Saturday, July 7, 2012

Developing color film is not difficult

I already heard from many people doing B&W photography that they don't trust themselves doing color because it is a very difficult issue, you have to keep temperature constant and the durations of the baths are critical and so on.

For a long time I was one of these people too. But I never lost the idea of trying it some day. And this day is already passed and now I know that it is all not so difficult. And I also know that you neither need temperature nor fixed time durations, if you use Dignans recipe of split developer.

So, if you want to start developing color, try the Dignan method. First of all, dissolve 4,5 g Sodium Sulfite in 500 ml water and add 5 g CD-4, the color developer. This is the bath A and it takes at least 3 minutes, make it 5. Pour back in the bottle. The bath B is just a basic solution that will activate the CD-4 transported from bath A (no rinsing between these baths). The development will take some 6 minutes at pH=11,6 to 11,8. I am using a few perls of sodium hydroxide and I add sodium carbonate until I reach the pH between those values. To this, and according to the original recipe, I add 0,5 g Potassium Bromide, better said, 25 ml of a 2% solution of Potassium Bromide.

As I already said here in a post, bleach bath influences the color you get, the best one I tried is ferric EDTA that can be used together with the fixer, in a so called Blix Bath. But after the second developing bath, use a stop bath of acetic or citric acid and then bleach+fixer. This may take longer than it takes at the recommended 38ºC, just leave it for some 15 minutes and then wash very well. As final bath you may use a 27% solution of formaldeyde with a drop of Photo Flo. Well, I use just a drop of wash disher, no formaldeyde.

And you may appreciate some results of this development, using an Adox Golf camera, Lomography 400 ISO film, scanned with Epson V500 and treated with the software Photoscape.

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Example 4

Example 3

Example 5

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