(1) First, the silver halides that were chemically fogged by the
action of the reversal bath are reduced to black metallic silver.
(2) Second, as the halides are being reduced, the oxidized color
developing agent reacts with the color couplers (already in the film
emulsion layers) to form colored dyes.
Each film emulsion layer has a
specific coupler to form the yellow, magenta, or cyan dye.
(a) Yellow dye forms in the blue sensitive layer, magenta dye
forms in the green sensitive layer, and cyan dye forms in the red sensitive
(b) The dyes formed are complementary to the color sensitivity of
The conditioner prepares the metallic silver (formed
in the first and color developers) to be converted back to silver halides in
the bleach. It also helps protect the acidity of the bleach by reducing the
carry-over of the alkaline color developer into the bleach. If this were to
happen, the pH of the bleach would slowly rise toward neutral and the
bleaching action would be strongly reduced.
f. Bleach. The bleach converts the metallic silver formed in the two
developers back into silver halides so they can be removed in the fix.
(1) In the act of changing the metallic silver back to silver
halides, the bleach becomes exhausted.
The bleaching agent can be
reactivated by contact with air.
(2) In the E6 process, this activation is done by bubbling air
through the bleach. In a hand process, the agitation done while processing
will keep the bleach active.
(3) Incomplete aeration, inadequate time, or low temperatures will
result in low red densities, possible yellow stains, and silver retention in
the emulsion layers.
g. Fixer. The fixer converts the silver halides in the emulsion layers
to soluble silver salts.
Most of the silver salts are retained in the
fixer. Inadequate or exhausted fix will result in specks of visible silver
in the emulsion layers.
h. Second Wash. This second wash removes the fixer and any remaining
silver halides from the film. An inadequate wash will give poor stability
to the dye image.