E-6 Processing, something is wrong.

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Jacko1729, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. Jacko1729

    Jacko1729 Member

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    I've had some problems getting started back into film, but I thought I'd whipped them when I got my new CP-2 Jobo and fresh chemistry. I first processed some Kodak Ektachrome G and there was a majenta cast. I said hmmm, maybe I'm a little off or something. My next batch was Fuji Velvia, and I am immensely disappointed again. I'm getting images, and I can correct some of this after scanning, but it sure shouldn't be this way. When viewing on my light table they look ok, it's harder to see the cast, but I think the Ektachrome was more visible on the light table.

    Here is an example. I shot a digital capture and it is very true to the scene. The white sign at the top of the building is almost a perfect RGB value for white, about 245,245,245. As you can see, there is a radical difference.
    [​IMG]

    Another reason I think something is wrong in my processing, there is some sort of 'halo' in the film shot. The text on the awning looks like it has some kind of shadow. Here's the example:
    [​IMG]

    Just for grins, here's the digital capture showing the text on the awning:
    [​IMG]

    Just so you'll know, I have been sooooo careful and meticulous in my processing. I've been ultra-careful about not contaminating my chemistry, the temperature, the time, etc. The <i>only</i> thing I could discover today was, there is a discrepancy between my two thermometers, I don't know which one is correct. I <i>might</i> have processed at 98* instead of 100*, depending on which thermometer is correct. However, today I used the thermometer that <i>was</i> reading low and processed at 37.5*C (My 'high' thermometer was reading 101*F).

    I'm sorry for the long post, but I sure would like for this to work out. I know there must be something wrong, but I am out of ideas. Can any of you guru's shed any light on this? I really, really appreciate any help! Oops! Almost forgot... I'm using Tetenal ColorTec E-6 chemistry, 5 litre kit 3 bath. I can't find a date on the box, but I just got it from B&H Photo.

    Jack
     
  2. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Info on which cameras you used would be a helpful start.

    Then we can begin to discuss lenses -"angle" setting on your zoom in the first pair of pics are close but not identical.

    Type of film would be useful knowledge.

    And, are you seeking digital sharpness or analog "presence"?

    If I want to, I can focus my Nikon D-70 on the filament of a clear (chandelier) light bulb while fully lit.

    Perfect focus - is that what you want?
     
  3. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Jack,

    Tetenal chemistry gives instructions for altering colour balance by changing the pH of the developer.

    The film shot looks like a soft lens to me -- was it a zoom or what? I'd certainly expect 35mm shots taken with a good lens (I use mostly Leicas, plus some Voigtlander lenses, and my wife uses Voigtlanders) to be sharper than anything digital under about 14 megapixels -- or twice that with the rright film and the Leica on a tripod. Like George I have a D70 and while it's surprisingly good, it ain't like 35mm.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  4. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    There are so many possibilities affecting color balance that it makes my brain overload.

    It is difficult to get the *same* results from even so small a factor as an hour or two difference in the time of day, (ambient light color temperature change), let alone two different (widely) photographic systems. Which - digital or film - is "right" to begin with? The 'white balance" could very well be "off" in the digital capture - was it done automatically, or from a grey card? Additionally, each color film has its own idiosyncracies - some are inherently "warmer" (and "cooler") than others in the same chemistry, and the effects in different chemistry can be, and usually are, even greater.

    Another example is exposure. "Under" and "over" will have a marked effect - and the shift is nothing like uniform with different films.

    And the beat goes on. That is why it is a logical course of action to "learn" your equipment and processes, and their influences on the finished images.

    From what you write, your processing certainly sounds OK, to me.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Tetnal chemistry is not exactly E6. It differs slightly from the 'real' E6 produced by Fuji and Kodak.

    PE
     
  6. Jacko1729

    Jacko1729 Member

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    Actually, I'm wanting to know why I'm getting a color cast in my film processing.

    Cameras are Nikon F6, Nikon D2x
    F6 mounted to 85mm prime lens
    D2X mounted to 50mm prime lens
    Film is Velvia 100

    Focus and sharpness is not the issue. This is just the best example I had to demonstrate my 'issue'.

    Thanks!

    Jack
     
  7. Jacko1729

    Jacko1729 Member

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    Thanks Roger, but with all due respect, this particular lens is nowhere near soft. The Nikkor 85mm is one of the sharpest Nikkors I've ever used. My digital captures with this same lens blows film away, so I know the capability of the lens. There is something else going on here, IMO.

    I understand what you're saying about changing the PH to alter color balance, but I guess I just assumed that the 'standard' mix, one shot, would be a 'normal' color balance.
     
  8. Jacko1729

    Jacko1729 Member

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    Thanks Ed, I appreciate your reply. I guess I presented this wrong, maybe I'll try again. I'm not exactly a novice in this arena, I have a good grasp of the things you've mentioned. Considering that this is a yellow building, and the film didn't render it yellow, well, you get the idea.

    My camera was set to a white balance of 5750K, which is also the temperature that daylight film is balanced to. The images were taken at exactly the same time, so the temp/color of light is not the issue. Using the white sign (and it is white), the RGB values in the digital capture are correct. The yellow building is as I remember it, not the whitewashed looking rendering that the film gave it. I also understand that films are not uniform, but I've shot different films for the last 35 years, and I've never seen this much 'non-uniformity'. That's the reason I presented this as a processing issue, because I believe that is what it is. Ok, maybe it's not a processing issue, maybe it's a chemistry issue, I just don't know. The only reason I layed it to processing is, I have film(commercially processed) and digital captures that are almost identical except for certain nuances in color, and of course the 'ambient feel' of the film capture is different, but the colors are never as skewed between the two as presented here.

    At the risk of sounding arrogant, I do know my gear, and I have a good grasp of photographic craft. I have a film library of over 13,000 images over the last 30 years, and I processed every one of them. I stopped processing film in 1996, and for some wild reason I thought I'd get back into it in 2006. And I run into this.

    Maybe I'll get some Kodak chemistry?
     
  9. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Jack,

    Fair do's. Certainly not an unsharp lens, so it's all the more puzzling.

    And the point made elsewhere about 'real' E6 is well taken.

    Just two (unfortunately useless) thoughts given the very limited information then available.

    Cheers,

    R
     
  10. Jacko1729

    Jacko1729 Member

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    I think in my frustrations I assume too much :smile: I do appreciate your taking the time to reply, so it's not useless to me.

    What are your thoughts about 'real' E6? I never gave a thought to another brand not being the real thing, I just assumed they would have had to use the same chemicals to process the film. This has certainly got my interest tweaked.

    I guess what I'm asking is, should I stay away from chemisty other than Kodak or Fuji?
     
  11. Jacko1729

    Jacko1729 Member

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    Differing slightly I may could live with :~) Do you think it's enough difference to stick with Fuji or Kodak?
     
  12. dxphoto

    dxphoto Member

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    To me, it is more like a scanner or scan processing problem, esp to your 2nd problem.
     
  13. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Sticking my nose in where it doesn't belong (so what else is new?), I would say it IS compounded for 'normal' color balance assuming your water is in the PH range considered 'normal' by the manufacturer.

    Do you happen to know the PH of your water?
     
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  15. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    I haven't been processing my own E-6 for very long and have used only Kodak's kit. When I started, I ran identical rolls that included shots of a Macbeth's color chart, processed by me and the lab - when they looked identical on the light table and and analyzer was hard pressed to tell which was which, I gave it a go and never looked back. I know many have reported good results in Tetenal, but I think there is a reason EK does not make a 3 bath version - could not meet their standards.

    The only time I had an issue with color balance is if the first wash (after the first developer) is not spot on temp, it throws the subsequent steps off and causes color shift. Fuji films in EK chems require a slightly longer stay in the first developer and tend to run at about 80% of box speed processed in EK. Fuji-Hunt chemistry is only mini-lab stuff and not as easy to get.

    Good luck solving your issues.

    Bob
     
  16. roteague

    roteague Member

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    In your opinion, of course.
     
  17. roteague

    roteague Member

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    According to what I have been told by Fuji, you can expect to lose a little film speed and sharpness when Velvia is developed in other than Fuji chemistry. Whether you can live with it, is your call.
     
  18. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    I honestly don't know, but I will say that with pH adjusted 3-bath (Tetenal, Fotospeed, Paterson, the latter two I believe now deceased) I have had no problems.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  19. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    Jacko,
    I've used the Tetenal 3-step forever and would occasionally get these results.
    IMO, you have density and color shift issues.
    Temperature and rotation speed in the first step is critical, too hot and/or too fast will reduce density and shift to the magenta, in my experience, for all film brands.
    Did you oxygenate the bleach by shaking for one minute in half-full bottle?
    Same first step time for both film brands?
    Do the first "pre-heat" step for more than 5 minutes?
     
  20. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    13K, is that all? heck I shoot that many 35mm shots a year, as far as the chemistry, I would get a Kodak kit and see what your results are, and as far as your digital "blowing away film" that is a pretty subjective opinion, I have never been happy with the tetnal kits, they just seem to be lacking something when it comes time to process, and after side by side comparisions in the lab I used to work at, they don't stand up to what an E6 slide should look like...

    I would imagine your problem is the chemistry..

    Dave
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Jacko, there was a review in Darkroom Techniques about 15 years ago on several different C41 processes, and we at EK did some checks with both C41 and E6 processes from various manufacturers. Our C41 tests confirmed the DT article.

    We found differences in color balance, curve shape, grain and sharpness in all of the tests, and none quite matched the EK and Fuji chemistry. They were consistantly the best.

    IDK if much has changed since then, and others here have given good advice on both processing and scanning, so it is hard for me to say with certainty, but knowing the formulas used by some companies, I would say that IMHO your results could be due to the use of Tetenal chemistry. It is good, but not quite perfect.

    You have to remember too that digital scenes are enhanced in sharpness by software manipulation of edge effects. You can see this by making an extreme blowup of a black on white edge.

    It is like using non Chevy or non Ford parts for your car. Generic parts will work, but may not be up to the same standards as the original, and the same goes for generic food brands in the market. They may not be quite the same in quality as the big manufacturers.

    PE
     
  22. Jacko1729

    Jacko1729 Member

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    Which must differ from yours :smile: I have no bias either way, I'm just looking at reality.
     
  23. Jacko1729

    Jacko1729 Member

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    Do you have something specific that you could point me to? Thanks!
     
  24. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Again, reality in your opinion.
     
  25. Jacko1729

    Jacko1729 Member

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    Boy, this is opening a can of worms :smile: I really have no idea what the PH of my water is, but I have a feeling I need to find out!
     
  26. Jacko1729

    Jacko1729 Member

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    I really don't understand your point, or your attitude. What are you trying to tell <i>me</i>? Your smug comments about my opinion is something I don't really need right now. Are you talking about the lens in question? Are you talking about the resolving power of my digital camera? 35mm film?

    I'm having to assume here that I'm working off opinion, and that you're working only with facts, so please enlighten me.