So Home E-6 is not Economical?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by RedSun, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. RedSun

    RedSun Member

    Messages:
    491
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a few rolls of reversal film and two partial boxes of 4x5. So I'm thinking of giving E-6 a try. But it appears it costs so much to get all the chemicals for E-6. It seems it is better for me to sell the films and forget about the nice E-6. I won't have the volume to justify the cost. C-41 is not an issue since I already have some of the chemicals before and I do shoot color negative regularly.

    What is considered a decent price to get 135, 120 and 4x5 developed? No mounting. Film are Fuji Velvia and Provia.
     
  2. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,948
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Location:
    South Norfol
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    How do you process your film, a Jobo?

    Tom
     
  3. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

    Messages:
    5,479
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    E6 is reasonably economical for home processing. Cheaper than having it done, especially for sheet film, unless you are buying the small volume kits. Now if you are pricing the small volume kits and figure you'd never use the large volume one before it went bad, you may have a point.
     
  4. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,948
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Location:
    South Norfol
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  5. RedSun

    RedSun Member

    Messages:
    491
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Jobo.
     
  6. RedSun

    RedSun Member

    Messages:
    491
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If I keep a consistent flow, then it makes sense to get a 20L kit. But I think the most I can use is a 10L kit. No plan to add more slide film.

    So what is the cost for a complete 10L kit? I searched Unique Photo and I do not see any complete kit.
     
  7. RedSun

    RedSun Member

    Messages:
    491
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    So the 5L kit would give me a cost of about $6 for 135/36?
     
  8. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

    Messages:
    5,479
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Wow, 10L, I've never seen one that big, much less 20L.

    Freestyle has the Tetenal 5L for $100. (Ok, $99.99.)

    Capacity is listed as 60 rolls of 135-36, which comes to $1.66/roll (plus shipping charges of course, not inconsequential but probably won't add too much either.) That would be the same for 120. For 4x5, four sheets is the same surface area, approximately, to a roll of 135-36 so that's 240 sheets, or $0.42 per sheet (rounding up.) Most commercial labs seem to charge $2-$3.

    Yes, I know some people rant against the three bath kits. I used them a lot and the results were fine. You can add additional stabilizer if you want. PE has posted about that. You'll have to find the formalin.

    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/102034-Tetenal-Colortec-E-6-Kit-5-Liter

    Their house brand Arista stuff is less expensive and supposedly made by the people who formerly made Unicolor. I used a lot of Unicolor in the 80s and 90s and liked the results fine but reports on the Arista seem to be more mixed. The Tetenal is well known and generally respected though.
     
  9. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,240
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The cost when you mix your own depends on where you buy the chemicals. It does pay to shop around; often the price differential is 100% or more, It also makes a difference what grade chemicals you use. For instance reagent or lab grade sodium sulfite is quite expensive but food grade is much cheaper. Any grade other than technical is suitable for photography. Obtaining small amounts of the color developing agents is always a problem especially as far as price.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2014
  10. RedSun

    RedSun Member

    Messages:
    491
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This price is not bad. For home use, 3-bath is probably fine. Can I use anything from the C-41 kit? Bleach, fixer, stab?
     
  11. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,563
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    This depends on which C41 kit you have. There is this "Flexicolor Bleach III", which uses a different oxidizer than regular E6 bleach. Given that Bleach III is less aggressive than Ferricyanide bleach, and that scores of E6 amateurs use the letter without problems, there is a good chance that even Bleach III will work fine, but there is no warranty or anything, i.e. use it for E6 at your own risk. The fixer can most likely be used for E6, too.

    With STAB, you have to know whether the C41 STAB you use contains Formalin, because E6 needs it. If your C41 STAB doesn't contain Formalin, you have to get E6 STAB, which in turn you could use for C41, too.
     
  12. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,015
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I did the maths on E6 processing:
    Tetenal 3-bath kit costs $84, and is "good for 12 rolls"*, ergo $7 a roll.
    My local lab does dip'n'dunk for $12 a 135/120 roll, or $10 a 4x5 sheet.
    For the extra $5, I'd rather someone did it properly for the rolls, I'd rather not risk 4/12/16/36 good shots.

    But for the same surface area, you get four 4x5s per roll. So that's only $1.75 per 4x5, compared to $10. Now I do all my 4x5 sheets at home.


    *with the Tetenal disclaimer that to get that 12 you have to put at least 2 rolls through at once, but then quality is subjective and you may get more out of it too.
     
  13. RedSun

    RedSun Member

    Messages:
    491
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I figure the capacity has a lot to do with how you manage the chemicals. With the same 5L chemical, some says to process 60 rolls of 135/36. Some says 12, then another says 20. Certainly you can get higher capacity with replenishing scheme.

    At $2/roll, clearly this is very reasonable. But at $7/roll, it does not make much sense.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

    Messages:
    808
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is Trebla still in business? I think they sold E6 chemicals.
     
  16. Joel_L

    Joel_L Subscriber

    Messages:
    97
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Location:
    Colorado
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use a Jobo to do E-6. Doing a single roll uses 140ml. Even single shot, that is 35 rolls. Doing two rolls at a time would bring that to 40 rolls ( 240ml per run ). At 35 rolls per 5L, that would be $2.85 a roll ( Tetenal 3 step ). Seems OK to me. Now of course that quickly diminishes if your chemistry goes bad before you use it all.

    Joel
     
  17. RedSun

    RedSun Member

    Messages:
    491
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    They only keep RA chemicals for now...
     
  18. RedSun

    RedSun Member

    Messages:
    491
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is "Tetenal 3 step" a replenish set, or one-shot set? How long would the concentration last after opened?
     
  19. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

    Messages:
    5,479
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I can speak to how I used to use the Unicolor. I waited to mix working strength until I had enough film for the capacity, which was either two or three 35 exposure rolls per 8oz, I forget now which (it's been about 20 years since I did E6 myself.) 8oz was the minimum for my stainless tank. I'd mix up the 8oz batch of each chemical and process my film. I don't recall adding any time, and I certainly didn't replenish. I just ran the first one poured the working strength back into a bottle, dried the tank and reel when done and ran another through it. I never noticed any difference between the first roll and the last.

    As for how long the concentrates last once opened, I know I took the better part of a year to finish the gallon kit and it still worked fine.

    PE does say that a stabilizer containing formalin is required for E6 to be archival. None of the 3 bath kits have that; you'll have to find it separately or mix it yourself. That didn't seem too hard. I'll see if I can find the thread about it.
     
  20. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

    Messages:
    5,479
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  21. madgardener

    madgardener Member

    Messages:
    411
    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Location:
    Allentown PA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I wrote freestyle a few days ago asking about their Arista kits and the lack of stabilizer. Specifically I asked about whether or not it could be ordered separately. The response I got back was very interesting. The gentleman who answered my email said he crushes hexamine fuel tablets, his formula was ~5g/liter. The Arista kit is affordable and with my local E-6 developer no longer doing it with Kodak's chemical exit. I'm seriously considering it, though I'm not sure about cost like the OP.
     
  22. Joel_L

    Joel_L Subscriber

    Messages:
    97
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Location:
    Colorado
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It' a one shot kit. Typically my chems have lasted over a year if I purge the bottles after each use ( I use Argon ). My last kit did not last that long, I'm writing it off as a one time problem. I have also bought some glass bottles to pour the concentrates into since the last kit went bad. Hopefully it will help. I have also run two rolls on the same 140ml of chemicals ( same day ). This slightly exceeds the rated capacity of the kit ( 60 rolls for 5L ), but have had good results. Even at only running 35 rolls or so, I'm happy with the cost aspect.

    Joel

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2014
  23. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

    Messages:
    366
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Luckily, I can buy Belgian-made FujiHunt Chrome6X kits at an incredibly low price here at the fringes of Central Europe. I'm currently at my fourth box and each kit paid itself many times, as I developed a huge amount of 4x5 transparencies for several photographers in my Jobo 3010. In fact, the kits bought me a few lenses. For me, home E-6 proved to be fabulous value for money. And seeing hundreds of large format Velvia 50/100F, Provia, Astia and E100G/VS/SW transparencies is an aesthetic joy unto itself.
    But shipping this kit to USA is really expensive.
     
  24. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,015
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I even went as far as contacting the local Fuji distributor in an effort to find the FujiHunt6X kit here. No go, best she could offer me were the 20L versions of each chem individually, which I wouldn't mind buying as a 'lifetime supply' (except that it wouldn't last a lifetime before it went bad).
    Only place I've seen it is via macodirect, although the shipping makes it a bit more expensive (although still worth the price if I use it up quick enough). Nowhere else online seems to have it that I can find, anyone else know where to get it?
     
  25. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,947
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    When I did it I was running replenished, which ended up around 60 cents a roll I think in terms of replenishment cost per roll, I think.
     
  26. VPooler

    VPooler Member

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Location:
    Estonia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I, in the other hand, have almost no access to those E6 kits with a reasonable price. So, I am making my own makeshift E6 alternative as we speak. Bleach and fix are from minilab C41 and replenisehd as long as I have access to that minilab, stabilizer is also from there but with added touch of formalin for dye stability and the developer is something I mix from bulk chemicals. I also do ECN2 developing at home and the developer seems pretty close to the E6 one. So far the experiment I ran came out magenta but pH measurment showed me that the developer was at pH 9.4 and I am surprised it still worked. E6 color developer is meant to be pH 11.1, whereas ECN2 is 10.25 and C41 for comparison is 10.0. I c o u l d buffer the solution to 11.1 but that would turn my negatives green. Instead I am going to try alkaline treatment to film before color developer - I'll let you know how that worked out.
    Oh and the first developer? Fuji Papitol, 40 degrees centigrade for 4:30. Any paper developer should work; Papitol also gives nice fine grain.
    And why ECN2 developer, why not the real deal? ECN2 developer is dead easy to mix, the only tricky ingredient is CD3 (same as in E6 and RA4 developers!) but if you are lucky and live in USA, you can get some from Formulary for peanuts, whereas I am in trouble getting it cheaply in EU. You can skip the antifoggant and anti-calcium, just use distilled water. PE might say that the developer goes bad very quickly but I have managed to deplete it before it even had to chance to go bad, kept it maybe for a month and a half.
    Overall, it is quite a hack of a process but hey - I am getting slides and it is not costing me very much.