E-6 processing and deviating from the standard guidelines regarding the 1st developer
Hi everyone. I've been doing my own E-6 for a short time now and getting consistently good results but was wondering about experimenting a little. Specifically I was wondering about playing around with the 1st developer to achieve different results similar to the control one has over the B+W negative process. It seems that the goal of E-6 processing is consistency and you don't see much on the web about deviating from the manufacturers steps. For example, I'm somewhat intrigued by the possibility of further diluting the developer and reducing agitation to increase the acutance of a fine grain film like Velvia and maybe seeing a compensating effect to control the contrast that is sometimes problematic with this film. Would the results of an experiment like this hold true for E-6 or is there a good reason why most people pretty much stick to the instructed routine?
You would have to ask PE, but I believe there is a diffence between the purpose of a developer in a process like E6 as compared to B&W.
Take a look at this thread on E6 processing: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum40/3717-push-processing.html
I know it isn't quite what you asked about.
Since your E-6 film is basically 3 different color layers, anything you do to mess with the 1st developer will end up developing the layers different from standard and cause color shifts. There are times for pushing and pulling. I fiddled with trying to control harsh contrast scenes by over exposing, under developing very similar to B&W. Mostly its a good way to burn up time and $$. Similar to a Harley D turning gasoline into noise.
Jimgalli is correct. The E-6 first developer, as with a developer in any reversal process, is somewhat critical to the final development of the negtives. This is further made more important by the fact that the times given are for correct development of the three emulsions.
You do have a bit of leeway, as color slide (E6) can be pushed or pulled, though sticking with the reccomendations is probably best.
Everyone has pretty much stated the facts, but there are a few things to remember.
Pushing E6 is accomplished by varying the first developer (we call it the MQ). Anyhow, up to a point, what happens is that you increase fog in the MQ, and as fog goes up, dmax and apparent camera speed (EI) goes up and you are pushing the film while lowering the dye dmax by raising the negative silver fog. A pull lowers negative image fog and raises Dmax giving slower EI due to more dye forming. Basically the E6 MQ is a very foggy developer and the emulsions are very foggy as well. The reason is given above.
This can either raise or lower contrast of the dye image depending on film.
Basically then, by varying the MQ time, you push the film first or pull it with little color change but a large change in dmax and a moderate change in EI. Beyond that point, color shifts begin to take place on the axis defined by the film that you are working with. It varies with film and the activity of the 3 color layers. To fix the problem, you have to experiment with the color developer. This is done either by changing time in the color developer, or by changing pH, or both.
Hope this helps. Have fun.
Oh, I said just about each E6 film reacts differently, well, each E6 kit reacts somewhat differently as well. Some of the kits don't use HQ-monosulfonate in the MQ and therefore the first developer behaves differently than the genuine article. Some don't use the right solvents and halide balances as well, causing other problems. So, be carefule, all E6 kits are not born equal.
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I knew a person who would "Acelerate" his E-6. Meaning he would hand process his film in a different first devo. I don't no what. Then he would run the film throught the rest of the E-6 process. The end results was very posterized, contrasty images.
The process was something he learned from Brooks Inst.
Then there is the cross process bunch. C-41 in E-6 and visa versa.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit"
Thanks for the replies. I'm using the Kodak E-6 kit but it looks like it wouldn't be wise to do what I had in mind. I wasn't necessarily trying to push or pull the film as much as I was thinking of manipulating things like acutance and contrast similar to the methods used for B+W film, but while still achieving the same color rendition. It sounds like doing so would throw off the color balance as you have all mentioned so I think I'll stick to the standard method for now.
I used to pull E100 and E64 to facilitate printing on Cibachrome. Expose at 1/2 ISO, ie 50 or 32, and cut the first developer time. I use Kodak`s recommended pull time with the E6 6 step kit instructions.
If you combine this with an uncoated lens, you will get transparencies that look terrible, but they reversal print beautifully. With standard multicoated lenses you get very nice trannys that project very nicely.
Grain does not seem to change.
Thanks for the Tip Ronald. One of these days I'd love to give Cibachrome printing a try but at the moment its beyond my capabilites. Somewhere down th road this could be very helpfull though.
Question for Photo Engineer
What would happen if one were to substitute a developer such as Rodinal for the E6 first developer? Has anyone here tried this?
Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.