Home E6 developing

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by New Hampshire, May 10, 2007.

  1. New Hampshire

    New Hampshire TPF Noob!

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    All this talk of late about developing your own B+W film lately has also got me itnerested in the possibilites of E6 developing at home. I searched this topic forum (film discussion) and found little info. I also ran a Google search but got very little. Can anyone direct me to some tutorials and chemicals/kit links?

    Brian
     
  2. cigrainger

    cigrainger TPF Noob!

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  3. New Hampshire

    New Hampshire TPF Noob!

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    Very cool...thanks!

    Brian
     
  4. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Color processes are much more difficult to maintain. More, nastier chemicals, much more consistent control of temperature needed, and obviously, to get good color, the process needs to be maintained very stricty. That's why you aren't finding a lot of info on doing it at home. The color processes at my pro lab are calibrated daily in conjunction with Fuji via computer, to maintain accurate color.
     
  5. cigrainger

    cigrainger TPF Noob!

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    My understanding was that you could combine certain chemicals in color processing to make a three-step chemical process not including rinse. A first developer, second developer, and bleach/fix (blix).

    The article posted above mentions the use of a tub of water with a water heater similar to an aquarium one to maintain proper temperature.

    It doesn't seem as nasty as you're making it out to be, but I've only read, never tried. I'm going to give it a go come July, so I'll report back.

    Why are the chemicals so nasty? I mean.. you're not drinking them, and hopefully people wear gloves/goggles and ventilate their workspace when working with chemicals of ANY kind.
     
  6. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Why are they nasty? Because they are chemicals :p B&W chemistry is not good for you to inhale, or get on your clothes either. Color chemistry includes bleach, and is more toxic to your health. Not everyone ventilates a workspace as much as they should. It's a legitimate concern.

    As for it being difficult to maintain, an accurate color process is difficult to maintain. Color correcting a print is hard enough when your chemistry is accuarate, and your negative is true, let alone when you are getting color shifts and color casts from poorly balanced chemistry. In my opinion, (and I think the opinion of a vast majority of photographers) this process is better left up to professionals who have proper calibration equipment, and patience to keep the process under strict tolerances. I'm not talking about the friendly folks at your local 1 hour. I'm talking about a pro lab.
     
  7. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This suggestion is one I've posted before.

    If you are doing color development, keeping track of timing and temperature and which chemical to use next is something of a hassle the first few times through the process. If you have a cassette recorder/player, you can make a correctly-timed instruction tape which tells you just what to do and when, including 10 second warnings. Then just play the tape and do as instructed.
     
  8. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've processed thousands of rolls of E6 at home (and E4 before that.) The major issue is that the chemicals don't have much shelf life after they are diluted so you need to process quite a bit just to be able to get the cost in line with commercial processing. If you don't do it frequently and in high volume, it isn't worth it in terms of cost.

    However, it isn't rocket science. There are more chemicals and steps involved than there are in b&w film processing but the process is the same. E6 is all chemistry. In the E4 days, we had to expose the film to light at one point during the process - the right amount of light for the right time - and that was a source of potential failure. E6 is pretty simple by comparison. I would recommend it to anyone who shoots a bunch of transparency film frequently and I would not recommend it to the casual transparency film shooter.
     

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