Calibrating E-6 chemistry results visually

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Mike Wilde, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

    Aug 10, 2006
    Multi Format
    I have a bunch of older out dated E-6 chemistry from the Kodak 6 step (plus final rinse) family of chemical concetrates for slide film processing.

    While on holiday in San Francisco I dropped into Gassers, and they had 2 old 'makes 10L' reversal bath concentrate at a great price of $2 each. I was low on this stuff. I have optically re-exposed before, but it is a PIA, so I bought the bottles.

    I taped the lids securely, and flew them home in the luggage, hoping that they did not get snached by the TSA.

    Well they made it home, but I was not sure if this likely mid 1990's stuff was still viable.

    I also wanted to check on the state of activity of my old first developer replenisher concentrate. I have 1 gallon jug, about 3/4 full still. It is dated to expire in 2006. I have pushed the development time to 7:15 to make up for it's failing activity in the past, but wanted to get back to the standard 6' processing time. I had a few months ago trialed mixing replenisher as 210mL to the litre in lieu of the specified 200ml, and it was definitely too strong at 6:30, so I wanted to trial it at 6:00.

    I have a big stash of CDUII dupe film in the frezer, and a bowens illumintran duper, and a test slide made by a guy named dr pete viragio bought off of the *bay that is a better target than my macbeth chart slide.

    Past testing with the macbeth chart had showed that the aging CDUII film needs 30G and 50Y to balance with the daylight flash tube colour balance of the illumitran duper. Exposure past testing showed that when the metering needle on the illumitran balanced I needed the lens to be at f/8.

    So I shot a whole 42 exposure roll (bulk loaded) of the Dr. Pete slide with the duper, taking time to make sure the flash capacitor had time to fully recharge between shots.

    I loaded half of this roll onto a ss reel, and processed it once the chems were up to specified temperature. I held the other half of the roll back in case I neded to run an optical reexposure option to judge if the old chemical reversal concentrate was not working as well as I had hoped it would.

    The roll of dupes of the test slide came out with great density and colour balance, at 6' in the FD, and with the old reversal bath working right the first time.

    Since I had only used 250mL of the mixed 1L on the test roll, I poured them back into the 1L jugs, and then re-tempered them.

    Since this E-6 process appeared to be in control, I proceeded to process 4 rolls of slides taken 6 weeks ago on my California holiday. Judging how they looked after the final rinse, they came out great. These rolls are presently hanging in the drying cabinet, where they can fully dry in a low dust environment.

    I replenished all of the chemistry to account for the 4.5 rolls I had ran, and the chems are now staying warm ready to run the other 6 backlogged films from holiday when I have some time for that task two nights from now.

    I warm the 5 E-6 1l colour tape coded and sequence numbered glass storage bottles in lunch sized cooler heated by a fish talk immersion heater and pump. When the lid is mostly on (the cords dangle out to prevent a perfect seating) the assembly consumes very little power. The pump only gets plugged in if I am trying to heat things in less than 2 hours.

    I dont temper the bleach. I keep it in a tank with a floating lid. Duning pre bleach, I draw a litre and heat it to within the required temperature in my basement microwave oven. The iron causes it to heat quite quickly when warmed that way.