What is slide film and E-6 processing?

Slide film has many other names, including “positive“, “transparency“, “reversal“ and “E-6” film. Unlike the more common color negative film, slide film produces a positive image straight onto the film. The light and dark areas appear as they do in reality. When mounted on card stock, these images are the slides that you’d put in a slide projector, or the slides that your grandparents have in boxes in the attic.

Slide film tends to have a low ISO and produces results with fine grain and vivid colors. For this reason it was a very popular choice back in the day for photographers working with print magazines such as National Geographic. However when it comes to exposure latitude slide film is not so flexible so it’s important to nail the exposure.

Photo 1 by bccbarbosa with Kodak Ektachrome E100G slide film. Photo 2 by evilpete with Kodak Ektachrome E100G slide film.

E-6 processing is the standard development practice for slide film. The term E-6 comes from the fact that the development process for slide film requires six baths, including developer, stop, and fixer.

Slide film is much less popular than color negative film, and as a result not all labs offer E-6 processing. However there is still enough demand that with a quick internet search you’ll be able to find somewhere to get your slide film developed without too much trouble.

Many Lomographers also enjoy developing slide film with C-41 chemicals as it produces fascinating effects with vastly altered colors. This unorthodox method of development is known as cross-processing.

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  • What are the different photographic film formats?

    What are the different photographic film formats?

    The three main types of film format are 35 mm, medium format and large format. More unusual formats also exist such as 110 and 127.

  • What is tungsten film?

    What is tungsten film?

    Most standard films are daylight-balanced, so they tend to capture the yellow-orange cast from tungsten lights. To address this, tungsten film was created to produce color-correct images taken under artificial lighting.

  • What is 126 film?

    What is 126 film?

    126 film was launched by Kodak in 1963 as a way to simplify the process of loading and unloading film into cameras. Its name comes from the negatives’ dimension of 26.5 mm square. Although companies ceased mass production of 126 format around 2007 to 2008, its cartridge is still known and loved today.

  • What is APS film?

    What is APS film?

    Advanced Photo System or APS film was introduced in 1996 as a “high-tech” or modern alternative to the 126 and 110 film formats. It was 24 mm wide and it introduced many innovations, like the ability to choose exposure lengths and print sizes. Production of new APS film was ceased in 2011.

  • What is the difference between panchromatic and orthochromatic film?

    What is the difference between panchromatic and orthochromatic film?

    Orthochromatic film is made with blue-sensitive silver halide crystals, while panchromatic film adds other chemicals to increase the film’s sensitivity into the green and red parts of the spectrum.

  • What is a half-frame film camera?

    What is a half-frame film camera?

    Half-frame cameras shoot 18×24 mm photographs on 35 mm film. This means you can take up to 72 images on one single roll and save a lot of film!

  • What are LomoChrome films?

    LomoChrome is the name given to Lomography’s experimental film stocks. There are currently four LomoChrome film stocks available: LomoChrome Purple, LomoChrome Turquoise, LomoChrome Metropolis, and LomoChrome Color ‘92.

  • Where to get film developed?

    There are a lot of places that can process and develop your 35 mm color negative film such as local drugstores or one-hour photo labs.

  • What is the processing method for Redscale and LomoChrome films?

    All Lomography color films are processed using C-41 chemicals. This includes Lomography RedScale XR and our popular range of color-shifting LomoChrome films – LomoChrome Purple, LomoChrome Metropolis and LomoChrome Turquoise