Recently I got back into film photography, primarily large format photography. One of the problems I faced was getting 4×5 slides processed as there is no longer any photo lab doing any 4×5 E6 processing .
Due to that reason, I was reluctant to shoot any slides but I decided that it is worth a try and at the same time I could pick up something new – Home E6 processing.
First of all, sourcing for the chemicals. After sourcing high and low , I could only get the Tetenal E6 3 bath 1 liter kit from an ebay seller from United Kingdom. The package costs about S$100 including shipping.
The Tetenal E6 3 bath kit consists of the following chemicals :
- First Developer
- Color Developer
- Bleach Fix
The difference between E6 developing and B&W development is that the E6 chemicals need to be maintain at 38 degree Celsius. However this can be done easily using a hot water bath and deviating one or 2 degrees have no major impact on the results.
Top left : Pail - this acts as my hot water bath. I filled it with about 2 inch high of hot water of maybe about 100-90 degree hot.
Bottom Left : Paterson Orbitary Processor. A light proof processor. It can take up to 4 sheets of 4×5. Hard to find these days . Again Ebay UK is a good source.
Top Right : I used 3 metal flasks to contain my 3 Tetenal chemicals. Each flask cost $1.50 from those Value dollar stores. When place in the hot water bath, the heat will be transfer fast to the chemicals in a short period of time allowing the chemicals to reach 38 degree quickly. The 4th bottle is the stabliser (20 degree).
Bottom: Beakers, funnels, thermometers, gloves & apron (not shown). I used a beaker as a cool water bath in case i need to bring down the chemicals if they stay too long in the hot water bath. Beakers, funnels, thermometers should be washed after every use to prevent contamination of the chemicals. Gloves & apron are for personal protection.
The timing for processing at 38 degrees is as such :
- Preheat/Wash - 5 mins
- First Developer - 6.5 mins
- Washing – 2.5 mins
- Color Developer – 7 mins
- Washing – 2.5 mins
- Bleach Fix – 7 mins
- Washing – 4mins
- Stabilizer – 1 min
Sound complicated? It is actually easier than thought. At the end of the day, the results will be fulfilling.