Home Developing: With Cinestill Df96

Last month I spent a day in the darkroom learning how to develop B&W film with some Ilford chemicals. You can read more about my experience here. As July is my birthday month I got some developing equipment and then went to a local shop to get any other bits that I needed. I decided to try out the CineStill Df96 Monobath powder kit as it seemed like an even easier way to develop film at home and I liked the idea of I only needing one chemical for the entire process.

The powder kit comes in two packages, one is a small corse powder and the second is a bit more like small crystals. Mixing the chemicals into water was easy and it reminded me of when I used to have a chemistry set as a child.

The CineStill Df96 makes developing super easy, there is a little manual inside that tells you what temperature to develop at depending on the film you have shot, most of them come under ‘normal’ then you just measure chemical temperature and either develop for 3 mins with constant agitation, 4 mins with intermittent agitation or 6 mins with minimal agitation.

I actually watched the series of short video instructions that Stephen Schaub has on Emulsive before I started the entire process and it was super helpful. I don’t know if a more experienced person would get much out of the video, but as a newbie in developing film negatives, it was really really helpful.

Below are some Instagram Stories I published during the first roll of 35mm I processed. You can follow my Instagram Story ‘Home Dev’ Highlight here.

I have so many colour film negs to develop. I am a bit worried because colour development seems more intimidating than B&W. I have the CineStill C41 Powder Kit so I am feeling pretty optimistic about it.

I can’t wait to share my home developed photos here but I don’t have a scanner and that is the most expensive up front part of this whole process so I don’t know when I will be able to get them on here.

If anyone has any scanner recommendations let me know, I have been looking at the Epson Perfection V550 but would be interested in other people’s opinions if you think there is a better scanner out there for the same price point.


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I buy all my film from Analogue Wonderland. They are awesome, stock over 200 types of film, ship worldwide and give you points for every £1 you spend. If that doesn’t excite you then you must be dead inside.
If you use my referral link here to make a purchase you will receive a free roll of 35mm film!

12 Comments

  1. That’s great, what brilliant Birthday present. Looks like your negs turned out good. The Epson is probably the best to go for at that price point, at least you will be able to scan 35mm and 120 film. Epson Scan software is quite good once you get into it, you can turn off most of the enhancements, on mine it defaults to scanning with unsharp mask and sometimes I forget to turn it off.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. niiiiiice. I look forward to your images.

    I just acquired all the gear to process my own. I’ve got the scanner down: Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II. The bundled ScanGear software can be made to deliver pretty good images. I used to have an Epson Perfection V300 and I thought the bundled EpsonScan software was terrible.

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      1. You have to have some sort of software that interfaces with the scanner to pull the image in. Can Lr do that natively? I’ve only ever used the software bundled with the scanner, or Silverfast.

        Like

  3. Congratulations! Home developing is fun. It’s always exciting to see your images for the first time. I used to be intimidated with home C41 developing, but I now find it easier than B&W. I have an Epson V600 that I’ve had for 8 years, it can be frustrating to use but I’m quite happy with the results I get from it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It is slow, and scanning is also my least favorite part of film photography. My scanner needs to be restarted after scanning a few rolls, but it could be because it’s old. It still gets the job done though, so I’ll keep using it.

        Liked by 1 person

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