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.