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Glossary Terms

C-41 is a designation for the process used to develop color negative film—that is, the film for making color prints. It is a standardized sequence which does not vary with film speed or brand. Every film designed for C-41 processing goes though its chemical steps at the same temperatures and timings.

Because of this, the great majority of C-41 processing is done using automated roller feed machines, where e.g., it is not possible to increase the timing of the development step for push processing. The exposure latitude of most C-41 films is high, however, and a lab may "push" the film after the fact simply by stretching the contrast when prints are made. A few specialty labs using "dip & dunk" processors are able to give C-41 films true push-processing, but as an extra-cost service.

The designation C-41 is the one used by Kodak; while Fujifilm calls it CN-16. Most photographers use the term C-41 generically, even when films are actually developed in Fujifilm chemistry.

The other common color development chemistry used today is the one for color slide film, process E-6.