C‑41 Home Processing

A friend of mine, Karl Abbott, has recent­ly start­ed devel­op­ing his C‑41 film at home. He is using the Tete­nal C‑41 Press Kit and in July he was gra­cious to let a roll of my 120 Por­tra 400 ride along in the tank. Below is a slideshow of pho­tos I took dur­ing the devel­op­ment process.

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The process was pret­ty straight­for­ward — three solu­tions, try to keep cross-con­t­a­m­i­na­tion to a min­i­mum, etc. How­ev­er, unlike my expe­ri­ences with black and white tank devel­op­ment, the time/temp tol­er­ances were quite slim. Addi­tion­al­ly, the tem­per­a­ture required for the solu­tions was 30F+ high­er so a water bath to keep the tem­per­a­ture in the tank steady is a require­ment. All that said, with appro­pri­ate work­space lay­out and aware­ness of upcom­ing actions, the pro­cess­ing would be quite famil­iar to any­one who has done b/w at home.

As far as the cost ben­e­fit, it is infi­nite­ly more cost effec­tive for home devel­op­ment once you have all the equip­ment. And even then, after a few devel­op­ing ses­sions you can real­ly start to see some cost sav­ings using the Tete­nal. I can get my 35mm devel­oped for $2.20/roll here in Asheville (no idea what it will be Nashville, if avail­able at all) but it is $7+ for 120. With the Tete­nal, you can do 12+ rolls of 35mm, or 8+ 120 per kit. So at $20 per kit, you quick­ly get ahead cost-wise. The only thing is that the chem­i­cals don’t last as long as some b/w once mixed, so hav­ing a large amount of film to process at once is best.

Thanks to Karl for shar­ing this process — please check out his web­site and fol­low him on Twit­ter @kabbottphoto.