Stand / Cross process of C41 Poundland Film in B/W Chemistry

Together in Death. Olympus XA2 (the 50p camera project). AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 (Poundland Film) C41. Developed in Rodinal.

I recently asked on a photography forum for a developing recipe to cross process C41 with b/w chemistry.  I was tickled, but a little chuffed, when someone answered by giving me a link to an old post about the subject …. from one of my own posts here on my blog!

I hadn’t cross processed Poundland film to b/w for a year or two, and when I did, I used Ilford ID11.  This time I wanted to use a rodinal / R09 developer, and I fancied stand processing.

For the Digital / N00b crowd.  What am I talking about?

  1. Cross Processing.  There are a number of different processes for film, and for printing.  The most common three are a) C41.  This is the process for developing colour negative film.  Some b/w films have also been produced that require C41.   b) E6.  This is the process for colour positive transparencies / slides.  c) True b/w negative.  The oldest process that is usually still done by hand rather than a photo lab.  Cross processing takes place when a photographer uses a process other than that intended by the film manufacturer.  Many Lomo photographers cross (both ways) C41 and E6 in order to get bizarre colours on prints/scans.  I am cross processing C41 Poundland film in b/w chemistry, because it is ultra cheapskate and tight fisted.
  2. Stand processing.  Hand processing film involves agitating or inverting a developing tank filled with a film, and diluted solutions of developer  at set intervals.  Typical dilutions for example for the rodinal developer are 1:19 or 1:25 of rodinal to water.  This moves the diluted developer through the film emulsions at a proven rate.  With Stand processing, you use much weaker dilutions of developer, and instead of regular inversions – leave the tank standing for a much longer time.  It saves on developer, allows you to have a meal or watch a movie, and is similar in some ways to slow cooking.  You can be several minutes out either way without disaster.

The stand process that I ended up using this time was that as suggested by the Massive Dev Chart for XP2 C41 in Rodinal / R09.

The recommendation was 1:100.  Yes, a pathetic 3 ml of Agfa Rodinal for a single 35mm film in my Paterson tank.  The recommended time at the optimum 20C was 120 minutes.  I put my used Poundland film in the tank.  Added the very diluted Rodinal, gave it several inversions, then sat it down with a few taps to dislodge air bubbles.

I then took Anita out to the local flea pit (cinema) where we watched the Pixel movie.  I returned maybe 130 minutes later.  Emptied out the developer, stopped, fixed, and rinsed.  Hung up the slippery brown thing to dry.

The above image is one scan.  I did enhance the levels a little on the scanned image, using Gimp software, but not that much.  I worked out that 3 ml of my Rodinal cost me about 8p (GBP £0.08).  The film a quid from Poundland.  Altogether, film, develop, fix, and scan cost me no more than £1.30.

Tight fisted?

One more thing.  This isn’t just about process and cost.  How does the image look?

Film Dark Room, Monochrome, Pentax ME Super 35mm film SLR, Portrait

FoolHardy Clowns

The Likely Lads. FoolHardy, clowns in Wisbech. Pentax ME Super camera. SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7 lens. Ilford HP5 Plus 35mm film, developed in ID11

Clowns at the Christmas Fair in Wisbech.  From the FoolHardy circus in Norwich.  Joe Fool, and his partner Cosmo Hardy.

A place in Explore, and over 11,000 views, and 180 faves for this image on the Flickr website yesterday.  Well I liked this one, so I’m glad that others do as well.  It was a good strip of film.  I’ve started pre-soaking my film in water at developing temp (or slightly above), and it’s probably just me or a lucky film, but the grain looks really nice.  As I’m moving towards Colour film and C-41 developing, I’m having serious second thoughts!  I’m liking my home developed b/w so much!

On the C-41 front, I’ve found an online article, based on my Digibase chemistry kit, using stand processing. The method develops C-41 at a lovely familiar 20 C, with minimal agitations, but very, very slowly.  It sounds safe, and I think I can manage that better, so when the time comes, I’m probably going to use that method.  My dark room notebook is starting to dry out (since I dropped it in water), and I need to start writing a C-41 plan stand processing plan.  Not too sure that I fancy bleach bypass though.  Meanwhile I also need to do two other things.  1) take some photography, and 2) find some nice 5 litre drums to store chemicals in.