How long has it been ? That is a good question. My 5 liter pack of C-41 chemicals, were from 2017 (unopened) - but the bleach went totally dark green and I didn't trust it, therefore I used fresh chemicals I bought in summer 2021. Just to be sure. And now i have a new 5 liter C-41 on order. Hopefully it will not stand on the shelves for another 4.5 years.

I kind of quit, after my stupid experiment back in either 2016 or 2017, when i developed 20-25 rolls of film in cold C-41... which resulted into VASTLY THIN negatives. (OK to scan, especially in black & white and then post processing them in Photoshop), but for printing those thin negatives are totally useless). It startled me that I didn't notice it earlier, but remember that the films looked denser to the naked eye, in the bathroom (and being wet, they usually look denser, compared to when they have dried).

From that time on since 2017, I kind of gave up color negative films and development until now in the end of 2021.


The thing with opening 5 liter C-41 chemicals...

Then there is the issue, that when you open the concentrates for 5 liter C-41, which can develop up to 100 films... but what do you do, if you don't have so many films to develop. The concentrates once broken, do not last long - primarily the developer goes bad quickly.

Buy 1 liter chemicals, which costs way more than 5 liter ?

That too, kept me from developing any color negative films. But now, I mix 5 liter C-41 developer, and freeze it instead. Supposedly it works for modern C-41 developer (and only for C-41 developer), so i thought I give it a go.

This means, that when i now develop my 10 rolls of colors films (exposed and frozen since a couple of years), I will be able to re-freeze the color developer, until the next time. Bleach is ok, and loves oxygen (which means, shake the bottle of the ready bleach solution once in a while).


So, tonight I am going to develop

the Ilford XP2 400 films, as well a couple rolls of Fuji G200 colors films I had exposed years ago, and then kept in the freezer to avoid degradation. If I would have kept the exposed rolls in room temperatures, the films would have gone bad over the years. So, freezing is the way to go, if you can't or don't want to develop C-41 films right away.


The prices on C-41 chemicals have risen

like everything else. I remember back in 2010-12 that it cost 43 €. Now the price is 70 €. Go figure. About all the other stuff in conventional, traditional photography... the prices have soared through the roof on almost everything. And big times. That trend already started in 2008, by the way. If I hadn't a lot of films rolls in the freezer, I am sure I wouldn't process any color films the traditional way with chemicals.

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