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  1. #1
    drumlin's Avatar
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    E6 home processing - am I crazy?

    After several less than stellar experiences with developing slide film at a local pro lab (and the accompanying hole in my wallet), I'm starting to consider (again) doing E6 dev at home. Most things I've read shy me away, but somewhat serendipitously I see that the notorious Ken Rockwell is promoting (sort-of) DIY E6 from a reader submission (link). I see this and think that it's totally within reach.

    So is this something that a relative newb should even mess with? I develop my own B&W film in the bathroom with decent results and surprisingly little flack from the wife. Don't have room or cash for a Jobo... would be steel tanking it all the way...

    I think that having a setup at home would prompt me to shoot more chromes, as now I'm inclined only to shoot the occasional expired roll for cross processing at the cheap-o lab. I know I could just shoot C41, but I do enjoy the crazy contrast and saturations of Velvia.

    Thanks in advance for any advice, encouraging or dissuasive...

  2. #2
    E76
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    That actually looks like a great idea! If the temperature controls on the roaster are as accurate as he says they are, I see no reason why it wouldn't work. I think I might give something like this a try myself...

  3. #3
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    I started doing E6 with Tetenal "3-bath" kit in normal inversion tank in a wash basin. Great results and no problems. You don't need a Jobo; Jobo can, however, make life a bit easier if you develop much. And if you want to do one-shot processing for maximum quality and consistency, then Jobo or another rotary processor is almost a must because of chemistry costs (rotary uses much less chemistry).

  4. #4
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Not crazy, E6 is remarkably simple, I'd also recommend the Tetenal 3 bath kit. I used the Photocolor equivalent Chrome 6 from it's release and quality is on a par with commercial labs, as is longevity etc.

    Ian

  5. #5

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    Another plug for the Tetinal 3 Bath kit. My hot water is just the right temp and I did 12 various rolls over 3 weeks at my kitchen sink. I think they came out just as well as my lab processed ones have and much cheaper on average.

  6. #6
    Kevin Caulfield's Avatar
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    Another Tetenal plug here too.

  7. #7
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    I can confirm what previous posters said: E6 is very doable with hand tanks and a lot less critical than many articles about it claim. A friend of mine, who only had done B&W before, had success with E6 instantly after I gave him some stock concentrate. The biggest difference is that there is no such thing as a dark room light while you put the film on the spindle - you may want to try that out before you mess up important slides.

    As far as wife acceptance factor is concerned: it is much higher with E6 because you get slides which you can view right after they leave the tank.

  8. #8
    Marco B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drumlin View Post
    After several less than stellar experiences with developing slide film at a local pro lab (and the accompanying hole in my wallet), I'm starting to consider (again) doing E6 dev at home. Most things I've read shy me away, but somewhat serendipitously I see that the notorious Ken Rockwell is promoting (sort-of) DIY E6 from a reader submission (link). I see this and think that it's totally within reach.
    The owner of that webpage you linked too, also posted not long ago on our HybridPhoto sister website about this simple way to process E-6. Check it out:
    http://www.hybridphoto.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2014
    My website

    "The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true." - William M. Ivins Jr.

    "I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White." - David Burnett in 1978

    "Analog is chemistry + physics, digital is physics + math, which ones did you like most?"

  9. #9
    Athiril's Avatar
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    first dev is the most temp/time critical.

    After rinsing with same-temp water, then running water into the tank (filled with ~38c water) to gradually decrease the temp back down (or simply waiting), I've run the rest of the process at 20c just fine, though each bath left sitting in for much much longer just so I was sure of the processing running to completion.

    By just fine, I mean they look just fine and the same to me by eye. No scientific data or analysis provided though!

  10. #10

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    It's easy. I've only used the Kodak kits, it works fine with steel tanks and a water bath to keep the temperatures stable.
    If you've become proficient at B&W, doing E-6 should be no problem.

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