DIY E6 Processing


Some useful tips about E6 processing.

Almost three months (and around 150 films processed) after my blog post My First Homemade E6 Process, here is a full description of how to process E6 at home. Note that I use a Jobo ATL 3, but I guess you can use some of these tips with other machines.

Step 1: This is probably the most complicated step: get a processing machine and E6 chemistries (I had tons of Kodak chemistries coming along with my machine. So everything here is about processing with Kodak E6 chemistries).

Step 2: Prepare the chemistries. Pour the chemistries in 38°C water and stir slowly. See the table for the concentrations. (Never put water in concentrated chemistries, or you’ll produce a very aggressive acid-base reaction!!!).

Step 3: Put the machine ON. The machine will heat up the water and make it circulate (the machine is a huge water bath, and the water circulates around the chemistry bottles and the drum containing the films). There are two temperature probes in the machine. One is internal and measures the processor temperature, and the other one is external and must be put inside the first chemistry. The process will be able to start only if the temperature from the two probes is close to the temperature selected (usually 38°C, but I prefer between 38.6 and 39°C, it increases colours and contrasts, but sometimes causes a strange grain)

Step 4: While the machine is heating up, prepare your film spools. Get in the dark (I go in my bathroom, in which I putted aluminium foil around the door to make it light-proof). Open your films with a bottle opener, from the bottom. To spool your films on Jobo spools, you must use your thumbs and middle fingers. And alternate the pressure between your left and right hand. When the right hand fingers are pressing, turn the right half of the spool. Then release your right hand fingers and press with your left hand fingers, and turn the left half of the spool… And so on…

Here's an animation

Step 5: Put your loaded spools in the drum, and put the drum on the machine. At this point a relative (but not absolute) darkness is required.

Step 6: find the “START” button on the machine and press it.

Step 7: dry your tears. Keep on laughing…

Step 8: Watch the process while enjoying the beverage of your choice. The drum rotates in the water bath and the machine injects one chemistry at a time in the drum. To empty the drum, the machine raises the arm on which is the drum. Once empty, the arm is lowered and the next chemistry is injected. The chemistry injection works with an aquarium air pump that causes an increase of pressure in the chemistry bottle. And this pressure pushes the chemistry in the drum after a little trip inside some tube. Note that after chemistry 3, the film is not light-sensitive anymore. You can put all your lights on.

Step 9: When the process is over, remove the films from the spool and put them into the “final rinse” before hanging them for drying. Pass the film between your (gloved) fingers to remove any excess of liquid. Films need between 30 minutes and one hour to be completely dry. You just need 2 minutes to dry your tears of joy.

Step 10: Scan and upload to your beloved Lomohome.

written by stouf on 2009-05-22 in #gear #tipster


  1. maxpinckers
    maxpinckers ·

    daaaaaaaaaammmmmmmmm lucky you!!
    nice article :)

  2. breakphreak
    breakphreak ·

    you are Harry Potter of the Lomography :)

  3. ethermoon
    ethermoon ·

    no.11 is a very very very helpful tip!

  4. rater
    rater ·

    You forgot to say that you need a GOOD bottle opener...

  5. mandashitley
    mandashitley ·

    All I have to say is... damn.

  6. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    Waow, that looks sooo exciting! Thanks to share this with us stouf!

  7. lomosexual_manboy
    lomosexual_manboy ·

    I think I just got stung by a jealousy fish. I tried to by the machines from my lab when it was going out of business, but they had already been sold. Keep on living the dream.

  8. tommynorth
    tommynorth ·

    really cool stouf, you are living the dream!

  9. jroberts
    jroberts ·

    How dangerous is this to do at home though?

  10. ebolatheelectricmonk
    ebolatheelectricmonk ·

    Not only a oceanographer, a hell of an engineer too...

  11. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    what a tiny little machine in your kitchen :D

  12. popcornflex
    popcornflex ·

    WOWwowWOWwoooow...i see that paradise really exist..=)

  13. eugenia
    eugenia ·

    super professional

  14. stouf
    stouf ·

    @rater : Well man, just buy me a good one ! So we wont be both of us struggling with my shitty bottle opener in my dark bathroom... 8D

  15. stouf
    stouf ·

    And thanks a lot everyone! Yes. I am living the dream !

  16. hanifmaidin
    hanifmaidin ·

    Dreaming a JOBO. Very hard to find one

  17. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    If you have a plan to open E-6 lab photo in my hometown, Bandung, Indonesia, just let me know. I have free open space in my bedroom =D

More Interesting Articles

  • Using a 20mm lens to take pictures from the top

    written by sirio174 on 2014-05-11 in #gear #tipster
    Using a 20mm lens to take pictures from the top

    While waiting for the new Lomography gem, the wonderful Russar+ lens, I took some photos at a fun fair with my wonderful Mir 20/3.5 super wide angle lens from the big panoramic wheel. Here I'll tell you some tips about the use of this kind of lens. Read more after the jump!

  • FEElim Photography's Samantha Talks About Pre-wedding Photography with the Petzval Lens

    written by zoeyeung on 2014-06-17 in #lifestyle
    FEElim Photography's Samantha Talks About Pre-wedding Photography with the Petzval Lens

    After our previous little chat with Samantha of FEElim Photography, we just couldn't wait to learn more about her pre-nuptial photography experience using our Petzval Art Lens, and were eager for some tips on how to use the lens for a prenup shoot. Read on for our interview with Samantha and of course, get hold on her amazing photography along with a few pre-wedding shots!

  • Top Tips For Krab Underwater Case and Fisheye Submarine Users

    written by shhquiet on 2014-07-10 in #lifestyle

    If it's your first time to use the Fisheye Submarine Case (with your Fisheye One/Fisheye No.2 cameras) or the Krab Underwater Housing (with your LC-A+ or LC-Wide cameras), you might still feel a liiiiittle bit anxious about taking your favorite cameras underwater. To help ease your worries I gathered some of the most helpful tips, straight from summer-lovin' Lomographers who braved the waves with their cameras!

  • Shop News

    A Very Special Portrait Lens

    A Very Special Portrait Lens

    Photos shot with a New Petzval lens are immediately recognizable for their super-sharp focus areas and wonderful swirly bokeh effect. Each New Petzval lens is crafted from brass (just like the original Petzval lens) and features premium glass optics. Together with Lomography, the lenses have been designed and constructed by a team of optics specialists at the Zenit factory in Russia. Zenit are master lens manufacturers and have the skill to build the Petzval lens for use with today’s SLR cameras.

  • Cynthiaj and her Weapon of Choice: Holga 120 CFN

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-12-18 in #lifestyle
    Cynthiaj and her Weapon of Choice: Holga 120 CFN

    Cynthia prefers shooting multiple exposure photographs when using the Holga 120 CFN. In this installment of Weapon of Choice, she shares some of her beautiful monochromatic snapshots and a couple of tips when using this plastic shooter.

  • On Using Color Filters to Tweak Hues in Black and White Photography

    written by chooolss on 2014-04-09 in #lifestyle
    On Using Color Filters to Tweak Hues in Black and White Photography

    While it might sound unusual for some right off the bat, black and white film photographers do use color filters to experiment with their shots without ever needing to do some post-processing. How to do that and which filters to use to capture specific scenes? Take a look at this short instructional YouTube video clip by LZ Film Productions!

  • Nostalgic Short 'The Last Roll' Documents the End of E6 Processing at Orms

    written by chooolss on 2014-06-25 in #lifestyle
    Nostalgic Short 'The Last Roll' Documents the End of E6 Processing at Orms

    Just last February, Cape Town's renowned professional photography store and film processor Orms developed their last rolls of slide film. In "The Last Roll," Hero AV compiles interviews with the establishment's owner and E6 technician, as well as the three photographers who captured the last images to create a fitting send off for the E6 process.

  • Shop News

    It's a wrap!

    It's a wrap!

    Protect your precious camera, lens and accessories with this soft padded, sturdy and practical wrap. It basically makes any bag your camera bag!

  • Bolt from the Blue: Cyanotype Workshop

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-08-12 in #lifestyle
    Bolt from the Blue: Cyanotype Workshop

    One of the earliest photographic printing processes, cyanotype printing produces cyan-colored prints using a mixture of ammonium iron(III) citrate and potassium ferricyanide. It was discovered in 1842 by English scientist and astronomer John Herschel who mainly used it for reproducing notes and diagrams. The process was later adapted by Anna Atkins in producing her photographic book about algaes called Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions.

  • Bitten by the DIY Redscale Bug

    written by chooolss on 2014-03-05 in #lifestyle
    Bitten by the DIY Redscale Bug

    After taking my baby steps into the wonderful world of Lomography, it was only a matter of time that I begin trying out not only the cameras in the catalogue but also photography techniques and other tips and hacks that fellow lomographers here in the community have generously shared with everyone.

  • Maaikel and his Weapon of Choice: Lomography Sprocket Rocket

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-08-07 in #lifestyle
    Maaikel and his Weapon of Choice: Lomography Sprocket Rocket

    The Lomography Sprocket Rocket might be a bit challenging to use but it didn't hinder maaikel from traveling and shooting various film rolls with it. In this week's installment of Weapon of Choice, he graciously shared his Sprocket Rocket story plus some amazing tips on using it.

  • Shop News

    Uncrate Long Lost Lomography Treasures - 30% Off in our Discount Section

    Uncrate Long Lost Lomography Treasures - 30% Off in our Discount Section

    Fly over to our 30% Discount Section to discover previously unavailable Editions & Clones! Be quick and make one yours before they are all gone again!

  • Make Your Very Own DIY Ringflash!

    written by cheeo on 2014-05-31 in #gear #tipster
    Make Your Very Own DIY Ringflash!

    Are you a little tight on the budget for a ready-made ringflash? Or just looking for new projects to pour your time and creativity into? Try out this make-shift DIY ringflash and repurpose a plastic bucket in the process!

  • Into Wet Collodion Territory with Alex Timmermans

    written by cheeo on 2014-06-12 in #lifestyle
    Into Wet Collodion Territory with Alex Timmermans

    Photography has progressed into a myriad of processes and genres but there are still some people who passionately create imagery using the traditional tools that started it all. Photographer Alex Timmermans is one of those them. See his wet collodion photographs after the jump.

  • Print On Fabric Using The Power of Light: Lumi Products Now Available From Lomography

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-11-06 in #news
    Print On Fabric Using The Power of Light: Lumi Products Now Available From Lomography

    We are proud to announce that the Lomography shop now stocks Lumi products, which allow you to print your favorite analogue photos and all manner of other fantastic things on fabric using the power of light! In this article, we want to tell you a bit more about Lumi and the way this special printing process works.