My attempt at E-6, a question

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by amuderick, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    So I've decided that the cost difference between the at-home Kodak E-6 kit and $12/roll professional development is too great to ignore. I am competent in chemistry and have no fear of precise measurements, preventing spills, etc. I want these slides to look great but I also accept responsibility for my results.

    I've built a water bath to hold the chemicals at precise temperature. Since E-6 prefers continuous agitation and because manual agitation is mind numbingly dull, I'd like to use a rotary processor. I have a Beseler Motor Base.

    I understand that temperature control + time define the exposure for the first developer. I have built a two layer (12 mil thick) neoprene coozy for my steel development tank that encompasses top, side, and bottom.

    In my testing, I preheat both the tank and the neoprene in the water bath. I then pour in '1st Developer', i.e. water which is at 101.0 F. It takes 25 seconds to pour in the 350ml of solution (a 2 x 120 reel tank). I place the coozy on the motor base and measure the temperature at 6 minutes. It has dropped 3.0 F. This is consistent every time.

    I am thinking that the temperature drop is not a problem. I just need to adjust the 6 minutes somehow to compensate for the drop off. Consistency is most important and it seems I've achieved that. How would you adjust the first developer time? Is testing the only option?

    Also, if it takes 25 seconds to pour in the chemistry and 15 seconds to empty, how would you adjust the development time?

    I try to keep the tank parallel to the ground while I am pouring so that the solution is evenly spread along the tank side during the 25 seconds. This is correct?

    Thanks for all your tips. I plan to run a test roll tonight.
     
  2. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    When doing small tank development of E-6 or C-41, I prefer to prefill the tank and drop in the loaded reels into the tank in the dark, and put the lid on and start the time immedidately. It is only that first developer step that has the critical timing. You "could" if you wish, preload your reels and keep them in a paper safe while you fill the tank, if you don't want to load reels after you fill the tank.
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    You should always prewet your tank and film with water at the proper temperature to pre-temper the tank. It is not clear if you intend to do this. It will help very much to avoid the temperature drop and shock to the film.

    Kodak has a fact sheet for this type of situation that says should you start high and end low, the average temperature should be 100. So, if you drop 1 deg / min, and development is 6 minutes, you should start at 103 and expect to end at 97, for a total delta Temp of 6 deg over 6 minutes. They say it will work, but I have never tried it. I use a CTB to keep things on the dot.

    PE
     
  4. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    I guess I should have mentioned, in addition to pre-filling the tank with first developer, I keep the tank and all chemicals in a big deep 16x20 hypo tray, with tempered water constantly running and overflowing the tray keeping the temperature right on. I lift the tank out of the water bath to agitate, and put it right back in. The tanks and 1/2 gallon bottles of chemistry are taller than the tray so they sit on the bottom and are surrounded with tempered water.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Pre heating in a water bath does not temper the interior of the tank. Preheating with a solution does temper it. So, you should use the drop temp method Kodak has documented.

    PE
     
  6. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    PE,

    I had thought of a pre-heating the film and interior with a solution but the Kodak literature advises against a pre-wet step: "note that it can cause sensitometric effects with some emulsions in both speed and color balance. Contact your processor's manufacturer to find out how to disable the pre-wet step." Should I just ignore this and use a pre-wet? I agree, it will definitely help keep the temperature.

    Thanks for the tip on modifying the start temperature so the middle of the delta is 100.4 F. Makes sense. I didn't know if the curve was that linear or something more fancy was required.

    Phototone, I don't have an actual 'dark'room. I use a changing tent and I'd like to keep it completely dry if possible. I don't know know that I could load the reels quickly using my setup but thanks for the pointers.

    Last question: The tank has a volume of 1 liter. I see recommendations to use 1/3 the maximum volume when doing rotary agitation. So, is 350ml the correct solution amount to completely cover the film as it is rotating?
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Use the volume suggested for the square footage of film. Do NOT base it on tank type unless the suggested volume is less than the tank suggests. Always use the larger value.

    As for prewets, I have been using them for years and find no problem as long as you do it the same way every time.

    PE
     
  8. Thanasis

    Thanasis Member

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    Hi PE.
    What is a CTB?
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Constant Temperature Bath! It is a tank of water and a recirculating pump which has a thermostat that can be set at any temperature. I have one in my Jobo, one is my sink, and I have a third free standing Jobo unit.

    PE
     
  10. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    If one isn't using a Jobo, how would I rotate the drum in a CTB? Obviously the Beseler base cannot be submerged.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I use hand agitation. For a while, I was doing it for 8 hours / day 5 days a week running my own sink process at Kodak. I used film on clips in large tanks in a CTB. I also did it at home by hand until I could afford a Jobo.

    PE
     
  12. Thanasis

    Thanasis Member

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    Of course it is....:rolleyes: All these TLAs!
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    TLAs?

    PE
     
  14. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I ran a roll of Provia 100F and it turned out great! I did a 2 minute pre-wet. Then, I used 6:30 for the first developer including the pour in and pour out. Started at 101.8F. Didn't measure at the end obviously but my previous experimentation indicates it should have ended at around 98.?F.

    I've read that Fuji film should get an extra 16% in the first developer. Is this correct? The film looks maybe 1/3 stop under exposed but that is fine with me since I eyeballed the initial exposure using sunny 16. Skin tones look correct. I don't see any color cast when I look for it.

    So, great success! Hopefully, the first of many.
     
  15. Thanasis

    Thanasis Member

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    Three Letter Acronyms! :smile:
     
  16. hka

    hka Member

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    I also discovered this and therefore I develop the Provia's at 7:15 min. I don't know of this is correct but the slides looks oké.
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    OMGLMAO. SLA!

    PE
     
  18. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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  19. Thanasis

    Thanasis Member

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    PE,
    I fail to see how the Operational Maneuver Group Land Mail Art Objects have anything to do with this thread. Please try to stay on topic PE!

    I thought it was just electrical engineers (of which i am one) that loved acronyms. Evidently not!
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Oh, the IEEE? Know them well.

    But I erred above, it was OMGROFLMFAO. Sorry for the condensation. I did it due to the bad language. :D And, there is an alternative with BHODWF which adds to the descriptive language of the full expletive!

    PE
     
  21. David Grenet

    David Grenet Member

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    Hehe, well I'm almost one and I can't say I share this particularly.... maybe they teach it at the end of the degree :tongue: