Cinestill Df96: All in one developer

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Ready to go

I had some time to myself today so set aside an hour or two to develop some film.

I got to try out the Cinestill Df96 one-stop solution which I ordered months ago.

Originally I chose to develop two films but ended up developing three.  All were Fomapan 100 35mm black and white film.

One was shot in the point and shoot camera I inherited from Richards mum and the other two were used in the Rollei in Spain in the spring and this week in London and Colchester.

I developed the first film from the point and shoot and had a couple issues.  I used 250ml and I had a bit of the solution leak out of the canister.  The roll was developed at 25 degrees.

00100lPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20191005130844728_COVER.jpgThe film was barely developed and I thought it was because of the development process or the developer.  Inspecting the negatives I can see light leaks so deduce that the camera is knackered.

What’s unusual about the Cinestill Df96 is that the once you have finished developing, you pour it back into the container and there is no fixing required.

You can literally develop and rinse a film in 11 minutes!

I then developed the test roll from this week but used my other developing tank (mental note Keith – remember to use the blue one in the future!).  This worked so much better.

This time the developer was at 27 degrees, I used 300ml and I agitated the film in the developer for nearly 7 minutes.

This developed to produce a roll of crisp and contrasty images and you can clearly see the shots I took this week (and this morning!).

I wanted to check this wasn’t a fluke and also wanted to leverage my new-found knowledge, so I developed the third film from Spain.

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My highly professional set up!

As I mentioned above, you can reuse the Cinestill developer and you add 15 seconds to each subsequent roll you develop.

The whole process is simple, put the film in the developing tank, agitate it for 6 mins+ and then rinse for 5 minutes.

The final roll was developed at 7 minutes and 27 degrees and the shots (as expected) look detailed, crisp and contrasty 🙂

My only small issue is that I only own one set of film clips so each time as the films dried I replaced the clips with clothes pegs.  I also have to improvise with where I can hang them and thankfully the lamp in the study is just the right height!

I am confident in the Cinestill Df96 mono bath and made a note on the bottle of the number of rolls I have developed and the date as this solution will be less effective over time.

I don’t own a scanner at present but have taken some snaps of the photos to see how they look.  The negatives are now safely stored in my folder until I get a scanner – or until I get the darkroom set up so I can develop them onto paper.

I think I will invest in a scanner so I can see which shots are really good before wasting developer and paper!

I did have a look in the London Camera Exchange in Colchester today and they had one of those small developers you feed the film through – are they any good?  Does anyone have any experience with them?

Here are some snaps of my negatives so you can see how they have come out – I am sure they will be even better when scanned with a scanner!

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Malaga, May 2019, Rollei 35, Fomapan 100 BW
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Malaga Cathedral, May 2019, Rollei 35, Fomapan 100 BW
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Millennium Bridge London, October 2019, Rollei 35, Fomapan 100 BW
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Colchester October 2019, Rollei 35, Fomapan 100 BW

 

2 thoughts on “Cinestill Df96: All in one developer

  1. I’m so pleased these negatives developed well for you 😀 You definitely should invest in a scanner. I’ve certainly not regretted getting one in view of the amount of film shooting I do. I have an Epson V600 scanner which is around £200 new and you can develop 35mm and 120 film with it. Although it doesn’t scan larger size negatives. I think it’s a good starting point as scanners go and I’ve found it really easy to use 👍

    1. Thanks I was pleased too. Always happy when these things work out.

      I’ll take a look at the scanner you recommend thank you. I don’t think I’ll move on from medium format or 35mm so it should suffice.

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