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Old E4 film in Rodinal

Sometimes I wonder about my sanity.

A long time ago, I bought a random collection of old film from that den of iniquity that is Ebay. I think I was pulled in by the fact that it had a couple of 126 Cartridges, which are stupidly expensive to get hold of now, along with some very exciting looking old films. Most of which, when I received them turned out to be far past the level of esoteric, and straying into the realms of (probably) useless.  Some of these do not even seem to be clear what the process is, though at least some indicate that they are the old E4 process.

Stand Developing

The E4 process was a precursor to the current E6 process used for Slide Film, but it used some pretty hardcore dangerous chemicals.   The dyes are similar to both the E6 and C41 process, but needing specific steps and a lower temperature.  I have heard of people having some success “cross processing” E4 in C41 chemistry at room temperature, but I thought for this film I would use a process that can normally bring out an image in anything – Stand developing in rodinal.

Stand developing uses a very dilute solution; in this case 1 part Rodinal to 100 parts of water. Agitation takes place only at the start of the process, which is then left undisturbed for an hour. Effectively this develops the film as far as the exposure will allow in a given area as the developer exhausts itself – once an area is developed no new developer is introduced to that area. This means that any film of any speed and any exposure (provided the exposure is enough to have actually exposed the film) will simply work. Highlights are retained and shadows are boosted. Continue Reading “Old E4 film in Rodinal”