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To X-Pro or not to X-Pro? That is the Question with Sunset Strip

The differences between processing Lomography X-Pro Sunset Strip in E-6 vs C-41 chemicals.

Have you ever found yourself standing at the counter of your local film lab, slide film in hand and wondering “Should I have is processed as the manufacturer intended or should I throw caution to the wind and cross process this?”

If you’re a bit indecisive like me, it’s probably best to have two rolls and have one developed in E-6 and the other in C-41. I won’t get into the chemical differences between the two processes here, but for anyone who isn’t totally clear on what one means verses the other, E-6 is standard processing for colour reversal film (think slides) and C-41 is used for colour negative film (prints you get from every photolab).

Sunset Strip is manufactured as a slide film. When processed in E-6 chemicals, the images come out in very earthy browns and yellows. They have a warm, vintage feel that is quite different than any of the other films on the market that I’ve tried. Autumn woods and outdoor scenes lit by the late afternoon sun turn out particularly well using E-6 chemicals.

If you decide to cross-process this film, blues and magenta become the dominant colours. Things cool down significantly. The sky looks clean and clear. Water is bright and blue. And any red leaves and berries left on trees almost jump out against the sky.

Personally, I think I prefer not cross processing this film simply because when E-6 chemicals are used, it looks like nothing else out there. The closest I can compare it to is redscale that has been pull processed, but the results are much more consistent.

Right now, Sunset Strip is only available in 35mm and seems to disappear off the shelves pretty quickly so I tend to stock up when it’s available at the Lomography Gallery Store here in Toronto. I would love to see it produced in 120 format. Maybe one day it will be. It seems popular enough.

written by deepfried_goodness

11 comments

  1. dollymixture

    dollymixture

    Great article : ) I'm just waiting on the results of my first Sunset Strip roll that I choose to have processed in E6, simply because it was in the middle of Autumn and I thought the reds on the trees would be too intense if I Cross Processed it. Let's hope the results are good : )
    Dolly.

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  2. coolsigg

    coolsigg

    @deepfried_goodness: can u share which are the E6 processed photos in your article?

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  3. deepfried_goodness

    deepfried_goodness

    @coolsigg Sure. The top photo of the train tracks double exposure has been cross processed (C-41). The second photo of inside the Lomography Toronto Gallery Store has not been cross processed (E-6). In the slideshow photos, the first 6 are from the cross processed roll, while the last 6 have been processed in the manufacturer recommended E-6. Notice how when X-proed the results are quite blue and cool with intense contrasty reds. The other ones are in warmer tones of brown, yellow and deep green.

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  4. deepfried_goodness

    deepfried_goodness

    @dollymixture Hope so too. Let me know when you post them.

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  5. bebopbebop

    bebopbebop

    is it better to underexpose the sunset strip or just use the normal ASA setting?

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  6. coolsigg

    coolsigg

    @deepfried_goodness: thanks for the info. Somehow I like the looks of the xpro shots better.
    @bebopbebop: guess it depends on what color effects u want for the shots. Check out my Sunset Strip album (http://www.lomograph(…)-test-shots). The more yellowish, grainy shots are taken at ASA200 while the cooler shots are mostly taken at ASA100 settings.

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  7. deepfried_goodness

    deepfried_goodness

    @bebopbebop I've kept it at the normal ASA for the rolls so far, but I'll play with that on later rolls.

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  8. gvelasco

    gvelasco

    Several things affect the effect. Cross-processing causes color shifts, increases grain, and decrease the latitude which increases contrastiness. If you cross process, you should scan as a negative to reverse the colors. If you straight-process as slide film, you should scan as a positive. Underexposing makes the Sunset Strip effect much stronger. Overexposing makes it almost unnoticeable. If you digitally post-process it, you can remove the strong purple or yellow emphasis. I have several examples on my review here: http://www.lomograph(…)e-wild-side

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  9. deepfried_goodness

    deepfried_goodness

    Within the next couple of months, I'll do another C-41 vs E-6 comparison, this time using Fuji RMS 100-1000 film. I've not shot with it yet.

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  10. deepfried_goodness

    deepfried_goodness

    I'll scan and upload my Fuji RMS shots this weekend and have that comparison done for Monday. Hopefully. I'm a very good procrastinator.

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  11. deepfried_goodness

    deepfried_goodness

    I need to shoot a couple more rolls for the new article. Right now, I don't feel like I have enough content.

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