A system for high performance automated chemical analysis includes a video camera photometer with a computer-controlled interference filter wheel. A fluidics system delivers ultramicro sample and reagent volumes in the 0.05 to 5.0 microliter range to a supporting analytical media. The media is precisely positioned relative to the photometer by an x-y axis reaction media holder capable of accurate and precise positioning of the ultramicro reaction spots. The reaction media can consist of absorbent cellulose sample/reaction strips or microscopic sized multiple wells. A data and reduction system monitors multiple simultaneous reactions within a common test area of the analytical media to provide final quantitative reports. The method for conducting multiple chemical assays involves placing small volumes of sample/reagent combinations at discrete locations about a common test area on the analytical media and simultaneously measuring resulting optical changes at each discrete location.