DIY E6 Process

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by david_p_thornton, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. Hi all,
    I have an unexposed roll of Fuji Sensia 100, and I intend to develop it at home. I have B&W chemicals and C-41 chemicals.
    To the best of my knowledge, colour films are developed at a STANDARD time of 3m15s and E6 FD is 6m. However, doesn't B&W developing vary depending on developer and film combination. This is my question:
    Is it possible to use Ilfosol 3 as my first develop, re-expose, and then develop as a normal C-41 film?
    If so, what timings do you think could work for my FD on E6 using Ilfosol 3 and a C-41 DigiBase kit?
    Any help appreciated. BTW- Not looking for amazing slides, it's about the experimentation and "fun" results for me, not getting dead-on colours and grain :)
  2. Whatabout skipping first developer, developing it as a negative film??
  3. Yeah, you can just cross-process it in C-41 according to the standard times. You will get a color negative as the result. You might want to expose it at EI 50, or push the film a stop (add 15% to development time) and expose at EI 100.
    For reversal, you would need to first develop, bleach (with a fixer-free bleach) re-expose, and then run through the C-41 process. Formulary's Reducer IV would be a suitable bleach. (C-41 bleach has some thiosulfate, not OK.) But I think you'd get far more predictable (but still funky-colored) results with straight cross-process in C-41.
  4. E-6 has a reversal bath, that is the part that takes it from a negative to a positive. Try using e-6 chems if you can find them and eliminating the reversal bath.
    I seem to recall when I was in the navy this happened by mistake once since we were processing in a sink line in total darkness and we wondered why the film came out as a negative.
  5. If you use E6 chemistry and skip the reversal bath:

    1 developer develops the negative.
    Silver remains in film

    2 skip the reversal bath
    Silver still remains in film

    3 color developer develops the positive
    silver from both the negative and positive inn film

    4 Blix removes all the silver
    NOOO wait no silver was developed in 3 because no silver was *exited*.....

    Nope that cannot be correct?
  6. Erik, Not sure what you are trying to say here but this is straight from the Kodak Z manual for E-6
    draw your own conclusions
    First Developer
    The chemical reducing action of the first developer converts
    exposed silver halide grains (the latent image) into metallic
    silver (the silver image). This is a negative image. The first
    developer step is the most critical step of Process E-6. The
    amount of silver formed depends on developer activity.
    Time, temperature, agitation, developer concentration,
    and utilization affect first-developer activity. In Process E-6,
    increased first-developer activity causes too little dye to
    form; decreased activity causes more dye than normal to
    First Wash
    The first wash stops the action of the first developer and
    removes first developer solution from the film. Insufficient
    water flow, incorrect temperature, or too little wash time will
    affect density (speed) and color balance.

    Reversal Bath
    The reversal bath prepares the film for the color-developer
    step. A chemical reversal agent is absorbed into the emulsion
    and prepares the remaining silver halide for the chemical
    reversal that occurs in the color developer. Do not use a wash
    between the reversal bath and the color developer; the
    reversal agent must be in the emulsion when the film enters
    the color developer.
    Incorrect replenishment, excessive oxidation, incorrect
    mixing, and utilization can affect overall density and color

    Color Developer
    When film enters the color developer, the reversal agent
    absorbed by the emulsion in the reversal bath chemically
    “exposes” the remaining silver halide. The color developing
    agent then reacts with the silver halide to form metallic
    silver. As this metallic silver image is formed, the oxidized
    color developer agent reacts with the color couplers in each
    of the three dye layers (yellow, magenta, and cyan) of the
    film to form colored dyes. The dye forms only at the sites
    where the image was converted to metallic silver.
    Changes in the color developer pH, agitation, time,
    temperature, developer concentration, utilization, and
    replenishment rate affect color balance, contrast, maximum
    density, minimum density, and uniformity.
  7. If you skip the reversal bath, the color developer would hyave nothing to work with, producing no colors, since the exposed silver was already developed!

    The colors comes from interaction between the color agents in the 3 emulsions and the reaction remnants from spend color developing agent hooking up withe color agents or dyes, fixing them in place in the emulsion.

    You have to reexpose the remaining silver to get any development done and hence any colors formed.... naaaaaa dont thhink this would work.

    Skipping both first developer and reversal bath might work, and apprently so would C41 with less than perfect colors...
  8. That makes sense and after re-reading Kodak's explanation I can see what you are saying.
    I was just not registering in my old brain what you were driving at.
  9. No problem I tried hard to get my ducks in a row, and thought it impossible I could be right.

    Lets not loose focus on what was important here, I think it can be fun!
  10. Photography is always fun, whether I'm shooting, working in the darkroom or teaching my son. That's why I never really feel like I'm working.
  11. Reaching back standard times in C41......
    I have a close coworker who in his younger days worked in a processing lab, they segregated film like this, making separate spools for the C41 process machine :

    The rest

    This was done in order to adjust bath time and running speed, hence developing time as there at that time was 3 separate time regimes and the individual films on the spools was filtered separately but adjusted from 3 separate baselines.

    To me this indicates that standard time in C41 needs a little more info.
  12. Huh?
    I have worked in 4 different civilian labs both pro and commercial, and in 3 different Navy labs and I have never heard of anyone sorting C-41 film out by manufacturer. First of all in a commercial lab it would be very time consuming and not very cost effective. Second this sounds very anal retentive to me. Either they just loved making extra work for themselves or the process wasn't in control. Many labs have poor quality control and some don't even run control strips, and even some that do run control strips wouldn't know how to interpret the results and tell if the process in control.
  13. Just reporting what I've been told, YMMV.

    But then in the NAVY, you had but one type of film?
  14. All's good, I processed it this evening, with terrible results. I'm guessing I overdeveloped with my Ilfosol 3 at 5;00, because when I unloaded the film from the tank, it was completely. With my confidence knocked, I stretched it out and notices, that VERY faintly, I could see 36 complete colour positives on the emulsion side, but the back stayed too blue/black to see through. Hopefully, with a little experimentation (and cheap expired rolls of Sensia from local pharmacy :) ) I wil, get more "usable" results. Thanks
  15. Erik,
    Actually when I was in the Navy we had GAF and Kodak the GAF was mostly 100 foot rolls of 5 and 9 inch aerial film, and Kodak was also aerial as well as all others such as 120, 35, 4x5 etc. but many photo mates used their own favorites for their personal work such as Fuji etc. and we never sorted it we just ran it with the rest of the film in a batch.
  16. First about sorting the different makes of film before processing.
    This lab was known for producing the best and most even results of the labs here in Norway.
    This was partly because the sorting was done and strict control of the printing process.
    Kodak, Fuji and the rest of the makes reqiured sligtly different processing times to get the best from them. They could have been processed without sorting, but with a bit more visible differences for make to make on the finished prints. Not color cast, because that was taken out in filterting, but color saturation in different colors.
    Kodak and Fuji was the makes that dominated. That's way they got their own batches.
    The rest of the makes batch didn't get any special tretmen, just plain standard C-41. This resulted in slightly lower quality prints, but still within quality standards.
    Next to the problem with your film David P Thornton.
    I assume you developed an E-6 process film.
    If the film looks blue-black from the back, the bleach hasn't bleached out the anti-halation layer.
    The bleach is supposed to bleach out the silver, the silver yellow filter, the dye color filters and the anti-halation layer.
    What chemicals did you use and which procecss?
  17. Is it possible to use Ilfosol 3 as my first develop, re-expose, and then develop as a normal C-41 film?​
    Yes, it is. Check out the description of this photo (it is not mine).
  18. Trond, I used my B&W developer as the FD and re-exposed to fluorescent light for 2 minutes, and developed in C-41 Chemistry then. As it turned out, The film did turn out with a blue-black back to it. I thought it was because of insufficient FD, but I will try to rebleach it and see what results I get. Would a C-41 bleach be able to do it, because I didn't use E6 chemistry. Here was my process
    First Developer: Ilfosol 3, 5 minutes 38C
    Re-exposure: 2.5 minutes
    Colour Developer: DigiBase C-41 Kit, 3:15 minutes 38C
    Bleach: DigiBase C-41 Kit: 2 minutes 45C
    Fix: DigiBase C-41 Kit : 2.5 minutes 45C
    If thats any help, I'd like to know whether my future efforts could py off to see an actual, usable image! Thanks
  19. I think that 5 minutes in Ilfosol 3 is insufficient.
    The E6 first developer is a rather energetic developer.
    It contains about three times the usual amount of developing agents pr. liter, so I think that using a stock BW developer will require longer develpment times.
    I don't know what dilution you used, but in any case remember that the E6 process specifes 6 minutes development time in continues agitation machines. When developing in a tank with agitation each 30 second, 6.5 minutes is recommended.
    I just developed an e6 film as a positive b&w film.
    Using my own developer based on the recipe for the e6 first developer I used 0.6g phenidone, 30g sodium ascorbate, 30g washing soda, 30g sodium sulfite, 1g KBr and some boric acid to get a pH of 9.8.
    I developed for 6.5 minutes at 38c, stop and wash with water, bleach with potassium permanganate, clearing bath for 4 minutes, re-exposed and developed the rest of the silver with the used first developer for 5 minutes.
    Fix and wash as usual for b&w film.
    The film turned out great.
    The positives has about the same density as a correctly developed negative b&w film. Perfectly scannable, which is what I was looking for.
    Sample image:
    Another image:
    The images are just cropped a bit and contrast slightly increased. Some spots and dust from the scanning, but this is for proof of concept so It doesn't matter.
  20. Sorry, forgot about dilution. Diluted 1:9 to make 5 litres, as stated on bottle. I've bought a fresh, in date roll for testing, So I'll try 6.5 minutes. I haven;t gotten into Mixing my own chemicals from scratch, msinly because I don't know where to get them from, but I would love the B&W reversal process recipes, as I would like to try motion pictures B&Ws...Colour's just not the same :)
  21. I still think that 6.5 minutes in Ilfosol 3@28c is too short time.
    Remember that the first developer for E6 is about 3 times as powerful as the D76.
    Ilfosol3 in 1:9 diluton is too weak. It is about 200% as active as D76, and you need another 100%. My guessing is that you will need about 10 minutes @ 38c.
    Developing b&w film as positive is excatly the same process as I used, but with a developer with normal acitivity at normal times.

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