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Thread: 3 step E6 vs 6 step E6

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    3 step E6 vs 6 step E6

    I am new to processing but have no issues with processing black and white. I use a Jobo ATL 500 processor so everything is fairly automated.

    MY 2 questions though are as follows:

    1. What are the benefits/disadvantages of a 3 step vs 6 step process for E6. MY main E6 film is Velvia 100 (now the original has gone) and I was wondering if anyone has used a 3 step process successfully and what potential problems I should look out for.

    2. HAs anyone has used an ATL 500 successfully for E6 processing and what potential problems I should look out for.


    E6 processing is about $8 per sheet here ($6 if I send it interstate) so I am looking at ways of reducing costs in order to shoot more.

    Any assistance greatly appreciated

    Craig Griffiths

  2. #2
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    Honolulu, Hawai'i
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    4,657

    Re: 3 step E6 vs 6 step E6

    I've used the Tetenal 3-bath chemistry in inversion tanks, which is good for normal processing and one-stop push, in my experience.

    If you want more push/pull control, I'd recommend using the 6-step process.
    Last edited by David A. Goldfarb; 11-Jul-2006 at 15:15.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    The "Live Free or Die" state
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    Re: 3 step E6 vs 6 step E6

    I have been using the Tetenal 3 bath kits for several years with good results. I am going to switch to the Kodak 6 bath kit however because it does not contain a final stabilizer step. The stabilizer in the Tetenal kit contains formaldehyde and I just don't trust its safety. Plus it is a pain to do the final rinse out of the drums.

  4. #4
    Beverly Hills, California
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
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    Re: 3 step E6 vs 6 step E6

    You might also check the Color Film & Processing forum on photonet. There is a former chemical engineer from Kodak, Roland Mowrey, who will give you the real deal.

    He's recomended before the 6 step for permanence, quality, etc.

  5. #5

    Re: 3 step E6 vs 6 step E6

    Use the 6 step Kodak. I have had very good luck using it a one shot and the components can be purchased separately so when the developer goes, buy just that.

    The colors I got from 3 step Tetenol were dull compared to Kodak.

    The main reason for 6 step is to allow for replenishment of bleach and fix for commercial labs.

    I never tried a 3 step Kodak and do not know if it exists.

    You can adjust color balance with Kodak by adding Sodium Hydroxide or an acid to go between blue and yellow.

    Do not contaminate one chemical with another or results will be off and you will never figure out what went wrong.

    An aquarium bubbler is nice to oxigenate the bleach.

    In a rotary process, the reversal chemical need to be at only 60% strength.

    Call Kodak for an intruction sheet if there is none in the gallon kit. I have forgotten most everything as I have gone over to color neg 20 years ago.

    Stabalize outside your processor as the chemicals can not be cleaned off any plastic.

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