E6 Tetenal 3-bath developing

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Ole, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    All right, I'm about ready to take the plunge. The films are exposed, the developer kit is ready, just have to warm up the JOBO machine.

    But I've never done E6 myself before, and realise it's not quite as simple as b&w!

    For example: Am I correct that the film should not be washed after the final stabilising bath?

    I'll be doing the 4x5" film in a 2521, and the 5x7" in a 2830 paper drum. I've just done about 50 b&w 5x7"s, 13x18s and 18x24s in the same paper drum without any problems at all, so the drum doesn't worry me at all.

    Is there anything else I haven't thought of?
     
  2. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    That fine malt whisky to calm your nerves :smile:

    Phill
     
  3. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Ole, the stabiliser bath in colour processes both E6 & C41 are the final thing you do before hanging up your film.

    I would suggest that you don't get any stabiliser on any of your reels or drums. The reason I say this is, that from my own experience the foaming of the stabiliser bath(s) makes life interesting if run through a set of reels.

    My own CPE2 with lift has only once had a stabiliser run through the funnel and into the drum, heavens it made a foaming mess. My way of stabilising films is to use either an 8x10" tray for sheet film, or a bowl like an ice cream container for roll or 35mm film. I use gloves to pull sheet film out of the tray. My C41 stabiliser has formeldahyde in it, not much, but you can really smell the formeldahyde.

    Ensure you have good ventilation as these processes are hot at 37.7ยบ C and humidify a small darkroom, as well as heating them up quickly.

    You'll find E6 is no different to B&W, especially if you are a precise person.

    Mick.
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I just knew there had to be a problem somewhere!
     
  5. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I just did my first E6 yesterday, using a Paterson Chrome 6 kit and Fuji Velvia. I did it using an ordinary stainless steel manual tank. The worst of it was getting the temperature right -- I just had one of those days when I kept mis-reading the thermometers, so I was constantly messing with the water in my water bath. I finally got it right, though, and the results are fine. It was pretty weird seeing positive images come off the reel on which I normally see negatives, though! :wink:

    As Mick says, the stabilizer is the final step. It's basically a combination of Photo Flow (or something like it) and formaldehyde, the latter being necessary for long-term archival stability of the images. The general advice, as Mick says, is to keep stabilizer out of tanks and reels; however, I believe that's mostly a factor for plastic tanks and reels, because the stuff tends to gum up the reels. I've had no problems with C41 stabilizer with my stainless steel reels (but I've done only about a dozen color rolls so far). I don't know offhand if C41 and E6 stabilizer are interchangeable, but I believe all the same caveats apply to both of them.

    My main advice is simply to read, re-read, and carefully follow the directions with your kit. Assuming your Tetanal kit is like my Paterson one, the number of steps (chemical baths and washes) is greater than with most B&W processes, so it's easier to get lost. Of course, if you're using an automated machine, it's more a matter of being sure it's programmed correctly than of following the steps yourself.
     
  6. edz

    edz Member

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    Its critical to make sure that the Jobo's temperature is accurate. Most are, as most thermometers found in darkrooms, not accurate. Digital thermometers might read to a high precision but most inexpensive models too are inaccurate. Termperature and timing are the most significant issues in E-6. You want to try to get the temperature to within 1/4 C of 38C.

    Its actually easier with less guess work. Other than Fuji films its all pretty much "standardized".

    The only "tricky" bit with the manual Jobo processors (CPE/CPA/CPP) is to get the timings within 2% or so of target (why the more automatic ATLs, Phototherms, Filmettas, Meteorlabs etc. are popular among E-6 users).

    With C-41 and B&W the film too should not be washed after the final bath. Final means "final". The final bath is formalin (or a substance that breaks down into formalin) with some wetting agent.
    E-6 transparencies should also be dried with HOT air. The heat is important in stabilizing some of the dyes.
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    If C41 and E6 stabilizer are not the same then maybe you'll need to ignore the rest of my reply. However assuming it is the same then I can say that I have never experienced a problem with plastic reels(JOBO reels). Yes it foams like washing up liquid and has to be thoroughly rinsed but provided I do this and hot air dry fully then there hasn't been a problem. Last night I did 3 35mm negative films in sequence on the same reel. Once I had rinsed, using a small hose and hot water which is otherwise connected from the taps to the Nova washing tank for B&W and then dried with a cloth, I then put the JOBO tank parts under my RC paper print hot air drier. About 3 minutes is enough. It is then ready to be loaded again. A hair dryer would be a substitute or even a radiator if you were prepared to wait longer.

    Pentaxuser
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Phew!

    I got around to it eventually...

    Now there are 6 nice little 4x5" drying in the bathroom - 5x7" next!

    If you read carefully, you might notice that I try to avoid the letter between "r" and "t" in the alphabet. It abruptly failed to function...