I keep my Kodak E-6 Kit chemicals in their original bottles. I measure out the amount needed to mix 500ml of solution at a time and process 4 120 rolls. Then I fill the head space in each container with canned air (difluoroethane) and screw it shut. It took me 7 months to use up my kit. The kit was still functioning well when I finished it. The developers were still light-honey colored when I finished. The chemicals were stored in my cellar around 55-60F.
My experience with the Tetenal 3-bath kit is that it's fine for normal processing and one stop push or pull. For more than a 1-stop push, you'll probably get better results with real E-6. I'd also not recommend using the solutions more than twice for Fuji films or with push processing, but I got good results using the chemistry three times with Kodak film, when I last tried it a few years ago. Obviously, it's a good idea to test before developing a new film under new conditions.
The main attraction of a three-bath kit for me is that it takes up less space. I suppose that if I were using a Jobo, it wouldn't matter, since the machine is a constant size, no matter how many solutions you use in it, but with tanks and hangers, that means twice as many tanks and a larger water jacket, and with daylight tanks, it's twice as many bottles to hold the chemicals.
I generally prefer to send out 35mm slides, because it's easier for a lab with mechanized equipment to mount them. I can remount the good ones in glass mounts later, if I like.
Everything above is true: Kodak does last a lot longer on the shelf, but unless you a really critical (as I suspect most of you are), you shouldn't notice a difference between Kodak and unicolor/arista. (might start with the 3 bath to get the hang of it, and to use it as a comparison.)
Film. If you want natural/neutral tones, go with kodak. In my own work, Fuji tends to be a little more saturated (which I like). Again, without a spectrometer, you probably won't be able to tell between each film in each set of chems-but you will be able to tell a difference between the film itself.
Have fun! E6 is a wonderful "instant gratification" hit in the darkroom.
Good. Fast. Cheap. (pick any two)
amuderick, thanks, that's the kind of answer I was hoping for.
Originally Posted by amuderick
If you can't find the answer in APUG then it probably is a really dumb question.
Kodak's E-6 kit is marketed as a single-use kit, so once you mix and dilute the chemicals to working strength, you won't be keeping them around for more than a few minutes -- at least, not if you use as directed. Going against instructions and running two or more rolls through one mix could help reduce costs, but only if you shoot a lot of film, since even the stock solutions will eventually go bad. That's likely to take a year or more, in my experience (my first Kodak E-6 kit lasted for roughly two years).
Originally Posted by Monophoto
Comparing costs, Kodak's 5-liter E-6 kit costs about $50 from Adorama or B&H (but B&H won't ship it). That's enough to process 20 rolls of film (at 250ml per roll), or $2.50 per roll. I think a low-volume user would be likely to buy a 3-bath E-6 kit in 1-liter size, since the instructions for those generally recommend re-using at least once, so such a kit will do eight rolls. Thus, a 1-liter kit ($50 for Tetenal at B&H) would cost $6.25 per roll, assuming two uses per working solution batch. Buying the 5-liter Tetenal kit ($92.95 at B&H) brings the cost down to $2.32, again assuming two uses -- but then the stock solution would have to last twice as long as Kodak's stock solution (40 rolls), and for a low-volume user, I think spoilage would become a problem. For high-volume users, a replenished system might make sense. I haven't looked into the economics of that, though.
Even assuming your use is very low (as mine is) and you throw away half of a Kodak kit, the cost is then $5.00 per roll, which is likely to be less than the cost of having it done by a lab. The 1-liter 3-bath kits would then be closer to cost-competitive with the Kodak kit.
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I will clarify a bit.
I do not run the Kodak kit to exhaustion. I like to use fresh chemistry for consistency, so I mix what I need and discard after one use. This means that I can get 20 rolls of 35mm equivilent from the 5L kit.
I am in Canada and can't get the kit from B&H. I am buying it at Henry's for something between $60 and $70 I think. Compared to about $7 locally for E6 processing, it is cheaper ignoring the capital costs. As I use metal reels and tanks, a set of cheap graduates, and a Rubbermaid tub for my water bath, and I expect those components to last a long time, capital cost is perhaps pennies per run.
But, if you value your time, you will spend about 1 hour running the process from pulling out the gear to cleaning up after yourself. As I charge myself about $75 an hour (I give myself a 25% discount from my usual $100 rate) it is no longer cost effective.
Your calculus may differ.
At 20 rolls per 5 liter kit, I think you've still got a lot of headroom, even using it single shot. The capacities listed in Kodak Pub. Z119 part 9 are sort of vague (they seem to think that 5 liters and 1 gallon are the same size :rolleyes: ), but they state a capacity of 18 sq. ft. per gallon for the developers, and three times that much for the other chems. At 80 sq. in. per roll, that's 32 rolls/gallon or 42 per 5 liters of developer. The one time I tried doing 5 rolls in 2/3 liter I ran into some weird color problems (which I think was actually due to insufficient wash after the first developer), but I've since switched to 150ml per roll and it works very well in my system.
If you check out Kodaks Tech Publication J-83 and go to page 5 there is more detail on the use of the 5L kit and recommended times and solution capacity. It has a little more information on the 5L kit than does the Z-119 publication.
I use 125ml per roll (500ml solution for 4 rolls of 120 film) and have had no problems. The last round of slides after month seven had the same great colors as the first batch.
I think only running 20 rolls on the kit is a mistake and a waste. However, I also think that re-using the chemicals and adjusting for time is asking for trouble. The best bet is to use the minimum fluid volume you can in your tank. In my tank that corresponds nicely to the minimum amount of chemicals recommended in the Kodak publication (42 rolls per 5 liters of developer).
I outdated chemicals really bad?
I found a single-use chemistry Kit at my local shop. However, it is outdated and is not available in their system....
It is dated march 2008. The manager offered me at least a 50% disount on it. Does I am looking for trouble or it should be allright?