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Cheap expired C-41 films in BW Chemicals
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:20 pm    Post subject: Cheap expired C-41 films in BW Chemicals Reply with quote

I happen to have a lot of rolls of cheap expired C-41 films and a shortage of BW films so I decided to try developing some of the C-41 in BW Chemicals.

First attempt is with a roll of Kodak Colorplus 200 in Rodinal. 1:50 for 15mins at 20C, washed under running tap for 5 mins then fixed with sodium thiosulphate for 45 mins. I exposed the film at 125 using my Weston Master II meter. Camera was a Konica FT-1, half the roll with Hexanon 4/21, other half with Tokina 3.5/17.

Grainy and soft but quite contrasty and decent tonality, I played with these a bit to up the contrast as I like my BW to have a contrasty look, some have had a bit of sharpening but this increased grain visibility a bit too much on some of the shots.

Konica 4/21:


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Tokina 3.5/17:


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think some of these are decent results. Anything with a lot of shadow detail is going to get blocked out.
And if you beam it up in brightness, exacerbates the grain all the more. The stairs wins the grand prize in
the series. If you ever rewind some of the Colorplus rolls to redscale, would love to see them!


PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I like the stairs the most, that kind of simple, stark subject is the best use of this technique I think. I have 5 or 6 other types of cheap C-41 film to play with so I might get better results from a different type, Colorplus is pretty soft and grainy when developed properly. Shame how the shadow detail is lost out, but highlight detail is retained fairly well. Perhaps a slightly shorter development time would help keep some shadow detail.

I will try reversing a film and have it developed in C-41 chemisty and try this redscale effect, should be easy enough to re-roll a film the other way round.


PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I'm going to order some Rollei Redbird and Blackbird, 400 and 800 respectively, that's wound redscale from
Freestyle (no bulk loader Wink).

I think it's a cool effect:


Do post some of your other film results, been thinking of trying C-41 films with Rodinal.


PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strange but interesting results. Dreamy, somehow!! Surprised


PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
Strange but interesting results. Dreamy, somehow!! Surprised


Yes, I think with some experimentation to find the most suitable subjects this could be a useful technique, there is a dreamy (or is it nightmare) feeling, I think modern concrete monstrosity architecture and heavy industrial sites might be a good subject for this.

I checked my film stash and I have these cheap expired films to try out in Rodinal:

Kodak Ultra 400
Konica VX 400
Lloyd's Pharmacy 200
Jessops 200
and one more I forget now

I also have a load of Colorplus left so I'm all set to further explore this idea.

I do wonder with redscale if putting a strong orange filter on the lens wouldn't give the same effect? Or even using a piece of unexposed but developed C-41 film as a filter?


PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian, try the piece of C-41 film on your NEX, would like to see the result.
NEX have BW mode?


PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure if the NEX has BW mode, I will try it tomorrow. Now I'll have to rumage in the bin to find the offcuts of film I threw away earlier! lol


PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I shot another roll - Kodak MAX 400 in my Miranda Sensorex with 1.9/50 lens.

I developed for 12 mins instead of 15 and the shadows weren't so black but the result is very soft and grainy.

Looks like I'm wasting my time trying to get a decent result out of cheap C-41 and Rodinal. Sad


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holga Laughing Laughing


PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing

When I saw first scan I said 'f*ck, I made Lomography...'

Ah well, at least I tried.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you still fixing these for 35 minutes in that homebrew of yours?
Thinking that will soften up any kind of film.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I think I fixed this one 45mins as I read that C-41 needs a lot more fixing.

Maybe I'll try to develop another C-41 roll and only fix for 20mins.

Cheers Bill, it never occurred to me that the fixer could affect the film that way.

What do you think about trying stand development with a grain reducing developer?


Last edited by iangreenhalgh1 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:21 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try the other way round. B/W film in C41 colour dev (but not the blix!) You'll get some lovely negs out of it.

...there's no point, of course, but that shouldn't stop you Very Happy


PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done that Graham, you're right, you get lovely negs that print in shades of blue.

I have some prints from 1993 somewhere that were processed that way, I'll try to find them.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian, yes, try a stand dev with Rodinal and see what happens. I dunno how much
agitation you're using or if you're agitated when dev-ing huhuh, but less is definitely
more with Rodinal.


PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read that C-41 needs quite a lot of agitation so I agitated first 30 secs and then 10 inversions every 2 mins.

I'll try the stand method, thanks for the advice bill.


PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may be all wet when it comes to dev-ing color films with Rodinal. I do know too much
agitation with BW film will bring out the grain/contrast. This is why using predominantly
slow film and high dilution Rodinal for stand dev is a successful idea.

A flickr group where some ideas might form:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/c41inbw/


PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers Bill.

The rain has just stopped (first time in 5 days!) so I will run out and shoot another 24exp roll of MAX 400.

Then I will try stand development, I think 1:125 for 60 mins with just a slight agitation at the 30 min mark then just a 20min fix should give me a good idea of the possibilities.

If still crap, I can only think that a different developer might work better.

Or the obvious conclusion - C-41 in BW chems equals soft and grainy.


PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck, Ian! I've thought about dev-ing C41 in BW chems, nice to have someone
do the legwork while I sit back in my armchair eating popcorn. Smile


PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I shot a roll in my Carena SRH760 (rebadged Petri FT500) with a 2.8/50 Tessar, all shots at f8-f11 so they should be very sharp.

I'll try 1:125, 60 mins with 10 inversions at the 30min mark then fix for 20 mins.

I'm glad someone is interested, if I hit upon a workable recipe that gives acceptable results, I'll be happy, if not, no loss, 400ISO C-41 years out of date is hardly a precious commodity!


PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd do slow/easy inversions first minute, then 3-5 at the halfway point, but up to you.

Good luck!


PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Bill, I did 10 inversions to start, it will be at the halfway point in 8 mins so i shall do as you suggest and just give it 3.

I think I need to test my fixer, I made it by dissolving 500g of sodium thiosulphate crystals in 2 litres of water, I couldn't find a recipe so that was just a guess.

How do I work out it's strength? Is there a method involving sticking a piece of exposed but undeveloped film in it and timing?


PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you pouring back the fixer in the stock bottle after use? If so, how many
rolls have you fixed? Not using a stop bath (well, water works somewhat) will
foreshorten the life of the fixer.

Yes, there's a way to test fixer as you mentioned. Thinking with such long fixing times
the fixer may be worn out. Could be wrong, too. Smile


PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, pouring the fixer back in. I figure it will be good for a while as I only use 350ml each time and the stock bottle is 2 litres.

I think I shall invest in some proper fixer.

I just wash the film under a running tap for 5 mins, emptying the water out 3 times instead of stop bath.