in the cargo bay of an airplane they might have to take the plane out of service and replace panels.

    I don't think there's anything in any of the photochemicals that are likely to corrode plumbing, even as concentrates. Silver salts going into septic systems or sewage treatment plants can be problematic, so do something to recover the silver from the fix, but other than that I believe all the chemistry (in working-strength solutions) is pretty much harmless. I wouldn't serve it on the rocks, but there's no worries about pouring it down the drain.


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