E6 processing of 4x5 sheets

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For about the past year I have ben using drum processing to do my E6 films. I now have recently discovered that the last step called the "Final Bath" can leave a build up in the drum. The recommended procedure is not to do it in the drum but rather use this method. Get s small tupperware container with a lid and just place the film in the liquid for about a minute with a bit of agitation.

The problem I have is that my film comes out of the drum with a bit of a curl and the films stick together when I have them in the tupperware container. Trying to keep them seperate is a bit of a chore. Also I'm not keen on having my hands in the Formaldehyde for that much time.

I have considered storing the final bath in a plastic jar (peanut butter) and then placing two sheets at a time on opposite sides while rolling the jar. My question is :

Does anybody know if it is necessary to have the "final bath" on the back of the film or will it be considered acceptable and provide the proper degree of long term stability if you just have it wash over the emulsion side ?

As an after thought, does anybody know if the final bath will stay good even if there is quite of bit of air in the jar ? The instruction sheet says 8 weeks for both fully filled containers as well as partially filled ones. This leads me to believe that this compound is not sensitive to oxidization.

Thanks for considering the questions.


-- GreyWolf Phillips (grey_wolf@telusplanet.net), July 24, 2001


Hi, GreyWolf, IF you are using Kodak's final E-6 rinse, that does not contain formaldehyde in it. I keep the solution in a large mouth 1 gallon size plastic jug, never cover it, as for using it, take one frame at a time and dunk twice in the solution and hang to dry, I use a drying cabinet.

Bill J.

-- Bill Jefferson (jefferw@together.net), July 25, 2001.

It depends on what kind of chemistry you're using (who makes it). The new Kodak 1.5 liter kits have been reformulated so the actual stabilizing part of the process happens in the pre-bleach cycle (what used to be conditioner). That's why there's no longer a wash step between the color dev. and the pre-bleach....the residual chemistry (and pH) of the color dev., triggers the stabilizing part of the pre-bleach...the final rinse (used to be stabilizer) is pretty close to photo-flo now...

The old 1 gallon Kodak kits (which still may be available) are not this way....and I think Fuji CR56 may still be the old process, as well as some of the larger quantities of Kodak chem. I've never used any of the other kits, so I can't say for certain...but not all E6 is the same...really.

What we do (using a Wing Lynch and the 1.5 liter kits) is to use the final rinse in a small tray or an old tank (for roll films). We use it once & dump it. The roll film goes on a liftrod, and the sheets we just agitate gently in the tray...you need to keep all foam off the sheets, because it's very easy to get drying patterns on your film with E6...

I have been told by Kodak techs that when using the new 1.5 liter kits, if you wash between the color dev & pre-bleach that this will "adversely effect the life of your film"...

Can't speak for Jobo, but Kodak offers a ton of info online and through their customer service in regards to E6 processing...as does Fuji. We've spent many hours hammering out our process and they've both been helpful....the E6 process manual costs about $75, but you can get just about all of it online except for the control charts....if you're not running control strips, those shouldn't matter.

-- DK Thompson (kthompson@moh.dcr.state.nc.us), July 25, 2001.


It sounds like you're using Tetnal chemistry. The stabilizer/final rinse is an important step in E6 and will determine the longevity of your film. I use a tupperware container as you suggest and wear rubber gloves. I hold the film in the solution with my gloved hands one or two sheets at a time. Yes it's a slow process, but it works.


-- Pete Caluori (pcaluori@hotmail.com), July 25, 2001.

I'm sorry, I should have stated the type of chemistry I am presently using. This is tha Agfa Color Process kit which produces one half of a litre of usable solutions. I like this kit because I can mix it and store it air-tight in (2) 250 ml brown glass bottles.

This is enough chemistry to do six sheets which is just right for myself after a weekend of shooting. On a good weekend I sometimes do 12 sheets and use the whole kit sometime during the next week. I also have been able to get very good results and the kit is easy to use. It takes five solutions and two water baths to complete but the water baths can be larger and I believe this helps keep the drum temperature constant. The kit is very economical at $12.50 Canadian which makes it about a dollar a sheet or 60 cents USD. Unfortunately the kit does state that the final rinse uses formaldehyde and thus the reason I am cautious.

I am now back to my original question: Does the final bath need to cover both sides of the film or is it just the emulsion side that is important.

Thanks for all the answers and help so far.


-- GreyWolf Phillips (grey_wolf@telusplanet.net), July 26, 2001.

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