I recently got hand on some rolls of 35mm slide film (Kodak Ektachrome), and was planning on developing them at home (bad experiences with photo labs).

On a basis of budget, I wanted to develop them along with my other C41 rolls, so that I wouldn't have to buy two sets of chemicals.

1) Will E6 rolls develop with C41 chemicals?
2) What kind of results should I be expecting? (Colors, physical film properties, etc).

Disclaimer: I am aware that they probably won't be properly developed, but I am also aware of techniques such as caffenol which I find quite acceptable, in terms of results.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ 'crossprocess E6 in C41' brings up a lot of information you're probably looking for. Welcome to cross-processing, its awesome! \$\endgroup\$
    – Shizam
    Jan 25, 2011 at 18:41

4 Answers 4


I worked in a professional photo lab for a number of years. Cross Processing was something that guys like Scott Clum and Trevor Graves were using for their photography back in the pioneering days of snowboarding. The effect produced is very striking.

The most common characteristics of cross processing is contrast and extreme color crossovers. Crossovers are color shifts that can't be corrected out of an image by normal means. For instance, an image might have a strong blue cast in the shadows but a heavy yellow cast in the highlights. Since blue and yellow are opposites (roughly speaking) if you attempt to correct out the blue cast in the shadows it only intensifies the yellow problem in the highlights. Although this image was manipulated in photoshop to achieve the effect it is a good example. Cred: basic clothing basica cross processing

Cross Processing Example

On one occasion I inadvertently cross processed several rolls of E6 in the C41. It was a busy day and I simply walked to the wrong processor. I was mortified because the images were of a gentleman's mission trip to a remote part of the world. I was sick to my stomach. We ended up shooting copy slides and essentially re-cross processing the images. While it wasn't perfect the customer felt we had done our best.

If you decide to cross process be warned that getting reliable results in a positive image form are hard to achieve. Scanners and printers (as in photo lab printers) are designed to work with a negative that has a strong 'orange' substrate. Cross processing renders a negative without this baseline and the equipment rarely knows how to handle the extreme difference.

Have fun! Cross processing is a blast.


Yes it is possible, and this is referred to as "Cross Processing"

Regarding the expected results, there is a good quote from wikipedia.

Cross processing

It is also possible to cross-process slide film for the E-6 process in C-41 , which yields negatives with a color shift and stronger saturation. (C-41 also may be processed in E-6 yielding positive images with a strong green cast, caused by the orange mask.) Varying brands and film speeds yield different color shifts producing bright, saturated colors and high contrast. Many modern digital mini-labs will produce unsatisfactory results when presented cross-processed E-6 as the scanner will attempt color correction to "normalize" the final image; this can generally be overcome by using professional dedicated film scanners and disabling any color correction if scans or prints are to be made. C-41 film can be processed in standard black and white chemicals, to produce a monochrome negative image. The negatives will typically be of very low contrast, and cloudy, partly caused by the orange mask.


This is actually quite popular and is know as cross-processing. It will usually result in wild saturated colors. Google has all the info (and I mean all the info, this is really big).


The result will be distorted colours and a negative, not positive, image. Colour negative films have an orange 'mask' that slide films do not have. The 'mask' helps give better colour reproduction. These films have separate processes for a reason.


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