LEICA

Alternative views on the Leica world by Erwin Puts

The E6 process

Recently, Kodak announced that it would restart production of the slide film Ektachrome 100. This is good news for all emulsion users and lovers. Leica cameras and slide film are intimately connected since the first days of Kodachrome. The impressive Leica performance was possible with the help of the Kodachrome K14 and later Ektachrome E-6 process. Indeed it should be the main aim of Leica to convert the digital workflow into a simple E6 process. The reason why I do not evaluate the colour characteristics when discussing new Leica digital cameras is the vast range of influences on the outcome, starting with the colour space and ending with the post processing manipulations. The original E6 process was a simple one. The characteristics of the slide film were known and measured to what ever precision you want. Then it is easy to evaluate the final result.
Now that Leica has chosen to follow the road of simplicity in the digital domain ( a decision I personally applaud) the next step is to implement the E6 process: there could be an internal program or algorithm inside the camera that optimizes the potential of the sensor and produces a Raw file (a colour slide so to speak) that can be printed right away without any post processing. There is no need to do this during the capturing stage and it is possible to do this after capturing the image file on the memory card.
The beauty of the digital process is the flexibility: the user has the choice, but an internal E6 algorithm in a Leica camera would increase the joy and simplicity of the act of taking photographs. And that is what every Leica M user would strive for.