C-41 Fixer recommendations

When I showed my results and recipes on the APUG forum it has been suggested that I could improve my Fixer recipe. Rudeofus suggests the following:

“C41 needs a very strong fixer and simply substituting Sodium Thiosulfate for Ammonium Thiosulfate will likely lead to retained Silver. If you really can’t get Ammonium Thiosulfate from anywhere in Australia, you should at least add Ammonium Chloride to your fixer recipe to boost it a bit. There’s a formula posted by Ole here, you will have to adjust pH of this brew to reach the pH 6.5 needed by C41. I recommend you skip the Metaborate suggested by Ole and use Sodium Metabisulfite to lower pH to 6.5.”

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Mixing tiny quantities

An update on the earlier post on mixing solutions which I thought was useful info….

In a recent APUG thread this issue of mixing very small quantities came up. Specifically in my C-41 developer the recipe calls for 1.4mg of Potassium Iodide (that’s “mg” not g) As most scales won’t measure such small units the answer is to make a diluted solution. This from stefan4u at APUG:

“Take one liter of aqua demin and add 1 gramm of Potassium Iodide. 1 ml of this solution will be 0.001g or 1 mg (1.4mg will be then1.4 ml).
Including all deviations in measurement this is the best / only way to do this at home…
Than take a small syringe and you will be able to come very close to the afforded ammount.”

And Polyglot from APUG puts it this way:

“Dissolve 10g (or whatever you can measure quite accurately) into 500mL then top it up to 1L, that gives you 10mg/mL. Mix it well, dilute it another 10x to get 1mg/mL and then measure 1.4mL into your developer with a syringe or pipette.”

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C-41: First Rolls

Here’s some images from my first rolls in C-41: 2 rolls of Lucky 200, developed together in the Patterson Tank with chemicals mixed from scratch.

Annoyingly, one of the rolls I accidentally left a yellow filter on the lens….won’t do that again.

Also, this time round I strained the bleach, which I’d noticed had a lot of sediment in it when I first mixed it. The neg came out a lot cleaner. The colours aren’t too saturated but the balance looks about right for this type of film and the contrast also looks pretty good to my inexperienced eyes.

The point is….I know how to do C-41 now!! Woo hoo. It’s weird how happy that makes me feel.

It’s easier to view these in Flickr but they are below too:

Roll_019_Preview_033 Roll_019_Preview_030 Roll_019_Preview_020 Roll_019_Preview_016 Roll_019_Preview_015 Roll_019_Preview_014 Roll_019_Preview_036 Roll_019_Preview_035 Roll_019_Preview_034Roll_020_Preview_080 Roll_020_Preview_076 Roll_020_Preview_065 Roll_020_Preview_063 Roll_020_Preview_060 Roll_020_Preview_056 Roll_020_Preview_051

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C41 Success….5th time lucky!

I was beginning to wonder whether there was something wrong with my test shot so I did a quick develop in B&W chems and came up with a good images.

Then I remixed my Developer and Bleach from scratch and used Ilford concentrate for the stop bath.

Here then is my first test shot of C41 developed in chemicals mixed from scratch:


Dirty as anything but I’m ecstatic!

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Troubleshooting my C-41

The ever helpful APUG forum has suggested a few things that I should try. Firstly it seems I need to up the sodium thiosulphate content in my Fixer and I need better scales it would seem.

Other things to check is the Glacial vs 28% acetic acid in the Stop and note a longer Stop time than I originally thought.

Thread here

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C-41 First Tests: A spectacular failure

So, I’ve done 2 tests now. The first: I blew a whole roll. The neg was completely blank.

The 2nd I took a test roll, all the same shot and cut the neg into strips with a view to doing multiple tests. I bought some pH test strips to check. I had to adjust the pH of the bleach which I did with Acetic Acid. Otherwise the pH of my developer and fixer looked good.

I had a feint image come back with an extreme red cast and the bottom half of the neg was blank:


The trouble is I have no idea how to trouble shoot this problem. I may have to abandon the bulk mixing idea, which is a shame, and go with a tetanol kit.

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C-41 Final Recipe

I’ve done so much sniffing around for C-41 recipes that I can’t quite remember where this one comes from. I’ll endeavor to find the source….

UPDATE: Developer recipe thanks to Stefan in Germany (stefan4u from APUG) Original thread here. Thanks Stafan!

In any case there were a few small adjustments to this but this was what I mixed for my first tests:

C41 Recipe

Color developer
800ml tap water
2g Calgon (sodium hexametaphosphate) Available at Vanbar
34g Potash (Potassium carbonate)
1.9g Sodium Bikarbonate (Baking soda)
3.5g Sodium Sulphite
1.4 g Potassium bromide
1.4 mg Potassium iodide (Note mg not g!!)
2g Hydroxylamine sulfate (HAS)
5.3g CD4
Water to 1 Litre,
Measured pH is 10.16 at 25°C.

Stop bath (C41/E6)
Water 110-120F   800 ml
Glacial acetic acid   20 ml
Sod. Bisulfite anhyd.   20 g
Water to make    1 liter

Bleach (C41/E6)
Water 100F    750ml
Pot. Ferricyanide   90g (Rudeofus from APUG suggested that I use Ammonium Ferric EDTA instead, although that seems difficult to source)
Pot. Bromide    20g
diSodium Phosphate   6.8g
Sod. Thiocyanate 5% soln.  90ml
Water to make    1 litre

Fixer (C41/E6)
Water 110-120F   800 ml
Sodium Thiosulphate 200g (Original recipe called or 162ml of 60% solution Ammonium Thiosulphate but very expensive to source in Australia and only seems available in powder form at 98%. See APUG forum)
Sod. Sulfite anhyd.   24 g
EDTA Sodium salt   1.25 g
Sod. Bisulfite anhyd.   12.4 g (Can use metabisulfite. Use 91.3 grams of metabisulphite for 100 grams of bisulfite)
Pot. Hydroxide anhyd.  2.4 g Available at Vanbar
Water to make    1 litre
Set  pH 6.5 @ 75-77F using KOH or Acetic acid as required.
Shelf life 6-12 month unused.  1-2 month used.

Stabilizer (C41/E6) 
Water 110-120F   800 ml
Formalin 38% .   5 ml
Kodak photoflo 200   1 ml
Water to make    1 liter

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