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Achernar
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: Kona]
      #3218168 - 07/14/09 07:11 PM

They can be tricky to learn how to use for a rank beginner, but after switching from a Patterson plastic developing tank I came to like the stainless steel tanks and reels a lot better. He will find a couple of junk rolls of film to be useful to get used to loading reels in total darkness. From there, it's not that big of a leap to developing film in total darkness in open tanks or trays. Plastic reels must be bone dry or you have big trouble on your hands with "moons" on your film or worse. Unless they are beat up, I found stainless steel reels easy to load with film. Out of thousands of rolls of both black and white and color slide film, I only damaged one or two rolls by loading the reel incorrectly. I messed up many more with plastic reels before I got the hang of loading them.

A good way to make a very effective film washer for users of stainless steel tanks and reels is to take a length of 4-inch PVC sewer pipe, glue an end cap on one end, drill a hole and then insert the hose from one of those gadgets hair dressers use. I had found them in stores made of rubber and plastic, and I cut off the head, stuck the end of the hose into the pipe and the other end onto the faucet. In no time you have an effective film washer that pushes out all the left over chemicals without using a torrent of water. The plastic Patterson tanks however work great with just a hose inserted into the middle tube, which achieves the same result.

Taras


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Jimmy2K63
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 04/26/09

Loc: Alberta, Canada
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: Achernar]
      #3219013 - 07/15/09 09:32 AM

Back when I did E6 processing at home it was not really economically viable to do so. The kit was a little pricey, but today this might be better just because its harder to find film processors. The chemicals will keep with the exception of the developer and the reverser, which will oxidize rapidly after exposed to air, and also in the process of silver removal will tend to precipitate out to a degree. I really don't know how many rolls one would have to do to make it viable from an economic standpointo, but if you enjoy the satisfaction of doing it, then that helps. Problem is one puts a lot of time into collecting photons and then it's so easy to screw them up in the processing, kinked film on a reel, half moons you referred to, stripped sprockets, etc.

And as for loading film into the cannister, a simple daylight change bag should do, or a light box with sleeves. Throw a bottle opener and a pair of scissors in there and you're away. Once you have it in the tank and sealed, you can take your time waiting for chemicals to come to temp, etc.


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Rick Thurmond
sage


Reged: 10/30/06

Loc: California
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: Nebhunter]
      #3226671 - 07/19/09 12:45 PM

For two years I lived 300 yards from New Mexico Skies and developed all my own E-6 film and a lot of film for astrophotographers staying at New Mexico Skies. Almost all of it was E200, with some Provia 400.
I use a Jobo CPP-2. I've developed 35mm, 120, and 4x5 film with that machine, and it works great. Temperature regulation is easy, and with the lift processing is easy. Since moving to California I've been using a lab for my E-6 though they are now going through a change of ownership so I might be going back to developing film myself. Using a lab has the advantage of being able to develop a single roll without having to worry about what to do with five liters of chemicals. But if you develop enough film to use up five liters in a month, doing it at home works great. I tried mixing half batches but that was a lot of work, and I think the consistency was better if I mixed the whole kit.

I always used Kodak chemicals and mixed them up in floating-lid containers. For E-6 it is useful to have access to hot and cold water though for everything else I do with the Jobo, cold water is sufficient. For my own work I always used normal development but some customers requested push processing, which is just extra time in the first developer.

I also use the Jobo for black and white film and color negative film. Mostly these days I use it for prints: Ilfochrome, RA-4, and black and white.


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Nebhunter
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/04/03

Loc: Frostbite Falls
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: Rick Thurmond]
      #3227498 - 07/19/09 10:28 PM

Wow, I just had a good laugh. A Newbie. Welcome to CN Rick, and if I may, give a small introduction to this small but enthusiastic group. Actually, I will leave that up to Jim - aka Nightfly - who has had many exchanges with you on the "AP" forums. I've sat mostly on the sidelines listening for a change at AP.

The knowledge and experience you bring to this group will be well received. I would even suggest some stories on your efforts with hypered Tech Pan film, and tri-coloured shots. We have been focusing mainly on E200 and other film types, but very little has been done by us with B&W.

I have 3 rolls of Ilford HP5+ for my Pentax 67 and hope to use it on some of the dark nebulae in the next few days. Filters and tri-colour would be a whole new experience for me, and I'm enthusiastic about the idea.

This thread has come about due to problems with some labs - mainly on my end where every single roll of film has been either ruined, marked, or crudded up by the lab. I've since found a dip and dunk lab. The recent upheaval from Kodak has also pushed this topic ahead. We are both now in the same boat to some degree. We are using up our remaining film stocks.

Again welcome, and please share with us.

Igor


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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: Nebhunter]
      #3227894 - 07/20/09 06:48 AM

Hello all,

Rick's got allot of experience in the film photography and astrophotography field. Don't let the "newbie" designator or his post count fool you. If you were ever on the Film Astrophotographer's Yahoo group you would know this already.

I've enjoyed Rick's Technical Pan images taken through his C-14. He is perhaps the last Hypered TP astrophotographer on the planet, so that makes his work special in my view. He likes to produce tri-color images from RGB filtered exposures. This is classic astrophotography!


Rick, we have a spectrum of members here, from those just starting out, to seasoned veterans. We are looking forward to you sharing your work and helping all of us learn from your experience.

Jim


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Jim847
journeyman


Reged: 07/30/05

Loc: Glenview, IL
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: Jimmy2K63]
      #4184734 - 11/14/10 10:40 AM

A question from a newbee if you please. Where do you buy your film from? I'm located in Chicago and have used B&H in New York for some things online. I am also interested in processing supplies as well. Hope I'm not being ignorant and hijacking the thread but figured this purtained to the thread.

Jim


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TxStars
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/01/05

Loc: Lost In Space
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: Jim847]
      #4184785 - 11/14/10 11:06 AM

I like Freestyle:
http://www.freestylephoto.biz/


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Geo.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: Jim847]
      #4205595 - 11/23/10 06:29 PM

I'd vote Freestyle too. The service is fine and they seem to really be committed to "chemical" photography. Although they aren't going to help you with your Kodachrome, either. They have some interesting "cross processing" films intended to be processed and scanned.

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Retsub
super member
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Reged: 12/08/06

Loc: Houston,Tx.
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: Jimmy2K63]
      #4472472 - 03/25/11 12:28 AM

I have several Kodak Hobby Packs for E-6. How long would be the normal shelf life of them be ? They have always been stored in my house closet. Thanks. *BW*

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Nebhunter
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/04/03

Loc: Frostbite Falls
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: Retsub]
      #4474722 - 03/26/11 01:00 AM

If the closet is cool and dry - then somewhere around the expiry date printed on the package for maximum colour density. After that I would say the density would start to slowly drop.

Keep it in the fridge and it will last longer. Keep it in the freezer - indefinitely - but in a good plastic container and away from the walls of the freezer where ice can form.

Also, great to see another possible film shooter, and welcome.

Igor


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pbunn
super member
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Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SC, USA
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: Jimmy2K63]
      #4701632 - 07/19/11 09:10 PM

I have a Jobo system in storage with multiple tanks and bottles. It worked fine when it was packed away a couple of years ago. I'd let it go very reasonable to someone who can use it.

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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: pbunn]
      #4701647 - 07/19/11 09:19 PM

I've been offered one recently and will be going that route, but there are a few folks here that might like your offer.

What do you say guys, any one interested? If no one bites I might have to!

PM me pbunn with what you'd like for it and if no one bites, I'll think it over.

Thanks

Jim


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Rick Thurmond
sage


Reged: 10/30/06

Loc: California
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: Nightfly]
      #4701905 - 07/19/11 11:12 PM

These are great systems. I've had a CPP-2 for the whole time I've been interested in photography. I have used it for developing film (E-6, C41 and b/w). I no longer use it for color film but I still use it for my black and white film. I used it for all of my Ilfochrome prints and now that Ilfochrome is gone I use it for RA-4 and b/w prints. No complaints, though I've worn out a few parts from heavy use.
Rick


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Dave Kodama
sage


Reged: 10/04/10

Loc: CA, USA
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: Rick Thurmond]
      #4702537 - 07/20/11 10:21 AM

One of these days I'll probably break down and get one. Thus far, I've just been using your basic stainless steel tanks or open trays.

What I am really interested in, however, is if anyone has a solution for doing developing "in the field" (at my observatory) where I have limited running water. I have a 5-gallon tank that I can fill with water and use for a run, but don't want to go bigger than that. That means a tank that takes minimal chemicals and washing system that doesn't require Lake Michigan to wash the film. And I probably need to transport the waste back home with me...

And related to that -- can anyone advise the best way to process extremely small quantities of loose film (like single frame medium format "chips") in a light-sealed tank? These chips can be very curly (especially hypered Tech Pan). I've been doing those in open trays, but this is so inconvenient, it has been causing me to avoid shooting with my Schmidt camera.

Dave


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SteveNH
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Millbrae, CA
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: Dave Kodama]
      #4858693 - 10/13/11 03:25 AM

Greetings, Dave!

These Film Astrophotography threads are so intriguing that I just had to pipe in (if you are still there!). I am the former owner of a custom color lab in California called Peninsula Photographics. We used to process E-6 and C-41 using dip-and dunk Hostert and Refrema machines, and had a 3-1/2 gallon sink line for custom black and white. I closed the lab in 2004, after 22 years in the business, so hearing of these films and processes hit a nostalgic cord in me!

To address your question, the E-6 process has one single all-important critical step that pretty much determines the consistency and fidelity of the processed image. That step is the first developer. Do this right and you'll be forgiven for temperature variations of +/- 2 degrees F for the rest of the steps - in fact, once you're past the color developer, you can even do the rest of the process at room temperature if you had to (though not recommended)! The first developer must be fresh, and temperature controlled to +/- 1/4 degree F. Agitation must be extremely consistent, and the process timed to a few seconds if possible, as you start the water rinse cycle. The rest of the steps can be done in more relaxed conditions, as long as temperature is kept within reasonable limits, e.g. between 80 to 90F. (It is preferable to keep the first wash and reversal bath close to 100F if possible.)

You will need to take two 5 gallon tanks or bottles of water with you. One for processing and the other for a tempering bath and temperature control. Back in the days before I opened my custom lab, I ran a photo lab for a scientific research center that always had insufficient funding. Therefore we had no automatic temperature control device, so I had to use a manually controlled hot water bath to do my color processing. Water has lots of thermal inertia, so once you get the bath temperature right, it can be controlled within tolerance for the duration of the critical first developer step by strategic additions of very hot water. The bath tank must be large enough to submerse all your chemistry bottles and your 16 oz. developing tank. You’ll need a simmering pot of hot water on a portable butane cooker so you can add scoops of it into the water bath while stirring, as necessary to keep the temperature at 100.5F for the duration of the first developer step, which for non push/pull is 6 minutes. After that, you’re home free! For washes, you can save quite a bit of water by filling and emptying the tank at 1 or 2 minute intervals, with agitation, about 5 or ten times – you do not need running water.

To develop the film chips, I would recommend using plastic 120 reels. Find one that is precisely made and does not buckle film, and yet is not so loose that the film rattles. Carefully and slowly slide your chip almost but not quite into the center of the reel, pinching the reel lightly with your thumb and index finger where the leading edge of the film passes each crossbar. It will help greatly if you trim off the leading corners of the film chip at an angle to bevel it. Just make sure the reels are absolutely dry before loading! You probably already know this from experience, but the base side is relatively immune to fingerprints, whereas great care must be used to avoid touching the emulsion. If your fingers are dry, no harm is done if you do touch the emulsion constantly moving across it, but once your finger stops in one position – that’s when damage occurs. You must make sure you fill the tank completely with chemistry to assure that agitation will not create currents that can dislodge the film chip. You would of course want to do a dry run with exposed film and water to see how it works.

Have fun!
Steve

Edited by SteveNH (10/13/11 12:15 PM)


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Dave Kodama
sage


Reged: 10/04/10

Loc: CA, USA
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: SteveNH]
      #4859051 - 10/13/11 11:17 AM

Steve,

Yes, I'm still "here." Thanks for all your detailed information. Those tips sound very helpful. Although it sounds impractical for me to do this at my observatory where I don't have running water (or drains), I may still attempt color processing at home.

With the apparently imminent demise of Kodak, do you know if there is any practical alternative to Kodak chemistry? I've never seen any Fuji chemicals for sale. I have heard of other smaller (European?) companies, but never actually seen it for sale at the photo stores I go to.

Perhaps at my observatory I'll stick to at most black and white processing.

Dave


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Giorgos
super member


Reged: 01/14/11

Loc: Athens, Greece
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: Dave Kodama]
      #4859149 - 10/13/11 12:37 PM

Try tetenal chemicals...

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SteveNH
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Millbrae, CA
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: Dave Kodama]
      #4859199 - 10/13/11 01:04 PM

Dave,

In the commercial market a few years back, Fuji-Hunt chemistry was the most prominent competitor to Kodak. I don't know the details of the connection with Hunt, but I think nowadays the chemistry is distributed from the Fujifilm company itself. It was always much cheaper than Kodak, and they tried hard to pull us over to their account, but the quality, although good, was inconsistent at the time, and I couldn't afford to deal with that issue so I never strayed from Kodak. Recently though, Fuji has become the leader in supplying photo labs with high quality consistent chemistry and control strips, no different from the way Kodak used to be. But I don't know if they market smaller portions for individual use, nor do I know if they still make E-6 chemistry. In fact, I was surprised that these threads were still active to this current year! I would contact a Fuji rep to find out details of availability and distribution.

You're right - black and white would be a piece of cake at your observatory!

Steve


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Dave Kodama
sage


Reged: 10/04/10

Loc: CA, USA
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: SteveNH]
      #4859357 - 10/13/11 02:29 PM

Thanks everyone. I'll check out Tetenal. I've heard of them but not tried it (or seen it on local shelves).

Regarding Fuji, my local photo place (Pro Photo in Irvine, CA) still processes film, and it sounded like Fuji was very aggressive in making sure they stayed in the business of doing processing, providing equipment at low cost, etc.

Dave


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KB2QQM
member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Racine, Wisconsin
Re: E200 - E6 Home Processing new [Re: Jimmy2K63]
      #5083071 - 02/21/12 01:13 AM

Hi,

I am new to the Astro section and just getting back into astronomy after a bit of a lapse.

I buy all my film and stuff from:

digitaltruth.com

and my favorite:

freestylephoto.biz

I liked "Kona's" setup. That's what I use at home too. fish tank thermometer and it always turns out great. Although I am more of a B&W film guy.

You can get E6 chemicals from freestyle. It comes in the pint, quart or gallon sizes. I got the quart size and it was $33.00 which they indicate will do 10 rolls of Medium Format film. I have 8 more rolls to do.
The E6 kit is from Arista. It works great. A premix of 3 chemicals. I am happy with the results.

I have also been making my own B&W developer: PaRodinal
out of Acetaminophen tablets, Drain cleaner (Lye) and Sodium Sulfite from PhotographersFormulary.com

cheers

Greg


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