Out of frustration due to circumstances only analogue species would understand (that would be us!) and not to mention the ridiculous high pricing of film handling in photo labs these days, Our Tipster here scoured everything he could find, both online and offline in search for a better solution and today, he's about to tell his story!
My Rebellion Against Inflated Lab Prices by lomosexual_manboy
Finding a good photo lab is getting harder and harder these days. My go-to lab which I had slowly built a relationship with closed down recently leaving me temporarily without a place to call home for my analog needs. With a little searching a came across another lab that was close by and had even cheaper prices, Who Knew!!! Well, the high I felt off of this discovery was fleeting and suddenly one day when I go in to pick up my negatives I am surprised to get a 13 dollar a roll fee instead of the previous 3 dollars I was getting oh so used to. This was a complete shock, which I became quite vocal about, but all the guy could do was give me a small discount. As I walked out of the shop I knew I was closing this chapter of my life, but so unsure of where to go from here.
After scouring the depths of the interweb I came across a little something that caught my eye. This little something happened to be the Jobo CPE processor family. I quickly searched eBay and found some listed and immediately began watching them. Then on a whim I tried searching for Jobo in my local Craigslist classifieds and what do you know, a Jobo CPE-2 Plus. I quickly sent out an email of interest and a couple days later I was driving down the highway with my new best friend.
I ordered C-41 chemicals the moment I got home and began planning all the joyous processing sessions to come. Fast forward five days and a knock on the door and my kit were complete. I also ordered the Tetenol 5 Liter C-41 kit so the following instructions are specifically from my experiences with this combo, but processing times and temps will be very similar if not identical for various other kits.
Now get out your rubber gloves and eye protection. Trashy clothes may be a good idea as well for splashback.
1) Pre-warm your water bath until the temp is 38 degrees Celsius/100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) Measure out your chemicals and place them in their respective tanks to warm in the water bath. (For my Jobo I use
240mL for a single 35mm/120 roll)
3) While you are waiting for your water bath load your film onto the reel in complete darkness and seal it in its light proof tank.
4) Place the tank in the water bath and let it pre-warm for five minutes or so. (This is so when you add chemicals it won’t cool down the temperature.)
5) Start your timer and run the developer for 3:15. (This time is to be as precise as possible.)
6) I like to do a 30 second rinse of same temperature water here so I don’t contaminate my next chemicals, but it isn’t necessary.
7) My Tetenol kit uses a combined bleach/fix which is used for 4:00, but if you take longer it won’t hurt your film until you go beyond 10:00 or so. (It’s good to shake the bleach/fix for 30 seconds prior to using it to oxygenate it. This helps it work better.)
8) Now is the rinse phase where I do six rinses of 30 seconds each. (If I see color in the water I will add more rinses until it runs clear.)
9) In a separate tank you can use a stabilizer for 1:00. I haven’t been using it, but if you care about archival quality of your negatives it is a good idea. It may clean up your film a bit more and help get rid of spots and streaking.
10) Hang your film to dry in a dust free area like inside your shower.
I use these steps for color negative and slide film(xpro) and have had no noticeable color contamination after using same chemicals for multiple rolls of each.
After you are done pour your chemicals back into their larger containers and re-use them. Do not dump them down the sink!!! Make sure to take the fixer to a lab to be recycled because it has silver in it which is toxic.