Keeping properties of Fuji 6-bath E6
Thanks to Ag Photo, I now have a Fuji 5L E6 kit! However, the instructions say that it keeps for only 3-6 weeks once mixed up and that the concentrate will go off rapidly if opened.
Has anyone personally tried mixing up a partial kit (I have 15 rolls ready to go, stated capacity is 44) and storing the concentrates under butane or similar? Obviously it lasts fine on the shelf with nitrogen-filled bottles and the butane approach is reported to work for C41 chems... but I'm looking for confirmation from first-hand experience with the Fuji E6.
Slightly off topic, but would you mind specifying what Ag Photo is? I'd like to get a Fuji kit as well.
Ag Photo are APUG advertisers/sponsors and they have good stuff for sale.
No experience with the Fuji kits, they seem to be unavailable in the US.
I have used the Kodak 5L kits and streeeetched them.
Several months back I ran some chromes from a kit that was on the second or third 1 litre batch so call the kit half full. The kit had to be 8-10 months old and not resealed under nitrogen or anything else.
I had already went over capacity for that particular 1L batch and the chromes looked fine to the eye but I didn't do any definitive tests for color accuracy or density other than inspection on a light table.
I cant remember when I mixed that 1L batch but it had to be 3-4 months in a full 1L bottles.
I mix 1L working solutions for a 2 roll tank.
These are stored in full 1L PET bottles but the kit it is pulled from is just stored in the original bottles.
I'm about to run some more within a week or so.
I'll mix "fresh" from this kit and report back if I can remember to find this thread.
In my experience the 5L kits will last a long time (unopened) but the further out the kit is from it's manufacture date, the shorter the life will be upon opening (which can be especially short in partially used bottles left in my JOBO once they've been heated up to processing temps). So I long ago worked out the one-shot amounts for my JOBO processor and split the Kodak 5L E6 kits into these amounts by measuring in graduates. Any opened kit will probably last 3+ mos this way but beyond that you're well advised to purge the oxygen out of the partially full bottles.
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Not specific to the individual kit, but generically to the process, here is my experience with using older kits for e-6.
First developer syrup is pretty stable and will loose activity with time.
I mix my FD from a jug of kodak 6 step makes 25L FD syrup expired dec 06 at about 10% over the spec strength these days, to compensate for the activity that has been lost in the mix since it is old. The syrup has stayed in plastic, but with the air squeezed out since openning it 4 years ago. The over rich mix was found via trial and error with test strips of macbeth charts and a densitometer.
Your mileage may definitely vary here. I started out by eye, and that worked fine but I wanted to be more deterministic.
Do not over -use this mixed bath, or keep it half used for a long time before running it again to exhaustion.
Kodak Reversal bath sems to be stable in storage, but I don't trust it after mixing and replenishing it sporadically for more than 4 weeks. If the volume has been good, I rinse well pre RB, and then optically re-expose part way though the RB to be sure and stretch it to 8 weeks with optically good results.
Colour developer may come in two or three parts. The part with the colour developing agent will work well past its expiry date if that syrup is transferred to full glass containers, and kept in a cool temperature stable place.
Once it goes black it has gone off. Being left partially full is likely to cause this. A $1 worth of washed dollar store marbles solved this problem for me.
Colour developer I use and replenish per spec, and though old, it seems to work just fine for me.
Pre bleach concentrate I have found to be stable in concentrate form. I have a surplus of it, so I don't try to stretch it's working life.
Bleach comes in a and b sometimes, or just a single bottle other times. Oxygen is it's friend, and I have yet to have bleach syrup die.
Fixer concentrate can sulfate out just like all other ammonuim thiosulfate based fixers.
Mixing a diy one with a pH suited for colour is a solution if this happens top the stock syrup.
I rinse well with two baths between bleach and fix to extend the effective life of the mixed fixer.
Wetting agent I have never had go off.
I hope these comments are helpful, regardless of the kit you ae pursuing.
my real name, imagine that.
Thanks Mike, that is quite helpful. The kit I have seems designed for use-to-exhaustion rather than replenishment as the instructions give an increasing-times-per-roll table and no replenishment rates.
Good to hear that the concentrates keep when separated from air, as that is my plan. I'll be mixing up 0.5L batches and doing 5 rolls in each. I have heard from a couple of lab operators that the (preservative in the) Fuji pre-bleach does die quickly once mixed and that you won't know it's dead until the film starts degrading on the shelf after a few months.
The kit has dev capacity for 44 rolls and bleach/fix capacity for 2-3x that so if concentrates do keep well and I don't decide to go all C-41/RA-4, I'll just buy more dev concentrate on its own. As it is, I shoot 6x7 and larger so projecting chromes isn't really happening for me at the moment
I don't project larger chromes either, but I do love to slap 4x5's down on the light box from time to time.
I also found a shop that sold (old stock) of a black matt surround and plastic sleeve. They are re-usable.
I have a few 4x5's mounted that way and occasionally tape them up in the window of my office, usually in the dead of winter, to get oh's and ah's from people when they stop by to check them out.
my real name, imagine that.
yay! pretty pieces of plastic came out of it!
Some concrete results... The mixed developers work perfectly after about 3 months in the fridge, even when stored in an 70%-exhausted state. My pre-bleach went cloudy (un-refrigerated) over the 3 months, so I mixed up some more of that.
The main issues it that the concentrate bottles seal poorly and one of my developer parts is slowly going magenta therefore I think that careful re-bottling in glass is called for for any concentrate not mixed up immediately when you open a kit.