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New Kodak small C41 developer kit available

Thor Simon , Oct 24, 2007; 06:57 p.m.

B&H has sold out of the 1-gallon Flexicolor developer kits. I sometimes buy from Adorama but $6 of shipping on a $10 bottle of developer is a bit extreme, so I dropped by B&H today to see if I could persuade them to re-order so I could pick up at the store.

This turned into a 1-hour odessey involving two B&H managers, one of their buyers, and Kodak's semicompetent support line (whatever happened to those amazingly competent phone support folks at Professional Imaging? Are they all gone?). Finally we determined that, in fact, the 1 gallon Flexicolor developer -- but not the gallon sizes of the other process steps -- is permanently gone.

However, the Kodak phone support person said they had recently been notified that there is a replacement, the 2-liter Flexicolor SM developer kit. This is approximately 2X the price of the old gallon package but there are some benefits, notably that for those processing small volumes, it's no longer necessary to mix a gallon of developer at once. I called Kodak Photofinishing Support to confirm that this product uses the same times as standard C-41 developer, and does not require a separate starter solution, and got a positive answer on both points.

So it looks like the rumored demise of the "gold standard" Kodak C41 chemistry in small sizes for one- shot use is still just a rumor. B&H will special-order the Flexicolor SM if I buy six at a time, which I will probably do, since I'll go through that much chemistry in a year or so.

Kodak also makes Flexicolor SM "packs" for some types of minilab processors. They're basically several side-by-side cubitainers. They are quite cheap, and I think they have the C41RA bleach and fix. I am going to investigate these as an option for low volume use in my Jobo -- does anyone have any experience with them?



Christiaan Phleger - Honolulu , Oct 25, 2007; 02:48 a.m.

Could you get a Kodak stock number for the new pack kit?

Thor Simon , Oct 25, 2007; 04:40 a.m.

The developer is:Flexicolor SM Tank Developer, 2 liters, Kodak part number 1756337.

The packs are "F1" and "F2" modules. I'm having some difficulty figuring out which chemicals are actually in each (the F1 pack has four chemicals, the F2 pack has two). One of them is Kodak Flexicolor SM (C-41SM) Processing Unit F1 for Color Negative Film, part number 8740110; the other, "Processing Unit F2", is part number 1173319.

Michael Sebastian , Jul 01, 2008; 11:24 p.m.

I'm in the same position as Thor. Any ideas out there?

John Shriver , Jul 08, 2010; 09:53 p.m.

F1 is developer and final rinse, F2 is bleach and fixer. F1 has four containers because the developer is in three parts, as ever.

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