C-41 Home Processing

August 15, 2013 at 4:46 pm

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.

[slideshow_deploy id=‘1634’]

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.