There’s a massive buzz around Kodak Ektachrome at the moment, since the re-introduction of E100 in 135 format earlier this year the internet seems to be awash with slide film. I have always avoided shooting with positive film as I generally print using an analogue process but these photos were drawing me in and I couldn’t resist looking at ways of (hopefully) producing optical prints from slide film.
Generally I only scan film for use on social media, on this website and recently for creating a zine, all my prints are made directly from negative film and I want to continue making them this way. Since the demise of Cibachrome it has become impossible to produce a print optically from positive film. I have experimented with cross processing (developing reversal film in C41 chemistry) before, but have never printed from it, the colours just seemed too funky. The other hybrid option is to scan the negatives and produce a digital negative but this sounds less than ideal to me!
One other option I uncovered was creating an inter-negative, that is develop the slide film in E6 chemistry and produce a negative by either contacting printing or enlarging onto negative film. This was the route that appealed most to me, keeping everything analogue and skirting around the digital realm.
First step was to actually shoot some slide film! Fortunately I had a roll of Ektachrome E100G in medium format waiting in a cupboard, it had been sitting around a few years, collected from a haul of random films. Stored without care, I wasn’t expecting great results but it was would be a way of testing out the chemical process and get a feel for the process. And with Kodak due to release Ektachrome in medium format later this year would give a a taster of what’s to come, time to hit the road (South West Coast path) and crack out the Mamiya.