Some of the chemicals in the official E-6 formulation are just about impossible to get. Many years ago, the Dignan Newsletter published several substitute formulas, and others have been published since. But these are of questionable quality. Some people reported good results, others did not. And there is no assurance that the images will last as well as those processed with the official recipes. Experimenting with home brewed color chemistry may be fun and interesting, but it comes with no guarantees. The Kodak kits are easy to mix up in any amount you want, and they are quite economical. That seems to be the way to go.
While all of this is true, there shouldn't be anything stopping a hobbyist from giving it a try.
Let's see a show of hands as to how many of us have...
I'm allergic to the Tetenal 3 bath hack not least due to the blix (bleach-fix) stage in the tail end. As I see it, as long as there's formaldehyde in the final rinse (or, if you use pre-bleach & bleach; and miconazole in the final rinse), the dyes will be stabilized just fine.
- Shot outdated film?
- Cross processed?
- Home-brewed B&W devs
- Scanned, instead of projecting chrome films?
- Had a process go astray, and liked the results better?
- Used a "Bleach bypass" filter effect in Photoshop?
Originally Posted by nworth
As noted, unless you have shmancy pancy Chemical Lab, brewing E6 from scratch would be painfully difficult and time consuming. Save yourself the time and buy a E6 kit. Kodak 5L single use kit works very well without many problems and and you get extremely high quality slides.
One more thing, I did a LOT of E6 back in high school right after E6 came out (I still have early memories of doing E4!). Used to buy Ektachrome on 100 foot rools. I tried the other brands of chemicals. The results at the time didn't seem much different. However, I have gone through those old slides and believe me, I can really tell which ones were processed in Kodak chemistry versus the others. The Kodak E6 slides are still quite nice, the others have faded and colors look horrible.
Originally Posted by srs5694
You can make slides from negatives! ;-)
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
You could use cine-print film. You would have to look fort short ends however...
In addition Agfa has a RA-4 print film for copying from C-41 film (a variation of their cine print film). You would have to cut sheets into unperforated 35mm strips however...
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Very interesting, thanks all for sharing your info! I was under the impression that any other developing than B&W is quite dangerous because the chemical are more toxic? Or maybe it's true and you all are just dangerous folk! heheh E-6 is very pricey (I think about $12-15 per roll) around where I live so this may be something I will get into.
Originally Posted by niimo
- "Dangerous" and "toxic" are relative terms. Something can be more dangerous than another thing but still safe enough for whatever one's comfort level is.
- Even B&W processing varies in danger. A pyro developer is, by most accounts, more dangerous than XTOL. Ever hear of uranium toner? It was somewhat popular once.
I don't claim to be an expert on it, but my understanding is that E-6 (and other color processes) involve chemicals that are nastier than the average B&W chemical, but these chemicals aren't so nasty that they're unreasonable to use in a home darkroom. Read the documentation that comes with whatever kit you buy (and/or check up on the manufacturer's Web site) and follow its advice and you should be fine. I certainly wouldn't describe E-6 processing as "quite dangerous," although as I say in point #1, "dangerous" is a relative term, so that's a matter of what your reference is.
Heh good points! Just knowing there are these "kits" does spark my interest. Thanks for the (sort of) assurance.
Originally Posted by srs5694
Ahh, the joys of browsing APUG. I've just read this and a few other comments, and I find myself already checking availability and prices of Ilfochrome paper & chemistry. This is really tempting me to give printing Ilfochrome a try... :o
Originally Posted by tim_walls
And I think, above all, nothing makes you realise you're a photography bore more than sending an audience to sleep through a slideshow. If you only shoot C41, you're missing out on that
-- A sinister little midget with a bucket and a mop / Where the blood goes down the drain --
Here's a vote for the tetanal E6 kit. £46.00 for 5 litres that will process 60 films. Have reused working strength chemicals 6 months after mixing them with no desernable ill efect and kept stock solutions for 18 months in part full bottles before finishing the kit. As you get multiple uses of the mixed chemicals you just extend the dev times to compensate for chemical exhaustion, it is all in the multi lingual instruction book that comes with the kit.
As others have said it is as easy as falling of a log, get yourself a kit and go for it.