Difficulty of developing my on E-6

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I am considering developing my own E-6 (velvia) with a Jobo processor. I cannot commit an entire room as a darkroom, but is using a large closet at night to load the Jobo drum workable? Is this more hassle than it's worth? I don't do a huge number of slides but the trips back and forth to the local lab is tiring. What about disposing of chemicals? I understand the Jobo is very efficient with use of chemicals. Any tips would be appreciated.


-- Alex H. (alexh@scruznet.com), October 22, 1998


You could just mail them out to kodak or fuji and have them back in 2 weeks or less. It does not get any easier that (not to mention cheaper)

-- al (nissar@idt.net), October 23, 1998.


I've tried processing Fuji Velvia 5x4" film in a Jobe CPE+ with Lift.

The first couple of times, I used Photocolour 3-bath chemicals. The first time, I had trouble loading the film onto the Jobo sheet film holder. As ever with these things, when you try it with scrap film with your eyes closed it seems okay - as soon as you try it 'live' with exposed film in a changing bag it all goes wrong... My film got crinkled. Apart from that, the colours were fine. I Took four shots, procesed two myself, and had two processed with a pro-lab. I couldn't tell the difference between the colours.

The only problem I had was that the film looked a little bit sticky in some areas, and it tended to pick up dust when I was drying it.

I then tried Kodak E6 6-bath chemicals, and for each rinse, I Took the drum off the motor, and gave it a good shake. The results were much cleaner, but I still had some problem with dust. I suppose I need a film drying cabinet...

It's a little bit of hassle making up the chemicals.

As it's the first processing I've ever done, I was really fussy about not contaminating any of the chemicals with others (using separate measures etc). The other difficulty was having enough rinse water - I didn't have a hot water supply, so I got a couple of large vacuum flasks, and mixed the water in them to just above 38 degrees celcius.

An accurate thermometer is necessary.

I found it quite nerve-wracking, and dor the first few processes you've got to be spot-on with the timing and temperature. As the processes go on, it's less important to be totally accurate.

I would recommend processing your own if you're not near a lab. I used to work near a 24-hour lab which was very handy. Now, the nearest lab is 3-hours away each way, and they are only open 9-5.

Life would be easier if you had a tempered water supply for rinsing, and you had a place you could leave it set up. One downside is the life of the chemicals - I'm not sure how long they will last without being made up, but ideally, you would need to be shooting fairly regularly to make it economical. As far as I'm concerned, I'm not really bothered about the expense, as long as I can get them processed whenever I need them. If you're processing 6 sheets per time, it's obviously going to be better than processing 1.

Jobo make a sheet film loader which is supposed to make loading of the rum easier. I have part of this, but not the main part - don't ask! However, the last couple of times, I managed to load the drum okay - it just takes practice.

I used about 300ml of chemicals, and emptied them into a bucket.

Sorry if this seems a bit garbled. Let me know how you get on...


-- David Nash (nashcom@btinternet.com), October 23, 1998.

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