developing costs : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

A question regarding E6 processing costs

I own a JOBO CPP2 processor an i would like to find a more cost effective way to process my films. At the moment the lab i use charge me $8AUD to E6 process my 120 roll film. Looking for E6 processing kits i found the kodak 500ml kits at $18AUD. the JOBO 2551 drum requires 640ml to process 6 films, necessatating 2 kits, total $36AUD. The lab would have charged me $48. I realize prices are diffent the world over but im sure i can do it cheaper. My questions are:

Can i dilute the one 500ml kit to make, say, 650ml and extend time during all the E6 steps accordingly,

I understand that keeping a latent image on film for too long before developing is bad, but would placing the EXPOSED films in the fridge until i had enough films to fill the whole drum be ok, or will the condensation that is formed when i remove them from the fridge be detrimental, also would there be notcicable colour shifts as the first film may be 2-3 months old before it gets processed)

or should i just get real and take it to the lab......

Any thoughts would be appreciated

Phil Brammer


-- Phil Brammer (, June 22, 2001


I don't think dilution is a good idea, but others may have some real experience with this.

You can store exposed film in a refrigerator for 2-3 months without any degradation whatever. Seal the film into a freezer container or ziploc with a bag of desicant list silica gel. If necessary, dry out the silica gel in an oven and let it cool before placing it and the film in the sealed container. Most camera stores sell packets of silica gel that have an indicator that turns different colors to show when the packet needs drying out.

Most important, when removing the film from the refrigerator, let it warm back up to room temperature before opening the sealed container. I allow several hours, just to make sure. This will prevent moisture from condensing on the cold film surface.

-- Rick Moore (, June 22, 2001.

Phil, How many rolls are you interested in processing? I used to buy Kodak's 5 gallon batches, which brought the cost down to below $2.00 a roll. Using the Developers and reversal baths one shot and reusing the other chemicals. So if you have a need for more than a few rolls every now and then, you might look into the larger batches. Also, I would not mix the 5 gallons at one time. You can break it down to 1 gallon batches and just mix what you need and the chemicals will last much longer for you.

-- Jeff White (, June 22, 2001.

Phil, you need to mix the E6 chemistry (whichever kit you end up using) exactly as the instrucions state, and when you start doing this, do it the same way, every experience comes from using both the older Kodak 1 gallon 6 step kits, and the new 5 L ones. The old ones were always a pain to deal with, but the new kits are very easy to mix up, and it's a little easier to control the color balance with them as well....I suggest sticking with a 6 step kit, just to get the control. You can mix up smaller quantities with the Kodak kit, but once you get the bottles opened, you probably want to use the stock up rather quickly...

The problem with E6 is, that it's basically a very picky process & a real pain (most) some of the time. You need very accurate mixing, such as checking the specific grav. of your final soln., and fine-tuning the pH as well...water quality is very important too. For a rotary tube processor, you'd probably do best to use everything one shot....because there's alot of carryover between the steps, and some steps, like the color dev to pre-bleach step, actually rely upon the carryover to trigger the next chemical....(5 liter kits only).

Of course, you can also ignore all the parts about being careful about correct mixing, temp. control etc...and just wing it....but if you do, and things start to go wrong, then good luck ever getting it right.

Short answer: no you can't dilute the solutions. Because this would change the sp. gravity of the working solutions, and you would probably have all sorts of weird results, from speed changes to color balance problems.

-- DK Thompson (, June 22, 2001.

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