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  1. #11

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    E6 chemicals need to be used straight away once they are partially used (i.e. three goes), they will go off quickly and demonstrate the characteristics you described.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by HolgaPhile
    Liquid kits that I have used has come as a concentrate BLIX in one bottle.

    Advantage of not using a kit is you can mix and match. The offical way of using the chemicals I've got is something like

    Bleach
    blix
    fix

    The blix tank is really an overflow tank from the other two. This is fine if you're using a minilab machine but I'm not. So instead I just use longer times for the bleach and fix step and skip the blix.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by HolgaPhile
    E6 chemicals need to be used straight away once they are partially used (i.e. three goes), they will go off quickly and demonstrate the characteristics you described.
    I've had good luck with the longevity of both Tetnal and Kodak E-6 kits. They seem to last at least a month after mixing. It may depend on what you have in your water, what you keep them in, or local weather conditions.

    As to the powder vs. liquid issue, liquids are certainly easier. With powders you have to mix the full amount. But with liquids you have to ship water to Finland (or wherever). In some cases, one form may be more stable than another, but that depends on the specific chemicals used. Well sealed packs seem to work well in both cases. I've had problems with some of the Arista kits in the past, but I have no experience with this one.

  4. #14
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    Ok, here is my 0.02 cents.

    A bleach is an oxidant, a fix is a reductant, therefore a blix is a mixture of an oxidant and a reductant. This mixture does not keep well or long! The stronger it is, the poorer are its keeping qualities, therefore strong film blixes keep poorly and weak film blixes either don't fix well or bleach well or don't do either very well and allow retained silver. I'm working hard on a solution to this problem. I have one blix that might make it out there.

    A powder bleach, fix or blix CANNOT contain ammonium hypo. It is not easily dried and kept dry. It turns into slush or decomposes. The ammonium ion is what gives bleach, blix and fix solutions their high speed and capacity. Therefore, powdered varitions of color tail end chemistry are usually quite stable and less expensive but not very fast and often weaker than their liquid counterparts.

    The first true liquid blixes for paper and film were designed at EK in 1966. The first paper blix was blix 1066 (month/year). This was the first complete conversion to ammonium ion in these solutions for speed and capacity. Elimination of all positive ions but the ammonium ion and ferric ion was patented by Stephen and Surash of EK at about that time. Prior to that time, either the pH was wrong or the chemistry was slowed down due to the presence of sodium ions.

    PE

  5. #15

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    Okay so, separate bleach and fix will be stable for longer and powders are inferior? Just my two pence PE SpeediBrew's BLIX comes in two powder parts and BLIX's the film in under two minutes, the usual BLIX's are around six aren't they? Just curious how they manage that but from what you have said it sounds pretty impressive stuff.

    One off no topic question:- on RA4 the BLIX usually comes in two parts which are suppose to be mixed, would these be more stable to keep as separate baths?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by HolgaPhile
    Okay so, separate bleach and fix will be stable for longer and powders are inferior? Just my two pence PE SpeediBrew's BLIX comes in two powder parts and BLIX's the film in under two minutes, the usual BLIX's are around six aren't they? Just curious how they manage that but from what you have said it sounds pretty impressive stuff.

    One off no topic question:- on RA4 the BLIX usually comes in two parts which are suppose to be mixed, would these be more stable to keep as separate baths?
    I'm not familiar with Speedbrew's blix, but they may be using the information from our patent on film blixes which is now expired and would blix film in less than 2 mins. It was quite stable as well. Nothing unusual about that. Oh, our formula was also a powder. It can be done with the right chemistry. Kodak decided that it was not worth commercializing at the time, for a number of technical and economic reasons. I'm working on a better blix.

    The RA4 blix is part oxidant and part reductant. One is Ammonium Ferric EDTA (or a counterpart of EDTA depending on version of blix) and the other part is ammonium hypo and ammonium sulfite. Again, nothing unusual. They are more stable if not mixed together.

    If you want a film blix with existing chemistry, then IMHO try using Kodak C41 bleach III mixed with Kodak C41 RA fixer (with thiocyanate). This mixture of two parts will probably make the best film blix around, as it approaches our original film blix formula very closely if you take a look at the patent. Just pour the fix into the bleach 1:1 and use as-is. It should blix in less that 6 minutes. I would try a sheet of film to test the rate and double it and use that for the final time. It should have reasonable keeping.

    PE

  7. #17

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    PE could you comment on the Kodak C-41 developer that doesn't need a starter? How long will the unmixed concentrate keep? Would seem an ideal option. Buy developer in a smaller size along with bigger sized fix and bleach.

  8. #18
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    Nick, I use the 1 gallon C41 kit myself, and keep it for about 6 months mixed or about 1.5 years as a concentrate. Actually, if the part with the color developing agent is clear, and not brown, it is still good.

    I use Jobo plastic bottles, as these are the most oxygen resistant bottles that I have ever found in shopping around, unless you use glass.

    I have stored this developer with and without a nitrogen blanket in the bottle and find that the nitrogen extends the lifetime by about 3 - 6 months if used carefully and if the water used to mix the developer is not aerated unduly during mixing.

    PE

  9. #19

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    Thanks. Kits are getting harder to find. Add in shipping issues and just buying the bigger mini-lab products makes more sense.

  10. #20
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    Hmm. I'd really rather do separate bleach and fix steps -- just seems better, and a few minutes longer doesn't hurt me -- but the kits all seem to use a blix (probably to cut down step count or bottle count). FWIW, the Arista kits apparently have the Ammonium Ferric EDTA based bleach component in their blix (they have a warning callout for that in both instruction documents). And it makes perfect sense that it's cheaper to get the components separately, but I'm don't want to spend $150 up front and then find out I don't like it, or the developer concentrate goes off, or whatever. And that's the problem with the mini-lab stuff; I see it sold at places that ship, but if I'm reading it right, I have to buy 40 L worth of concentrate, and it's designed for replenishment (how much starter?). I doubt I'll burn enough film to make replenishment work well anyway, so starterless is the way to go for me.

    However, let me restate the question -- what's the most economical way to do small quantities of C-41 at home? Probably, in my case, I'd shoot a couple rolls a month, though that might increase (the film isn't any more expensive than B&W, I don't shoot it now because the lab wants money, which doesn't keep the way film and B&W chemicals do -- mine's always going off), and it wouldn't be hard to batch the film to use the capacity of a small mix (4 rolls in a pint, says Freestyle's kit instructions, or more if you're brave). If the Kodak concentrates keep as well as you say, PE, that might be the way to go (though I don't know of a local supplier, I might ask Costco where they get their soup next time I'm in); I could probably use up a gallon size developer concentrate in a year.

    I'm after bringing the price per roll down to around $2, not counting my time (takes me a half hour to develop a roll of B&W, shouldn't be even quite as long for color, except for temperature adjustment of the tempering bath); that's competitive with Costco (which is 7 miles away, takes more than half an hour just to drive there and back), and much cheaper than the local place where I've been taking my 120 (which is 5 miles away, same time to drive, and can't print 120 anyway) -- and just having the stuff on hand will make 4x5 color possible, even if I'm not using up the capacity in that application. I was planning to order some bottles from Boston Rounds for this venture anyway (once I know what size I need), that's just a startup cost. Obviously, the old trick of dividing the solution into multiple smaller bottles still applies here, though I don't have the ability to use a nitrogen blanket (I've been using butane lighter fuel to blanket my Dektol, but I'm not sure it's worth the cost of the butane).

    Related question: the Arista E-6 kit doesn't appear to include a stabilizer -- is that a bad thing, or is stabilizer optional with E-6? And, if I have components for C-41, can the bleach and fixer (and stabilizer) be used for E-6 as well? If so, I'd need only first dev and E-6 color dev added to the C-41 chems to do both...
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

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