Hot off the press: there’s a new black and white monobath developer from the Brothers Wright over at CineStill – CineStill Df96 Monobath – and it’s available to buy this very minute on their website as a 1-Liter kit at an introductory price of US$16.99 (normal price will be $19.99)
CineStill’s new Df96 “Developer & Fix” Monobath, to give it it’s full name, joins a growing number of similar products from The Film Photography Project (FPP) and Famous Format (FF). In short, it’s a welcome addition to the options already available and hopefully a sign of more diversity to come.
Some quick features of Df96:
- Ready-to-use, reusable, single-bath processing for traditional B&W films.
- Processes over 16 rolls of film.
- Process 1-8 rolls at a time.
- Flexible room temperature processing from 70-80°F / 21-26°C with ±2°F / 1°C tolerance.
- Worlds fastest process at 26°C / 80°F in just 3 minutes.
- Can be used for normal or push and pull processing (adjust ±10°F / 5°C).
- Extremely versatile self-completing process.
- No special processor needed (use standard processing tanks and reels).
- Fully archival (see below).
Df96 isn’t CineStill’s first foray into film development chemistry, the company already produces a simplified two-step C-41 development kit, Cs41 “Color Simplified”. Unlike the existing kit, however, Df96 is going to be available internationally through the CineStill website and their network of international dealers. If your local dealer doesn’t have Df96 in stock yet, I’ve been told by the Brother’s Wright that you should drop them a line and make a request.
Here are a few sample frames of Tri-X 400, T-MAX P3200 and CineStill BwXX developed in Df96 (click/tap for a full-sized version).
…and more from CineStill in their official press release:
Introducing CineStill Df96 Monobath:
Developing black and white film just got a whole lot simpler with the CineStill Df96 Monobath. The worries of too much development, dilution, time or agitation are gone. Stop bath? Fixer? Hardener? Gone the way of One-Hour-Photos and formaldehyde.
Finally, foolproof at home film development. Many of the pitfalls and hazards of a duel bath process are eliminated with this ready-to-use single-step solution, such as improper dilution, over-agitation, bubble marks, surge marks, etc. Over-processing is impossible, because the fixing action overtakes chemical development while aiding physical development, creating better image uniformity and finer grain negatives.
Solutions of this type were first proposed as far back as 1889, but only recently have the difficulties associated with their formulation been overcome. The main problem has been the loss of emulsion speed that results when the exposed silver halide is dissolved by the fixation process before development can take place. Our monobath is unlike the home concoctions or old technology that failed years ago. Df96 uses a more effective processing technology (akin to D96 motion picture developer) that buffers fixing, and archival fixing agents that are more solvent and aid in breaking down the silver and redepositing it, to achieve crisp uniform grain and wide development latitude.
Fully Archival Processing:
Df96 uses one of the most effective archival fixing agents and will produce fully archival negatives with proper care. Extending processing time to ensure full removal (fixing) of undeveloped silver halide will not affect development. Washing time after Df96 processing is exceedingly rapid because the solution is alkaline. Five minutes of washing is sufficient to achieve archival standards. This process is not only archival, It boosts shadow tonality while making over-processing your highlights impossible.
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Easy to Use:
If you own a processing tank and a thermometer, you’ve got everything you need to start developing CineStill BwXX or any other black and white film at home. Just determine the temperature of the single solution, pick the recommended time/agitation combination on the label, pour and follow the simple instructions.
1 liter of reusable monobath solution will let you easily develop 16+ rolls of film. Simply pour the used chemistry back into the bottle and add 15 seconds for each roll previously developed until you reach a processing time of 8 minutes.
Process all B&W film:
Df96 Monobath works with any black and white film and is designed for traditional cubic-grain emulsions with high silver content, like BwXX and Tri-X. All films can be pushed or pulled by adjusting temp. +/-10°F per stop.
A self-terminating process guarantees motion picture quality with high resolution and fine grain just a single pour away.
What are your thoughts? Have you ever used a monobath developer before? Think you’ll give this one a try? With purchase options outside of the US, I’ll be giving this a try as soon as I can get my hands on it!
Here’s the link to CineStill’s store one more time.
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I look forward to such a comparison of monobaths with the increasing number of them now, especially as Df96 seems to be very similar to Sam Hiser’s FF No1 monobath which is an evolution of the R3 monobath of Bob Crowleys New55 fame. Also there is ARS-imago’s product of which I know nothing. It would also be very interesting to test these monobaths against Donald Qualls formula that I have used very successfully using Household Ammonia and Kodak HC-110 with Ilfords Rapid fixer. I think that would give many of us a base line to measure against and see just what progress (hopefully) has been made recently.
@CineStillFilm Can it be used for stand development?
I’m interested but none of the UK suppliers have it listed as a product, and I don’t trust them to not charge a ridiculous price to get in it just for me 🙁
A couple of their European suppliers have it in already and I would assume the Silverprint, Parallax and the rest in the UK will get it in eventually…not just for you 😉 I was told by the Brothers that if you don’t see it listed close to you, you should let your dealer(s) know. The more they see a demand, the more likely they’ll stock it. No point sitting in silence, eh?
This is true – I just hope they keep it at a comparable enough price! I’ll wait a couple of days to see if they stock it themselves and if not I’ll email them 🙂
More images please. Many more. Larger images. Film type and exposure info on each. Is there a gallery elsewhere?
There are a few more frames on the CineStill website, Kevin. Click through and you’ll be able to view them in all their glory.
I’ll be honest—I’m dubious when it cone5s to monobaths (and such quick dev times) . I’m curious to see if you get similar results when you try, EM. Also, with such quick dev times you should test a bracket around recommended times. It might be way easier to foul than on, say, a 12 minute dev
That comparison is definitely on the cards, David. I’ve got some shipping issues to deal with but I hope to have some form of comparison (monobaths vs traditional chemistry) up on here by the end of the year.