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Tank / hand-processing of Kodachrome?


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I don't think you can just chuck the couplers and developer in the same bath Glen. The couplers have to be linked to the individual RGB sensitive layers of the film.

 

From what I can remember, there are 3 separate colour development baths, but the main trick is to split the 2nd exposure into 3 parts, with Red, Green and Blue light only for each exposure - or maybe the final exposure is to white light, since by that stage there's only one layer left that's still light sensitive.

 

To be honest, I never looked into Kodachrome processing too deeply. I was never going to do it. So what was the point?

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When this question came up, and someone posted the chemical names for the couplers,

I asked someone at Alfa chemical for the prices. It seems that one is in the catalog, but they

don't stock it. They synthesize it when you order, for hundreds of dollars per gram.

 

I know when the information first became available, I checked with the big three chemical suppliers(Sigma, VWR, Fisher). IIRC, Sigma had two of them, but the prices were mind boggling. I talked to our then Fisher rep(has since retired) since he and I shared an interest in photography, stressing that it was purely a personal interest and not anything work related, but if the price was somewhere in line I'd buy(out of pocket of course). IIRC, the third, and I don't remember which one, Acros was willing to synthesize but it was a 5-figure price and not much different for 1g vs. 10g vs. 100g. I'd have bugged Sigma, as in general I trust Aldrich over Acros, but don't particularly like dealing with our local rep :)

 

If someone really wanted to pursue this, it might also be worth checking with some of the chemical companies directly, as there are a lot out there and most of the time people order by sub-contracting through the three major vendors. TCI, Oakwood, Alfa-Aesar, Mallinkrodt-Baker and a few others are all out there, although often times they don't want to talk to anyone who calls them up. Even working as a chemist, I can usually get faster/better answers(on work related stuff) by working through a rep I have a good relationship with.

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These are super complex color developers, no longer being made. I think they would be super difficult to resurrect and these coupling agents are the heart of the K process.

 

Kodak coupler yellow Y-54, (Alpha-benzoyl-o-methoxy acetanilide

 

Kodak coupler magenta M-38, (1-phenyl-3-[3,4-dichlorobenamido]-5-pyrazolone)

 

Kodak coupler cyan C-16, (N-[o-acetamido phenethyl]-1-hydroxy-2-napthamide)

 

 

Developing Kodachrome

 

1. Pre-harden and remove rem-jet backing. An opaque coat on the reverse of the film.

2. First Developer MQ ordinary B&W developer forms negative images in all three emulsions.

3. Wash

4. Expose the film to strong red light.

5. Re-develop in b&w developer – action only in red sensitive layer, contains C-16 a cyan dye coupler that deposits cyan dye in proportion the silver laydown.

6. Wash

7. Expose the film to strong blue light.

8. Re-develop in b&w developer – action in blue emulsion layer, also contains Y-54 a yellow dye coupler that deposits yellow dye in proportion the silver being formed.

9. Wash

10. Re-develop in b&w developer containing chemical fogging agent. Thus all remaining undeveloped silver compounds are reduced to metallic silver. Contains M-38 a magenta dye coupler that deposits magenta dye in proportion to the silver being formed. The use of a chemical fogging agent instead of green light reversal exposure make sure all silver salts are reduces to metallic silver otherwise some insensitive crystals would remain as salts of silver. This action occurs in each emulsion. M-38 thus acts in every one of the emulsion. This results in unwanted magenta dye formation in the red and blue layers. This action gives Kodachrome a unique warm color balances especially in the toe region.

11. Wash

12. Conditioner – prepares the film for next step

13. Bleach – chemically reacts with metallic silver coverts it to silver salt.

14. Fix – conventional fix bath dissolves silver salts.

15. Dry – lacquer applied to emulsion side to preserve – movie film lubricant applied to sprocket holes.

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Y-54 and C-16 are in the Alfa catalog, though the names might be slightly different.

 

I haven't found anything about M-38.

 

It seems, though, that they want to sell them in mg sizes, instead of kg.

 

I am not so sure how much would be required for actual use.

-- glen

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I am not so sure how much would be required for actual use.

Nor me.

All I can say is that one milligram of anything isn't a lot, and probably won't do much.

 

For example: A single grain of dry Basmati rice weighs about 15mg*. Also, from developer formulae and stated capacity, we can deduce that it takes between 25 and 50mg of Phenidone to develop one 36 exposure 35mm film - and phenidone is a very efficient developer on an activity-per-weight basis.

 

The colour couplers are activated by developer by-products, so it's reasonable to assume that an approximately equal weight of coupler would be needed to the amount of developer consumed (or oxidised) during development. That means one milligram of coupler would only colour about 2 frames of 35mm film.

 

Even if the above assumption and estimate is out by an order of magnitude, that still makes it an expensive proposition to process just one roll of film!

 

*Which answers the old Chinese philosopher's reputed request to be paid with a chessboard full of rice. One grain on the first square, two grains on the second, 4 grains on the 3rd, and so on. It works out to about 276 (US)billion metric tonnes of rice.

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Nor me.

All I can say is that one milligram of anything isn't a lot, and probably won't do much.

 

For example: A single grain of dry Basmati rice weighs about 15mg*. Also, from developer formulae and stated capacity, we can deduce that it takes between 25 and 50mg of Phenidone to develop one 36 exposure 35mm film - and phenidone is a very efficient developer on an activity-per-weight basis.

 

The colour couplers are activated by developer by-products, so it's reasonable to assume that an approximately equal weight of coupler would be needed to the amount of developer consumed (or oxidised) during development. That means one milligram of coupler would only colour about 2 frames of 35mm film.

 

Even if the above assumption and estimate is out by an order of magnitude, that still makes it an expensive proposition to process just one roll of film!

 

*Which answers the old Chinese philosopher's reputed request to be paid with a chessboard full of rice. One grain on the first square, two grains on the second, 4 grains on the 3rd, and so on. It works out to about 276 (US)billion metric tonnes of rice.

 

Chemistry is usually done in moles, and not in weight, but yes, my first guess would be the same

molarity for developer and coupler.

 

The quote was for 50mg, so maybe two or three rolls?

 

It does sound like a lot of rice, but I have enough IP addresses in my home network for each one of them.

-- glen

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I presume not, but you never know.

 

There are some people who were restoring a big CDC computer from the 1960's.

When it had been decommissioned, someone had sawed through some of the cables.

(Not expecting anyone to ever try to put it together again.)

 

The restorers first needed to make new cables, which needed new connector pins,

so they asked the company for 10,000 connector pins. The company says

that it is minimum order 50,000, so the restorers say yet.

 

Then they say that will cost $40,000, hoping to discourage them, but they say yes.

 

(That was just for the cables, I think the cost, including many other parts,

was closer to $1,000,000.)

 

Maybe someday, someone will have $1,000,000 and want to get Kodachrome running.

 

Alfa decided that they can't talk to me about quotes anymore, as my budget is too low.

 

CSDL | IEEE Computer Society

-- glen

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Here's a link from a discussion on Phototrio, which gives the value of a 10% solution in MEK for what that's worth.

 

I've been hunting for the past hour and can't seem to find the couplers for sale anywhere. I wish Ron Mowrey was still around. I'm a bit rusty on nomenclature, and a CAS for the dyes would make life a lot easier.

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Alfa has C16:

CAS:5254-41-1

IUPAC Name N-[2-(2-acetamidophenyl)ethyl]-1-hydroxynaphthalene-2-carboxamide

Alfa catalog number ACM5254411

 

And Y54:

(92-16-0)α-BENZOYL-o-METHOXY ACETANILIDE

 

They are hard to find, as there are different ways to write the same compound.

There is an IUPAC standard name, but the CAS number is easier.

 

But you have to ask for a quote, the price isn't listed.

-- glen

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Outline of steps / times / temperatures K-14

 

1. Removable Jet Black Backing (Rem-Jet) Removal 10 seconds ambient temp subsequently buff-off

 

2. Rinse 15 seconds @ 85° -2 +15

 

3. First Developer MQ formula 2 minutes 0 seconds 99°F ± 0.05

 

4. Wash 45 seconds 85° ± 2

 

5. Red light fogging Corning 2403 filter 2.5 millimeters distance 1000 micro-watt second per sq cm

 

6. Cyan developer 2 minutes 0 seconds 100°F± 0.1

 

7. Wash 2 minutes 100°F± 0.1

 

8. Blue light fogging Fish-Schuman LB3 2.2 millimeters distance 230micro-watt second per sq cm

 

9. Yellow Developer 4 minutes 0 seconds 100°F± 0.1

 

10. Wash 2 minutes 100°F± 0.1

 

11. Magenta developer + chemical foggient 100°F± 0.1

 

12. Wash 2 minutes 100°F± 0.1

 

13. Conditioner 1 minute 0 seconds ambient temperature

 

14. Bleach 5 minutes 0 seconds 100°F± 0.1

 

15. Fixer 3 minutes 0 seconds 100°F± 0.1

 

16. Wash 2 minutes 100°F± 0.1

 

17. Rinse 1 minute 0 seconds ambient temperature

 

18. Dry 105°F ± 5

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The processing is just half the problem.

 

Where's the Kodachrome film to put through it going to come from?

 

I only vaguely remember KII being gradually withdrawn. So it must be several decades ago now, and any remaining film will be near useless.

 

You might as well revive a one-shot colour separation camera. At least fresh panchromatic B&W film is still available.

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