Heated drying of E-6?
How important is heated drying of E-6 film? I've read in a few places that it's required for the permanence of the dyes, and then in another thread in this very forum, a number of folks said they just air dry them, which implies (to me, anyway) that they don't use heat.
So what's the story?
I have used both methods with no problems at all, we also, when I used to work in the photo store would air dry when the dryer went out on our processing machine, never saw any ill effects.
I just started doing my own E-6 and had heard similar reports about the necessity of heated drying. Kodak's tech pub simply states not to dry the film above 140 deg. F. If a minimal temp was required to stabilize the dyes I tend to think Kodak would mention it since any improper processing and resulting stability issues would reflect poorly on their product. Perhaps the idea of a high drying temp is from years past when E-6 final rinse contained formaldehyde. Its possible that the new chemistry doesn't require a higher drying temperature but I'm sure someone with more knowledge on the matter will chime in.
I processed a batch of E6 films in the Tetnal 3 bath kit last year. I dried them the way I usually dry my films, namely by hanging them to dry in my darkroom. They are still fine, though it's hardly been long enough I think for any deterioration to show.
Heated drying is not required AFAIK.
Heated drying AFAIK is used mainly in any processer to expedite film through put.
In the Dip & Dunk machines I became very used to using, the dryer had to be able to handle four rolls of 120/220 every 3'30". As a result of that we used to crank the dryer up fairly high. If you cook the films basically you only got film curl, which is a pain.
A few times the dryer ceased functioning. Every time this happened we just had films hanging all over the place drying at room temperature. Once we had just loaded about 30 rolls of 120 and the dryer blew a fuse. We were able to leave about 12 rolls in the cold dryer, whilst the rest were hanging around the lab. No problems at all.
I've been home processing E6 for about 20 years and never done anything more than hang the film up to dry in the darkroom at room temperature.
Alrighty then, based on everybody's experiences, it sounds like the heated drying myth is just that. Thanks for all the responses everybody. Printed on the box of an E-6 kit I've seen, for drying it says "ambient to 60ºC - 140ºF". Ambient it is, then!