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  1. #1

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    Arista Rapid E6 kit, stabilizer?

    I've been lurking APUG for a while but finally decided to post with a few questions. I started shooting film about 6 months ago and since then I've been developing my own B&W and, more recently, C41 film. I've been using the Arista kit because it was the cheapest liquid chemistry, and figured it would be most efficient since I can mix it in 1-pint batches. So far I've gotten something like half a dozen rolls out of my first pint and it's still working well.

    Anyway, I have a couple rolls of slide film to process, and no affordable place to get them done. I once got a roll of 120 Velvia developed using the send-in service at Walmart, but it took about two weeks and cost $12, a lot more than the $4-5 people were reporting a couple years ago. Also, I'm certain they won't push process. So it seems like home-developing is going to be my best bet for E6.

    So, looking at the online instructions for the Arista E6 kit, it appears that it contains 3 baths: first developer, color developer, and blix. However it lacks a stabilizer bath, and from what I can tell, doesn't contain formalin in any step of the process. Now what I've learned from reading many posts on this forum is that E6 requires formalin for optimal stability and possibly other reasons too. What's the best way to add formalin to the process? It seems like it's either used as a final bath, the same as C41 stabilizer, or a "bleach pre-bath" which I don't quite understand. It seems like the latter would be preferable because it doesn't result in potentially carcinogenic fumes from hanging the film up to dry, but would it be possible to make a "blix pre-bath?"

    Alternatively, can anyone provide me with a recipe to make separate bleach and fix baths from the chemicals contained in the Arista kit? What's the missing ingredient to make a halogenating bleach? I read somewhere that one could simply add potassium bromide (I think) to an EDTA solution, but I don't think they gave specific amounts.

  2. #2
    Truzi's Avatar
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    I don't think you can make separate bleach & fix from what comes in the kit. I do know there are threads with formulae here on APUG. I had looked into it, but only bookmarked pages for C-41 (doing my own E-6 is further down the road).

    However, you might be better served, at least to start, by purchasing the separate E-6 chemicals instead of mixing from scratch.
    Truzi

  3. #3
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    Look at this set of formulas here: Assumig that your BLIX is shipped as two containers of concentrate, you most likely have one container with Ammonium Ferric EDTA and Acetic Acid, and another container with mostly Ammonium Thiosulfate and Acetic Acid. Check the MSDS for rough info on their composition. If you want to make separate bleach and fixer, you'd have to add Ammonium Bromide to your bleach, and you have to adjust the pH of both your bleach and your fixer. You should use Ammonia solution to increase pH, and either Acetic Acid or Sulfuric Acid to lower pH.

    Even with proper pH adjustments, your fixer will be weaker than standard rapid fixer, and much much weaker than good color fixer. If you use rapid fixer, you need to make sure its pH is raised to 6.5, or you get TF-5 which already has the right pH.

    About the Formalin: you probably read the most authoritative thread on stabilizers here on APUG. If you have access to raw chemicals, especially Thioglycerol or Mercaptotriazole, you can follow the Fuji formulas, otherwise you may be better off just mixing a proper final rinse from deionized water, Photoflo/Ilfotol and Formalin. While the smell of Formalin is quite noticeable, I never smelled it on my drying film clips, so the concentration seems to be very low. If you dry your film in a bath room, you should have decent ventilation anyway. One more thing: not every country allows sale of 37% Formalin, but its trivial to adjust the recipe for more dilute Formalin.

    The difference between Fuji's approach and PE's formula is that a final rinse should only contain compounds that won't leave a residue. For this reason you can't use the less smelly Formalin Bisulfite Adduct in a final rinse.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the responses. My Arista C41 kit contains ferric ammonium EDTA in one bottle, acetic acid in another, and ammonium thiosulfate, sodium sulfite, and acetic acid in the third. However the E6 kit, according to this PDF, contains (ethylenedinitrillo) tetraacetic acid EDTA. I don't know what the difference between those two forms of EDTA would be. Would ammonium bromide still be all I need to add?

    As far as the stabilizer goes, I guess it does seem to make the most sense to make a formalin/photo flo solution as a final bath. I wasn't concerned about the smell so much as the health effects, but if the concentration is too low to smell, I would assume it's within safe levels (but please correct me if I'm wrong about that). I'm also thinking it'd be good to have in case I need to stabilize some older C41 films.

    This is straying a bit from the topic, but I'm a bit unclear on the need for a stabilizer with C41 films. I keep hearing that older C41 films require formalin stabilizer, but that the newer C41 formula doesn't need any kind of stabilizer, and the final bath is just a photo-flo solution. If that's the case, then what is the purpose of the hexamine stabilizer included in my kit? Does it do anything at all when used with "old" C41 film?

  5. #5
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siguii View Post
    Thanks for the responses. My Arista C41 kit contains ferric ammonium EDTA in one bottle, acetic acid in another, and ammonium thiosulfate, sodium sulfite, and acetic acid in the third. However the E6 kit, according to this PDF, contains (ethylenedinitrillo) tetraacetic acid EDTA. I don't know what the difference between those two forms of EDTA would be. Would ammonium bromide still be all I need to add?
    "(ethylenedinitrillo) tetraacetic acid" is the same compound as EDTA, just under a different name.

    If you want to make a bleach, you need to provide some anion for the silver, and Bromide is known to work well. Therefore: yes, you will need Ammonium Bromide or some other Bromide.
    Quote Originally Posted by siguii View Post
    This is straying a bit from the topic, but I'm a bit unclear on the need for a stabilizer with C41 films. I keep hearing that older C41 films require formalin stabilizer, but that the newer C41 formula doesn't need any kind of stabilizer, and the final bath is just a photo-flo solution. If that's the case, then what is the purpose of the hexamine stabilizer included in my kit? Does it do anything at all when used with "old" C41 film?
    With modern C-41 emulsions you can get away without Formalin, but you need something to kill germs and the like, and the Hexamine does just that. if you use this stabilizer with old films, your dyes may not be as stable as you want them, but at least your film won't be eaten by germs and mold.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rudeofus View Post
    "(ethylenedinitrillo) tetraacetic acid" is the same compound as EDTA, just under a different name.

    If you want to make a bleach, you need to provide some anion for the silver, and Bromide is known to work well. Therefore: yes, you will need Ammonium Bromide or some other Bromide.
    You're right, I should have realized that. The E6 kit must contain ferric ammonium EDTA as well, even though it just lists it as EDTA on the instructions. My C41 kit also lists it as such, but says ferric ammonium EDTA on the bottle. So both kits appear to have the same blix formula.

    Would potassium bromide work as a bromide ion source? It's a lot cheaper than ammonium bromide.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rudeofus View Post

    With modern C-41 emulsions you can get away without Formalin, but you need something to kill germs and the like, and the Hexamine does just that. if you use this stabilizer with old films, your dyes may not be as stable as you want them, but at least your film won't be eaten by germs and mold.
    Yeah, I thought that's what the hexamine was for, but I wasn't sure. I'm still surprised that the formalin-free e6 kit doesn't include any sort of stabilizer, or even photo-flo.

    Also, somewhat related, is there any reason why ferric chloride is never used as a rehalogenating bleach? It pretty readily converts metallic silver into silver chloride.

  7. #7
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siguii View Post
    You're right, I should have realized that. The E6 kit must contain ferric ammonium EDTA as well, even though it just lists it as EDTA on the instructions. My C41 kit also lists it as such, but says ferric ammonium EDTA on the bottle. So both kits appear to have the same blix formula.
    There's a good chance that Arista uses the same bleach for C-41 and E6, Tetenal does the same. The safety instructions only mention compounds that are considered harmful, and evidently Ammonium Ferric EDTA does not belong to that category. Trust me, you can't bleach Silver with EDTA alone. Hint: The first developer also contains more stuff than HQMS and Trisodium Phosphate

    Quote Originally Posted by siguii View Post
    Would potassium bromide work as a bromide ion source? It's a lot cheaper than ammonium bromide.
    If you look at the Fuji recipes I linked to, KBr will work. There is a chance, though, that a bleach made with KBr is quite a bit slower than one made with NH4Br. The good thing about BLIX, bleach and fix is that you can redo these steps as often as needed until you got the process pinned down. Look for brown stain in light areas (but not on the film leader! ) when you check for insufficient bleaching.

    Quote Originally Posted by siguii View Post
    Yeah, I thought that's what the hexamine was for, but I wasn't sure. I'm still surprised that the formalin-free e6 kit doesn't include any sort of stabilizer, or even photo-flo.
    This has been discussed here many times, and yes, it is a deficiency in the Arista kit. Thanks to PhotoEngineer's recipe it is trivial to make your own final rinse, though. The upside of Arista's kit is, though, that they ship three bottles for making BLIX, which means you can use their BLIX PART A for making decent fixer, BLIX PART B for making the bleach and use BLIX part C for adjusting pH. The Arista BLIX PARTs will also last much longer than Tetenal's dreaded BX2.

    Quote Originally Posted by siguii View Post
    Also, somewhat related, is there any reason why ferric chloride is never used as a rehalogenating bleach? It pretty readily converts metallic silver into silver chloride.
    Ferric Chloride is a lot stronger an oxidizer than the Ferric EDTA complex, and color emulsions are not rated for it, i.e. you risk destroying color shifting the dyes that form the image. A lot of people have reported success with Ferricyanide, which is weaker than FeCl3 but also stronger than Ferric EDTA and for which emulsions also aren't tested. YMMV.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  8. #8

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    The Tetenal E6 kit from Feeestyle comes with a stabilizer. I use this kit and it is really nice.

  9. #9

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    Odd tidbit I just noticed on the Arista C41 kit instructions- It lists special instructions for "5247 color film" which is apparently a long discontinued motion picture film stock, and explains how to remove the rem-jet backing. I assume the instructions are the same for any ECN-2 film, but I wonder why they would specifically mention a single obscure film over any other motion picture film?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by siguii View Post
    Odd tidbit I just noticed on the Arista C41 kit instructions- It lists special instructions for "5247 color film" which is apparently a long discontinued motion picture film stock, and explains how to remove the rem-jet backing. I assume the instructions are the same for any ECN-2 film, but I wonder why they would specifically mention a single obscure film over any other motion picture film?
    5247 was used by organizations like "Seattle Film Works" in an attempt to replace C41 film for many people. If you used them, Seattle Film Works would develop your film and send you back your negatives, your prints, a "free" roll of new Seattle Film Works (actually 5247) film and, if you wanted them, slides as well. The slides were printed on the motion picture print stock that movies were distributed on. Like most motion picture print stock, the slides were far from archival.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2



 

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