After some difficulty, I managed to obtain a 1L CS-41 development kit from Cinestill. Unfortunately, since it is a power kit the stabilizer packet is not included in it. My previous kit from Unicolor had it which was a good thing. So, now I'm on the lookout for a stabilizer. I'm assuming my Kodak Photo Flo is only meant for a B&W film or can it be used for color films also? After some search, I found this Kodak Flexicolor SM (C-41SM) Tank Final Rinse stabilizer. It is a liquid that can be used to make a 5L solution and it's not very expensive either. Has anyone here tried this product? After I get some feedback from you guys I'll get one soon.

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1 Answer 1


It will work just fine! Initially, C-41 film stabilizer was a surfactant (FhotoFlow) plus formaldehyde. The formaldehyde acted as a biocide to preserve the film from attracks by mold and other beasties. Secondly, the formaldehyde formed a peptide bond. Film uses a binder of gelatin to glue the light sensitive goodies and the dyes to the film base. Gelatin is an organic, made from animal bones and connective tissue. As such it is food for bacterium. The dyes are also organic, they are oily globules. Under the microscope, gelatin resembles spaghetti. The peptide tacks the spaghetti stands together at places where they overlap. This restrains the dyes preventing them from being mobile. As time passed, the formaldehyde was labeled a carcinogen. Color films were modified so that only a biocide plus surfactant did this trick. A modern C-41 rinse does this deed; it contains the surfactant plus a mild biocide similar to that found in antibiotic hand soap.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the info. I have ordered one from Adorama. It's pretty hard to get another kit also these days. Everywhere it's out of stock. \$\endgroup\$ May 5, 2020 at 19:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see that you are a professional photographer. I believe you have definitely done darkroom printing. I have been thinking of obtaining an enlarger and start darkroom printing. Is it worth it? I mean those photographic papers arent that expensive comapred to the amount of money spend on a printer ink I guess. Also can the same enlarger for BW be used for color also or is it different. I have seen a couple of color enlargers, you know know with those Magenta, Yellow and Cyan knobs. But they are quite pricey and biggger making the shipping costly. \$\endgroup\$ May 5, 2020 at 19:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @The_Vintage_Collector For color, you'll need a Dichro enlarger head. This can be used for color and actually makes life a bit easier for variable contrast black and white papers. A black and white head is really just a lamp. Most have a tray for inserting filters for use with variable contrast papers - but since you cannot control the balance of yellow, magenta, and cyan, they cannot be used for color film. All the supplies are costly new - keep your eyes open for used. I picked up a Besseler 23CIII from a student for $250. It had been passed around the local school's student base for years \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    May 5, 2020 at 19:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was a manufacturer of enlarger color meters and an instructor, color print and process for the Professional photographers of America school. I advise caution because the learning curve is sleeper than you think as is the cost of materials. That said, color printing can be very rewarding. My advice is to invest in digital printing hardware and imaging editing software. Should you decide to take the enlarger route, I will be there for you, just ask. \$\endgroup\$ May 6, 2020 at 15:31

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