I was very happy to be asked a few months ago to look at this new E6 process from CineStill and give them my thoughts. After testing for Kodak the new E100 in 120last year this was indeed an exciting development. (See what I did there? Somewhere right now my wife is rolling her eyes.)
So what’s unique about this E6 kit? Here are the descriptions from their website:
D9 “DynamicChrome” Warm-Tone Dynamic 1st Developer.
Renders approximately 9+ stops of usable dynamic-range*! Conventional E-6 processing renders approximately 6 stops of usable dynamic-range*. Extended exposure latitude while maintaining vibrant color-contrast and rich warm-tones with preserved highlight and shadow detail (optimized for scanning) for a more cinematic look. High-dynamic-range for warm-tone slides in daylight, shade or with electronic flash.
D6 “DaylightChrome” Neutral-Tone 5500K 1st Developer.
Renders approximately 6+ stops of usable dynamic-range*, with brighter whites and moderately enhanced color saturation, just like conventional E-6 processing. Daylight-balanced 5500K for neutral-tone slides in daylight or with electronic flash.
T6 “TungstenChrome” Cool-Tone 3200K 1st Developer.
Renders approximately 6+ stops of usable dynamic-range* with brighter whites, and moderately enhanced color saturation. Tungsten-balanced 3200K for artificial light or cool-tone E100T slides. Also, works great for push processing in limited light!
I found mixing the chemicals to be easy and processing in my JOBO was a piece of cake. I already run my own C41 in house as well as a myriad of B&W developers.
My biggest advice to anyone who wants to process their own E6: the developer temperature is critical. Keep the developer within 1 degree F or less for best color, contrast and density.
In conclusion…. I think CineStill’s new offering is a unique and valued addition to the E-6 processing community. It doesn’t seem so long ago that Ektachrome was discontinued- temporarily as it turned out. But today that tide has turned, and I continue to be excited by the strong and vibrant resurgence of film and film processing options.
Very excited to announce that Eastman Kodak has been sharing my artworks on their social media feed on Instagram. The most recent portfolio just posted last night– check it out and please follow me on Instagram for the latest news.
I really dislike it when film or paper is sold under a different name and the identity is kept “secret.” This is now the case with CatLABS X 320 Film which is- in fact- Kodak 5222 Double X film– one of my favorite films in 35mm… but not like this. I purchased three rolls for testing hoping to find a new emulsion to love but instead I spend time and money for nothing. How can I be so sure?… Check out the imprint on the side of the film.
So now that the “cat” is out of the bag I’m off to do some shooting on a beautiful Vermont day.
Amazing couple of days running dozens of different developer tests all with 400TX… love the look of the grain and depth of this film! In the end I came back to an old friend but with a new twist. Diafine is back in my life in a big way! Diluted 1:1 and used as a one shot developer it is spot on in my JOBO with very nice grain, great tonality, no processing issues and best of all a usable EI from about 100-1250 (the chart shows 200-1600… I think 1600 is a bit on the edge for my works but is totally usable in a pinch. So again, in a JOBO speed is 4, temp does not really matter but I ran at 75F, Dilute part A and B 1:1… I did 3.5 minutes in each followed by a 2 min wash with water then fix (box time), clear (box time) and hang to dry…. easy as pie!
Of course an advantage of Diafine that I have written about here before is that many different films can be souped at the same time which is a huge time saver. Diafine negs are a bit flat and do requiere an “S” curve in PS to make me happy but I am now quite happy indeed. I will post links to Diafine articles I have written and a great one from a friend Sandy King from View Camera.
My suggest EI…. 800.
Viva la Revolution– Stephen
All images shot with a Leica MP with a 35MM Summicron ASPH… on Film!
as for articles here… there are a lot!!!! Just type in Diafine in the search box and enjoy!
Also please note these were just quick scans (first set) as I am leaving tomorrow for a week of shooting but the final scan (last image) is quite nice and shows the real potential for this amazing combo.
When Kodak released the Portra 400 a few months ago many of us speculated that a new Portra 160 would be just around the corner… and guess what? Kodak has announced today that Kodak Professional Portra 160 will be released starting in March 2011 in: 35mm, 120/ 220, 4×5 and 8×10… fantastic!!! Click on the audio-play button to listen to a 13 minute in-depth review of this new film (I tested 120) and be sure to look at the sample images provided below while listening to the audio… What a nice way to start the week!!!
Viva la Revolution- Stephen
Please click on the images below to see larger versions of each.
I, like many parents, have a hidden hope that one of my children will someday follow in my footsteps and one day become a photographer… a successful photographer, mind you. My oldest daughter was first introduced to photography when I gave her a Polaroid camera slr 680 (SX-70) at the age of four and then later a lighter new plastic Polaroid Spectra System. She’s now eight and for Christmas received a digital camera from her Uncle Chris and most recently I gave her a 1924 No.2 Kodak Brownie Cartridge Hawk-Eye, Model B from my collection (shoots 120mm, 6×9 cm).
With each new camera comes more questions on photography, art and the general “how do you do that“? Meanwhile, my wife Eve has just returned from a trip to Rochester, NY which included a visit to the George Eastman House – an amazing must pilgrimage for all photographers, whether you like Kodak or not- and purchased a comic book (gotta have a souveneir for the kids!) about George Eastman and the early history of Kodak. I, of course, had to read it (okay, twice) and despite its simplistic narrative it does answer many questions my 8 year old has regarding photography and this “new” Brownie camera she’s received… and it is presented in a manner that is accessable and fun to read. Yes, I know any discussion about Kodak nowadays is fraught with controversy and conflicting opinion but for my daughter it is perfect… and waaay more age appropriate than A World History of Photography byNaomi Rosenblum.
I, for one, would like to let her have her moment of blissful discovery for all things photographic- anger regarding Kodak (not to mention Ilford, Fuji and Agfa (RIP) et al) can come later. You know, like in art school!
As promised here is the next installment in the ongoing exploration of Diafine Developer and TX. In these videos hybrid artist and master printer Stephen Schaub (The Leader) discusses scanning techniques, color management considerations and Photoshop techniques to maximize your Diafine processed TX negatives!! (Please note that due to a time limitation on Youtube the video has been broken into two parts so be sure to watch BOTH videos!!)
Stay tuned for part 3 of the Diafine and TX saga early next week on the Figital Revolution!
Kodak IMHO hit a home run with the new TMAX 400. I’ve been testing the 35mm version- (the box says world’s sharpest 400… and it is!) and having now shot around 30 rolls of this film in Puerto Rico and tested a few more here in Vermont here are some initial thoughts (note- please be sure to click on the images to get a larger view):
1. I tried 3 different developers (D-76, XTOL and PMK… XTOL Straight wins hands down.)
2. True 400 speed in XTOL.
3. Extremely fine grain with a very, very nice tonality…MY NEW FAVORITE FILM!!!
4. I feel that the times posted by Kodak for this new film are pretty darn good- at least the Xtol processing time/ temp produces negs that scan perfectly.
I have posted an example snapshot I took of my wife Eve Ogden Schaub of LIFE=ART while at lunch in Puerto Rico (my Pina Colada is just out of the frame). The image was shot on a Leica M7 with a Summilux 50mm F1.4 at F/2.8 (060 filter on lens). Be sure to check out the detail images as well as they really illustrate why I feel this film is a real winner (remember…this is 35mm 400 speed film!)
The scan was done on our Imacon at 6300dpi, 16 Bit, Wet Mount. Printed at 16″ x 24″ on our d’Vinci Fine Art Printer it blows me away that this is 35mm. Go get this film NOW! This is a film we as photographers should support as it is fantastic (and how often can you say that these days?)
Please note that there is quite a bit of old stock TMAX 400 out there (I don’t like the old film at all)…the new version has only been out since Oct/ Nov 2007 and can be a bit hard to find. The box should have a red rectangle that says “World’s Sharpest !” The Catalog Number is: 894 7947…I purchased mine from a Calumet Store.
Here is a sample preview of my new artworks from Puerto Rico (These are from my Fragment Series). The image is 36″ x36″!
Viva La Revolution!!
Please note all images Copyright Stephen M. Schaub 2008
Film is not dead…yeah we know. Today I received a catalog from KEHproclaiming that Film Is Not Dead on the cover. Additionally, I also got a copy of an interesting study recently done by Kodak- to summarize:
9,000 professional photographers in the US were surveyed and over 75% said that they will continue to use film even as they embrace digital technology.
68% preferred the results from film to digital 48% find that medium and large format films capture superior quality 48% like the traditional photographic look 45% find film has better highlights and shadows 42% like film’s wide exposure latitude compared with digital 38% like film’s archival storage
The article goes on to state that Black and White in film is a big reason most photographers are still keeping film around (90%).
So what does all this mean?
In a nut shell…do both. Shoot film! Shoot digital! Do what you want and let the advertising hype just pass you by. I also received a copy of PDN today (current issue)…not surprising that almost every ad and new product review is about digital…how is that for reflecting what photographers are interested in (see above survey as a reminder).
We maintain that a good film scan is near impossible to beat in terms of quality and cost. Digital capture does have a place but… for now the Photographers have spoken.