“Slide” the other way – Cross Processing E6 Film in C41 Chemistry

In my last post regarding slide film, I noted that I thought a few months was a realistic shelf life for E6 chemistry. After about a month went by, I went to develop my fourth roll of slide film. I found this was mistaken – the film came out so dark that images could barely be seen. Likely due to outdated first developer.

The trouble is I still have four rolls of Fuji Provia 100F left. What do I do? I could spend more money to buy fresh chemistry. A one-quart kit would cover what I have left. Or I could delve into the art of lomography. Lomography, essentially defined in a brief way, means intentionally doing really crazy abnormal things to yield unusual looking photographs. In particular, I saw many facebook posts and read several articles online (including several wordpress blogs) from people who have actually done it. Since I had mixed unicolor C-41 chemistry that I used for my Kodak ColorPlus film, and since it is known to be much heartier than E6 chemistry, I decided to try this.

So I shot a roll of Fuji Provia 100F slide film, and then treated it as if it was a roll of ordinary color negative film when developing. I did the standard 3 and a half minutes of developing and 6 or 7 minutes in blix at 102 degrees.

A lot of you will have the same question that I had – when processing slide film this way, what does the film look like when you’re done?

As can be seen here, it came out with a bluish-gray background and a negative image. Essentially it appears to be a color negative without the reddish-orange mask. I shot this photo while the film was hanging up to dry on my phone so please do excuse the quality.

The other question I had is does this method of processing yield psychedelic colors and sharp changes in contrast? Definitely maybe. This film didn’t come out nearly as crazy as I was expecting, which is both good and disappointing at the same time. It would have been neat to have a purple sky with a green car or something, but no luck there.

This is a fully restored 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Continental for sale for a bargain price of $85,000.

The image as scanned with no color correction.
All I have done here is reverse the negative. I scanned it as a transparency with all automatic color correction turned off, then reversed it. As can be seen there is a green tint and the color is rather muted.
In this shot the same greenish-gray hue can be seen.

There are a lot of people that really like this old, vintage-looking effect. Indeed, it is not without its charm. But the bigger question is can this be corrected digitally? Indeed. Yes, I digitally manipulate my images. Even analog film images. No, I do not apologize.

The above shot edited in GIMP 2.10 in a way I’m happy with. Shot on a Pentax ME Super with a Seikanon 28mm lens for those who wonder.
Edited until I’m happy – again, no apologies.

Should slide film always be processed this way at home? It really depends. In my case, this film expired in 2009 and was purchased extremely cheap on ebay. Normally slide film costs twice as much, at least, as normal negative film. If you’re spending that kind of money on new slide film, you’re probably also better served spending the extra money on a true E6 chemistry kit if you’re hoping to do it yourself. It’s at least an option.

It would be interesting to see how Kodak’s “new” Ektachrome film would react to this. Has anybody tried this? Thoughts? Leave comments.

And, however you process them, digital or analog, normal or lomography style, raw or jpeg, shoot photos. Not each other.

3 thoughts on ““Slide” the other way – Cross Processing E6 Film in C41 Chemistry

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