Process Your Own C41 Color Film

Process Your Own C41 Color Film

Processing your own color film is just as easy, if not easier, than processing black and white film. The materials you will need are the exact same as you needed for the black and white processing, however, I will post the list here as well. 


Processing tank- Personally, I have found the Paterson 3 reel tank perfect. 

Reels- I use the samigon reels, they are best for 35mm-120 film, and everything in between.

A thermometer, as the temperatures need to be close to exact. Any thermometer that goes above 100 is fine. 

C41 Kit--I use a unicolor kit from Freestyle


Film Clips-I just use binder clips, they are readily available and cheap.

A sink with running water--You want to make sure you have a steady supply of water ready. 

A changing bag-You can use a completely dark closet or bathroom, I made my own bag from two black trash bags, some velcro, and a lot of black duct tape.

Exposed Film

So, now that you have everything all ready, lets start. 

You need to begin by mixing the chemicals. The instructions indicate how exactly to mix them. I use the 1 liter kit, so you should end up with 1 liter when you're all set. 

After you have loaded your film in complete darkness, and put it into your tank, and you've heated up your chemicals, they should be 102 degrees fahrenheit, you're all set to begin.

Step One--Presoak (I keep a 1 liter Dr Pepper bottle full of water in my sink). Just pour it into your tank, agitate or don't, it really does not matter much. Leave it in for 1 minute, then pour out.

Step Two--Developer (102 degrees for 3 minutes 30 Seconds). Pour the developer in the tank, and agitate for for the first 30 seconds, then for 5 seconds every 30 seconds after. that. 

Step Three--Blix (95-105 degrees for 6 minutes 30 seconds). Same as above, agitate for the first 30 seconds, then 5 seconds every 30 seconds after that. 

Step Four--Wash (95-105 degrees for 3 minutes) I just let the sink run into the tank, pouring out every few minutes.

Step Five--Stabilizer (Room Temperature for one minute) Pour this into the tank, and leave in for 1 minute. Agitate for the first 15 seconds. I added a bit of photoflo to the stabilizer to break the surface tension for drying.

Step Six--Hang Dry. 

Every C41 film follows these steps, there is no deviation between films, unless you're push/pulling, but I never do that, as most ISO speeds I use are readily available. 

This kit is rated for 8 rolls, which is just too conservative. I've pushed my kits to around 40 rolls with pleasing results. After the first 10 rolls, add 30 seconds to the development time for each five rolls to compensate for diminishing chemicals.

First 10 Rolls--3:30

11-15 rolls--4:00

16-20 rolls---4:30

20-25 rolls---5:00

26-30 rolls---5:30

31-35 rolls---6:00

36-40 rolls---6:30

And so on. 

All of the following photos were shot with various cameras on various C41 films, processed with the jobo kit. Do it yourself, it is tremendously easy. 

Yashica-Mat Em

Fuji Reala

Kiev 4a-Jupiter 8m

Kodak Portra 400vc

Japan Camera Hunter

Japan Camera Hunter