How fast does E6 chems go bad? (how much use do I need?)

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Jedidiah Smith, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    I now have a Phototherm side-kick sitting in my garage with boxes of tanks for chems...I'm kicking around the idea of processing my own slide film (E6) with it.
    Any idea how many I'd have to do to break even? I mean time and effort wise as well. The actual processing with this thing should be pretty easy since it's all computerized and automatic. But how long would the chems keep? If I have to worry about whether or not the result will be good, then maybe it's not worth it for me to do this with the relatively low volume I shoot (1 to 2 rolls / week at max).
    Thanks for any tips with this,
    Jed
     
  2. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Sorry , not good news.

    The first developer doesn't last all that long; a few weeks once it is partially used, and that is in full, gas topped bottles stored in my fridge. The color dev is a little longer lived.

    I save up my e6, and try to process them in one batch of 8-36's with 500mL of chems in a stainelss 2 reel daylight tank. I extend the time of the first developer for each sucessive use. The data on how much came from an old Kodak darkroom dataguide. About extra 15' as I recall per iteration.
     
  3. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Thank You, Mike. Looks like it probably won't really be feasible for me, then. Well, not really cost-effective probably. I'll look into it a little more, but probably will just sell the PhotoTherm on Ebay, if it doesn't look like a go.

    Jed
     
  4. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Note that Mike is talking about mixed chemicals. I don't know how much chemical volume you need in your Phototherm, so that'll be an issue. If the Phototherm takes reasonably small quantities (say, 250-500ml), then you won't be very bothered by the short keeping time of mixed chemicals, even with the 1-2 rolls/week you mention. If you need to fill the Phototherm with, say 2000ml of each solution, then the relatively short keeping time of mixed developer will become an issue.

    Unmixed, E-6 can last for months, particularly if you transfer the more sensitive concentrates to full-to-the-brim glass bottles. I've got a Kodak E-6 kit that's over a year old (probably over two years), and until recently it seemed fine. My last E-6 roll didn't fix properly, but the fixer isn't showing the obvious visual or olfactory signs of having gone bad, so I suspect "pilot error" on that. (I re-fixed the roll in C-41 fixer and it's fine now..) Note that this kit is a Kodak 6-bath kit. The E-6 kit I used before was a Paterson 3-bath kit, and it went bad much quicker. The 6-bath process is much more of a pain to mix and use, but I trust it more than the 3-bath process used by some of the third-party chemical vendors.
     
  5. Discpad

    Discpad Member

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    Jed, you can freeze the E6 first dev and color dev to extend the lifespan. Same for C41 color dev.

    E6 reversal bath & pre-bleach are OK at room temp. E6 & C41 bleach & fix like to be aerated to keep them oxidized; though oxidizing the bleach is more important.

    Just don't use the fixer with B&W film once it has been used on color film, as (per PE) it contains a compound that is detrimental to image stability; but fixer used with B&W can then be used for color.

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    Did my pal in Anchorage Judith S. ever get into contact with you?