News — tests

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 104¬ļf¬†and the remaining 2 Cs6 baths at ~85-100¬ļf¬†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 ‚ÄúDynamicChrome‚ÄĚ 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 104¬ļf¬†and the remaining 2 Cs6 baths at ~85-100¬ļf¬†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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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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Processing 16+ different B&W films with just one chemical! Df96

Posted by CineStill 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¬įF (6¬įC)....

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Tungsten Test Results - Portra800, 400, & 800T by Wirawan Sanjaya

Posted by CineStill on

Wirawan Sanjaya is one of our Beta Testers for medium format CineStill film. He decided to use his first handmade test roll of 800T in 120, to see how it stacked up to two other excellent film stocks, Portra 800 and Portra 400 pushed one stop. We were excited to hear about this test, as we have done our own with much less inspiring subject matter.

We get asked all the time, "Why not just shoot...

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