Sunday, May 26, 2013

Two kinds of CSS

In former posts I have been talking about this fantastic developer I called CSS. It is a stock solution containing, per liter, 5 g Sodium Sulfite, 100g coffee, 100g Vit. C and 6g of CD4, the developer agent for C-41 film process.
The mixture of coffee, vit. C and CD4 is superadditive and gives a powerfull developer, for film and for paper. Until now I only used it for B&W film and paper. But I am sure it will develop C-41 films and maybe with color.

Today I decided to prepare another developer inspired in the above one. But instead of CD4, I used Hair Dye. All attempts I have made until now to develop color with hair dye failed more or less.

I prepared the developer the same way as CSS and instead of 6g CD4 I putted 20ml/l of hair dye. Then I made the working solution for paper and exposed some sheets of paper and developed in it. It does develop paper very quickly but I couldn't reproduce the positivation like I was doing with CSS-CD4. Only the negatives were OK.

Then, with the same developer I putted a stripe of color film in it and nothing happened... so quickly. I left the stripe for more than half an hour and it did turned black. Then I tried to bleach this stripe and it was not 'bleachable', it stayed black.

OK, now let us expose a color film in the camera and develop it in this thing at room temperature. So I did, developed for one hour and used blix for finishing. As result I had a completely usable black and white negative, that can be scanned as normal.

One thing is clear to me, the image is black and white but is not a silver image it is a dye image where the colors were only black.

I repeated the experience but using temperature, about 38 ºC. The result was not that different. I still can't say I can develop color without CD4, but I can develop C-41 films as B&W, bleached and transparent looking like normal B&W developed film.

CSS-HD + Blix @ R.T.
CSS-HD + Blix @ 38ºC
CSS-HD + Blix @ 38ºC
The films were scanned as color negative, but they only have a 'smell' of color.

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