1st time E6 process-Comedy of Errors.
Now, I know why I pay $10 per roll for color120 !
Ok, today I attempted to develop my first color Velvia 100 film E6 processing. I used the Arista kit from Freestyle Photo. The kit mixed up alright, but there is definitely a process much different than B&W and a heck of a lot more painstakingly exact than what I am use to.
It is not something you can wing, but I never attempted it and I have been doing B&W for a couple of years now. The film is done and is hanging on the drying rack. I can't wait to scan it and really see how it came out. I really didn't do much studying of the process, but just mixed the solutions and followed the directions pretty closely.
It was really a comedy of errors, compared to B&W.. I ruined thefirst roll when I dropped steel container and the top came off.... F-Bomb. ok...X10.
So loaded a quick second roll... I kept everything at 105 degrees in a portable cooler and can understand why people use fish tank heaters to keep the water in the cooler and chemicals at a constant temperature. I wish I had videotaped it, because I could have posted it in the video section of APUG showing what NOT to do. It would have been funny. Keeping everything at 105 degrees +/- a degree or two was a feat. I felt like i was jumping around the darkroom like I was watching a Billy Blanks Tae Bo video. Now I know why real photographers where smocks. I now have new Blix Tie die clothing.
In a couple of hours I will do some scanning of the film in my new outfit...
Last edited by Greg Heath; 12-10-2011 at 04:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.
If I may ask you, why are you making so much effort just to keep wrong temperature so precisely ?
Keeping everything at 105 degrees +/- a degree or two was a feat. I felt like i was jumping around the darkroom like I was watching a Billy Blanks Tae Bo video.
105F is what was called for in the Arista instructions with the E6 kit. There eas a range given i chose the shortest based on temp It was the highest temp in the instructions, but the shortest time, and I was pressed a bit for time.
What temp do you process your E6 ?
Release, the best you can do...
I guess any temp compensated for time would work. You wouldn't think that keeping a temperature constant plus/minus a degree would be that difficult, but it really is because I'm adding and removing bottles, and I was using a steel developing container that had to be immersed in the solution. I use steel reels and not the Patterson plastic containers. Those plastic reels with the ball bearings drive me nuts. I found a Protronic Darkroom fully submersible heater at NovaDarkroom in the UK but hoped I could find one here in the states so I could save some time and shipping cost. I can't wait to try again as I have several more rolls to accomplish. Experience and planning will help me succeed better the next time. I held off so many years because of the fear of failing. I think many people claim that color developing is a too difficult or a wizards task. It definitely is not cheap but it has been a fun learning experience.
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I also did my first Arista E6 slides last night! First run was my first, and so far only, failure, followed late last night by brilliant success.
First run was A mini disaster of sorts, as I ruined 5 rolls in one shot. Problem was that I had used grape juice containers for the chemicals, and only rinsed them twice (although I let the water sit in the bottle for a few days). The Arista kit is 1 gallon, so I figured great, I'll mix up half a gallon at a time to make it simple. Previously, with the Kodak kits, I had only done 1 liter batches, using empty water bottles. Anyways, I should have know something was wrong when I mixed the First Developer, and it turned yellow (normal), then quickly reacted back to a clear color. Anyways, all the slides came out black (no images) and after a bit of Internet searching found that FD should be yellow in color, and can not tolerate acids. apparently, there was residual acidity in the bottle from the grape juice! So word to the wise, dont use old juice bottles, unless they have been well washed, many times.
Luckily I had the day off today, as that disaster which ended around midnight was followed by mixing up a new batch using water bottles, loading a roll of 120 film, and doing a second run. This time around, success !!!! Beautiful, brilliant slides hanging to dry in my kitchen around 130am last night!
So a few comments. First, I was surprised by what great results the Arista kit gives. Looks as good as full 6 bath Kodak results. Also, the 3 bath process is MUCH quicker and simpler than the 6 bath. Not that 6 bath is difficult, that is what I started out using, but I can now see why 3 bath kits are so popular. Lastly, the Arista kit does not include a Final Rinse, so I used the Kodak E6 final rinse. Worked great, eliminates any water spots, and preserves the film so molds and fungus cant attack. But to ensure no fading over many years, you need to get the Tetenal Stabilizer, which has a very low formaldehyde content to stabilize the dyes. Tetenal 3 bath kits all come with this, or you can order it separately from Maco Direct - something like 20 bucks for a 1 liter bottle which makes 100 liters of Stabilizer. I got mine last Friday, along with a Tetenal 5L E-6 kit to try out. But first to use up my extra Kodak E-6 final rinse (less than $10) I bought before finding the Tetenal Stab, as these are not super critical slides I am developing now anyways.
So, for those looking for a replacement for the now discontinued Kodak kits, the Arista kit is actually pretty good, and a lot less expensive than buying mass E6 chemicals for the 6 bath process. Much quicker and simpler to mix up, and a faster process workflow.
Last edited by pukalo; 12-12-2011 at 07:11 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I vote for a different cause! FD is quite well buffered and small change in pH won't cause completely blank images. So as long as you don't mix it with juice instead of water you should get visible images, and if you have rinsed the bottles in any way, in worst case you should see some shifts in density and color, definitely not a total failure.
Originally Posted by pukalo
Basically, FD is just a BW developer. Any BW developer will give some sort of slides.
Did the yellowish FD really turn clear before your eyes? Or is it possible that you mistook some bottles with water as a "developer" ?
Is the Arista FD just one solution you dilute, like Kodak&Fuji?
Well not exactly, but as long you don't deviate much from the optimum target of 100F, you can compensate temperature by changing time with very little effects, but if you deviate a lot, changing temperature gives different results than changing time and thus they cannot compensate each other. This is because the development happens in different layers (blue, green, red) at different timing due to developer and wash water diffusion to film.
I guess any temp compensated for time would work
Yes, I literally saw the FD turn yellow, then swirl in the water and turn completely crystal clear. I found out that the Arista kit is actually made by Photo Systems Inc, in Dexter, Mi. (I live in Michigan also, it was quite a suprise), and found the MSDS for the E6 kit. It clearly stated that it can not tolerate acids.
I suspect that the Arista kit uses different chemicals than Kodak does, but achieves the same end visual result. One clue is that the Arista kit does actually specify 6mins 30 secs at 105F, while kodak quotes same time, but at only 100F. For Arista, you keep it at 105 for all steps, where with Kodak kit, there are bandwidths for each chemical step, but none allow 105F. Being used to the Kodak 6 Bath, I was skeptical about the 105, but ran the Arista at this temp per instructions, with fantastic results (second time around). Maybe the Arisa FD isnt bufferred? At any rate, it doesnt matter now - mixed up a second batch of chems in water bottles, and all went perfect. Actually did a second run last night. May do a third tonight. Will try to post some scans.
It is still very hard to believe that the milligram range of citric acid found in the traces of juice from a bottle that was rinsed twice and let sit for some time with water in it, would cause total and immediate death for any developer! It would be nice to hear a comment from the advanced chemists here .
Clearly the product is different from standard E6 if the temp is given as 105. A deviation that large, with standard timing of 6:30, would give notably overdeveloped, "washed out" slides that look like a bit overexposed. OTOH, the agitation procedure also affects the result. For immersion tank, do they instruct to agitate every 15 or 20 seconds?