News — At home processing

No Compromises - Cs6 3-Bath Process vs. E6 6-Bath Processing

Posted by CineStill on

With the Cs6 "Creative Slide" process the number of processing baths for E-6 film is reduced from 6 to 3. The reversal step occurs during color development in a Color&Reversal bath, and the pre-bleach, bleach steps are combined with the fixing step in a Bleaches&Fixer bath. People often wonder, "What are the compromises with combined processing baths?", such as the Cr6 "Color&Reversal" 2-In-1 Slide Solution or the Bf6 "Bleaches&Fixer" 3-In-1 Slide Solution. The reality is that there are no compromises between fresh Cs6 and carefully replenished E-6 chemistry. 

Just see for yourself! We bracketed exposures of an extreme lighting situation just before sunset, with cool skylight and warm backlight. Snip tests were made and processed in each of our 1st developers at 104ºf and the remaining 2 Cs6 baths at ~85-100ºf in a Patterson tank. The remaining film was sent to The Darkroom photo lab and processed with the 6-bath E-6 process. The Darkroom specializes in professional film developing and scanning. Their Sitte Tischer TruTrak dip & dunk processor maintains high professional standards with constant process control standards. All frames were scanned on the Skier Sunray Box with a Canon 5D mk2 with all the same settings and corrections.

Kodak Ektachrome E100 with an Olympus Zuiko 50mm at f/2 bracketed 1 stop over and under.

There is a lot of conjecture and skepticism out there regarding the archival stability and efficacy of "hobby" type chemistry kits, especially when it comes to slide processing. Some rationalize that, "Professional labs must prefer the 6-bath E-6 process because it is superior." or posit, "Why then don't pro labs use combined processing baths like blix?" Well, that is not the whole story...

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Latitude for Days - D9 DynamicChrome vs. E6 Dynamic-Range

Posted by CineStill on

D9 “DynamicChrome” Warm-Tone Dynamic 1st Developer renders approximately 9+ stops of usable dynamic-range while maintaining rich warm-tones and vibrant color-contrast with preserved highlight and shadow detail (optimized for scanning) for a more cinematic look. Mixed stock solution can be measured out at 1/2 the tank capacity and diluted 1+1 with water to make a working solution for normal warm-tone development. Dilute 1+2 or 1+3 with water for further preserved highlight detail and a more neutral-tone daylight color balance.

But is extending the dynamic range of slides really possible? Of course! That's why we are so excited. When a piece of emulsion is struck by light, trace amounts of silver harden. It would take an insane amount of overexposure to reach the maximum density of the emulsion. But in order to make the hardened silver visible it needs to be amplified with a developer. If you develop it past the Dmax of the film you will lose detail. The key is to slow down development in the highlights while developing the shadows enough to be visible. While it is difficult to increase the shadow detail that is exposed below the base fog of the film, without eliminating it's beautiful inky blacks, we have harnessed the highlight latitude of slide film beyond imagination.

We bracketed exposures by 2 stops under to show how many stops of additional dynamic-range are retained in the highlights. Snip tests were made and processed in each D9 dilution at 104ºf and the remaining 2 Cs6 baths at ~85-100ºf in a Patterson tank. The remaining film was sent to The Darkroom photo lab and processed with the 6-bath E-6 process. The Darkroom specializes in professional film developing and scanning. Their Sitte Tischer TruTrak dip & dunk processor maintains high professional standards with constant process control standards. All frames were scanned on the Skier Sunray Box with a Canon 5D mk2 with all the same settings and corrections.

E-6 Dynamic-Range vs. D9 DynamicChrome

Kodak Ektachrome E100 with an Olympus Zuiko 50mm at f/8 bracketed 2 stops.

D9 DynamicChrome Dilutions Comparison

Kodak Ektachrome E100 with an Olympus Zuiko 50mm at f/8 bracketed 2 stops.

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LAB-BOX IS HERE!

Posted by CineStill on

We are excited to announce that the LAB-BOX is here and ready to order now! We have been in support of this product from day -1. It is now our privilege to assist ars-imago as their importer in the U.S., and support them at the vanguard of the analog renaissance. Our first round of fulfillment will be allocated to the backers of the successful Kickstarter campaign. After the backers have been duly rewarded for their support, we will then begin distributing orders to dealers and customers for the highly anticipated official LAB-BOX retail release date of August 1st. Inventory is limited and will be allocated on a 1st-come 1st-serve basis, so get your order in now!

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New Lay-Flat Powder Chemistry, And Improved Film!

Posted by CineStill on

Our Df96 Monobath and Cs41 2-Bath Color Kit can now ship in First-Class/Priority mail envelopes, not regulated for transport. Save up to 75% on shipping rates!
We have some very exciting news for those of you who don't like to pay to ship Earth's most abundant resource around the world! Introducing, CineStill Powder Chemistry! Just add WATER, and you've got a black & white monobath or 2-bath color processing.

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No Compromises - Df96 compared with popular traditional developers

Posted by CineStill on

Due to the long history of multiple bath processes being the only ones available, many may wonder, "What are the compromises with a monobath?" Well, we can tell you that it is not compromised quality with Df96. We are standing on the shoulders of giants, and the reason monobaths weren't popular before is most likely because of economies of scale and cost, in addition to shorter shelf life. In the past, there was more profit in just producing the large volume photochemicals for film to be processed en masse. After all, back then everyone had to process film to capture a photo. Now that craft film manufacturing is being tooled for smaller batches, lower volume products can be more viable. Small batch, on demand, chemical manufacturing works just like craft beer. Fresher product with more characteristics. Thus the modern monobath was born, formulated to be produced at a craft scale.

Df96 is very forgiving for all film speeds and different emulsion types. This is partially because of the advanced developing agents used. But also as chemical development self-completes, archival fixation takes over breaking down silver and allowing physical development to redeposit it in thin areas of the film, while diffusing the grain to be finer and smoother. As you can see in the samples below, it renders somewhere between the Ilfotec DDX grain structure and Kodak Professional HC-110 tonality.

Detail crop of BwXX processed at ISO 250 in HC-110 liquid concentrate, Df96 monobath, and D-76 powder chemicals.

Detail crop of BwXX processed at ISO 250 in DD-X liquid concentrate, Df96 monobath, and ID-11 powder chemicals. 

Df96 also works well with tabular grain films, like Tmax, but to fully eliminate residual color dyes in the emulsion we double the recommended processing time. This does not affect the image since all films complete development within the first 3 minutes. Below you can see the smoothness and crisp contrast Df96 pulls out of TMax100...

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