super 8 database \ articles \ e-6 reversal film process with 3-bath kits

28-11-2011

E-6 reversal film process with 3-bath kits

 

 

(I) The E-6 kits that you can purchase.

(II) Preparation of working solutions.

(III) Solution storage.

(IV) Productivity.

(V) General processing hints.

(VI) Steps and conditions at 38 C.

(VII) Reuse of working solutions.

(VIII) Push or pull processing.

(IX) Correcting the color balance.

(X) Comparison table between the 6-bath process and the 3-bath.

(XI) Consulted documents.

 

 

(I) The E-6 kits that you can purchase.

 

Years ago, you could choose between two E-6 kits: the 6 baths and the 3. But now you can no longer choose. In the market, you can only purchase the 3-bath kit plus stabilizer. This kit of 3 baths was designed for processing of all standard E-6 reversal films in tanks and rotary processors: for home development. In the market, you can purchased the following kits for film processing:

Tetenal Colortec E-6 3-Bath (1 Liter, 5 liters), Germany

Fuji Hunt 3E6 (5 liters), Japan

Arista Rapid E-6 (1 Quart, 1 Gallon), USA

Ornano Kit Dia 3, Italy (two years ago this kit was discontinued)

 

(II) Preparation of working solutions.

 

Contamination of first developer by the color developer, bleach-fix and stabilizer must be avoided. Any contamination of the first developer with even the slightest traces of the colour developer (including vapour) results in lower final densities (maximum density).  Make sure to rinse out mixing and measuring vessels completely between each chemical. All vessels should be cleaned thoroughly in running warm water after each use so no chemistry residues remain. After adding each component, make sure the solution is thoroughly mixed, before adding the other components. Store all solutions in tightly closed bottles. Do not use the working solutions until after an hour of mixing.

 

Tetenal Colortec E-6 3-Bath of 5 Liters

 Component  Water  Add  To make
 1st Developer  800 ml at 30-38 C  200 ml (First Developer FD)  1 liter
 2nd Developer  600 ml

 200 ml (Color Developer CD Part 1)

 + 120 ml (Color Developer CD Part 2)

 1 liter
 Bleach-Fix  600 ml at 30-38 C

 200 ml (Bleach-Fix BX Part 1)

 + 200 ml (Bleach-Fix BX Part 2)

 1 liter
 Stabilizer  900 ml at 15-40C  100 ml Stabilizer STAB  1 liter

 

Fuji Hunt 3E6 of 5 Liters

 Component  Water  Add  To make
 1st Developer  800 ml at 30-40 C  200 ml (3E6 First Developer)  1 liter
 2nd Developer  600 ml at 30-40 C

 200 ml (3E6 Color Developer Part A)

 + 200 ml (3E6 Color Developer Part B)

 1 liter
 Bleach-Fix  600 ml at 30-40 C

 200 ml (3E6 Bleach-Fix Part A)

 + 200 ml (3E6 Bleach-Fix  Part B)

 1 liter
 Stabilizer  900 ml at 30-40C  50 ml 3E6 Stabiliser  1 liter

 

 

(III) Solution storage.

 

In a completely filled and closed glass or PVC (plastic) container, the working solutions will keep on average of the following:

First developer: 2 weeks.

Second developer: 6 weeks.

Bleach-fix: 3 months.

Stabilizer: 3 months.

 

(IV) Productivity.

 

With 1 liter of working solution (mixture of water + chemical), you can process 6 Super 8 cartridges. You can process 2 more Super 8 cartridges, but you will get optimal results. From 6 cartridges, you can use the working solutions for your experiments, because colors are not clean.

 

 

(V) General processing hints.

 

(a) The temperature and the processing time are critical factors. They should be very closely monitored. Any drift will have an impact on the final result. Be sure to keep a constant temperature during each step of processing.

 

(b) You can develop the film at other temperatures between 20 and 44 C. You can consult the following tables to set the times to temperature: table of first developer, table of second developer.

 

(c) Agitation is also an important factor for the final result. In the case of manual processing try to be consistent. If the agitation is excessive, you can increase grain of film. For similar results, you should always agitate the same way. You have to move the spiral in the sense of clockwise. Agitation for all steps: continuous the first 15" and during 5" every 30" (or 10" every 60").

  • First minute................first 15 seconds

  • Second minute...........first 10 seconds

  • Third minute...............first 10 seconds

  • Fourth minute.............first 10 seconds

  • Fifth minute................first 10 seconds

  • Etc.

(d) Maintain total darkness during first developer and first rinse. The next processing steps can be done outside the developing tank.

 

(e) Processing solutions and wash water may contain some insoluble materials. If these materials arent filtered out, they can stick to the film or to tank walls, and possibly damage the film. You must filter out chemicals and must keep the tank clean.

 

 

(VI) Steps and conditions at 38 C.

 

 Step

 Time

 Temperature

 (1) Preheating

5'

38 C

 (2) 1st Developer (B&W Developer)

 6'30"

38 C 0.5 C

 (3) Rinse

2 x 60"

33-39 C

 (4) 2nd Developer (Color Developer + Reversal Agent)

7'

38 C 0.5 C

 (5) Rinse

2 x 60"

33-39 C

 (6) Blix (Bleach + Fix)

6-12'

33-39 C

 (7) Final Wash

4 x 60"

33-39 C

 (8) Stabilizer

1'

20 to 25 C

 (9) Dry

As needed

 

 

(1)  You can pre-soak the film during 5 minutes at a temperature 38 C. You must pour the water into the tank to the working temperature. This pre-bath keeps the temperature tank more stable during the following bath.

 

(2) The first developer is the most critical phase of the process. Consistent results are only achieved if temperature, time, and agitation are followed. Lengthening the first development time leads to lighter films. Shorting the time will produce denser films. First development time also depends on the film being processed. Fuji films should be processed 16% longer in the first developer then Agfa or Kodak films.

 

(3) Rinses may be safely done for longer times than instructions indicate.

 

(4) After 1 film, Color Developer time must increase 1'.

 

(5) Rinses may be safely done for longer times than instructions indicate.

 

(6) After 1 film, Bleach-Fix time must increase 1'.

 

(7) Use running water or change water every 60 seconds. Agitate continuously.

 

(8) Stabilizing bath does not need agitation. Avoid any contamination of the tank and spiral with Stabiliser. After using the stabilizer, clean thoroughly the spiral and the tank. Remaining stabilizer bath residues would have a negative impact on the first developer during the next process run.

 

(9)  To dry the film, hang it or leave it in the tank in a dust free atmosphere and do not exceed a drying temperature of 60C.  You can also use a drying rack. Keep the film-drying area clean and free of dust. If the film is over-dried and has excessive curl, the ambient conditions may be too dry; the temperature may be reduced or the relative humidity may be increased.

 

 

(VII) Reuse of working solutions.

 

This table shows the time changes needed when working solutions are reused at 38 C. See the tables for variable temperature for the increments of time when you develop at other temperatures: table of first developer, table of second developer. Note times change after every one Super 8 cartridge.

 

 Solution  First process  Second process  Third process
 1st Developer 6'30" at 38 C + 15" + 15"
 2nd Developer 7' at 38 C + 1' + 2"
 Bleach-Fix 12' at 38 C + 1' + 2"

 

 

(VIII) Push or pull processing.

 

Under-exposed or over-exposed film can be corrected by modifying the first developer time.

 

30/800 3 stop underexposed 14'30" +8' push
27/400  2 stop underexposed  11'30" at 38 C +5'
24/200  1 stop underexposed  8'30" at 38 C +2'
21/100 Standard 6'30" at 38 C    
18/50  1 stop overexposed  4'30" at 38 C -2' pull
15/25  2 stop overexposed  1'30" at 38 C -5'

 

 

(IX) Correcting the color balance.

 

There are circumstances in which the colour balance of some makes of films can vary. The colour balance can be affected by a change in the pH value of the colour developer. It is possible to adjust this by adding a certain amount of diluted sodium hydroxide solution (NaOH, increase in pH value) or sulphuric acid solution (H2SO4, reduction of pH value). See the table below for recommended conditions.

 

 Film manufacturer

 Current Color

Balance, deviation is looking like:

Addition of Acid/
Hydroxide Solution/
Litre Color Developer

Resulting Colour Balance is
changing towards :

 Fuji

 Red

 Cyan

 2.0 ml Hydroxide solution

 2.0 ml Acid solution

 Cyan, 0.05 density or 05 CC values

 Red, 0.05 density or 05 CC values

 Agfa

 Red

 Cyan

 2.0 ml Hydroxide solution

 3.0 ml Acid solution

 Cyan, 0.05 density or 05 CC values

 Red, 0.05 density or 05 CC values

 Kodak

 Blue

 Yelow

 1.0 ml Hydroxide solution

 1.0 ml Acid solution

 Yelow, 0.05 density or 05 CC values

 Blue, 0.05 density or 05 CC values

 

Preparation of Sodium Hydroxide (5N NaOH)

1. Water..........................................................500 ml (cold!)

2. Sodium Hydroxide (tablets)...........................200 gr

3. Water to make............................................1000 ml

 

Fill a two litre beaker with 500 ml cold(!) water. While stirring, slowly add the 200 gr sodium hydroxide tablets. Guard against boiling and splattering. Cool this solution to room temperature. Dilute with water to 1 liter. Stir to mix. Always take water first, then add the hydroxide slowly.
 

Preparation of Sulphuric Scid (5N H2SO4)

1. Water.....................................................800 ml (cold!)

2. Sulphuric Acid (98 %)............................140 ml

3. Water to make........................................1000 ml

 

Fill a two litre beaker with 800 ml cold (!) water. While stirring, slowly add the 140 ml of sulphuric acid. Guard against boiling and  splattering. Cool this solution to room temperature. Dilute with water to 1 liter. Stir to mix. Always take water first, then add the acid slowly.

 

(X) Comparison table between the 6-bath process and the 3-bath.

6 Baths

Chemical Process

3 Baths

3 Baths 3 Baths
Kodak Chemistry manufacturer Tetenal Fuji Arista
38C Temperature 38C 38C 105F (40.5C)

6' 30"

(1) First Developer

(Black-and-White Developer)

6' 30"

6' 30" 6' 30"
3'

(2) Rinse

4' 2' 30" Quickly fill and empty tank seven times.
2' (3) Reversal Bath - - -
4' (4) Color Developer - - -
-

(5) Second Developer

(Reversal Bah + Color Developer)

6' 6' 4' 30"
- (6) Rinse 2' 30" 2' 30" Quickly fill and empty tank seven times.
2' (7) Conditioner - - -
6' (8) Bleach - - -
4' (9) Fix - - -
-

(10) Blix

(Bleach + Fix)

10' 6' 10'
4' (11) Rinse 4' 4' 5'
1' (12) Stabilizer 1' 1' -

 

(1) In the first developer, the exposed silver-halide crystals contained in the red, green and blue-sensitive layers of the film are reduced to metallic silver (negative image). The first developer is the most critical phase of the entire process. Even minute deviations from standard requirements cause clearly visible alterations of the final results.

 

(2) The rinse between first developer and reversal bath stops the chemical action of the first developer. It also prevents carryover of the first developer into the reversal bath. Meticulous compliance with the specified rinse times and rinse temperatures is important.

 

(3) The reversal bath contains a chemical agent serving as substitute for an intermediate light re-exposure. It facilitates developing of all silver-halide crystals that have remained unexposed when the picture was taken. No rinse should take place after the reversal bath. The reversal substance that has been carried over is needed for reversal during the color developer.

 

(4) The silver salts remaining in the film after the first developer are reduced to metallic silver by the color developer. At the same time, through accumulation of the color couplers in the film layers, the final pigments of the slide develop. Here, the complementary colors cyan, magenta and yellow are formed in the layer with the corresponding red, green and blue sensitivity.

 

(5) In the 3-bath process, the reversal agent and the color developer are mixed in a single bath.

 

(6) In the 3-bath process, this rinse stops the action of the second developer.

 

(7) In the conditioner bath the developed metallic silver is prepared for oxidation in the bleach bath. No rinse must take place between the conditioner bath and the subsequent bleach bath since the conditioner bath that has been carried over is needed for proper bleaching.

 

(8) In the bleach bath, the metallic silver formed in the first and color developers is transformed again to silver halide. Consequently, it can be completely removed from the film layers in the fixing bath.

 

(9) In the fixing bath the silver halides remaining in the film emulsion are converted into soluble silver compounds.

 

(10) In the 3-bath process, the bleaching and the fixer are mixed in a single bath.

 

(11) The final rinse removes all developing substances that have remained in the emulsion.

 

(12) The stabilizer bath improves the durability of the color pigments and, in addition, contains a wetting agent to safeguard faster and better drying.

 

 

(XI) Consulted documents.