Developing C41 film rolls
This is Knepp's guide on how to develop C41 using the Rollei Colorchem C41-chemistry. C41 is, unlike B/W, a standardized process. That means you can develop different film stocks in the same time!
Before you can start developing, you need to pre-soak both equipment and chemicals to make sure everything is at the correct temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius. Life is too short to worry about exact temperature. Get your chemicals to 39 degrees Celsius. They will drop in temperature when you pour them in the tank.
Please note that temperature on the tap is not correct. Always use a thermometer!
Fill a large container with water, and keep the water running. Put the chemical bottles in the container. Use the other tap in the same zink to fill the developing tank and keep the water running. Wait for a few minutes.
Empty the water filled developing tank. In complete dark, load your film roll(s) on the developing reel(s) and put the in the tank. Make sure that the light proof lid is on and secured before you turn on the lights again.
Now that film is in the tank, pre soak the film in water. The water should be 37.8 degrees Celsius. Let the film soak 3-4 minutes.
Always use gloves when handling C41 chemicals! You don't want to get them on your hands.
Developer is kept in the bottle labelled as C41 Dev. Pour the soaking water out. Set your timer for 3 minutes 15 seconds. Start the timer and pour the developer into the tank. Let it rotate in Jobo. After 3 min 15 sec, pour the developer into an empty beaker. Put this aside for now. Later, use a funnel to pour the developer back into the bottle.
Bleach is in the bottle labelled as C41 Blix. Set your timer for 6 min. Pour the bleach in. Let it rotate in Jobo. When the time is out, pour the blix into an empty beaker. Put this aside for now. Later, use a funnel to pour the bleach back into the bottle.
Now the film is already developed. But we need to wash it with water. Prepare the right amount of water with temperature ca. 38 degrees, so you can change the water every 40-50 seconds, at least 4 times.
Stabilizer is in the bottle labelled as C41 Stab. Set your timer for 1 min. Pour the stabilizer in. Let it rotate in Jobo. When the time is out, pour the stabilizer into an empty beaker. Put this aside for now. Later, use a funnel to pour the stabilizer back into the bottle.
Take your film out on the developing tank. Admire your own work! Then, use your fingers to dry of the liquid on the film. Grab hangers and weights and hang the film in the drying cabinet. Wait until the film is completely dry, meanwhile - go to step 9. Cut your film to segments of 6 exposures, and put the in a negative holder.
For the shared darkroom to work - everyone has to take responsibility for cleaning and making sure everything is where it should be!
Pour chemicals back into their bottles. Take all the equipment that you have used and clean it thourougly with dish soap. Put everything on the drying rack. Make sure that everything is where it should be when you leave.
Don't forget to update the C41 dev chart, so we know when to prepare a new batch of fresh chemicals!
Knepp offers great scanners for all your 135 and 120 film. If you don't have time to scan right now - use the light tables and your phone to photograph your negatives! Now it's time to enjoy your work! Well done!
Last modified 1mo ago