agitation frequency of Blix in E-6 tank processing

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by kmallick, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. kmallick

    kmallick Subscriber

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    I am using the E-6 kit from Freestyle for developing 120 films in my Paterson tank. It calls for 10 minutes of Blix at 105 F.
    The general directions for hand tank processing suggests agitation for first 15 secs and then at every 30 secs interval after that.

    I have had good results in general maintaining bath temperature and consistency of agitation for all three soups: 1st Dev, Color dev and Blix. I understand that the agitation is important for the first two developers. But since the Blix time is so long I get tired of standing there for 10 mins + and hand agitating every 30 secs. :blink:

    So how important is the frequency of agitation during Blix time? Can I reduce to once every minute? Once every 2 mins?
     
  2. mts

    mts Subscriber

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    Both bleach and fix go to completion. Frequency of agitation is mostly important for uniformity of processing and to bring fresh chemistry into contact with the emulsion. It is important to agitate, but not according to any particular schedule. I process the bleach and fix in room light by removing the tank lid and using a lifting rod in the reels to raise and rotate them periodically. Likewise within reason, the times are not important but you must process to completion for both.
     
  3. kmallick

    kmallick Subscriber

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    ok thanks. thats what I thought.
    I will reduce the frequency of agitation to once a minute. I will follow your technique of keeping the cap off and raising and rotating the lifting rod for agitation as well. I have experienced that closing the cap on The Paterson tank with the Blix poured in gives off a lot of gas initially. Burping it makes a mess with that red Blix spilling everywhere.
     
  4. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Are you saying after the color developer step, BEFORE you stop/fix/blix you expose the film to light? I thought you had to stop it first before doing that? And since the blix is both and the color developer is still a developer, isn't that going to cause exposure? Or is there something in the color developer that stops light sensitivity?


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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  5. Rudeofus

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    Stone, you must most definitely stop and wash out all FD before you expose the film to light again.
     
  6. StoneNYC

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    Yea that's what I thought, So then why is mts saying he does it by room light?
     
  7. kmallick

    kmallick Subscriber

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    I am assuming I can keep the screw-on lid and agitate by rotating the column during the Blix phase (after the color dev. and wash/stop step). can't I?
     
  8. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Yes that's certainly true, though personally I find that the rotation method doesn't stir up the chemicals as much, this is less important for the blix I assume, so I wouldn't worry about TOO much uneven stop... but I would add another minute to it personally just to be sure the top portion and bottom are evenly / fully stopped/fixed ... but then I'm probably overly paranoid haha.
     
  9. Rudeofus

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    IIRC, he does bleach and fix in room light, not the previous steps. Technically he could even do the CD step in room light, only FD, stop and wash need to happen in complete darkness.
     
  10. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Light doesn't matter after the reversal step, because that fully exposes all the halides. Extra exposure makes no difference, so you could do the reversal and everything after (CD, bleach, fix) in light.

    As to agitation, bleach+fix are to completion. If you reduce the agitation, you may need to go for a little longer to make sure you don't under-blix. The kits I've worked with (Fuji) recommend continuous agitation and they state slightly longer times for 5/30 agitation patterns.
     
  11. StoneNYC

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    Does Fuji still make a kit?

    is it a 3 bath kit or one of those complicated 6+ bath kits?

    So the reversal step is the "first developer"? so in a longer process (more than 3 baths) is there a separate step for the reversal? why don't they just call it the "reversal developer" unless it's a combination of baths in one?

    Thanks I'm coming into E-6 very late in the game and have only used the arista 3 bath developer, the results were phenomenal but I want to know any advantages to more developing steps? thanks.
     
  12. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    PhotoEngineer has commented multiple times that most commercially available BLIXes are inferior to separate bleach and fix steps. He should know, his name is on Kodak BLIX patents :wink: Main issues according to his postings is that BLIXes are poor bleaches and poor fixers, which leaves some silver or silver halide on the film. This in turn can affect both Dmin and long term stability. I have mainly used BLIXes so far (mostly because three bath kits are all I can get here), and I have seen yellow cast and higher Dmin on my slides, usually not with the first batch, but when the BLIX has been reused a couple of times.
     
  13. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    FD and reversal are quite distinct steps; different purpose and chemically very different. The Fuji kit is a real 6-bath one.

    Read the E6 howto in the FAQ in my signature for an explanation of how all the steps fit together to produce a positive image.
     
  14. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    In all the 3-bath kits I have heard of so far the reversal step is integral part of the CD step. Only in 6-bath setups these are separate.
     
  15. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    And once the film is ready for reversal, the point remains that some additional light will make no difference.

    (PS note that I said FD not CD, I was replying to Stone's comment).
     
  16. StoneNYC

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    So you're saying PE made an inferior product?? Hmm??? Oh don't let him know you said that....


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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  17. MattKing

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    Blix does work for RA4. And PE was involved with the research that confirmed that even the most modern Blix remained problematic for other purposes.
     
  18. StoneNYC

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    What's RA4? :/

    Well you said he had a hand in the design or patents or something so I was joking about how he helped design something then called it inferior, it was my attempt at a joke.

    Is it possible to use the first and color developers and the separate the bleach and fix step so make it a 4 step instead of doing the entire 6 step system?

    If I knew an effective 6 step that was TONS cheaper than the $35 Arista rapid E-6 for 1 Liter of developer then I would totally go for it.

    Also, I really don't understand color chemical much, I know what fixer is from B&W but what exactly is bleach? Like is it the same as Clorox bleach? Or something entirely different?

    I'm totally ignorant about color and only half way ignorant about B&W :smile:


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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  19. MattKing

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    RA4 is the process for colour print paper.

    And I figured you might be joking, but wasn't quite sure.

    I'll leave it to others more knowledgeable to explain the differences between household bleach and photographic bleach.
     
  20. StoneNYC

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    Oh gotcha (about paper) and yea I would never actually insult Ron, he's amazing, nice, talented and seemingly great person, I wouldn't purposely say anything bad about him.


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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  21. wogster

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    Photographic bleach is chemically quite different from household bleach.

    Colour developers do two things that are important, they turn exposed silver into elemental silver, and as a side effect they form dyes in the emulsion. These dyes are the reverse of the image colour, in other words blue exposure is a yellow dye, green exposure is a magenta dye, and red exposure is a cyan dye. In a process like C41 or RA4, the bleach turns the elemental silver, back into silver halide, and the fixer then removes all of the silver, but leaves the dye image alone. In RA4 you essentially end up with a negative of a negative which since the colours are reversed, they end up the way the original image was.

    E6 works a little differently, in that there are two additional steps. The first developer works similar to a B&W developer, it develops the silver, a chemical reversal step then chemically "exposes" the formerly unexposed silver, which is undeveloped at this point. The next bath is a colour developer which develops the chemically exposed silver and forms the dyes, but leaves the formerly developed silver alone. If you take the film out of the chemistry at this point, it would be black because all of the silver has been exposed and developed. The bleach then turns all of the exposed silver from both steps back into silver halide, so that the fixer can remove it.

    In all cases, a stabilizer step is used to set the dyes in the emulsion, this often includes a chemical that makes water slide off the film, similar to what photo-flo does for B&W.
     
  22. StoneNYC

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    That was a very simplified and easy to understand explanation, thanks.

    As far as how the chemical "tells the difference" between the chemical development and the actual exposure, even though to the eye it would appear black, the actual mechanics at a microscopic level would be different? Which is why the bleach can tell the difference between the chemically induced blackness and the actual exposure? Wow I'm learning so much! It was suggested to me privately that I actually read a book haha, I think it might be time for that so I don't take over all of the threads with questions like a kid does "why this Dad? But then why...? And how Dad?" Haha

    So, you don't need photo flow / wetting agent when using E-6/C-41?


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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  23. RPC

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    Perhaps you didn't mean to write it this way, but for correctness I submit the following:


    Except in the term "elemental silver", the word "silver" should be replace by "silver halide" in all of the above



    In the above the word "exposed" should be replaced by "developed".
     
  24. wogster

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    When the colour development takes place, the reaction between the colour developer and the exposed silver and other chemicals in the emulsion cause the coloured dyes to form, which forms the actual image. The silver is no longer required, and the bleach converts the silver back to a silver salt, the fixer then removes all of the silver salts, leaving no silver in the actual image.