Following a short tease on social media over the past few days, Los Angeles based CineStill have just announced a completely unique family of slide film development kits with options that provide either 9+ stops of useable dynamic range or “colour grading” that optimise for daylight or tungsten-balanced lighting.
Dubbed “Creative Slide”, these new 3-bath kits provide a simple solution to slide film development and for the first time at home, allow for colour profiles to be changed during development. Useful if you wish to correct shoots made under daylight or tungsten light before getting the scans into a post-production tool.
The Cs6 3-Bath kits are available from CineStil immediately and start at US$39 immediately. The 1000ml/quart kits can process 16+ rolls or 100ft of slide film and the 3-2-1 “Chemical Reuse” kits processes 32+ rolls of film.
Before I get into the details, Cinestill note on their website, “Usable dynamic-range is the number of full stops of exposure value that renders acceptable detail and color. Total dynamic-range however, is the maximum range containing tonal separation rendering any detail, and is often twice the usable-dynamic range. The usable dynamic-range of conventional slide film is between 6-8 stops (total 14-16 stops). Color negative is between 9-13 stops (total 16-21 stops). Digital sensors are mostly between 7-10 stops (total 12-15 stops).”
Cs6 kit breakdown
Each Cs6 kit is comprised of a first developer (three choices), a “Color&Reversal” solution and a final Bf6 “Bleaches&Fixer” solution. Simple change the first developer as you see fit. Here’s how they break down:
DynamicChrome renders approximately 9+ stops of usable dynamic-range, while maintaining vibrant color-contrast and rich warm tones with preserved highlights and shadow detail (optimized for scanning) for a more cinematic look. Extended exposure latitude increases the usable dynamic-range of slide film from 6 to 9+ stops. Conventional E-6 processing renders approximately 6 stops of usable dynamic range. DynamicChrome appears perfect then, for high contrast lighting or backlit subjects in daylight, shade or with electronic flash. DynamicChrome comes in a single-use 1+1 dilution, which develops 8-16 rolls or 100ft of slide Film.
DaylightChrome Renders approximately 6+ stops of usable dynamic range with bright whites and moderately enhanced color saturation, just like conventional E-6 processing. Daylight-balanced for conventional slides in daylight or with electronic flash. DaylightChrome comes in a single-use 1+1 dilution, which develops 8-16 rolls or 100ft of slide Film.
TungstenChrome renders approximately 6+ stops of usable dynamic-range with cleaner whites, and moderately enhanced color saturation. Shoot in artificial light without sacrificing 2 stops of exposure to color filtering. Kodak’s published technical data sheet recommends exposing E100 at EI 25 with an 80A Filter in Tungsten (3200 K) light. Now you can expose at box speed in low-light or even push to EI 200 or 400, and color grade your slides in processing. With conventional E-6 processing, this would require color filtration and a 2-4 stop exposure compensation. TungstenChrome comes in a single-use 1+1 dilution, which develops 8-16 rolls or 100ft of slide Film.
Additional developer baths
In addition to the first developer are Cr6 “Color&Reversal” and “Bleaches&Fixer” baths. In further detail:
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Cr6 “Color&Reversal” 2-in-1 Slide Solution combines the reversal step with color development. 6min minimum process time for completion with flexible temperature range of 80-104°f (27-40°C). This reusable solution reverses 16+ rolls of developed slide film.
The final Bf6 “Bleaches&Fixer” 3-in-1 Slide Solution combines the bleach and conditioner steps with the fixing step. 6min minimum process time for completion with flexible temperature range of 75 -104°f (23-40°C). This reusable solution clears 24+ rolls of reversal film.
IMPORTANT: Maintaining temperature is not essential beyond the 1st developer. When a temperature control bath is not available, CineStill suggests preheating the 1st Developer +2ºF warmer. The other baths will automatically process-to-completion as they cool down. Only the 1st developer is time and temperature critical because it controls contrast and color.
CineStill Cs6 samples
“The choice of three different developers opens up creative possibilities and fine tuning for photographers shooting in vastly different lighting situations. Decreasing the processing chemicals from the traditional six to three streamlines the process significantly.” – Stephen Schaub, evensteve.com
“The Cs6 kit is awesome. I’ve never developed my own E6 film before but after my first try I was surprised at how easy it is. The first time looking at the finished piece of film in the light was like the first time I’d ever developed my own film years ago, a feeling I’ll never forget.” – Sandy Phimester, sandyphimester.com
“One of the biggest pains in shooting slide film is the limited dynamic range. After developing with the D9 “DynamicChrome” 1st developer, I was amazed that I had to bracket my camera scan to take advantage of the full dynamic range of the image. Getting nearly the same dynamic range as color negative is mind-blowing!” – Bill Manning, studioc41.net
Bill Manning over at Studio C-41 podcast was kind enough to share a video he put together with his experiences using the new kit. There’s also a full write up over on their website for you to check out.
So, will you be using CineStill’s new Cs6? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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