E6 Home Processing

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by edhead2008, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. edhead2008

    edhead2008 Member

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    I'd be grateful for some advice re. processing E6 at home. Is it much more difficult than processing traditional B/W film? I've been processing HP5 at home for about the last 4 months and am thinking of investing in the chemicals for transparencies but not sure what's involved.

    Also, do I need any additional kit, ie tanks, etc.? I have all that's needed to process B/W ok, and am hoping that that's sufficient.

    Cheers,

    Eamonn
     
  2. tim_walls

    tim_walls Subscriber

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    I wrote a little guide some time ago - it may be useful to you: http://www.yarki.net/E6/

    The assembled wisdom here is far greater though, so use only as a starting point.

    Also note that these days I actually prefer to use the Kodak 6-bath kit rather than the Tetenal kit I describe there, but that's just personal preference really.
     
  3. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    why do you like the Kodak kit better?

    are the results different?...do you have more control with the Kodak kit?
     
  4. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    I like the kodak kit. It's a lot of baths though. I haven't used anything else but I know the kodak kit is reliable and cheap. compared to processing with some labs I save 90-95% on processing costs (but the process takes a LONG TIME!) If I made a sink line processor (anyone know where to get accurate fish tank heaters that heat to 100 degrees F?) it would go faster but the tempering takes a while.

    The method is to heat the chemistry in a steel pitcher in a water bath and then process with steel in a water bath to keep the temperature right. I usually use a temperature 1-2 degrees higher than nominal to compensate for loss of heat when I agitate. Beyond that it's the same as B+W.
     
  5. tim_walls

    tim_walls Subscriber

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    It's said that the Kodak kits should produce better results - in particular Photo Engineer of this fine place has views on why the separate Bleach and Fix of the 'true' E6 kits is better than the combined bleach-fix (BLIX) Tetenal use; that's not my particular reason for preferring the Kodak though, although you should bear it in mind.

    I prefer the Kodak kit because although it has more chemical steps it has fewer temperature critical wash steps (The full E6 steps if not dependent on are tolerant of carry-over from the previous bath (apart from the first dev-reversal bath wash,) whereas between each of the baths in the condensed Tetenal kits you need a full wash) - keeping chemicals at the right temperature is easier than wash water at the right temperature in my current setup!

    The full process just seem less 'frantic' than the condensed Tetenal routine as well; that may just be me though :smile:.
     
  6. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    ah....me grok

    I always used several gallon jugs of hot water for the wash steps & it was a bit awkward
     
  7. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    A few thoughts of my own:

    • My own experience is that the Kodak 6-bath kit does produce better results than the third-party 3-bath kits I've tried. This is particularly true when comparing the (only single-use) Kodak kit to the 2nd pass through a (multi-use) third-party kit.
    • If you do the math, you'll find that the Kodak 6-bath kit is actually less expensive than the third-party 3-bath kits, esepcially if you go for single-use on the latter. This does assume you use both kits to completion, though, and as the Kodak kit is bigger, that may not be a valid assumption if you don't shoot a lot of E-6 film. This may also vary by region (I'm in the US, and buy my supplies by mail order.)
    • Neither C-41 nor 3-bath E-6 is significantly more difficult than B&W. The main change is that they run at a higher temperature that requires a water bath or machine processor. Personally, I use a water bath in a dish pan. Color chemistry does sometimes produce more leakage from tanks, so be prepared for that.
    • The extra baths, not to mention the extra mixing and cleanup requirements, make using a 6-bath kit a lot more tedious than using a 3-bath kit. It takes me half an hour just to set up before processing a roll with a 6-bath kit. This doesn't really add to the difficulty of processing, but it does make it more tedious.

    Overall, if you're familiar with B&W, doing E-6 shouldn't be too difficult. Starting with a 3-bath kit will simplify things a bit but will (IMHO) produce results that don't quite match the Kodak 6-bath kit. (Fuji also sells 6-bath E-6 chemistry, but AFAIK not in a nice kit form; you'd need to track down the individual components.) If you're using standard developing tanks, you'll need some way to maintain temperature, which can be as simple as a dishpan or similar container for a water bath. You might need an extra thermometer, too (one for the water bath, one for the developer).
     
  8. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Subscriber

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  9. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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  10. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    There are two major Single Use Process E-6 kit manufacturers : Kodak and FUJI (-Hunt).
    Both are equal in quality, make, application, use and price.
    Kodak 5 L Kit = CAT 525 67 63 (made in France)
    FUJI 5 L Kit = # 979641 (made in Belgium)

    Philippe
     
  11. bobdole369

    bobdole369 Member

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    Nope, from what I can find they don't exist. They only go up to about 85F or so. FIsh die after that. A fish tank heater that goes that hot is a broken fish tank heater.

    I did build a contraption that does the same thing. Used 3 "immersion heaters" from Publix (intended to dip in a coffee cup and boil water for instant coffee.) Also a submersible pump and a pid controller with a solid state relay. Someone does sell something that does what you want, costs about $50 - I didn't check the links above, but I think thats it. I had only wanted to prove that I could do such a thing. WOrks well, albeit slowly. Much faster to start with water thants 105F tos tart, turn on the device set to the same. Keep the bath hotter than the developer, and use a cheap digital thermometer with a probe in the developer. I usually keep the bath about 108, as I typically use a graduate that keeps some of the developer above the bath waterline. A new bucket would help methinks. In any case I just wait till the developer is about 103 then start developing. I figure I'll easily lose a degree or two while in the tank.
     
  12. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    I can report that using a fish tank isn't always the best method

    I had an all-glass fish tank that I used a few times...I'd weigh down the bottles with 1-pound spools of solder so they wouldn't float

    unfortunately, I dropped one spool which cracked the glass of the tank and an undetermined about of water at precisely 100F gushed out all over the floor

    luckily, I was able to finish the processing and the film was fine
     
  13. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    I don't use an aquarium heater or any other device to keep water temperature right.

    I just use a styrofoam tub filled with water at 40°C from the faucet, then I put all chemicals and the tank in the tub, let warm them at the right temperature and then start the process.

    I just use the water inside the tub as the washing water.
    This way is much more cheaper and reliable than any other I've ever tried.