An example of slide film requiring development using the E-6 process
An example of slide film requiring development using the E-6 process

The E-6 process (often abbreviated to E-6) is a chromogenic photographic process for developing Ektachrome, Fujichrome and other color reversal (also called slide or transparency) photographic film.

Unlike some color reversal processes (such as Kodachrome K-14) that produce positive transparencies, E-6 processing can be performed by individual users with the same equipment that is used for processing black and white negative film or C-41 color negative film. The process is highly sensitive to temperature variations: A heated water bath is mandatory to stabilize the temperature at 100.0 °F (37.8 °C) for the first developer and first wash to maintain process tolerances.


The E-6 process superseded Kodak's E-3 and E-4 processes. The E-3 process required fogging with light to accomplish image reversal and produced transparencies that faded quickly. The E-4 process used polluting chemicals, such as the highly toxic reversal agent borane tert-butylamine (TBAB).[1]

Process variations

There are two versions of the E-6 process. Commercial laboratories use a six-bath chemical process. The 'hobby' type chemistry kits, such as those produced by Tetenal, use three chemical baths that combine the color developer and fogging bath solutions, and the pre-bleach, bleach and fixer bath solutions.[2]

Six-bath process version

The steps for developing color transparency films using process E6 are:

See also


  1. ^ Bunting, Roger K. (1987). The Chemistry of Photography (2nd ed.). Normal, IL: Photoglass Press. p. 126. ISBN 0-9616724-0-4.
  2. ^ Rinses, washes, stop baths and stabilizer/final rinse (the final step of the process) are not counted in the counting of baths when describing both the conventional six bath and hobbyist three bath processes.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Process E-6 Using KODAK Chemicals, Process E-6 Publication Z-119". Kodak. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
  4. ^ "KODAK PROFESSIONAL EKTACHROME Films E100G and E100GX". Kodak. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
  5. ^ Schwartz, Dan (March 8, 2004). "Why two step fixing is a Really Good Thing". Archived from the original on June 24, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-04. Note that this is the Photo.Net discussion thread of the 1998 technical paper by Dr. Michael J. Gudzinowicz.