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Any thoughts on Cinestill Df96 all-in-one developer/fixer??????????

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Just got some adverts from Cinestill. Having no real darkroom experience I was wondering what the experts think

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Monobaths have been around for 100 years or more - advantage: simplicity and time and cost(?) - disadvantage: a compromise on everything else (or monobaths would have replaced traditional separate-step processing long ago).

 

The Polaroid processes are more or less a monobath (single mixture of chemicals - but not a single chemical), with tweaks to get positive images instead of negatives (except the P/N films, which produced both at once). And in the case of the one-piece SX-70, Impossible Project or Fuji Instax films, get the image to migrate through a white titanium oxide layer for daylight developing - the opaque TiO layer blocks daylight from fogging the silver after the film is ejected from the camera, until it has developed and has migrated to the other side of the TiO, forming the visible print on the front. And of course, create and move dyes around instead of the original silver, in the case of color pictures.

 

Anyway, the key compromise is that you're in a race to develop the silver before the fixer dissolves it. Usually this results in a loss of film speed (less silver per exposure given). Cinestill seems to have addressed that by buffering the fixer (takes longer to go into action and then finish its job) and by re-plating the dissolved silver onto the developed silver grains, which retains film density and speed. Smart chemistry.

 

Downside of that, though, is larger grain, and some loss of resolution (you're getting silver not created by exposure and the lens's image of real details, but just by random chemical re-deposition). Looking at their samples I can see grain even in the 3x5-sized Tri-X screen images - that's pretty grainy.

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Monobaths have been around for 100 years or more - advantage: simplicity and time and cost(?) - disadvantage: a compromise on everything else (or monobaths would have replaced traditional separate-step processing long ago).

 

The Polaroid processes are more or less a monobath (single mixture of chemicals - but not a single chemical), with tweaks to get positive images instead of negatives (except the P/N films, which produced both at once). And in the case of the one-piece SX-70, Impossible Project or Fuji Instax films, get the image to migrate through a white titanium oxide layer for daylight developing - the opaque TiO layer blocks daylight from fogging the silver after the film is ejected from the camera, until it has developed and has migrated to the other side of the TiO, forming the visible print on the front. And of course, create and move dyes around instead of the original silver, in the case of color pictures.

 

Anyway, the key compromise is that you're in a race to develop the silver before the fixer dissolves it. Usually this results in a loss of film speed (less silver per exposure given). Cinestill seems to have addressed that by buffering the fixer (takes longer to go into action and then finish its job) and by re-plating the dissolved silver onto the developed silver grains, which retains film density and speed. Smart chemistry.

 

Downside of that, though, is larger grain, and some loss of resolution (you're getting silver not created by exposure and the lens's image of real details, but just by random chemical re-deposition). Looking at their samples I can see grain even in the 3x5-sized Tri-X screen images - that's pretty grainy.

Thanks .... I figured there was no free lunch here, but needed you guys with experience developing to reveal the cost. Thanks again . . . . 

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