E6 home kits

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by steve g, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. Greetings, I run a college photo club and have been using Tetenal 1L
    E6 kits to experiment with getting into color slide development. We
    bought a few as they were relatively cheap, and wanted to see if we
    could do it with the machine we have (one of the Jobo lift/rotate
    machines CPP or CPE something)<br><br>
    Anyway, the problem now is that we cannot afford to keep a constant
    supply of the Tetenal 1L kits as the first developer goes bad in 2
    weeks. I have seen they sell a 5L kit, and was thinking that maybe
    we could purchase that.
    <br><br>How long does the concentrate keep in the bottle for the 5L
    kit in a non-full bottle? I was hoping to buy the 5L kit, but mix it
    out 1L at a time as I need it. Also are there any other kits out
    there with greater working strength longevity? The 2 week shelf life
    is a real killer for our use.
    <br><br>Can someone compare the longevity of the Kodak and Tetenal
    kits? Also, any word on the Photocolor kits? The prices are all in
    the same ballpark, and I am most concerned about the chems going bad
    on us before I we use them all. I really like the number of steps in
    the Tetenal kit and I am trying to avoid moving to a kit that makes
    the process any longer/more complicated. We will also be using a mix
    of brands, including Kodak, Fuji and some off-brands. Additionally
    there will definetely be some cross processing going on as well. The
    tetenal kit has worked well for these purposes thus far, with slight
    adjustments in times for some films and push/pulling.
  2. I've used the Tetenal kit, but not any others, so take these comments accordingly. I don't think you'll find major differences in "lifespan" between manufacturers, especially for the first dev. The way Tetenal packages the colour dev and bleach-fix (as two-solution concentrates) makes it easy to get a reasonable shelf life, but the first dev is a problem. Using a nitrogen tank or "Dust-Off" to purge the air from the first dev storage bottle will help.

    Slide processing can be fun -- it would be even more fun if there was a simple and reliable way to get long shelf lives out of the chemicals! The three-bath kits like your Tetenal are a chemical compromise, and though many people dismiss them, they are perfectly well suited for home or photo-club use IMO.
  3. Stephen;

    Kodak uses a proprietary MQ (well, not really an MQ but a B&W first developer) that is probably not used elsewhere. Published formulas by other manufacturers have not gotten key ingredients right in both the color and B&W developers for E6.

    I cannot say how this affects the keeping properties, but they are certainly going to be different. That is about all I can say. You would have to give them a try.

    Ron Mowrey
  4. The Kodal E-6 has good longevity in the stock form - this from experience. I've even let the working solution sit inside the Jobo 1 liter bottles (which have a good reputation for lack of air permeability)for two weeks, and the solution still worked well but two weeks is pushing it.

    I would say you only run into problems when you start from old kodak stock that's been partially opened, then make up working solution from that, and in turn allow this working solution to sit around in partially full bottle for an additional period of time - say over two weeks.

    therefore, I highly recommend the Kodak E-6 single-use kit with the new Kodak E-6 films. The results are superb. This (E-6 films) is where Kodak beats Fuji in my mind.
  5. Thanks,<br>
    Do you know about the longevity of the Kodak chemicals then? In particular the $50 5L kit. I have read a bit more about the Kodak chems and am starting to lean towards them.<br><br>Looking to be able to mix it out into 1L quantities as I need it. I believe from my readings, a working strength solution in a full bottle lasts 4 weeks. After 4 weeks or the 6-8 rolls of film the 1L is supposed to handle, I would make another batch of 1L. <br><br>What I am concerned about is how many times I will be able to do this before the concentrates go bad.
  6. Andre, you seem to have posted at the same time as I was writing, haha.<br><br>Anyone else with experience?<br><br>Longevity is a major issue here as we are a club so we are supposed to keep a constant supply, unlike if it was just myself at home only keeping the chems when I have film to develop.<br><br>As such, if I can make some fresh working solution in 1L quantities out of the 5L kit, even every 2 weeks to be safe, it would be great. That would cost us $5/week with the Kodak kit, which is acceptable. Even this approaches 10% of our budget.<br><br>Anyone do something like this?
  7. Years ago I heard that some photographers were pushing Ektachrome slide film by using Acufine instead of the regular First Developer. You might experiment on some test film by using a standard black & white developer like D-76 in place of the First Developer. If you can get it to work then your problem of short shelf life for the First Developer will be solved.
  8. I like your thinking. Wonder if anyone around here has some experience in this...<br>I have plenty of D76, Microphen and Rodinal hanging about. I could easily acquire other B&W devs if needed..
  9. Stephen,
    I buy the Kodak 5L E6 kits and break them up into separate 1L sized kits as soon as I bring them home (the plastic bottles Kodak supplies for the concentrates will allow oxidation of the chemicals.)
    I sourced properly sized glass bottles for each concentrate component by visiting my local grocery store and pharmacy. Be sure to use bottles that are close to the right size and that feature good sealing lids, preferably the food jars that have metal tops with the pop-up vacuum seal buttons. Clear bottles are best as they allow you to keep an eye on the color of the concentrate and whether any precipitates are forming. For bottles that are not the exact size, I use glass marbles to eliminate the air space and I prefer bottles with slim necks to reduce the air/fluid surface area. To minimize oxidation even further, I store the bottles in the dark between 5-10 degrees Centigrade.
    As far as how long the chemicals will last, the longest I've gone so far is just over a year and the chemicals show no change in appearance or in performance. I still have 3 litres of kit left so the jury is still out. I know that one poster on the Internet claimed that he was able to get quite a few years out of his kit. You can read about it here.
    The nice thing about breaking the 5L kit up this way is that when it comes time to process, I don't have to take time measuring out the chemicals to mix up my working solutions. I just pour the pre-measured concentrates into their 1L working solution jugs (plastic soda bottles) and add the correct amount of water (also already pre-measured). I find chemical mixing to be tedious and this way, I do it all the day I bring the 5L kit home and then I can wash and put away my graduates. The only drawbacks I find with this method is that you need a large number of bottles.
  10. Kodak's E6 first dev is dirt cheap in the one gallon bottles, which make up 5 gallons of working solution at 1+4. It's basically D76 with an added ingredient (Ron?!)

    In any case, just buy the 5 liter kits, and, if you're anal, break them apart as described above.

    In any case, if you're pleased witrh the results from the Tetenal soup, then you'll be quite happy with the E-K 5L kit even after a month.

  11. Dan;

    The E6 first developer is not even close to D76 in any way. It is not an MQ and does not use sulfite as a silver halide solvent. It also contains antifoggants which D76 does not.

    Ron Mowrey
  12. How well does temperature effect keeping?<br>
    I could at least make room in the darkroom fridge for 1L of working strange first developer, since its the first chemical to die. How much would it extend the life of the chemical (%)?
  13. According to Kodak, every 5.5 degree Celcius increase in temperature will double reaction rates. Storage below 4.4 C is not recommended as precipitates may form. I don't think refrigeration is necessary, just keep the chemicals relatively cool. The most important thing is to eliminate contact with air, so full, stoppered glass bottles are the key.
  14. Hmm, 4.4C ~40F, so the fridge would be safe. Also, 5.5C change is ~10F change..so if the room is ~70F, and I can store it in the fridge ~50F, I could cut the reaction time to 25%. Now I wonder if they are talking about photochemical reactions only, or if this includes oxidation reactions. Certainly I can reduce the amount of air in the bottle, but I can also put it in the fridge, so maybe this would help then.
  15. Stephen;

    If I am not mistaken, the Arrhenius equation generalizes the fact that as temperature increases, all chemical reactions increase in rate. It gives a general equation for relating reaction rate increase to temperature in degrees Kelvin.

    Therefore, colder = slower and warmer = faster. Darker also = slower and brighter = faster for light fade by analogy.

    But, if anything crystallizes out of your developer, you are out of luck. It may be difficult to redissolve it. Or, it might not.

    Ron Mowrey
  16. Good call, I should know these things. Then again as a physics major we get by with only 1 chem class, haha.
  17. Stephen;

    I'll forgive you on that, as nuclear reactions don't speed up with temperature. You can't heat radium and make it decay faster.

    But you can speed them up with enough pressure, right? But then you don't want to be around to see your results.

    Ron Mowrey

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