Hardening E6 films
I recently started DIY home E-6 processing, and was amazed how easy it is to get fantastic results. I am using the Kodak 5L kit. However, I noticed that the film seems so much "softer" even after thoroughly dried, than similar strips I get back from the lab. Mine seem like they could be much more easily scratched. Do commercial E-6 processors have a hardening agent added? Or perhaps drying at higher heat hardens? (I dry at room temp). I noticed at the camera store there is a film hardener chemical bath for BW films, also says can be used on color films, Should I be using something like this too? Any help greratly appreciated.
Oo good question I am interested in any replies
An Ornano technician told me on the phone that the I-96 Stabilizer of their E-6 kit KI-90 contains everything you need and also hardener. I presume it does not contain an antistatic though, as their catalogue advice adding Nostat-X-plus, which is an antistatic product to be added to the stabilizer.
I suppose other E-6 stabilizers are made in a similar way, they contain a hardener but not a stabilizer.
My original reason to call Ornano was to know if the I-96 also contained an agent for avoiding water marks.
I dry film at high temperature for around 10', the film curls a lot during drying and reverts to a more normal flatness after a while.
Contrary to popular belief, I find film to be very easily scratchable, I don't know about printing, but when I scan at 4000ppi I see scratches if I cleaned the film with some film cleaner (and I do blow air copiously before cleaning).
I try to touch and clean the film the least that I can, use cotton gloves when cutting it into stripes and always wash my hands with soap before touching film stripes.
On reading my notes, I see that some products place the hardener in the fixer. This is one of the reasons not to use baths of different producers, one might end up without hardener (a fixer without hardener, and a stabilizer, of a different make, without hardener as well).