Improving D-Max with past date E-6

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by David A. Goldfarb, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have a good sized stash of past-date 11x14" E-6 film (mostly EPN and EPR) that I bought for cheap from JD Callow a while back, and I've got my 11x14" setup now working well enough to really experiment with it. I shot a test sheet of some the EPN yesterday, and it's probably lost about a half-stop of speed, is heading toward magenta, and judging from the film rebate, it's lost a significant amount of D-max.

    I can adjust exposure and filtration to get the color back to around normal, I think, but how about D-max? With neg film, I'd extend development time. But for E-6, do I tell the lab to pull, or will that just bring down the highlights and leave the shadows where they are?

    I know, some people will say don't bother, but the minimum order for 11x14" E-6 film is substantial enough, and I've got enough of this old film to make it worth investing some time and a little money to figure it out.
     
  2. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Hi David,

    Here is a case for Photo Engineer. What would happen if you were to under expose slightly (perhaps 1/2 to 1 stop) and go through a slight push on the processing. That would increase contrast slightly, but may also result in a bit more grain and a slight color shift. But that may work. You would of course have to experiment unless someone knows your emulsion and film. Of course, processing and wasting sheets of 11 X 14 sheet color film is expensive!!!!!!:rolleyes:

    Rich
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    David, the color developer contains a competing agent to reduce Dmax and control it. If this were removed (as in a scratch mix) I would believe that the Dmax would come up. It would also mess with color reproduction.

    Another method would be to underdevelop in the first developer, to reduce fog there which translates into less speed and more dmax. For example then, you have lets say, a 100 speed film that is now about 80. Cut first developer by 20% and then expose at 40 and 25 and see what happens. This is probably the best approach but rather bad on speed and grain.

    Since E6 goes to completion, it is rather hard to control once the film is bad.

    PE
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks--that's the kind of suggestion I was looking for. Losses in grain and speed aren't a problem. If I get anything interesting out of this stuff, I'll either display it directly on a light box or maybe contact print to Ilfochrome.

    The film was cheap on account of its age, so I don't mind sacrificing a few sheets to science. I'm leaving the processing to Duggal, which is $8 a sheet (handy to know, since 11x14" E-6 isn't one of their regular services, but they do it), but if I get a few nice 11x14" color transparencies out of it, it will be worth it, and it's cheaper than 8x10" Polaroid.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    David;

    Just run tests. The color will shift on you in this change.

    PE
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    BIG improvement rating the film at EI 40 and processing at -1. Dmax is much better and the magenta cast is reduced. I was using a filtration of 10C 20Y for the normally processed film, and I can probably cut that in half.
     
  7. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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    With Ektachrome how old does the film have to be before you start ot see the shifts in color. The reason I ask is that I have 5 boxes (10 sheet boxes) that are 2 - 3 years past the expiration date. They have been frozen so how big of impact can I expect to encounter in regards to the color shift.

    Gord
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Gord;

    It varies with film and keeping conditions. Sorry. That isn't a good answer but it is the best I can do. People with individual experiences could chime in here with help, but remember that even freezing is different, as there is freezing at 32 deg F, 0 deg F and -20 deg F for example. I use the latter two in 2 freezers and these would probably show different results.

    Also frost free freezers are different than the old style freezers, I'm told. This is also going to confuse the results.

    PE
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Another issue is that slower films hold up better than faster films. It's best just to test what you've got, adjust exposure, and filter as necessary.
     
  10. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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    Thanks PE and David

    I guess the best thing to do is to expose and process a couple of sheets to see if there are any shifts. I do my own E6 up to 5x7 in a sink line type set up and use the Kodak E6 control strips to monitor my processing so I should be able to assess the shifts if any. Luck would have it that I have only two different emulsion batches and not 5. Thanks for your imput

    Gord
     
  11. braxus

    braxus Member

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    This is good to know. I have some very old E-6 films coming my way to play with and doing the +1 exposure, -1 developing might help. This is for some Fuji 50D film which Im told goes magenta with age. I might cross process it if it produces results beyond usable.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

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    Fuji film does not cross process as well as Kodak film if you look at the posts on the subject here and on PN. It tends to go green IIRC.

    PE
     
  13. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    One thing that I observed was that with large sheets of film the edges are worse than the middle. It might not be such an issue with formats smaller than 8x10".

    I've shot all my EPN. Two more sheets to process, but I think I got one or two good ones out of around 10 sheets. I have around 80 sheets of EPR in two batches, so now I think I'll have a better idea of what to test for.
     
  14. Photo Engineer

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    David, I've seen this before. Kind of an edge creep related to keeping. I'm not sure what the reason is, but I suspect than in open packages it is moisture or oxygen. It is a fact though on almost any size film to some extent.

    PE
     
  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yeah, I suspect that means I'll have to test the boxes that have closed packages inside them separately from the open that have been opened.