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Thread: E6 chemicals: unhealthy for home processing?

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Re: E6 chemicals: unhealthy for home processing?

    As one additional comment..the small amounts you discard from home processing will in no way effect your municipal waste disposal system, or in general, will not harm your septic system (if that is what you use). It is only when you get into the very large disposal issues of a large-volume laboratory that you have to be concerned. We're talking about hundreds of gallons a week. This subject of chemistry disposal for amateur processing was well and comprehensively covered in back issues of Darkroom Techniques by their resident photochemical engineer, and the general consensus was that there is no need for concern in the small quantites used for home processing.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    522

    Re: E6 chemicals: unhealthy for home processing?

    color dev is about the worst step I guess. it can cause skin problems, of course ideally you wouldn't get any of it on you...the color dev B as noted somewhere above, is pretty noxious. I used to mix up several gallons at a time of E6 from those 5 liter kits for a wing lynch machine (held 5 gallons) and I really hated mixing up the color developer for that reason. Also because in our process, we usually added sodium hydroxide to it, so that was another chemical that needed to be treated with respect. Sometimes, we had to use sulfuric acid as well-- the pH would drift in the tanks over a week or so. we would run control strips, and had to tweak the pH this way--by adding acid or base to the CD in the tank. real PIA.

    I personally wouldn't characterize E6 as being the same as b/w, unless you were opening the comparison up to pyro and toners etc. When you mix up the chemistry, be very careful to do it the same way each time, and use the right amounts of chemicals to the water. specific gravity is a big issue in regards to color balance. when you process in tubes, you often dilute the reversal bath to 60%, although with the kodak 5 liter kit you may not have to. we always had to, before & after they reformulated, or else we'd run out of control. They also have eliminated the prewet, but again, you may have to for temp control.

    when you mix up the chemistry--it needs to be mixed well, but not vigorously. with the color dev--the part A will be a sorta light yellow color, when you add B, it turns purple-blue. Add the B very slowly while stirring--too fast and it will precipitate and turn the color dev reddish-purple. The CD should clear upon standing, if you mix it up right, it will do this. If not--don't use it, it's oxidized. Bleach is really the only abuse tolerant chemical used in E6, but fix is pretty normal also. The rest of the steps are finicky, but the final rinse now is much more benign than the stabilizer was.

  3. #13
    Large format foamer! SamReeves's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
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    Re: E6 chemicals: unhealthy for home processing?

    My experience with E-6 at home has been pretty darn good. Just don't inhale stock reversal or pre bleach solutions. That will give you a nasty wake up call you may not be expecting!

  4. #14
    Geert's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    Re: E6 chemicals: unhealthy for home processing?

    Quote Originally Posted by niubi View Post
    So, if all is ok in this regard, I suppose it's now just trying to find a way to maintain the temperature using my drum. Any inventive ideas?
    Niubi,

    I process my E6 at home without rotary processor, using the Tetenal 3-bath kit. I use a bucket, large black tray and the bathtub equipped with a thermostatic faucet. I use both Paterson tanks (for 120) and JOBO print drums (for 4x5 on the 2509n reels).

    Since I don't have a series 3000 drum, I don't know how it works for changing chems and washes.


    What I do is the following:

    - set the water temperature to 38 degr.
    - put 1st dev., color dev and bleach/fix in a small bucket that receives the running water. Add a thermometer to check the temperature at wish. This bucket is just high enough so the bottle caps of the chemistry are above water level.
    The bucket is placed in a large black tray, big enough to accept your drum laying on its side.
    - stabilizer does not get warmed.

    During the whole developing time, the warm water keeps running softly, so you have the water at temperature for the intermediate washes.
    The tank is always placed into the large tray, that is filled by the overflowing water from the chemicals' bucket. The overflow from the tray goes into the bathtub.

    I will try to make a picture of my setup next time, if you wish.

    When the chemistry is at temperature, dunk the drum into the tray to fill it up with water at temperature for the prewash/preheat of film and tank.

    Greetings,
    G

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Adelaide,South Australia
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    Re: E6 chemicals: unhealthy for home processing?

    Niubi,
    The cost of developing E6 in Adelaide forced me to start home developing.
    I have a few reservations about the safety of the solutions, thus I am careful to avoid contact with the skin. I do the processing using 3010 drums on a CPP processor, I set it up on my back patio, and thus avoid breathing the fumes.
    If you are using your 3006 tank I do not think you will be able to use a CPE - you will need either a CPA or a CPP.
    I am not sure of the present situation, but I do know that about 12 months ago it was pretty hard to find either a CPP or a CPA ( new or used) available for sale in Australia.
    You will find the the processing cost per 5 x 4 is less than $2 per sheet - when using the Kodak kit.
    The developers in the kit are subject to degradation by oxidization once opened. They have a very limited life span. When I get a new kit I repack the developer solutions into 100ml bottles ( amber bottles and filled to the top) and make up working solutions in 1 litre lots - saves wastage and keeps the cost down.
    None of the photographic dealers in Adelaide now keeps E6 kits in stock, so I have to preorder - it may or may not be the same elsewhere.
    I find that if you are systematic - it is easy to get great results - it really is quite "idiot proof"
    John

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    20

    Re: E6 chemicals: unhealthy for home processing?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Quinn View Post
    Niubi,
    The cost of developing E6 in Adelaide forced me to start home developing.
    I have a few reservations about the safety of the solutions, thus I am careful to avoid contact with the skin. I do the processing using 3010 drums on a CPP processor, I set it up on my back patio, and thus avoid breathing the fumes.
    If you are using your 3006 tank I do not think you will be able to use a CPE - you will need either a CPA or a CPP.
    I am not sure of the present situation, but I do know that about 12 months ago it was pretty hard to find either a CPP or a CPA ( new or used) available for sale in Australia.
    You will find the the processing cost per 5 x 4 is less than $2 per sheet - when using the Kodak kit.
    The developers in the kit are subject to degradation by oxidization once opened. They have a very limited life span. When I get a new kit I repack the developer solutions into 100ml bottles ( amber bottles and filled to the top) and make up working solutions in 1 litre lots - saves wastage and keeps the cost down.
    None of the photographic dealers in Adelaide now keeps E6 kits in stock, so I have to preorder - it may or may not be the same elsewhere.
    I find that if you are systematic - it is easy to get great results - it really is quite "idiot proof"
    John
    You are right John. The CPE is not compatible with the 3006 drum and the Jobo processors are scarce in Australia. I have someone in Melbourne who may consider selling their CPA (but no lift) which may be the way to go. I have considered ebay but postage for this item is a killer plus most auctions are in North America and I will have to buy a voltage transformer of some kind to be compatible with the Oz system.

    Based on everyone's feedback (thanks to everyone!!) I'm feeling more at ease that slide processing is do-able w/out dying in the process.

    ....now if I can only find that bargain scanner....

    Cheers.

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