Developing C-41 APS film at home with black and white chemicals

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. I know this borders on the ridiculous. Someone advertised an APS camera
    for sale on a local mailing list, and this brought back memories. I have
    several APS cameras all bought for nearly nothing years ago and a lot of
    C-41 APS film, all bought out of date and they sat at room temperature
    for 3-4 years.

    Nothing is special about them, they were cheap cameras and are not in
    collectable condition. The film boxes are slightly shopworn, so they won't
    end up in a museum or on a collector's shelf.

    The idea of having a small camera I don't care if it survives being carried
    around has a lot of attraction. Half of the year it is dry and dusty.
    Sand and dust can easily kill a camera and so can other things, like being
    sat on, etc. One of my kids sat on a bag I carry around and broke a
    Palm Pilot. :-(

    Therefore I ask if I can develop the film at home using black and white
    chemicals. I assume I have to "crack" the casettes, will the film fit on
    a 35mm reel? If not, can I adjust a Paterson reel to fit it?

    Can the film itself be developed in Black and White chemicals, for example

    Any suggestions, pointers to information, etc would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Feb 21, 2008
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  2. Geoffrey S. Mendelson

    Doug Jewell Guest

    C-41 film in B&W chem does create an image, but not a very
    usable one. B&W chem doesn't remove the dyes that are in the
    C41 film, so your base is only slightly more transparent
    than what you see when you look at unprocessed film. The
    resulting negative is almost unprintable, and a lot of
    scanners will have a hard time getting an image. It has a
    very dark brown base, with only a faint black image. If you
    do manage to extract a usable image, it will be quite
    grainy, and high contrast.
    You can get chemistry for DIY C-41 processing though. If you
    have done home B&W processing, you should find C-41 no
    harder. It is a little more particular about timing,
    temperatures are a little harder to maintain (usually about
    40C instead of 20C), and the chemistry a bit more nasty
    (time for the rubber gloves), but overall not really any
    harder to develop than B&W.
    As for APS - there is nothing about it that is any different
    for processing compared to 35mm, except for the size of the
    film. Holding it will be a hassle - I'm not aware of any
    reels for it. You might find you have to make a custom reel
    or something to hold it. The actual processing is identical
    to 35mm.
    Doug Jewell, Feb 21, 2008
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  3. Geoffrey S. Mendelson

    Rob Morley Guest

    Cross-processing is normally restricted to the various colour films and
    chemistries - I think you'll find the lack of a bleaching stage in the
    B&W process will cause problems, although ISTR reading that someone had
    produced scannable (but not printable) results in this way.
    Rob Morley, Feb 21, 2008
  4. The only issue is getting the film out of the canister, and some way
    of handling it in the chemistry, since it won't fit 35mm reels.

    I've run a few rolls of C41 film though black and white chemistry
    just to see what happened. My best results were 6 minutes in
    HC-110(B). Decent contrast, but the orange masking layer is
    still there.

    Laura Halliday VE7LDH "Non sequitur. Your ACKS are
    Grid: CN89mg uncoordinated."
    ICBM: 49 16.05 N 122 56.92 W - Nomad the Network Engineer
    laura halliday, Feb 22, 2008
  5. I'm interested in processing APS because it's dirt cheap (I just
    bought 100 rolls for $12) and I too was wondering about home
    processing. In response, you're asking for trouble. What you're
    planning on doing can only be bad news bears. Get a C41 kit. It costs
    $16 at B&H (
    Tetenal_T109306_C_41_Press_Kit_for.html). It's simple, and they last
    long enough. It's not critical for temp control for amateur projects,
    and they give times for low temps like the old C22.

    As for that, are there any reels for APS? I'm using steel ones, so idk
    about that. If there are, nobody will know about them so I guess i'll
    just end here.
    Nicholas Andre, Feb 22, 2008
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