Pushing Kentmere 400 to 1600 using Cinestill DF96 Monobath

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Huss

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This was an experiment. I was looking for big, chunky grain and was curious to see if pushing Kentmere 400 to 1600 with DF96 would do it.
6 minutes dev time @ 90.
Here is a selection of images from that roll (Leica M7, CV 40 1.2) taken in blazing sunlight and very dim indoor conditions. I wanted to see how it would handle opposite ends of the exposure scale!
No exposure compensation in post/scanning. Just straight conversions.
Frankly the results were not what I expected - and in a good way. A little more grain but surprisingly little. Still great tonal range.

I love Kentmere 400! The fact that it is the cheapest B&W film on the market is a huge bonus.



100% crop from above to show grain:




























 

Moose22

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That grain is perfectly adequate for 1600, and DF96 isn't notoriously fine grained. I should push a roll and see how it compares to the HP5 I was doing at 1600 last week.

I bought a 10 pack of that stuff from mpex, so I can shoot and dev for under $5 a roll. As cheap as bulk loading HP5. Now I'm really interested in what I get when I play with it.

One aside -- I don't mind Arista, but I gave a point and shoot to a young lady yesterday and it needs DX encoding to work. Kentmere is encoded. I thought that was a nice benefit.
 
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Huss

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That grain is perfectly adequate for 1600, and DF96 isn't notoriously fine grained. I should push a roll and see how it compares to the HP5 I was doing at 1600 last week.

I bought a 10 pack of that stuff from mpex, so I can shoot and dev for under $5 a roll. As cheap as bulk loading HP5. Now I'm really interested in what I get when I play with it.

One aside -- I don't mind Arista, but I gave a point and shoot to a young lady yesterday and it needs DX encoding to work. Kentmere is encoded. I thought that was a nice benefit.

I really like Arista (Foma) but it is more expensive and does not have DX coding for cameras that need it.

All the pics I posted had no final edits - normally I would adjust the tones a bit for some more snap - but I wanted to show how Kentmere looks at its base level when pushed with DF96.

The amount of grain pretty much looks the same as if I shot it @ 400 and developed in DF96 monobath. That is what I find most surprising. I'm thinking of using ISO 1600 as the default w this film now! Greatly expands its shooting envelope from day into night, as long as I don't need any subject isolation in daylight. The outside shots were 1/1000 @ F16-F22.
 

Nitroplait

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I guess pricing is market dependent. Kentmere is 25% more than Foma in EU - and I think it is worth 25% more - it is a better made film, but foma is perfectly adequate - no bashing.
I use FOMA for 4x5 because ILFORD 4x5 pricing is crazy - but if only 25% more expensive, I would buy Kentmere 4x5 in a heartbeat if only it existed
 

Paul Howell

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I use a lot of Foma 200 and 400, what I like about Foma over Kentmere or Ultrafine Ex 400 is that Foma has anti halation layer which I feel in needed when shooting in the bright low desert sun. I do buy Kentmere for my DX coded point and shoots, none of mine allow for an override.
 

AgX

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Huss, as you know I did not get the idea behind monobath developers for our use at all. But surprisingly you sure got intersting results.

Though, at sun-lit California shadows can be less important in a photograph and thus may make pushing easier.
 
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Huss

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Huss, as you know I did not get the idea behind monobath developers for our use at all. But surprisingly you sure got intersting results.

Though, at sun-lit California shadows can be less important in a photograph and thus may make pushing easier.

Half my examples on the same roll of film were inside in very dim light. And that was the point in this exercise - to see how it would perform in both exposure extremes.
 
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Huss

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I use a lot of Foma 200 and 400, what I like about Foma over Kentmere or Ultrafine Ex 400 is that Foma has anti halation layer which I feel in needed when shooting in the bright low desert sun. I do buy Kentmere for my DX coded point and shoots, none of mine allow for an override.
Understandable. You pick the right tool for the job. I like Kentmere because it does not have the anti-halation layer!


 

kykr

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Very nice, and impressive results. Curious, have you tried this with traditional developers? I haven’t used monobath and maybe 90 (deg F?) is typical.
 
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Huss

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Very nice, and impressive results. Curious, have you tried this with traditional developers? I haven’t used monobath and maybe 90 (deg F?) is typical.
I have not. To push film w monobaths you increase the temp. 10 degrees for 1 stop push. If shot at box speed the dev temp for 6 mins be 70 deg F.
 

Bronson Dugnutt

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I have not. To push film w monobaths you increase the temp. 10 degrees for 1 stop push. If shot at box speed the dev temp for 6 mins be 70 deg F.

You know what you have to do... Kentmere 400 @ 25 and develop with df96 out of the freezer at 30F... for science. 🧑‍🔬
 
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100% Analog / Traditional ?
Mmmmmmmm...
I think Kentmere 400 (now Pan) is a very good film, and I've many times defended it here, even in Rodinal, and also in Microphen because unlike Foma and other cheap films, it can reach 1600 decently, but...
Young visitors can be led to confusion, as K400's tone is not showed here, but just a digital photograph from a K400 frame, and then a new digital tone is created, apart from the digital post edition.
Do we have any zone or subforum in Photrio where the 100% analog criteria remains respected?
By the way, Huss, of course your results would be interesting if they were wet prints scans, and now it would be cool to see some wet prints of yours from some of those frames...
I mean, to really talk about Kentmere400.
Thanks for sharing!
 
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Huss

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100% Analog / Traditional ?
Mmmmmmmm...
I think Kentmere 400 (now Pan) is a very good film, and I've many times defended it here, even in Rodinal, and also in Microphen because unlike Foma and other cheap films, it can reach 1600 decently, but...
Young visitors can be led to confusion, as K400's tone is not showed here, but just a digital photograph from a K400 frame, and then a new digital tone is created, apart from the digital post edition.
Do we have any zone or subforum in Photrio where the 100% analog criteria remains respected?
By the way, Huss, of course your results would be interesting if they were wet prints scans, and now it would be cool to see some wet prints of yours from some of those frames...
I mean, to really talk about Kentmere400.
Thanks for sharing!

I would love to one day have a real darkroom again and rediscover wet printing! It would be a whole new experience - again! - and I would rediscover these films again.
 

McDiesel

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@Huss I am in the same boat. Can't wait to start wet printing, the experience (from childhood memories) is therapeutic and amazing, it's like meditation.

In terms of results, my engineering brain rejects everything Juan says. It simply can't possibly make any sense, because judging strictly by physical characteristics of film, paper, monitors and human eye, digital scanning is a strict superset of what wet printing can theoretically deliver, in that sense a well-done scan on a good high-res monitor says far more about a negative than any wet print ever could, but I'll wait for my own experimentation because real world results do not always agree with theory due to imprefections in technique and available equipment.
 

koraks

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a well-done scan on a good high-res monitor says far more about a negative than any wet print ever could

Maybe. What that DOESN'T mean however is that if you get good scans from a film underexposed by 2 stops, the film will also print well traditionally.
The examples shown in this thread are nice enough, but I severely doubt (I'm formulating this carefully...) that they will still stand when printed the old fashioned way. That's of no consequence if the photographer intends to work hybrid exclusively, so what gives? I personally don't; if I want to post process and print digitally, I'd rather shoot digitally as well. The only really purpose negatives have for me is to be able to print them optically. But that's my personal preference.


what I like about Foma over Kentmere or Ultrafine Ex 400 is that Foma has anti halation layer

Not in 35mm, it doesn't. Not Foma 100, not 400, not 200 etc. And it shows!
 
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