5 Frames… Of Fujifilm Velvia 50 developed using C-41 and BW chemistry (EI 50 / 120 format / Rolleiflex 2.8D) by Mustakim Irsan

This started from my curiosity to process color reversal film as slides in an alternative way due to the high cost of E6 chemicals and because they are difficult to obtain in where I live. Before I continue, I apologize for my English because this is not my native language.

I tried googling to get some references and eventually, I found that it is possible to use BW and C-41 chemistry to do this and generally this method consists of 3 main steps:


  • First developer (FD)
  • Fogging / re-exposure
  • Second developer (SD)

For the first developer step, I used ILFORD Ilfotec DD-X at a dilution of 1+4 for 10 minutes. The use of other BW developers is also possible, preferably one whose content has an active agent. Next time I will try using Rodinal because it is cheaper. Step two — fogging / re-exposure — was done for 3 minutes. Here I used a 25W Philips soft tone lamp because by chance this is all I had. For the final step (SD), I used a Kodak Flexicolor C41 kit following a normal process as usual, but I doubling the time for bleach and fix.

The camera that I used for this experiment was my Rolleiflex 2.8D loaded with Fujifilm Velvia 50 RVP50, expired in 2010, which had been stored in cold storage. I measured the incident light by using an external light meter, the Sekonic L-308.

The final results according to my expectations will certainly not be perfect. There is a heavy color cast and color shift towards blue and magenta. The first developer process really determines the overall brightness and contrast of the images. The longer the FD time dev is, the brighter the image will be, the more vigorous the agitation, the more contrast the photo will have.

From this I concluded there is a possibility to do pulled or pushed developing through the first developer to obtain the brightness and contrast as expected. However, I have not yet found a way to minimize color shifts, I suspect this also has to do with the expired nature of the film, although to be sure it needs further experimentation — Incidentally, I still have several expired slide films to experiment with.

I scanned the photos in this process using a digital camera and then did a color correction and post in Lightroom. I hope you can enjoy the result of my photos.

~ Mustakim


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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.

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Mustakim Irsan
Mustakim Irsan
A full time photographer. Shoot both digital and analog.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve not had anything close to this before. Are you still using the normal C-41 dev time for the Flexicolor chems? I’ve gotten nothing remotely close to this in my tests, with very unimpressive and not so black purple blacks, and a less than neutral peachy white. Only difference in terms of chems is that I used Xtol stock as my first developer, since I’ve got a ton of it at all times. I even this with the same film, except in 35mm. I’m so envious whenever people get good results with this alt-E6 process.

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