Last year I started experimenting with processing my own Velvia 4×5 with Tetenal E-6 rather than send them to a lab as I have done for many years. The truth is that I am currently using much less 4×5 colour than I did in the past and instead find myself using a lot more black and white negative film. I still enjoy making colour images from time to time, although I am so over the hyperventilated colour images that bombard our senses in galleries, in the print media and on the web.
Processing my own Velvia 4×5 with Tetenal E-6 has been a joy. I love pulling the film sheets off the processing reels and seeing what has been developed. But it is not until you take the films out of the dryer that you can really appreciate films’ wonderful ability to record colour and my faith in colour photography is restored!
On my last post about E-6 processing I was going to investigate a one shot technique. After 12 months between trials I have decided to abandoned this approach, mainly because I did not wish to dilute the chemistry to the extent required. Instead I have settled upon using a one litre kit to develop a total of 48 4×5 sheets of film. If you compare the price of a kit to the lab price per sheet of film this is a huge saving in film processing costs even when I factor in my time.
I process 12 sheets of 4×5 at a time in a jobo 2551 multi tank 5 drum, essentially doing 4 processing batches per 1 litre kit of Tetenal E6. That gives me the maximum capacity from the chemistry and fits within the 600ml chemistry volume limit for my jobo CPE2 processor.
Here are some photos showing today’s E-6 results directly from off the light box (above) and some of my set up below.
Sandy Cove Cape Leeuwin Augusta developed in Tetenal
I want a one shot process that gives me a maximum film yield of 12 films per 1000ml Tetenal working solution, and I want to process 12 4×5 sheets of film at a time.
After successfully trialling the Tetenal E6 3 bath kit on Velvia 4×5 50ISO, I intend to make some modifications to the procedures set down by Tetenal.
- First, I will be using a one shot technique, rather than the re-use technique, thereby eliminating the need for adjusted development times from chemical activity depletion.
- One shot has the potential to minimises the overall process time and it also avoids the risk of cross contamination of chemistry.
- One shot also avoids the problem of volume depletion of solutions, especially of the first developer, from the incomplete return of all solution.
- I intend to use the chemistry to obtain the full yield of films as recommended by Tetenal, ie 12 films per 1Litre of working solution. This is equivalent to 48 sheets of 4×5 (4 sheets of 4×5 = one 120 film =one 35mm 36exp film).
- For the developing I will be using a Jobo CPE2 processor with a 2550 drum and 2 4×5 reels, holding a maximun of 12 sheets of 4×5.
- The maximum volume of solution for my Jobo is 600ml. This will ensure all film is in contact with the solutions during agitation.
- I will be using only 250mls of working solution for each batch of 12 sheets. That’s because according to Tetenal, 1000mls of working solution has sufficient development activity for 48 sheets, therefore, by proportion, 250mls has enough activity for 12 sheets.
- Each working solution, once made up according to Tetenal’s instructions, will then be further diluted with water to make a total volume of 600mls.
- This act of dilution may require additional processing times which I will need to test. So far, my development times have been based upon visual inspection of my own film tests with a grey card.
When I get my next batch of chemistry I will test the times using my new proposed dilutions. If it all goes to plan I will post the results.
Clematis flower Old Man’s Beard. Yes it’s an odd name, but old man’s beard is a common name to describe the feathery tendril like appearance of the native clematis flower as it matures. This soft, fine structure is so delicate it literally blows away on the breeze. Luckily there was no breeze on the evening I made this photograph, I was tucked away in a sheltered section of thick coastal heath, south of the Margaret River. The sun was almost on the horizon, but undeterred by the fading light. I pulled out my trusty wooden field camera from my backpack and reached for my 150mm Schneider lens. Comparative to the 4×5 inch size of the transparency, I knew I would want to achieve at least a life size reproduction to fill the frame adequately and I had just enough bellows extension, about 300mm, to do it. With a 2 stop exposure increase for the bellows extension plus an additional adjustment for reciprocity failure – the velvia film was exposed for about 90 seconds. I also made some black and whites negatives. Somewhere in those I have a blurry looking ant as it walked around the flower during the exposure. The local talent can be uncooperative at times.
The 4×5 velvia was processed in Tetenal 3 bath E-6 which I have been trying out recently in my jobo processor, the perfect activity for a 40C degree day! This is a “straight” scan off the tranny.