Transparency film

23 Apr

When I came up with the idea for this FMP, I wanted to use a digital camera and photograph my objects with a macro lens. However, after one of the tutorials with AJ, who convinced me to use use a film camera and transparency film, I’ve changed the approach. After doing some research, I’ve found out that this particular type of film was used by my dad, when I was little. I have an extensive collection of slides from my childhood, so even though it sounds really cheesy, going this route will make this project more personal and even more important.

Transparency film – also known as diapositive, reversal or chrome. Creates a positive image on the transparent surface – opposite to negative or black and white films – which than can be used to create slides for projection. Unlike large prints, slide projections are a fairly cheap form of presenting a photograph in the large format. It creates vibrant images,very closely capturing the actual tones and colours from the exposure. Transparency film can be used in standard 35 mm film cameras, as well as in medium format cameras. Mounted slides are also used for motion picture films. Here’s a quick guide to different types of reversal films available (2):







Velvia 50



Dynamic color reproduction.




Very Fine

For controlled lighting using tungsten lamps.


Provia 100F



For use with daylight, natural color depiction.


Astia RAP


Extremely High

Natural and exquisite skin tones for portraiture and fashion.


Velvia 100



Out door use, extremely sharp images and rich saturation.


Provia 400x



General purpose film able to handle wide exposures.

I think for this project the best one to use will be either Fuji Velvia 100 or Provia 400x Update: After further research, I’ve found out that Provia 400x has been discontinued and Provia 100f is a recommended replacement.

Update: I was unable to get hold of either of above, therefore I decided to use Agfa instead.


  • vibrant and rich colours
  • slide is a film straight from the camera, which could be a disadvantage in a way, but it’s not manipulated,i.e. in the darkroom therefore the work is truly and 100% mine.
  • much better control over the final result and potential prints
  • higher contrast


  • smaller exposure latitude (compared to the negative film)

Mounting and projecting:

Since I’m using a positive film, I decided to go down this route completely and instead of exhibiting prints, I’m going to use projections. This can obviously go wrong in many ways, but I will try to minimize the risk, by doing an extensive research and analyze all the potential disadvantages.
tutorial for mounting slides. Absolutely awful quality, but very straightforward and clear.

Glass mounts:


  • sharper image,
  • firm hold of the slide,
  • protects against mechanical damage, such as dust or scratches


  • more expensive,
  • hard to avoid dust and marks on the mounted slide
  • condensation may occur during projection with a high voltage lamp
 Gepe Glass Slide Mounts Anti-Newton – box of 20 – £4.99

Glassless (open frame) mounts:


  • no risk of dust getting trapped in the slide


  • Don’t protect slide from a mechanical damage


  • It’s not recommended to exceed projection time of:
    • 5 hours for Fujichrome (4 for Velvia)
    • 2,5 hours for Ektchrome
    • 2 hours for Agfachrome
    • 1 hour for Kodakchrome
  • If slides are non-replaceable, it is highly recommended to keep projection time to the absolute minimum, as it  can damage the slide.
  • It is also not recommended to use high-intensity quartz halogen lamps


Equipment needed for developing an E6 film

  • Reel/tank – ideally stainless steel, to conduct the heat. also some plastic reels/tanks may absorb colour developer, which will affect future development processes.
  • Scissors – for trimming the film
  • Can opener – to help retrieve film roll from the tin
  • To keep track of development time

It is crucial to keep the  right temperature of chemicals (38 Celsius)

Usually E6 processing requires 6 baths, however soem of them can be combined, reducing it to 3 baths – First Developer, Colour Developer and BLIX – Bleach + Fix
Film needs to be rinse after each bat. Temperature of the first rinse is crucial and it has to be 38 degrees. Temp of the other two isn’t as important.

  1. Have everything ready on hand
  2. Load the film into the tank (in the darkness, of course)
  3. Place the tank in the water bath and allow to warm up
  4. First developer, agitate every 15 seconds for 6 minutes
  5. Rinse for around 2,5 minutes
  6. Repeat 4 and 5 with Colour developer
  7. BLIX – 6 minutes followed by 4 minute wash or longer if required
  8. Allow film to dry


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Posted by on April 23, 2015 in Uncategorized


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