Developing C-41 Color Print Film in Black & White Developer

Developing notes
I used Kodak HC-110 developer. I like it and it is what I have right now. I used dilution H, which is 1 part developer to 63 parts water. This is straight developer concentrate, not a stock solution. The concentrate is the US strength, where dilution B is 1+31 — I’ve read that HC-110 comes in a weaker dilution across the pond. I’ve never seen it or used it, just throwing the warning out there.

One thing about using more dilute developer is to make sure you have enough developer concentrate in the solution. The Yankee tank I used calls for 340mL of developer for one roll of 35mm film. Easy enough — divide 340 by 64 to get the amount of syrup I need. It comes out to 5.3125mL. However, you need at least 6mL of HD-110 syrup to have enough of the active chemicals to convert the exposed portions of a roll of 35mm film to metallic silver. So… 6mL X 64 = 384mL total. I use dilution H a lot so I made a mark on a graduated cylinder with a permanent marker at 384mL. That way, I just put in 6mL of syrup and fill to the mark with water. Use dilution H as a one-shot — don’t re-use.

An oral syringe for measuring medicine for children (cats in my case) is perfect for this. I fill a 3mL syringe twice, squirt it into the cylinder, add some water into the cylinder, suck and squirt the water a few times to make sure I get all of the syrup out of the syringe, then top off to 384mL.

I got the most useful information about HC-110 from this page at Covington Innovations.

I used Kodak indicator stop bath at a dilution of 16mL/liter. You might see the recommended dilution stated as 1:64 or 1:63. It’s meant to be one part of a total solution of 64 parts. That’s why I like the 1+## notation rather than a ratio — you don’t have to guess whether the writer means 1 part plus ## water or 1 part of ## solution. It can be re-used and changes color (the indicator) when exhausted but it’s inexpensive so I don’t re-use it.

*The stop bath concentrate is a strong acetic acid. Strong enough to require ground shipping only in the US, so don’t get it on you. It’s also flammable and an inhalation hazard, so seriously, treat it with respect and protect your eyes.*

I used Ilford Rapid Fixer at 1+4. I normally don’t re-use the fixer either. It’s more expensive than the stop but I shoot such a bizarre mix of color print film (usually developed as color print negatives), slides, B&W film, and digital that my problem is usually shelf life rather than chemical exhaustion. If I’m doing a large run, I might re-use. In this case, I didn’t know what the color print film might leave in the solutions, so definitely one-shot.

With everything mixed, we’re finally ready to go.

Everything was done at a temperature of 68F (~20C).

Develop for 11 minutes. The data sheet calls for agitation every 30 seconds. I have a tendency to agitate too vigorously and dilution H is a little more forgiving so I generally do 4 inversions immediately after filling, smack the tank on the counter as I set it down to loosen any bubbles, and repeat at the beginning of each subsequent minute.

Stop for 1 minute. I did 4 inversions + smack at the beginning and then let it sit for the rest of the minute.

Fix for 5 minutes. Ilford recommends 2-5 minutes for B&W films. This was an experiment so getting anything was the goal. I used the same agitation scheme as the developing step.

Wash using the Ilford method: “After fixing, fill the spiral tank with water at the same temperature, +/-5ºC (9ºF), as the processing solutions and invert it five times. Drain the water away and refill. Invert the tank ten times. Once more drain the water away and refill. Finally, invert the tank twenty times and drain the water away.”

I did an extra 20 inversion wash step for good measure.

I filled the tank and added a couple of drops of Kodak Photo-Flo and did 20 inversions.

I took the film out, gave a loud YES! when I saw images, squeegeed with a cellulose sponge and hung to dry.