C41 Stand Development – is it possible?
Colour development at home without a specialist kit is very doable… but somehow I find it a bit of a pain. Short of splashing out for a second hand Jobo on eBay i’ve been trying to figure out ways of making it a bit easier.
The biggest issue for me with C41 is temperature control. When developing your first few rolls it’s no hardship to keep the chemicals and developing tank at 100 degrees. But as you put more rolls through your C41 chemicals you are supposed to increase the developing time to around 13 minutes or more.
Recently i’ve been developing some 20 year old unprocessed 110 film that I took as a child and until a few months ago I thought was lost forever. The film has sat for many years in a loft (attic) that was subject to extremes of hot and cold weather, far from ideal!
I’d developed a few of these films myself and sent others off to a lab (not a cheap thing to do in the UK as 110 film is pretty rare and some places quote a negative only dev price of up to £15 per roll) While many of the rolls were developing nicely some seem to have blistered or come out with massive colour casts.
And this is when I started wondering… could the heat of the C41 development be affecting the film and is there anything I can do to change things? My first thought was to try a graded approach to a prewash and slowly bring the film up to temperature rather than hitting it straight away. My second thought was to try a cooler development temperature, would that even work??
Stand development for C41 at room temperature really does work. However like B&W stand development it relies on a diluted mix. Flickr members report around 1+9 as opposed to the 1+100 that you might use with Rodinal for B&W stand development.
My concern was that given the age and condition of the film it might produce under developed negatives. Especially as the C41 I currently had in stock had already developed 10 or so films and was looking a little dark. Time for an experiment. Fortunately I had a film that had jammed in my Canon FTb and once rescued I had thrown into my FED2… and then accidentally underexposed (not that that is much of an issue given most of the film was going to be double exposed!)
And here are the results:
Now this isn’t very scientific.. after all the film has been double exposed and it’s cheapo £1 film too.
Stand Developed at room temp (Around 20c) for 1 hour.
- 10 Minute Presoak at same temp
- 40 minute Blix at room temp
Pre-soak: Gentle agitation for first 30 seconds
Dev: Gentle 30 second agitation at minute 1,2&3
Blix: gentle agitation every ten minutes
Mix: Tetenal C41 1L kit @ Box dilutions