$5 a roll doesn't surprise me, considering our cost is about a buck per 4x5 sheet, even with the fact that we purchase on contract --we get Kodak chemistry at a really good discount , the hazmat shipping fee kills us on E6 though.....the chemistry is one thing, but the equipment cost is another and then you need to add in the utility cost of all that hot water and finally *time*. I never have understood the desire to mix smaller quantities of the chemistry, because it seems to me that you just increase the odds of improperly mixing the solutions--since specific gravity is so critical for speed & color balance. We use hydrometers too check the accuracy of our mixing containers. . I run and maintain the b&w deeptank in my job, and it's a replenished line. In b&w, if the specific gravity is off a bit, or there's a drift in the tank temps during the run--big deal, it's b&w.... In E6, BIG deal.....


Kodak recommends something like 8 weeks for the opened concentrates only if they're broken down into tightly stoppered bottles. The bleach, fix and final rinse can be stored longer than that. If the concentrates are left in the original containers, the estimate drops to about a week for everything but the bleach, fix & final rinse. They stay the same at about 24 weeks or so. The problem is that those steps like First Dev, Rev Bath, Color Dev etc. are very sensitive to oxidation...they practially go bad the minute they're mixed up...In fact if you mix them up too vigorously, you can ruin them before you even get a run in....our machine uses hospital grade nitrogen to both lay a blanket across the holding tanks, and to also pump the chemsity by pressure into the processing trough. We turn the chemistry out of the machine though, and in a slow week will actually use slightly more to just get the chemistry replaced by fresher mixes. The stuff will go bad even under a blanket of nitrogen.....they call this topping off. The 5 liter kits were pretty much ready made for the Wing Lynch machines. The smallest tank size is 5 liters in a WL, ours is a 5 gallon model though. The older 1 gallon kits had to have the rev. bath diluted for the rotary processors and some other stuff done--but the new kits are made specifically for small tank and rotary tube processors--all one shot. Just my opinion, and I have never used anything but Kodak E6, but it's the way to go....fwiw, years ago, I learned on repl. machines and did it by hand in 3.5 gallon nitrogen burst lines too--but mostly a fuzzy memory now....I could do it at home, I have the equipment for it--water panels, temp controllers (phototherm) etc. but it would be like torture, and frankly I like to keep the chemistry as far away from my nose, eyes and body as physically possible--which for me means an automatic processor with enclosed tanks.....


Gotta wind this up, but kodak doesn't make 1 gallon chemistry as far as I know, unless you're referring to some other manufacturer? The 5 liter kits are the smallest size. They make 5 gallon cube sizes of the real stuff for the tanklines, and there are some components that are sold in smaller sizes like the starters etc. The 5 liter Kodak kits are about as good as it gets for small one-shot use, unless you look at Tetenal chemistry maybe, which is pretty similar. Fuji CR56 is alot like the old E6 with conditioner--but in the end, they're all sorta the same---the process is a standard, and even the Fuji labs will run Kodak control strips. So the aim is to set up a standardized process with acceptable fudge room--which means about 10 points of color on either side of the aim and a little speed loss or gain. You could go to 2 Q labs next door to each other and split your film in half, and each lab could be off slightly and still be considered good.....

Have fun--

KT

Opinions expressed in this message may not represent the policy of my agency