It is not a no brainer, but it is quite do-able. I temper with a small cooler/esky, and a (wound up past the normal stop to the right temp) bimetallic thermostat controlled fish tank heater. I typically use 6 bath Kodak. I home brew as parts of my chems draw low.
I am presently using up a large batch bought from a photofinisher who got out of doing his own E-6. The chems are about 3 years out of date, but with adjustments all is looking good still.
I find that my first developer time is now 7' due to fading energy of the first developer stock syrup, but will stick with it while I can, because I have almost a gallon of the stuff.
The RB is the first of the 6 chems I ran out of, and I substitute this with optical reexposure.
read up on the Z-119 series Kodak publications off the pro web site to see what is critical for temp control and what is not.
Nice but not necessary, see here.
Originally Posted by bdial
One question about E6. I think I remember reading, but this maybe for C41 color negative only, is that you may get "tar" on stuff like the developer tank?
Is this a really big problem, e.g. needing attention in the sense of regular cleaning, and if so, what do you use to remove it? (what is this tar anyway?)
In addition: I guess this also means using a dedicated color development tank, so no developing of BW in the same tank? Any advice?
Eh... "Room temperature was 28°C"... we don't have that regularly here in the Netherlands or many other mid to northern European countries. ;)
Originally Posted by Rudeofus
Color developers sometimes form a black or brown tar due to aerial oxidation of some of the organic components they contain. A brief soak in dilute acetic acid (stop bath will do) will get rid of the tar completely.
I have not seen this myself since the days of CD-2. CD-3 and CD-4 are so much more soluble in water, as are their oxidation products, that tar formation is not a problem. Unless, could it be.....??? Have you been talking to Kodachrome processing people? Yeah, Kodachrome can form colored gunky tars on the equipment. That must be the source of this.
However, remember in all processing, Color and B&W, that the final wetting agent can form a jelly like material on reels if the reels are not washed properly in hot water after use.
Clear answers. I just vaguely remembered reading about this "tar" in other color process threads a couple of times, but can't tell you where... anyway, good to know it isn't a big issue and is easily removed by something as mundane as acetic acid.
I use the same tanks and reels for B&W, C-41, and E-6, with no serious problems from chemical buildup. The worst is that my plastic reels (I mostly use stainless steel, but I do have some plastic reels that I sometimes use) slowly become harder to load, perhaps because of a buildup of residues from final rinse or Photo Flo. Scrubbing them with a toothbrush and scowering powder once in a while helps a lot.
If you're used to B&W processing, E-6 isn't really any harder, although if you use a 6-bath kit, it does take longer, both for the setup and to go through all the steps. The worst of it is temperature control. The idea of using a roaster for this is one I've not run across before, and I may look into that myself. To date, I've used a dishpan filled with water at slightly above the target temperature. That brings the solutions up to the desired temperature pretty quickly and keeps them stable enough through the most temperature-critical steps. I've not done scientific measures of color accuracy or whatnot, but the colors I get seem fine to me.
I've used both the hobbyist 3-bath kits (Paterson Chrome 6 and Freestyle's Arista kit) and the Kodak 6-bath kit. IMHO, the Kodak kit produces noticeably better results. The Kodak kit is officially single-use, and I use it that way (I don't re-use chemicals once film's been through them), but the 3-bath kits all seem to recommend re-use. I've never been completely happy with the second or subsequent passes through these kits, and even the first pass doesn't seem to quite match the Kodak kit's quality. Others obviously disagree. Even with re-use, the hobbyist kits are a bit pricier than the Kodak kit, so the only advantage they've got is that they're quicker to use. Unfortunately, the Kodak kit is getting hard to find, and there are rumors it's been discontinued. One Web retailer that still lists it is Minilab Supply Store, but I've never ordered from them; I just stumbled across them and bookmarked them for future reference.
Edit: For those in Europe (and presumably Japan), Fuji's got a 6-bath kit that looks similar to Kodak's offering. I've never seen a US retailer that sells it, though.
Here is another interesting APUG thread on E6 processing and the difference between 3 and 6 bath kits:
I'll answer the question asked of me one more time - "sigh".
All E6 films require some form of formalin in the process for proper dye stability. If it is not used, dyes can fade and a yellow stain can form. In Kodak and Fuji E6 kits, this is supplied in either a pre-bleach bath or in the final rinse (stabilzer) in some cases.
It was shown that adding the chemical reversing bath to the color developer was not a good idea. That is why Kodak and Fuji keep them as separate stages, as it increases capacity and lifetime of the two solutions.
Tetenal 3-bath kit is actually 4-bath. It contains formalin stabilizer.
Very poor marketing from them to lie about the number of bathes. Of course it gives an impression of quicker process, but for people who know a bit more, it gives an impression that there would be no stabilizer and dyes would fade. Note that Kodak counts Final Rinse as a bath even though it is not as important for dye stability as stabilizer in a 4-bath kit!
Anyhow, I had no problems with their kit. Moved to Kodak 7-bath single-use kit anyway. In fact, the difference in total process time is only a few minutes, because 4-bath Tetenal kit has two extra washes and because some of the steps in 7-bath kit are quite short! There is, however, extra work in mixing the chemistry in 7-bath kit and more containers are needed.
The difference in time is almost non-existent. In fact, as discussed many times, proper 7-bath version is surely more robust in the terms of bleach and fixer, so you could just squeeze off these important minutes from them and probably still have the same results with a little bit extra uncertainty about the possibility of minor silver retention, just like with a blix kit ;).