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Tetenal C41 Developing

Curtis Lowe , Nov 15, 2013; 06:16 a.m.

I am using Tetenal's C41 (1 Liter) kit for my first time developing colour neg film in a standard developing tank and have a few questions.

The instructions say to mix up the full liter and develop as follows:
First 1 to 4 films for 3 minutes 15 seconds
Next 5 to 8 films for 3 and half minutes
Next 9 to 12 films for 3 minutes 45 seconds
Next 13 to 16 films for 4 minutes

I presume this means I can develop up to four films together and re-use the developer another three times? But if I only develop 1 or 2 films each time, will I still only get four development runs out of the kit and therefor not get as much value?

Is it ok for example to only mix up half the kit if only doing two rolls at a time? This way I could increase the capacity and still get sixteen rolls in total.

What agitation is required?


John Shriver , Nov 15, 2013; 07:12 a.m.

You can develop one roll at a time, and still use those compensations for the developer wearing out.
Your real challenge is using all 16 rolls worth in the limited lifetime of the kit.
A powder kit must always be mixed entirely at once.
If it's the liquid kit, you still have the problem that one part of the developer is probably back-filled with nitrogen gas at the factory, and once you open that bottle and let oxygen in, you've set off the "time bomb". C-41 developer is very sensitive to oxygen.

Craig Shearman , Nov 15, 2013; 11:19 a.m.

The development time is based on how many rolls have been through the chemicals, not how many are in at one time. You could do one roll at a time four times, for example, before you would have to jump from 3:15 to 3:30.
You do have to mix all of the kit at once to ensure that everything is mixed properly. That does not affect the number of runs -- you could do 16 rolls all in one run if you have a tank that big and that many reels, or you could do 16 runs of one roll each.
Once mixed, the chemicals are only good for about a month at most, so John is correct that getting your money's worth out of it before the chemicals go bad is the challenge. But the kit is only about $20. if your local lab charges, say $5 for develop-only without any prints or scanning, you would break even at four rolls and be ahead of the game for anything beyond that.

Bill Lynch , Nov 15, 2013; 12:43 p.m.

I have had Tetenal C-41 'kits' last 18 months and develop over 24 rolls with great results. Cool dark storage helps.

Curtis Lowe , Nov 18, 2013; 06:31 a.m.

Thanks for the replies.

The instructions do not mention agitation. Should it be every 30 seconds or every minute and do I turn the tank up side down as I do for B&W?

Also it recommends pre-heating the tank but should the film be pre-washed also or is there any need to do this?

Rob Calhoun , Nov 22, 2013; 03:15 a.m.

Don't know exactly what your setup is, but I use a stainless steel tank in a water bath to keep the average temperature during development at the required 100 degrees F, and use inversion agitation every 10 seconds throughout development. I do not use a pre-wet and get excellent results. YMMV. Test your process before doing anything important.

Gregg Obst , Nov 24, 2013; 11:43 p.m.

Curtis, the instructions should say 102 degrees (Fahrenheit), agitate for ten seconds every thirty seconds. Total development time 3 1/2 minutes, adjusting as previously noted as the more rolls you do from the same batch. You can get a full set of instructions on Freestyle's site here: http://www.freestylephoto.biz/static/pdf/product_pdfs/unicolor/unicolor-c-41-powder-1-liter-instructions.pdf They are the same instructions for Tetenal, Unicolor, etc. They are all the same basic kit just rebranded.

Nick Ventura , Apr 20, 2014; 03:42 p.m.

I have been using this kit since the beginning of the month and just developed my 5th roll. The 4 previous rolls i used the recommended developing time of 3 min 30 seconds and blix at 6 min. For the 5th I used 3min 45 sec and blix at 10min. Is that going to work for the next 2 films? Then increase to 4min for films 9-12. But what about films 13-16? Should that be at 4min and 15 sec or will it be exhausted by then? I am confused because it doesn't go that much into depth and I haven't found a straight forward answer online. Thanks

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