Processing 16+ different B&W films with just one chemical! Df96

Posted by Brian Wright on

Out of all of the available processes we've had the pleasure of using, Df96 is possibly the most uniform and consistent with all emulsions. It's not only a single-step solution, it makes over processing virtually impossible. We decided to test processing over 16 different emulsions exposed at their box speed, in one bath, at the same time, at the same temperature. Df96 has terrific uniformity due to the simultaneous development and fixing of the silver, competing to reveal every detail, from the most subtle to extreme exposure.

Kodak TMax P3200 exposed at f/2 and 1/125, 1/60, 1/45 with a Summicron Dual-Range 50mm lens and processed normal. 

Df96 monobath easily processes any standard black and white film at any room temperature. It is designed with traditional cubic-grain emulsions in mind, like BwXX, TriX and HP5. It also works well with tabular grain films containing color dye technology, like Tmax, but to eliminate residual dyes in the emulsion you should double the recommended processing time. High speed films like P3200 and Delta3200 can be processed between ISO 1000-1600 by the instructions on the label, or pushed to 3200 by adding 10°F (6°C). 

Ilford Delta 3200 exposed at f/2 and 1/125, 1/60, 1/45 with a Summicron Dual-Range 50mm lens and processed normal.

This example shows just how versatile these films are and how forgiving Df96 is! Both Delta 3200 and TMax P3200 list a box speed of ISO 3200. While the natural ISOs of those emulsions, with standard development times and temperature, are closer to ISO 1000-1600. Df96 reveals this fact, while harnessing the latitude that allows these amazing emulsions to be pushed to their labeled box speed. You can easily push process by increasing the temperature of DFf96 by 10°F, just like extending the development time with any other developer.

We also processed many other films, exposed at their box speeds, both cubic grain and T-grain emulsions, in the same chemistry. They all self-completed within 4 min with intermittent agitation, but we gave them 8 min for all of the color dyes to be fully removed from the T-grain emulsions. We just washed the film in room temperature water and hung it to dry.

A couple craft films derived from lower speed emulsions, which require longer times in standard developers to achieve box speed, will yield a lower native ISO. A unique example is Rollei Retro 80s. With it’s impressively fine grain and low contrast, it is best rated at ISO 25.

High speed films processed normal in Df96. All film types were exposed for box speed and processed in the same bath.

Slow speed films processed normal in Df96. All film types were exposed for box speed and processed in the same bath.

Df96 keeps blowing us away. It perfectly processes all standard film types, while revealing that some specialty films benefit from added exposure or development (added time in standard developers equals added temperature in Df96). We simply check the room temperature and process according to the instructions on the bottle. It's simultaneously simple and flexible. If we want more density we can increase exposure in camera or add temperature to processing. For less contrast we can reduce the exposure or temperature of the bath. If we are worried about removing any color dyes or the film fully fixing we can just process longer and agitate more at the end of the process to accelerate fixation. All that's left to do is rinse and dry the film.

Standard exposures for native ISO processed at 75°F (24°C) . Pushed exposures processed at 90°F (32°C).

Normal processing agitation methods:
Constant agitation at 80°F (27°C) for at least 3min, Intermittent agitation at 75°F (24°C) for at least 4min, or Minimal agitation at 70°F (21°C) for at least 6min. 

Film rating chart for Df96

(Box speeds in bold)

 FILM TYPE

SUBTRACT 10°F (6°C) +1MIN

NORMAL 70-80°F (21-27°C)

ADD 10°F (6°C)

CineStill BwXX

ISO 100-125 

ISO 200-400 

ISO 500-800 

Kodak Tri-X

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

Kodak Tmax 100*

ISO 25-50 (2x min)

ISO 80-100 (2x min)

ISO 125-200 (2x min)

Kodak Tmax 400*

ISO 200 (2x min)

ISO 400 (2x min)

ISO 800 (2x min)

Kodak Tmax P3200**

ISO 1000 (2x min)

ISO 1600 (2x min)

ISO 3200 (2x min)

Kodak Plus-X

ISO 50-60

ISO 100-125 

ISO 200-250

Ilford FP4 Plus

ISO 60

ISO 125 

ISO 250

Ilford HP5 Plus 

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

Ilford Delta 100*

ISO 50 (2x min)

ISO 100 (2x min)

ISO 200 (2x min)

Ilford Delta 400*

ISO 200 (2x min)

ISO 400 (2x min)

ISO 400 (2x min)

Ilford Delta 3200**

ISO 500 (2x min)

ISO 1000-1600 (2x min)

ISO 2000-3200 (2x min)

Ilford Pan F Plus

ISO 25

ISO 50

ISO 100

JCH Street Pan

ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

Adox Silvermax

ISO 25-50

ISO 80-100

ISO 125-200

Adox CHS 100 II

ISO 25-50

ISO 50-100

ISO 125-200

Kentmere 100

ISO 25-50

ISO 80-100

ISO 160

Kentmere 400

ISO 160-200

ISO 250-400

ISO 500-800

Rollei RPX 25 

ISO 12

ISO 25

ISO 50

Rollei RPX 100

ISO 50

ISO 100 

ISO 200

Rollei RPX 400

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

Rollei Retro 80S

ISO 12

ISO 25-50

ISO 80-100

Rollei Retro 400S

ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

Foma RETROPAN 320 

ISO 80-125

ISO 200-320

ISO 400-500

Foma Fomapan 100 

ISO 50

ISO 100

ISO 200

Foma Fomapan 200 

ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

Foma Fomapan 400 

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

Bergger Pancro 400

ISO 125-200

ISO 320-400

ISO 500-800

Arista EDU Ultra 400 

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

Arista EDU Ultra 200

ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

Arista EDU Ultra 100

ISO 50

ISO 100

ISO 200

*Tabular grain films with color dye technology, like Tmax or Delta, may come out of the bath with pink/purple dyes in the emulsion, and require double the processing time on the label to clear.

**High speed films like P3200 and Delta3200 can be processed at their native ISO between 1000-1600 by the instructions on the label. These are designed to be pushed to 3200 by adding 10°F (6°C). All films can be pushed or pulled by adjusting temp. +/-10°F (6°C) per stop.

 

Street Pan generally requires more processing to reach box speed in standard developers. With Df96 it would benefit from a higher temperature or could be rated at a ISO 200. 

We know that there are many more B&W films you can test in Df96, and that there are many other possible techniques you can use with Df96. These examples should just serve as a baseline for your creativity. Push process, pull process, try different development methods. Let us know your experiences. The renaissance is yours.


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5 comments

  • @Madison, Intermittent agitation is pretty standard for most B&W processing, but minimal agitation is less commonly practiced. Agitation accelerates stopping and fixing of the negative, thus pulling the development about a half stop. It is described in the product listing:

    “Constant agitation:
    Fluid inversions and/or rotations, while changing direction.

    Intermittent agitation:
    30 sec agitation, then 10 sec every min.

    Minimal agitation:
    10 sec agitation, then 5 sec every min.
    *Bromide drag lines can occur if left to stand for any more than 1 min."

    A half stop of increased temperature requires a half stop of increased agitation to balance out the development. Hope this makes sense. Cheers.

    Brian on
  • Great article guys, but could you clarify whats meant by intermittent and minimal agitation?

    Madison on
  • @Neil, The times and temps haven’t been added to Massive Dev yet. It’s pretty simple, but we are focusing on customer experience with our instructions first.

    @Teh, Where are you located? We do our best to give the best shipping rates available, even if that means we lose a little on shipping. Some locations are more difficult to ship heaver items to.

    Brian on
  • Would love to try this out. But the shipping is really expensive

    Teh young sun on
  • Did you add these recipes to the Massive Dev Chart already?

    Neil Waybright on

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