Monday, 21 January 2013

Developing colour film

I decided to have a look at developing my own colour film. I remember doing once some 50 years ago and although I seem to remember it was successful it was quite involved and I never thought about trying again. However it would be good to be able to process my colour films as well as the B & W on the boat whilst we are away otherwise I will have to wait till the end of our trip to get them processed at a lab. So I researched the subject and it did appear on the face of it to be quite straightforward the only problem being that temperature control appeared to be critical.

So I decided to give it a shot and bought a Tetenal kit for C41 film and finished the Ektar film in my Bronica with some snow shots on Friday so went for it over the weekend. There are two temperatures you can use for the development, the higher one being the standard one of 100 degrees F or a lower one at 86F which they suggest if results are uneven. I decided to start with the higher temperature and that was probably a mistake given that I was doing the developing in our utility room on Sunday which wasn't exactly a summers day and the heat in there is not that good so keeping the temperature up was a struggle!

Anyway, the process itself is not complicated, especially if you have done B& W processing, but the chemicals are slightly different in that you finish with a stabiliser and there is no long final wash mentioned in the instructions. I had read quite a few blogs on the subject and of course everyone has their own slightly different approach so I stuck to the official instructions this time.

The end result was mixed. I had some uneven development on some negatives which may have been due to the quantity of chemical I used or to the agitation I gave the film so next time I'll use the lower temperature and longer development time and see what the effect is.

Also on two frames I had the most odd colour rendering and large patches of deep blue (they looked like the warning colour when checking highlights or shadows in Lightroom). I tried rewashing the negs and one of them came out OK but the other still had some of the blue showing so I washed it again and it then had more! I think it was probably inadequate initial washing so I'll increase that next time too.

Here's a few of the resulting images:

I'll cetainly try it again but will have to refine the proceedure if I'm going to try it in the confines of the narrowboat

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