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No Compromises - Cs6 3-Bath Process vs. E6 6-Bath Processing

Posted by CineStill on

With the Cs6 "Creative Slide" process the number of processing baths for E-6 film is reduced from 6 to 3. The reversal step occurs during color development in a Color&Reversal bath, and the pre-bleach, bleach steps are combined with the fixing step in a Bleaches&Fixer bath. People often wonder, "What are the compromises with combined processing baths?", such as the Cr6 "Color&Reversal" 2-In-1 Slide Solution or the Bf6 "Bleaches&Fixer" 3-In-1 Slide Solution. The reality is that there are no compromises between fresh Cs6 and carefully replenished E-6 chemistry. 

Just see for yourself! We bracketed exposures of an extreme lighting situation just before sunset, with cool skylight and warm backlight. Snip tests were made and processed in each of our 1st developers at 104¬ļf¬†and the remaining 2 Cs6 baths at ~85-100¬ļf¬†in a Patterson tank. The remaining film¬†was sent to The Darkroom¬†photo lab and processed with¬†the¬†6-bath¬†E-6 process. The Darkroom¬†specializes in professional film developing and scanning.¬†Their¬†Sitte Tischer TruTrak dip & dunk processor maintains high professional standards with constant process control standards. All frames were scanned on the Skier Sunray Box with a Canon 5D mk2 with all the same settings and corrections.

Kodak Ektachrome E100 with an Olympus Zuiko 50mm at f/2 bracketed 1 stop over and under.

There is a lot of conjecture and skepticism out there regarding the archival stability and efficacy of "hobby" type chemistry kits, especially when it comes to slide processing. Some rationalize that, "Professional labs must prefer the 6-bath E-6 process because it is superior." or posit, "Why then don't pro labs use combined processing baths like blix?" Well, that is not the whole story...

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