I was very happy to be asked a few months ago to look at this new E6 process from CineStill and give them my thoughts. After testing for Kodak the new E100 in 120last year this was indeed an exciting development. (See what I did there? Somewhere right now my wife is rolling her eyes.)
So what’s unique about this E6 kit? Here are the descriptions from their website:
D9 “DynamicChrome” Warm-Tone Dynamic 1st Developer.
Renders approximately 9+ stops of usable dynamic-range*! Conventional E-6 processing renders approximately 6 stops of usable dynamic-range*. Extended exposure latitude while maintaining vibrant color-contrast and rich warm-tones with preserved highlight and shadow detail (optimized for scanning) for a more cinematic look. High-dynamic-range for warm-tone slides in daylight, shade or with electronic flash.
D6 “DaylightChrome” Neutral-Tone 5500K 1st Developer.
Renders approximately 6+ stops of usable dynamic-range*, with brighter whites and moderately enhanced color saturation, just like conventional E-6 processing. Daylight-balanced 5500K for neutral-tone slides in daylight or with electronic flash.
T6 “TungstenChrome” Cool-Tone 3200K 1st Developer.
Renders approximately 6+ stops of usable dynamic-range* with brighter whites, and moderately enhanced color saturation. Tungsten-balanced 3200K for artificial light or cool-tone E100T slides. Also, works great for push processing in limited light!
I found mixing the chemicals to be easy and processing in my JOBO was a piece of cake. I already run my own C41 in house as well as a myriad of B&W developers.
My biggest advice to anyone who wants to process their own E6: the developer temperature is critical. Keep the developer within 1 degree F or less for best color, contrast and density.
In conclusion…. I think CineStill’s new offering is a unique and valued addition to the E-6 processing community. It doesn’t seem so long ago that Ektachrome was discontinued- temporarily as it turned out. But today that tide has turned, and I continue to be excited by the strong and vibrant resurgence of film and film processing options.
Today is a very exciting day! Kodak has just released Ektachrome E100 in both 120 and 4×5… how’s that for a holiday present?!
Sample images below: please note they are somewhat bigger files so they make take a moment to load.
Reimagining Transparency Film
By Stephen Schaub
When I was asked to shoot a few test rolls of the new Ektachrome 100 in 120 it just happened to be October, and I just happen to live in Vermont. Of course, New England is famous for these few short weeks each year when the light, crispness and color engages and captivates, turning all who experience it into artists who want to capture it. The timing could not have been better.
Although my current artworks are large, complex, in-camera collages on film, often employing cross-processing and alternative developers, I realized that work would not have been a suitable test for the few precious rolls of film Kodak sent to me. Rather, I revisited my earlier, more traditional methods of working and enjoyed returning to an earlier version of myself.
I chose to shoot familiar places. I really wanted to see how the color, dynamic range and sharpness of this reborn film in 120 would behave compared to my normal negative materials. I am pleased to report that everything I loved about the old Ektachome 100 is back in a big way: the color, the pop, and the sharpness are all there. The exposure latitude is extremely good, and scanning the film was easy.
Working with the combination of my Linhof Technorama 612 PCII and lenses by Schneider Kreuznach provided a profound depth and clarity, and really brought out the technical best in this film. Coupled with scans from my Imacon Scanner the resulting files really know no limits of scale of reproduction.
As a vocal advocate of traditional film, I think and talk a lot about how our relationship to film has changed; this test got me thinking in particular how much our relationship has changed with regards to transparencyfilm. Years ago I would have been juggling a color meter and every Wratten Gelatin filter imaginable in order to color-balance the film to the light source(s) for perfect accuracy. My concern for shadow depth and detail would have resulted in most cases in a pre-exposure to balance contrast. But in 2019, with 99% of film users working in a Hybrid Workflow of film capture and digital scan, all of that is changed. Transparencies that once would have been considered too light or too dark can in most cases be saved through well thought-out scanning techniques. Choices of appropriate color spaces during the scanning process are as important to the final image as masking and color corrections were to making a great print in days gone by.
Transparency materials are unique: they have a pop, a micro-clarity and a feeling that is lost to color negative materials. The ability to edit work directly on the light table is significant. Moving forward, our relationship with transparency film is built on previous strengths but now with more advantages than ever. Kodak’s Ektachrome 100 is showing us that way.
Follow all fifteen photographers who are part of the launch on Instagram:
Kodak Alaris Announces EKTACHROME E100 Availability in 120 and Sheet formats
ROCHESTER, N.Y. Dec 10, 2019 – Kodak Alaris today announced the launch of EKTACHROME E100 in larger formats. A new 120 format 5-roll propack and a new 10 sheet 4×5 box will be available to order within the next 10 days, worldwide.
These new format offerings follow on the highly successful launch of EKTACHROME E100 in 135-36x size last year. “Our new E100 film is a big hit with photographers of all ages” said Dennis Olbrich, President – Kodak Alaris Imaging Paper, Photo Chemicals and Film. “The market response has been tremendous. Adding 120 and sheet films takes us to the next level.”
Sales of professional photographic films have been steadily rising over the last few years, with professionals and enthusiasts alike rediscovering the artistic control offered by manual processes and the creative satisfaction of a physical product.
KODAK PROFESSIONAL EKTACHROME Film E100 is a daylight balanced color positive film, featuring clean, vibrant colors, a neutral tone scale, and extremely fine grain. Its distinctive look is well suited to a wide range of applications, such as product, landscape, nature and fashion photography.
We’ve posted images from some of the photographers who participated in our pre-launch activities. Check out their work on our social media channels.
Just to be clear…. I still stand by my original processing technique outlined here in FR years ago which does not use the pre wet and has slightly more agitation than the technique outlined above (metal reels and tanks only for the older process). If the film and agitation technique is perfect without a pre wet then go for it but I have found most modern films do benefit from the pre wet… the only downside is developer longevity and about 1/3 stop loss in speed.
So here are my latest results experimenting with CineStill film in Caffenol (instant coffee)… I am very happy with this combination! I have found the usable EI for this film-developer combination to range from 100-3200, all with one processing time, but the very best is around EI 640. This test image was made with my 1956 Leica M3 with a 1960 Leica 135mm Leitz Wetzlar Elmar at F5.6.
I’ve been continuously tweaking my Caffenol developer and developing technique over the past few years… I find it to be a very solid go-to developer for virtually any black and white film.
A picture is worth a thousand words… so this is going to be a very short review!
Bergger Pancro 400 reminds me a lot of XX by Kodak– it has a very classic long greyscale with just the right amount of grain and amazing highlight control. The quality control is very high, and I love that it’s available in all formats, 35mm through 8×10 sheet film. After extensive testing I have decided to make it my go-to 120 film… yeah it’s that good! In 4×5 the grain is very, very smooth and round. In 120 the grain is there, but very fine and beautiful which I think adds a wonderful depth to the scanned film. As for 35mm? There will be grain, but again it is a classic looking grain, which I love.
So, if you want lifeless, flat, smooth boring film? Bergger Pancro 400 is not for you! This film is classic… and combined with Df96 developer it hits all the right marks.
Rate Bergger Pancro 400 at between 100-325…. I find 200/250 to be the sweet spot if you want full shadow detail. This holds true for all the developers I tested this film with.
CineStill Df96 MonoBath developer produces the very BEST negatives I have seen with this film; it is a perfect combination.
Try pulling the film with Df96… shoot it at 200 and pull 1/2 to 1 stop in development. Note: I did not do that in the sample image above but I could have… it’s a nice way to control high contrast scenes.