sorry, KT, I don't want to drive you crazy. Really I will find out about what you suggest. Control strips will be a grand way to be sure.
When I first tried to shoot a slide of an oil painting and obviously my first time at E-6, I follow the directions like crazy. But since my cameras do not work on the same exposure scales as the littler ones, after about 7 or 8 tests, I was not sure if the problem was the exposure or the processing. So I sent one to be processed by the local guy whom the photographers used to use *wink*, it came out all cyany. I complained but he said, my control strips were perfect. . .I called around and found out that all of the local photographers who send E-6 to his lab for processing have had to go to using red filters to compensate for his developing. Well, I was also getting a very cyany slide so I read and called and found out that the problem was the acidity of the developer. He has been in business over 20 years and I guess he never figured this out, but his control strips were perfect. That was my last experience with control strips and since his customers beginning to come to me and slapping down his work with a "can you do any better than this." I am almost afraid to get tooooooo control strip crazy. Even so, I only develop in house film. You shoot it, you send it to be developed whereever you normally go. I only develop film that I have shot for someone, usually for reproduction, internegs, print negs. I print other's negatives and slides onto paper or film, but only develop in house neg and slides. I do not have nor do I want to have the routine of sticking things in one end of a machine and waiting for it to poop out the other end, too boring for me. I love the challenge of printing and reproduction.