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View Full Version : What does the stabilizer in the C-41 press kit do?


kramynot2000
02-13-2009, 14:26
I bought one of the C-41 press kits to try my hand at developing some color film and really like how it turned out the first few rolls. However, like a numbskull, this morning I made the mistake of pouring the stabilizer down the drain instead of back into the bottle!:bang: (I thought it was the water rinse.)

So, is the stabilizer really needed or do I need to get a new kit? Based on the instructions, my developer and blix are still good for another 6 rolls. For color film, after developing I typically scan in the next day and just throw away the negatives so if stabilizer is just to help preserve the negatives I'm thinking I may not need it if I scan in right away.

Thanks,

petronius
02-21-2009, 08:23
As I recall the last bath is preventing the colors from fading/changing when the film is stored and it will avoid water marks when drying the film.

mhv
02-21-2009, 08:37
I'll give you a clue: it stabilizes the film...

C-41 film NEEDS the stabilizer otherwise the image will degrade very quickly and very badly.

RandyB
02-21-2009, 08:48
The stabilizer acts as a hardner and preservative and a wetting agent. You should definately use it. You can buy the stuff by its self, the last time I looked a 1/2 gal jug was about $15 and it will last you a long time as it is concentrated. Any large photo supply house that caters to Pros should carry it. You might try a photo lab/Pro lab, they might sell you a quart.

Roger Hicks
02-21-2009, 08:52
It mops up the unused colour couplers and hardens the film but without it the film will not degrade anything like as fast as some people would have you believe. It's a lot more important if the films are not fully water-washed, as is normally the case with minilabs.

Cheers,

Roger

mabelsound
02-21-2009, 14:07
What I wonder is whether or not it's OK to wash AFTER the stabilizer. The press kit manual makes no mention of how to treat the film after the stabilizer. When I posted my C41 home dev video on YouTube, a couple of commenters mentioned that I shouldn't wash, that the stabilizer has to stay on. Is this true?

zgeeRF
02-21-2009, 14:18
If I don't wash the stabilizer I get crystals and washmarks on the negative. I started doing a final rinse in water with Photo Flo.

mabelsound
02-21-2009, 14:27
If I don't wash the stabilizer I get crystals and washmarks on the negative. I started doing a final rinse in water with Photo Flo.

That was my instinct, and I did it in the video, which is what several viewers protested. Although, the last couple of rolls I did, I left out the final rinse/photoflo, and didn't get any crystals or wash marks. So I dunno.

Svitantti
02-21-2009, 14:42
Dont wash after stabilizer. Stabilizer is meant to preserve and "clean" etc. the film, so you really shouldn't wash it after Stab. Not even with Agepon or Photo Flo.

For more info, you probably should check apug.org and what Photo Engineer has said about this. Apug is a good source on film chemistry questions.

Found the links:
http://www.apug.org/forums/forum40/42527-stablizer-difference-2.html
http://www.apug.org/forums/forum40/47753-subsitute-c-41-stabilizer-e-6-stabilizer.html

I probably should add, PE knows what he is talking about. He is ex-Kodak Photo engineer actually IIRC.

EDIT: If you are planning to throw away your negs after processing and scanning, it really doesnt matter... LOL

Svitantti
02-21-2009, 14:46
For color film, after developing I typically scan in the next day and just throw away the negatives

Oh, I almost missed this.

Seriously, WTF???

mabelsound
02-21-2009, 16:06
I probably should add, PE knows what he is talking about. He is ex-Kodak Photo engineer actually IIRC.

EDIT: If you are planning to throw away your negs after processing and scanning, it really doesnt matter... LOL


Excellent, thanks--I'll skip the final rinse from now on. I am definitely not tossing my negs!