Would I do better to switch to slide film?
Hello guys.. I am pondering a decision that I feel I have to make...
For black-and-white... nothing beats a hand made darkroom print from film, nothing at all can beat its beauty! I shoot primarily in black and white, so colour is of little concern in my darkroom, although I have kept RA4 paper on hand and have experimented. My darkroom is king for most of my photography since I shoot mainly in B&W. So B&W negative film will remain for me.
For colour, however I am facing a different dilemma. I probably shoot a roll of colour every month or two, and getting consistent results is, to say the least, a pain in the neck. I cannot shoot the greatest colour photos in the world. In black and white I almost naturally produce lovely results that me. my family and friends all look at the finished prints in awe, that scans of negatives or a DSLR will never give them. Then the printing for colour, a pain in the neck too. I can do it, but It doesn't give me the same 'thrill' and normally ends up ending in frustration, plus cut-sheet sizes smaller than 8x10 no longer exist new, I have a box that I was saving for my 18th photos. The chemicals for colour have to be bought in bulk, I am still using the first ever set of RA4 chemicals I ever bought, 4 lots of 5 litres of kodak chemicals, I am only on the second lot of 5L for developer and blix. I have to make several prints until I am happy with the result, whereas with black and white I can be satisfied at attempt one. I don't get the same 'thrill' with the colour prints.
Seeing as I shoot little colour, and that I would rather print colour using a decent printer seeing as the cost of ink is less what I use in wasted paper. Or admire slides in a slide viewer or projector, as slides have their own, unique pleasant look, the analogue look.
I plan to get an aquarium heater to heat the kitchen sink to float bottles of E6 chemistry and developing tank in the water to bring them up to the correct temperature. And a decent scanner to scan the slides into high quality digital files. Or admire the slides in a slide viewer or projector, I still think digital cannot beat analog if done correctly! Also 90% of my printing is done in 5x7 size for photo albums and the like, so lack of cut-sheet RA4 at the right size is a bummer.
Would It be in my best advantage to use slide film for the little I colour I shoot based on these circumstances? Colour still doesnt beat black and white silver prints in my eyes, but some things just suit colour, including wildlife, sunsets, and stars. And I think giving E6 a stab shouldn't break the bank! Also, what would be the best slide film for my purposes? :) I am now deeply regretting the loss of kodachrome and that I never got to shoot any!
Also, how long do E6 chemicals keep if stored in them collapsable airtight bottles? And how many films can be processed on average in say, the tetenal 1L kit?