Bad E-6 5L kits circulating?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Thor Lancelot Simon, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. I think -- after very carefully *not* ordering another 5L E-6 kit
    from Adorama since the last one they sent me was short dated (only
    4 months left on the concentrate shelf life when it arrived) -- I
    just got a bad 5L E-6 kit from B&H.

    I can't be sure, since I mix partial kits, keeping the concentrates
    out of vacuum and drawing them from the bottles with clean syringes.
    This isn't, of course, the Kodak Approved procedure and I am pretty
    sure that consequently, Kodak won't be too eager to help me. But
    the first run of film I did in this kit, about a month ago, was
    fine -- and generally I can keep a kit for well over a year using
    this procedure, if I have to, with no problem with the developed
    film. Today's tanks of film (sadly I ran two at once) showed all
    the signs of exhausted first developer. There was a good strong
    vacuum when I opened the bottles, so that's not it -- and it was
    not particularly hot where they were stored, either, and I know
    I got the mixtures right and times/temps were correct.

    I wonder when the last time Kodak made the 5L E6 kits was. Has
    anyone else received a bad one lately? With bad results from
    both B&H and Adorama I'm not even sure where to turn for a new
    one.
     
    Thor Lancelot Simon, Jun 29, 2009
    #1
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  2. It hadn't occurred to me that they'd stock the Kodak chemistry;
    they have their own 3-bath "Arista" brand, and I don't want
    3-bath, but I bet they do carry Kodak.

    I called a friend at Calumet who told me that if I ordered a
    5L kit from them it'd drop-ship to me from Kodak and that
    if I got short-dated product directly from Kodak please let
    them know immediately. Looking at the remnants of the
    packaging from the last kit I got from Adorama, it appears
    that, in fact, Kodak may have sent me short-dated product
    directly from their Newark warehouse. Whoever sent me
    nearly-expired chems, I'm not going to let it happen again!

    I have ordered 30L worth of wide-mouth thick square HDPE
    bottles from McMaster-Carr and will just devote the freezer
    in my darkroom fridge to E6 chemistry mixed as full kits
    of working solutions in .5L or 1L bottles. That has been
    working well for me with C41 since Kodak went to the 2L
    developer packaging so hopefully it will work for E6 too.
     
    Thor Lancelot Simon, Jun 29, 2009
    #2
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  3. I believe you're right -- it is less permeable. But these bottles are
    quite thick, and they're square -- I couldn't find square PETE bottles
    of the right size at a tolerable price. I think the wall thickness
    and the low temperature will adequately deal with oxidation.

    I've been freezing C41 chemistry in Jobo bottles, which are thick HDPE,
    for a while now, and it's worked well. I considered glass bottles,
    which are cheaper still, and of course completely impervious to air,
    but I don't want to risk a glass bottle full of some nasty organic
    compound like E6 reversal bath bursting in the freezer if I overfill
    it slightly.
     
    Thor Lancelot Simon, Jun 29, 2009
    #3
  4. Just a small note: I thought I'd read that PETE is less permeable than
    HDPE, and therefore better for storing photo chemicals. Could be wrong
    about that, but if not, maybe you'd want to rethink your storage containers.
     
    David Nebenzahl, Jun 29, 2009
    #4
  5. The rule of thumb is that reaction rate doubles with every 10F increase
    in temperature, right? I'd much rather store these sorts of very fickly
    solutions at 0F in my freezer than 40F in my fridge.

    The downside is that, supposedly, some of the more complex organic
    molecules can fractionate out when the solutions are frozen, and then
    not go back into solution. I've never, ever seen it happen with C41
    and I hope it doesn't happen with E6.
     
    Thor Lancelot Simon, Jun 30, 2009
    #5
  6. They don't want you to get anywhere near 32F where the solutions might
    freeze. Just below might be worst, actually, since it might be the
    best way to fraction out anything with a lower freezing point. But as
    I understand it, the concern is primarily a theoretical one -- I've asked
    a few Kodak chemists about it over the years and they could not think of
    any studies that directly bore on the question for modern color chemistry.

    The 5L storage bottles are not terribly useful as unless you use 5L at a
    time, you'll be opening and closing them constantly, introducing air or,
    should you freeze the solutions, worse still introducing air *and* freezing
    and thawing them.

    FWIW, my father, who was at one time a chemical engineer, strongly suggested
    not freezing the concentrates, which jibes with my own limited understanding
    of the accidental-distillation process which is the basic concern with
    freezing the chemistry and with what one acquaintance at Kodak said to me
    a few years ago. Probably worst is that you'd have to freeze and thaw the
    concentrate solutions every time you wanted to mix working stock -- not a
    good thing.

    I expect good results, as I said, freezing the dilute solutions in smaller
    containers after mixing the entire 5L kit. If that turns out to not be
    so, I'll mention it here.
     
    Thor Lancelot Simon, Jun 30, 2009
    #6
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