The Technique Of Cross Processing



Cross Processing is as simple as the word says. You take a film, expose it and then process it in the "wrong" process. A slide film is processed in C-41 chemicals, a print film is processed in E-6. The samples on these pages were shot in my studio with studio flash equipment as the light source, except for "Melanie", which was done in daylight. The exposure was set to half a stop overexposure against the metered value for even more increased contrast. The film was Fuji Sensia 100 and Kodak SO-279 special order film, processsed on a Jobo drum processor in Agfa C-41 chemicals. Slide film is unmasked film, which results in very strong color shifts added to the higher gamma of slide film. I used a piece of unexposed processed negative sheet film as a mask compensation filter (MCF) in the filter box of my enlarger to make up for the missing mask. Crossprocessing slide film in C-41 also increases grain dramatically.

Crossprocessing slide film in C-41 chemicals can be done by any lab using the C-41 process. There are no special precautions to be taken and there is no risk for the chemistry or other films in the same run. Kodak says that there are no detectable color shifts up to 30 % of crossprocessing film in the processing volume, and only few labs will have so little processing volume that your film will shift their color balance. Even if there would be a shift with more than 30% crossprocessing ratio, it would be even and correctable. At least that is what Kodak told me in an official statement and what I find proven in my own work. So, if your lab tells you they can't do it or it would be much more expensive than processing the "regular" way, replace your lab with one knowing its job.

On the net I found a reference towards an article in Photo Life Magazine (March/April 1997) on cross processing E-6 films in C-41 chemicals. It had charts for various films, development times, etc...
Photo Life is a Canadian Magazine published by Apex Publications Inc.
The web site for the magazine is http://www.photolife.com

I did not check for authenticity of the below enclosed charts, nor did I get hold of a copy of the magazine myself. I simply reprint them for your information and maybe as a starting point for your own tests. If you are in reach of Photolife, it might also be a good idea to buy a sample and check what they are doing.


FILM: Fuji 100D


EXPOSURE: Plus One Stop
PROCESSING: C-41/Normal
RESULTING COLOR ON RA-4 PRINT MATERIAL:
Very high saturation throughout. Very high contrast cooling of all colors.
Neutral skin tones possible.



FILM: Kodak Lumiere 100 & 100X


EXPOSURE: Plus one stop
PROCESSING: C-41/ Normal
RESULTING COLOR ON RA-4 PRINT MATERIAL:
Increased saturation throughout. High contrast cooling of all colors.
Neutral skin tones possible.



FILM: Fuji 64T


EXPOSURE: Plus one stop
PROCESSING: C-41/Normal
RESULTING COLOR ON RA-4 PRINT MATERIAL:
Intense rich blues under daylight. High contrast.



FILM: Fuji Velvia


EXPOSURE: Plus half to one stop
PROCESSING: C-41/Normal
RESULTING COLOR ON RA-4 PRINT MATERIAL:
Yellow cast, yellow skin tones. High contrast.
Difficult to color correct skin tones.



FILM: Provia


EXPOSURE: Plus half to one stop
PROCESSING: C-41/Normal
RESULTING COLOR ON RA-4 PRINT MATERIAL:
Strong yellow cast and skin tones. High contrast.
Difficult to correct skin tones.



FILM: Kodak E100S


EXPOSURE: Plus one stop
PROCESSING: C-41/Normal
RESULTING COLOR ON RA-4 PRINT MATERIAL:
Green cast. High contrast. Difficult to correct skin tones.


If you have further questions or would like to add anything,
feel free to e-mail me.



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