Film Development

Rollei / Compard Digibase C-41 Processing Kit

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I just received this great C-41 process developing kit (I got the 20 roll kit) from freestylephoto.biz and I’m diving head-first in to processing my own color film for the first time.

The process seems only a bit little more complicated than black and white and the Rollei / Digibase chemicals have the advantage of being useable at an easy to maintain 25°C.

I put this page together as a cheat-sheet for myself and most of the information here can be found in the Rollei / Compard Digibase C-41 Processing Kit Instruction Guide [PDF]

If you’ve enjoyed these tips and are in the market for some photo gear, using these links to buy from Adorama.com, Amazon.com or RitzCamera.com or alternatively using the PayPal Donate button to make a small contribution helps me keep this site going. Thanks!

Mixing the Chemicals

The 500 ml capacity that is most useful to me (I usually process either a single 120 or two 35mm rolls at a time in a Paterson tank) is not included in the Rollei instructions. 460 ml and 480 ml are there but 500 ml is nowhere to be found. I worked out the 500 ml solution by halving the 1000 ml concentrations listed in the instructions.

For 500 ml I used half of all the developer solution and bleach (which is a bright algae green in concentrate), ¾’s of the fixer and all of the stabilizer. The 50 ml of stabilizer included in the kit will only make a 500 ml working solution. You’d need 100 ml to make 1 liter of working solution. (The 500 ml working solution will work for 30 rolls, which is more than the developer should last anyway…)

Note that the water temperature needs to be at 49°C for proper mixing of the chemicals. I used a kettle to bring the water up to temperature and had my mixing graduates in a water bath at roughly 50°C to maintain temperature while mixing.

Developer
Working Solution
Water
Part A
Part B
Part C
Starter
Film Capacity*
300 ml
207 ml
30 ml
30 ml
30 ml
3 ml
4 -6 rolls
500 ml
345 ml
50 ml
50 ml
50 ml
5 ml
7 – 11 rolls
1000 ml
690 ml
100 ml
100 ml
100 ml
10 ml
12 – 20 rolls
* 35mm, 36 exposure or 120 format rolls

Bleacher
Working Solution
Water
Bleach
Film Capacity*
300 ml
216 ml
84 ml
6 – 9 rolls
500 ml
360 ml
140 ml
10 – 19 rolls
1000 ml
720 ml
280 ml
20 – 28 rolls
* 35mm, 36 exposure or 120 format rolls

Fixer
Working Solution
Water
Fixer
Film Capacity*
300 ml
240 ml
60 ml
6 – 9 rolls
500 ml
400 ml
100 ml
10 – 19 rolls
1000 ml
800 ml
200 ml
20 – 28 rolls
* 35mm, 36 exposure or 120 format rolls

Stabilizer
Working Solution
Water
Stabilizer
Film Capacity*
300 ml
270 ml
30 ml
18 rolls
500 ml
450 ml
50 ml
30 rolls
1000 ml
900 ml
100 ml
60 rolls
* 35mm, 36 exposure or 120 format rolls

The Developing Process

The processing order is Pre-Soak -> Developer -> Bleach -> Wash -> Fixer -> Stabilizer

Development can be done at a range of temperatures with this kit and several are provided in the instructions.

The temperatures I’ve tried so far are the "rapid" at 45°C and the lower one at 25°C. The lower temperature is easier to maintain but time to develop takes 33½ minutes versus 11½ minutes when done at 45°C.

Pre-Soak
Temperature
Time
Agitation
25°C
3 min
15 seconds of continuous agitation at start, then 1 agitation every 30 seconds thereafter
45°C
2 min

Developer
Temperature
Time
Agitation
25°C
13 min
Agitate once every 30 seconds
45°C
2 min
15 seconds of continuous agitation at start, then 1 agitation every 30 seconds thereafter

Bleach
Temperature
Time
Agitation
25°C
6 min
Agitate once every 30 seconds
45°C
2 min
15 seconds of continuous agitation at start, then 1 agitation every 30 seconds thereafter

Wash
Temperature
Time
Agitation
25°C
3 min
15 seconds of continuous agitation at start, then 1 agitation every 30 seconds thereafter
45°C
2 min

Fixer
Temperature
Time
Agitation
25°C
7 min
Agitate once every 30 seconds
45°C
2 min 30 sec

Stabilizer
Temperature
Time
Agitation
25°C
1 min 30 sec
Agitate once every 30 seconds
40°C
1 min
15 seconds of continuous agitation at start, then 1 agitation every 30 seconds thereafter

Rodinal Developer

If you’ve enjoyed these tips and are in the market for electronics or photo gear, using these links to buy from TigerDirect or Amazon.com or alternatively using the PayPal Donate button to make a small contribution helps me keep this site going. Thanks!

I am collecting in this post my experiences developing black and white film with Rodinal developer, now sold as Adox Adonal. I have a little notebook with all of this information that would be a huge pain to loose so I’m transcribing those notes here and adding more as I learn.

For the basics, the wiki post is a great place to start… (Be sure to check those external links!)

Digital Truth has a massive chart of development times for Rodinal with all kinds of film as well as the Rodinal product leaflet. You can find the Adonal Material Safety Data Sheet (the stuff I use) at the Adox.de site. I ordered my 500ml bottle of Adonal from FreestylePhoto in the USA. In Europe, you can order from SilverPrint.

To check out other great images developed with Rodinal and get feedback from some really knowledgeable people, check out the Flickr Rodinal Group.

If you’ve enjoyed these tips and are in the market for some photo gear, using these links to buy from Adorama.com, Amazon.com or RitzCamera.com or alternatively using the PayPal Donate button to make a small contribution helps me keep this site going. Thanks!

My handy table of Rodinal Dilutions:
Dilution
For 300 ml
(ml Rodinal + ml Water)
For 500 ml
(ml Rodinal + ml Water)
For 1000 ml
(ml Rodinal + ml Water)
1:25
12 ml / 288 ml
20 ml / 480 ml
40 ml / 960 ml
1:50
6 ml / 294 ml
10 ml / 490 ml
20 ml / 980 ml
1:100
3 ml / 297 ml
5 ml / 495 ml
10 ml / 990 ml

Examples of development at different dilutions:

Development Type: Stand Development 1:100 Concentration @ 20C
Time: 60 min
Notes:

60 sec of inversions at start, 10 sec of inversions at 30 min.

Flickr Set:
VALVE
bike
three chairs

Development Type: Normal Development 1:50 Concentration @ 20C
Time: 11 min
Notes:

60 sec of inversions at start, 10 sec of inversions at start of every min thereafter.

Flickr Set:
Polaroid 350
scattered
vigil

Development Type: Normal Development 1:25 Concentration @ 20C
Time: 7 min
Notes:

60 sec of inversions at start, 10 sec of inversions at start of every min thereafter.

Flickr Set:
floating in a...
16th Ave.
open

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