E6 at Home

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Stephanie Brim, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

    Messages:
    1,607
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have about 20 rolls of E6 film that I want to have processed, but no processing facilities around here. Thought about just doing it myself. What kits would you recommend? How hard is it to keep everything the right temperature in a water bath? How bad *are* the chemicals? I know to wear gloves, but are there any other precautions I should take?

    Just want to know from people who've done it.

    And by the way, I was thinking of using the Photocolor 3 bath kits from B&H. Good idea or bad idea?
     
  2. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Boy Stephanie, you might want to do a search on E6 processing, it has been discussed extensivly on the site, including recommendations of chems, machines and ideas about temps and stuff..

    Dave
     
  3. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

    Messages:
    1,607
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Heh, sorry. I figured I'd search around, too, but posted this before I really thought about doing that.

    Oh, and now I feel like one of those people who doesn't search anything before posting something. Heh. I've had a GREAT day. :wink:
     
  4. Sparky

    Sparky Member

    Messages:
    2,099
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Even if you bought your own wing-lynch processor and cubes of chemistry - it'd be a full-time job just keeping things consistent enough not to look off...! Honestly... leave it to a lab... you won't be sorry. Mail it off or something E6 is a real nightmare on any scale smaller than very large. I don't mean to rain on your parade... but consider it my two cents.
     
  5. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't consider it that big of deal, I have a sidekick processor that handles E6 easily all the way from start to finish including drying, E6 is really not that difficult to do, other than temp control, I don't find it any worse than C41 or B&W processing, and I use the 7 step kodak chem system, quite a few here on this website, successfully process their own E6 all the time..at the 20 roll level, I feel that would be enough to investigate doing it on your own, although I can say in time and expense, it would probably still be less expensive to have a lab do them.

    Dave
     
  6. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

    Messages:
    1,607
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I was thinking about saving up and picking up a CPE-2 processor before I actually did this. I'm getting to the point where I'm going to be developing a lot more film...now that my kit is where I want it AND I'm going to be doing some printing, I think I'm going to want to invest in a processor. Since I'd also like to do C-41 on my own, a processor would be a good idea. So, with that in mind, how hard is it really going to be?

    Oh, and also, I won't be shooting a lot of the E-6 I have for about 4 months or so...I'm doing a few photo projects that really need to be done in black and white. This also stems from the frustration of not having ANY E-6 processing facilities anywhere close to here...I have to send it out.
     
  7. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,095
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Stephanie, the CPE-2 has as an extra that is called an E6 kit. All that is, is two extra 500 ml bottles and a different red plastic holding top .

    It isn't necessary, just nice to have.

    With my CPE-2 I at first processed plenty of E6 with the 4 500 ml bottles held in place and then as the process developed (groan) I replaced the first and then second 500 ml bottles with the 5 & 6 bottles.

    Temperature is quite critical in the first bath, slightly less so in the others and by the time you get to the 5th & 6th baths you can have the temperature a few degrees out and it shouldn't matter.

    I now have the E6 kit and would recommend it as it does make the process easy. You will find the most economical way in the CPE-2 is to do four rolls at a time using 500ml of solution. This is best done using a 1510 tank and core + one 1530 extending tank and core.

    This 8 rolls to a litre is pretty much the correct amount of solution for E6, C41 processing anyway.

    I wrote an article about 15-20 years ago on getting the best out of the Jobo system utilising the CPE-2 and the various tanks and their permutations. I know it was that long ago as I did it on a typewriter. If you have a fax number I could fax the two or three pages to you.

    Just remember to give me the full number, I don't know much about the USA telephony system.

    In Germany twenty years ago I discovered that most B&W developers were sold as 600ml kits, I didn't understand until I realised that the best maximum film developing combination in the CPE-2 is a 1520 drum and the 1530 extender, which does 5 rolls of film with 600ml of solution.

    Which is pretty much the most you should do in a CPE-2 as the motor starts to work hard with this solution, drum and film reels combination.

    Mick.
     
  8. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

    Messages:
    4,679
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Italia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Agfa is gone so can't suggest the small Agfa kits. In the past you could have bought the four roll kit and gotten your feet wet.

    See what you can find locally for chemicals. I think Kodak makes a 5litre kit aimed at Jobo users.

    Colour isn't that hard. I manage just fine without a Jobo. All it takes for me is a heated picnic cooler and an old Unicolor drum roller. Plus a set of film drums and reels.

    Go to the Kodak website and download the two documents for E-6 and C-41. Z-119 and Z-130 I think.
     
  9. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

    Messages:
    1,845
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For just getting your feet wet, Freestyle sells an Arista E-6 kit of the three-bath type. I have no idea how well it works, but it seems to be designed to do 8 rolls per liter with reuse or multi-roll processing. Three bath kits are a lot simpler to use than six-bath, but there are some potential issues with quality and chemical life (though if you have that much film ready to go, chemical storage life isn't likely to be the biggest deal).

    FWIW, I was involved in doing a huge batch of E-4 (one roll for each student in my photography class) once when I was in high school. It took a long time, and there were what I recall as a huge number of steps (E-4 was a good bit more complicated than E-6), but when I pulled my roll of 620 out of the wash, it was better than Christmas...
     
  10. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Years ago I processed dozens of rolls of slides using E-6 or the previous E-4 system. Never had any problems. Everything was completely manual without using rollers or drums. Only the temperature of the first developer is really critical. BTW, the baths were mixed from formulas given in the Dignan Newletter. Temperature was controled by a water bath. As far as total work, think of doing two batches of BW negatives back to back.
     
  11. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,439
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use the Unicolor Rapid E-6 kits. They are available in either 3 or 6 step varieties (at the moment, I'm using the 3 step). They sell via ebay (buy it now) or direct from Photo Systems Inc. Since I'm not a high volume user, I tend to just buy a quart kit and mix what I need.
     
  12. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

    Messages:
    1,607
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thought I'd mention something to you guys...

    I'm thinking of selling almost all my gaming stuff (my beloved Nintendo 64, my Playstation games, my Gameboy Micro, and my PS2 with games) plus the action figures I looked very, very hard for (the McFarlane Metal Gear Solid 2 figures - all of them) to finance a CPE-2 processor. I think I'd miss a lot of the stuff...but I really should focus on my photography. I look at it this way: once I start really concentrating on photography and I start selling prints, I can buy it all back.

    Good idea? I think so. B&W film will still be done by hand because I have certain agitation techniques that I use that the Jobo isn't quite good for. Judging, though, from how hard it is to get E6 done around here at all and C-41 done beyond mediocre, it seems like it would be a godsend.
     
  13. Earl Dunbar

    Earl Dunbar Member

    Messages:
    558
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    Rochester, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Steph: I can't comment on the Jobo, but as I indicated over on RFF, my experience with E-6 (Tetenal 3-solution) in regular stainless steel gear/water bath was great. I just centred myself, made sure I was focused on al the variables (temp, times, etc.) and got the job done. Beautiful chromes emerged, and the only reason to go with lab work was convenience. But you don't have local convenience, so do your own, I know you will be successful.

    If you are going to get the Jobo later, just shoot a test roll and process it manually with the gear you have for proof of concept.

    Earl
     
  14. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,771
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The image you get from second party kits may look good but you have to look at color fidelity, grain and sharpness for starters, and then in the long run current E6 films use a proprietary dye stabilizer that must be accounted for.

    So, you may not see defects unless you look carefully at comparison images or compare them as a function of keeping.

    In addition, the push/pull characteristics of second party kits may not be the same as the Kodak and Fuji products.

    Please be aware of this.

    PE
     
  15. Earl Dunbar

    Earl Dunbar Member

    Messages:
    558
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    Rochester, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    FWIW, my experience was quite some time ago (mid-80s), so PE's input is valuable. Plus, most of my home processing was with Agfachrome, plus a bit of Ektachrome.

    My main conclusions were that with the Tetenal kit of the era, temperature control was achievable under my conditions, and that the chromes, under careful examination with a loupe, looked comparable to custom lab-processed slides.
     
  16. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

    Messages:
    331
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    bay area, ca
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My only comment - this might not be the _most_ sound approach to long-term planning. A lot of people I know concentrate pretty hard on their photography and don't sell any prints.

    allan
     
  17. Petzi

    Petzi Member

    Messages:
    857
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Location:
    Europe
    Shooter:
    Med. Format Pan
    The Jobo kits are actually made by Fuji Hunt, at least the ones sold in Europe. I don't know if they are sold in the USA; but I guess if they are, then they are probably not different from ours.
     
  18. davetravis

    davetravis Member

    Messages:
    659
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Castle Rock,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thought I'd mention something to you guys...
    Stephanie,
    Doesn't sound weird at all to me!
    I financed my first color darkroom, by selling my first medium format camera system!
    I already had enough negs, but nothing to print them with.
    Later on down the road, I bought another 6x7 system that worked even better for me than the first.
    It's all about trade-offs.
    Good luck, and don't loose any sleep over what you let go.
     
  19. donbga

    donbga Member

    Messages:
    2,084
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    Stephanie,

    I wouldn't reccomend processing E-6 for the sake of improving your photography. Processing e-6 is relatively easy but no one has mentioned mounting the slides if that is your goal. Slide mounting is a very tedious and boring job (along with most aspects of darkroom work.) After all of the time spent processing and mounting you would be better off using a good processing lab via mail if you have too.

    You might check with your local retail film processing centers and find out what labs do their slide processing and deal with the lab directly. Shoot a test roll and submit it for processing. More than likely they will do a decent job since the lab is geared up for it.

    OTOH, if you want to purchase a Jobo for B&W development your money will be well spent.
     
  20. fatboy22

    fatboy22 Subscriber

    Messages:
    346
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Location:
    Iowa City, I
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Stephanie,

    Nice to see another Iowan on APUG. What part of Iowa do you live in? I shoot E6 all the time, most of the time mail it to E6 LAB of Atlanta. They do a great job and usually have it back to me in 4 days or less. They can do 4x5, 70mm, 120 or 35mm.

    Jamie
     
  21. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,769
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Location:
    NH
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Save up a bit more and get a CPA or CPP over the CPE. That way you can use the expert drums which give better results with 4x5. Plus you can develop larger sheet film, and upto 20x24 prints.