View Full Version : E6 Chemistry

22-Oct-2008, 14:04
Searching the web gets me conflicting opinions on E6 chemistry, big surprise.

Back when I last did this there was Kodak E6 6 bath and Unicolor E6 3 bath which worked surprisingly well on Fujichrome.

I would just go Kodak but there is some opinion that the Tetenal E6 3 bath is very good too for Fujichrome. There is a 6 bath Tetenal too.

Anyone ever use this stuff? Any opinions or preferences?


Don Hutton
22-Oct-2008, 17:05
6 bath Kodak produces better and more consistent results in my experience. I've actually never heard of anyone who thought that the 3-bath kit produced "better" results and I know of a few poor experiences with it.

22-Oct-2008, 21:33
I was just going to use the Kodak 6 bath. I agree it is better than any 3 bath I have used although as I said the 3 bath Unicolor worked surprisingly well on Fujichrome 50.

I just learned about the Tetenal and as I am starting out again I'd like to standardize on one method. Just wondered if it's worth trying, I probably will anyway, I like testing, makes up for a lack of artistic expression ;).

Renato Tonelli
23-Oct-2008, 06:50
E6 has proven to be more reliable batch-to-batch. I have had bad experiences with the 3-bath. Granted, I haven't done e6 processing in more than ten years.

Gene McCluney
23-Oct-2008, 07:48
Kodak is not the only vendor for E6 six-bath chemistry. In general, the six-solution process is always considered better, because of more complete bleaching with a separate bleach and fix, as compared to a combined "blix". The only process where a "blix" is considered completely satisfactory is in the RA-4 print process.

gari beet
23-Oct-2008, 09:08
I have used the Tetanal 3 bath on both RDP and EV100S and was happy with the results. I have not used a 6 bath myself so can't comment, however when comparing with a friends chromes he has lab processed we couldn't discern any difference in quality.

Personal preference will always play a part in any process so the only real way is a suck it and see approach.

I am currently using Fuji Chems which I am more than happy with.


27-Oct-2008, 08:08
I have used the Ornano 3 bath process and could not get consistent results. C-41 is much easier. I am now developing all my film as negative, regardless of what originally was. I can colour correct in post processing.

27-Oct-2008, 09:11
I do as g.lancia does - results are fine, even from a dense green 'slide' neg.



27-Oct-2008, 14:24
It's true negative colour film has advantages over chromes. We really shot them 'cause they separated so well for stock in magazines.

I used to love my Fuji chromes even though I needed a loupe for 35mm. I was looking forward to big chromes with my 4x5 but I am going to scan everything.

Negatives might be smarter, C41 is easy .... must think more.

Juergen Sattler
27-Oct-2008, 15:22
As long as you don't go outside the dynamic range of your slide film, scans will look better from slides - there is much less grain and you can really print very large. I would also recommend the Kodak E6 process. I did use the Tetenal 3 bath once and really was not impressed.

27-Oct-2008, 21:32
is there any way to process e6 film with black and white chemicals and get any type of result other than completely clear or completely solid?

Ivan J. Eberle
27-Oct-2008, 23:31
Six step E6 provides opportunities to adjust for density and color balance, which as I understand the 3 step process does not. (Don't know because I've only ever used the Kodak 5L E6 kits, myself).

It's pretty straightforward, actually, though it is a bit tedious. But it could certainly be much more of a challenge if I didn't have the big CPP2 Jobo + Lift, because "6-step" is actually 7 chemistry steps counting the final rinse, and you'll also need 4 changes of tempered water for the wash step after the first developer. (bought a bunch of extra bottles and temper them in the water jacket/tray.)

28-Oct-2008, 02:10
Daniel I think I tried it and got a nasty brown base with a dull image. Depending on the film, usually you only get the silver in the highlights, so the image is black with only the top couple zones.

28-Oct-2008, 12:25
As long as you don't go outside the dynamic range of your slide film, scans will look better from slides - there is much less grain and you can really print very large. I would also recommend the Kodak E6 process. I did use the Tetenal 3 bath once and really was not impressed.

I've been experimenting with scanning different color negative and transparency films quite a bit lately. For the sake of cost, I've been doing alot of the photography in 35mm. According to the RMS numbers color negative should smoke positive film for grain size, but I don't find that to work out in practical applications. But then again, I understand that the two do not correlate directly.

Anyways, in general my results have agreed with Juergen. However some E-6 films like Velvia 100 show more grain in scans while others like E100G/E100GX or Astia scan showing almost no grain at all. Along the same lines, some C-41 films scan much better than others and scan on par with E-6 films. One thing that is very nice with C-41 film is the wide dynamic range, but scanning can be a real trick.

Leonard Metcalf
29-Oct-2008, 13:18
In the Tetnal 3 Bath instructions variations are listed to change contrast.