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Thread: Questions after my first DIY E6 processing

  1. #1

    Questions after my first DIY E6 processing

    Hello! Just recently developed my own film at home for the first time. The sheets turned out well, but boy was it stressful. Now I have a few questions - questions I probably should have asked prior to developing my sheets.

    I'm using a Paterson 3 reel tank with a Mod54 reel, Tetenal 1L kit, and a sous vide in a water bath for temperature control.

    1) How do you guys manage to time the wash stages before and after the developers and blix? It takes me a minute or two to get the sink running at a consistent temperature, and since I'm having to agitate every 15 seconds, I'm not sure how to pull this off other than to have the sink running before I start and keep it running through the whole process. As a Californian, I'm not super willing to waste that much water.

    2) Do you start the timer for each chemical as you start pouring or as soon as you have finished pouring the whole liter? Similarly, do you start emptying the tank when the timer is up or do you try to time it so that the tank is empty once the timer ends?

    3) I forgot to rinse my funnel between the first developer and the color developer. Is my color developer ruined?

    4) I got a whole lot of foam overflow from pouring the color developer back into its bottle. Advice on avoiding this?

    I think that's it for now. Any advice is appreciated!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Sheridan, Colorado

    Re: Questions after my first DIY E6 processing

    I start off by saying you did much better than I did the first time.

    Since I'm not familiar with the gear you mention, I'll add a couple of ideas.

    I always set the timer to the maximum for the entire process -- let's say 15 minutes. If my preheat wash is one minute, I drain at 14:15, and start the first developer at 14:00 minutes. Let's say the developer is 3:00 minutes, I drain for 0:15 seconds at 11:15, and start the next step at 11:00. And on through the process.
    I use tubes in a temperature controlled water bath, and for rinses, I keep water in bottles in the water bath -- just like the chemicals. The only time I use running water if for the final rinse -- which is the film in a small Yankee tank. The 4x5 film is then in a 12-sheet film holder -- and I don't use much water. Mine is temperature controlled, but room temperature should be OK.

    Just keep good notes -- and create a CHEAT SHEET.

    Keep us posted -- and tell us what gear, film, etc. you have/use.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Suwanee, GA

    Re: Questions after my first DIY E6 processing

    You can use a tea pitcher for storing water for washes and keep it in the hot water bath and have some extra water in gallon jugs nearby that are slightly warmer than desired temp when you start. The count down time method that xkaes mentioned forces you to be consistent with your practices. You need separate funnels and storage for each step for any chemical. Automotive oil funnels drain faster than lab funnels and are really cheap. Label makers come with chemical resistant inks so you can label your items to prevent cross contamination.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart

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