Rediscovering some gifted film (Kodak Ektachrome 64, expired in 1996) and newly found RA-4 chemistry, and worrying about a lack of darkroom in the future, I thought I’d use some hoarded materials, and do some experiments processing color film. And I’m happy (somewhat) with the results. I overexposed the film 2 stops, and I think I still underdeveloped the first development (1:3 Dektol for 6minutes @ 100F) since the highlights still appear somewhat dull.
First, I found two great online resources where I based my formulas from, though I improvised most formulas depending on the materials that I have. The two sites are http://www.bonavolta.ch/hobby/en/photo/c41_ra4_chemicals.htm and http://opie.net/orphy/photo/dr/wkft-e6.html.
The RA-4 is a 3 part concentration replenishing kit for 25L tanks, silver pixel. I did a couple tests to find what concentrations to mix them, to process C-41 films at 3:15 minutes. 10ml part A, 5ml part B, 10ml Part C to 300ml water. For the blix, a separate bleach: a slightly akali ferricyanide, and fix bath: sprint 1:4, 5 minutes each. This gives me acceptable results to scan, so I’m not too worry about its archival properties. Also, according to smarter photo engineers on APUG, straying from the standard formulas voids the archival properties of the slide film.
After the first stop bath, (30-35g soda ash in 500ml vinegar) I turn and keep the lights on. I rinse the film for a little longer after the color is removed for the tray, expose the film to 300W bulbs, both sides for about a minute a piece, nothing exact. I then color develop in the formula above for 3:15, then again stop and rinse. After, bleach and fix for 5 minutes each rinsing in between. Finally, I wash the film for 5 minutes and stabilize with Sprint’s stabilizer for a minute.