Slide film / E6 processing

Jan 14, 2011
St. Louis
I'm curious if anyone is still shooting slide film. I see that my old staple Fujichrome Sensia is dead, but Provia and Velvia are still in production. I know E6 processing is a rare thing now, but I'm curious if anyone is still able to get it done and how much it's costing.

I'm getting out of the spend-money-on-modern-equipment-to-entertain-the-masses-for-free-on-social-media mode. Since that means I'll only be occasionally shooting lightning here and there like I once did in the past, I figured it might be nice to just go 'retro' and dust off the old K1000.
I would like to. With my newly acquired T5 and the shutterboss I have not quite mastered, I find myself being the shutter release mechanism. I've tried the shutterboss on continuous and interval and etc, but it seems to miss frames, or stop all together. And so when the scene is hot, I find myself shooting frame after frame, even though a static tripod shot, with no free time to do anything else.

I was hoping to do a side-by-side shoot-off between the T5 and the old, quite old, Bronica 6x7cm camera. Perhaps a lazy western OK cell will oblige soon.

I've used CSW Film Systems in Chicago for the last, wow, 10 years? with flawless results.
Osan Chen, nice guy. Great work.

I've had 6x7cm medium format Provia souped in labs in pro labs in Dallas, Phoenix, OKC, and now Chicago.

One of the ones in Dallas destoryed a nice spark pic with a 1cm long scratch right across the bolt. This one, which now can only be digitally printed from a fixed scan.
Before that, a "pro lab" in Dallas liked this one so much, she offered to print it like 3'x'4', basically 'huge', in exchange they could display it for a year, and then I would get it. I went back, after many visits and $s of business in between, and asked for it back after like 14 months. "Oh no, we gave you a discount on the work we did in exchange for it." BS! You gave me 10% off sometimes cause I did so much business with you! So that company was not visited again. Then a nameless 'big name' in OKC with just horrible results. Dust and scratches on like the 3rd roll there. I had a nice place in Phoenix that was quite good, but they closed down.

So ya. This shooter highly recommends CSW Film Systems. They're in a moving transition, so make sure to call first and check availability and location to mail films. I ship 10-12 at a time in a tupperware box and get the uncut rolls of film back in the same. All nice and UPS truck in ditch safe. :p Maybe EF3... 3.4?

I don't know if digital can meet film in quality. But that's another thread.

Dan, we both need assistants! Ummm "Profession Photographer Assistant Engineers". "Grab the other pod and set it up over there!" ;)
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Reactions: Dan Robinson
Mar 15, 2004
Tucson, Aridzona
We've got one lab in town that does a good job with E-6, but for the price I prefer to 'soup' my own film. Freestylephoto sells E6 kits that bring the cost down significantly, IF you can save up enough film to process before the chemicals oxidize. Their 1 quart Arista kit is good for 8 rolls of 36 exposure 35mm. This works out to about $5 a roll after s/h, etc. (With practice and experimentation, I suspect you could squeeze one more 4-roll batch out of the chemicals before the results go entirely bonkers.) The processing itself is a little tricky due to tight temperature constraints, and is deceptively time consuming. Plan at least half a day for your first effort.

I really do enjoy shooting the 6x6 Bronicasaurus. For landscape, the huge, bright viewfinder is such a welcome relief from squinting through the typical APS-C DSLR soda straw. For 35mm, I still shoot a few rolls a year with my canon T-90.

I've aimed b/w film at the local thunderstorms with good results. Softly developed b/w film has tremendous dynamic range (good for lightning), and produces gorgeous storm images. That said, my preference for late sunset lightning means short shutter times that just aren't practical with film.