How long will a Kodak E6 kit last?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by David Brown, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    In another thread, it was discussed which of the E6 chems went bad first. I had a follow-up question, which Ron (PE) graciously answered, but I'd really like to hear from a number of people, and I though new thread with a more specific title might help.

    I asked for a "ballpark" figure for how long the concentrates would last once opened, based on the experience of users. Ron replied:

    Nope, no ballpark. The eyeball is the best measure of this for color developer and fix. The solutions begin to discolor rather rapidly and once the color developer concentrate goes beyond the color of tea to look like coffee it is done for. The reversal bath shows no change, it just stops working, and the same may be true of the first developer. The fix begins to get yellow particles precipitate out.

    OK. I realize that a visual inspection is the best indicator. I realize that things will vary depending on other variables. I realize that "my mileage will vary". :smile: But, I'm trying to make a decision here on whether or not I can possibly use up a 5 liter kit before it goes bad. And I don't know if "rapidly" means 1 week or 1 year or 6 weeks or 6 months.

    I know how many rolls I can shoot in what period of time, how much I will process at one setting, etc. The only variable in the equation I don't know is how much time I've got to use up the 5 liters. For those of you out there using this stuff - assuming there are any of you - how long have you been able to keep the concentrates before they became unusable - in your experience? A range is fine. Throw me a bone here ... :wink:
     
  2. radiantdarkroom

    radiantdarkroom Member

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    IF you keep the concentrates air tight, the kit should last up to 2 years past the date of manufacture. I think I had a few issues after a couple of months, slight loss in contrast at the end of a 5L batch of chemical concentrates, and they were not kept air tight. I would suggest splitting up the First Dev, Reversal, colorA+B into smaller air tight bottles if you think you may not be using up all the concentrate after two months. 5L should do you for 40 rolls of 35mm 36exp. film. Mixed the chemicals last 2 weeks before quality goes down hill.
     
  3. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I believe I started the earlier thread to which you refer. My kit was over a year old when I started that thread, and possibly over two years old. (I didn't write the purchase date on the box, unfortunately.) I haven't used it since starting that earlier thread, so I can't comment on it in the last few weeks. I now believe that the dark slides I got were the result of exposure errors in the camera -- I used the same camera for the last couple rolls of slide films, and it's also produced somewhat dark prints (light negatives), so the meter's probably off. That doesn't explain the failure of the fixer to work, but given the responses in that earlier thread, my inclination is to believe that I measured it wrong, or maybe even poured from the wrong bottle. In sum, my kit has lasted somewhere between one and two years and is probably still working. I shoot little enough slide film that I'll just have to wait a bit to see how the next roll turns out, though.
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Guys;

    I would like to help more, but things like air introduced during pouring the concentrate out, temperature in the storage area and many other factors will influence the stability of opened kits. I have had UNOPENED kits go bad on the shelf. Yes, I called Kodak and being here in Rochester they sent a little green truck (Yes, Kodak trucks are green, not yellow) to my home with 3 new kits.

    This is not a simple matter of prediction but I sure wish I could. And with E6, due to the reversal process, it becomes even more difficult. It isn't like a B&W developer test or a fixer test. I could run a whole workshop on kit testing. There are methods that are qualitative that can be run in the lab. I'm not prepared to take the responsibility on my shoulders for you having a bad result though.

    PE
     
  5. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    I was given a Beseler E-6 kit last year. It is several years old. None of the containers have ever been opened. Is it safe to assume that this kit should not be used?
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    There is no way to tell unless one of the parts has blackened, turned very dark, or gotten a heavy precipitate. The one exception is the first developer which can get a clear crystalline precipitate form and still be good. This is true as long as the crystals dissolve when warmed gently.

    PE