CineStill Film Enters the ECN-2 Field

CineStill Film Enters the ECN-2 Field

Earlier in the year we announced a new ECN-2 kit hit the consumer shelves and there was much rejoicing. Well, it seems that CineStill Film has entered the long awaited ECN-2 market with their version with the new CineStill Cs2 “Cine Simplified” ECN-2, 2-bath process. In their press release, The Brothers Wright state,


“After years of research and development, we’re are proud to release our reinterpretation of classic cinematic chemistry, the CineStill way… A complete, easy-to-use, 2-bath process for photographers, which produces low-contrast color negatives synonymous with the motion picture workflow.”

CineStill Film

In traditional ECN-2 processing, the development process includes 10-steps to process a single roll (prebath, remjet wash, developer, bleach, fix, rinse). Interestingly, the Cs2 Cine Simplified combines the remjet prebath and developer into a single step and combines the bleach and fixer into a single step while maintaining “Eastman Kodak sensitometric standards”

This 2-bath process simplifies the original 10+ step ECN-2 process, with uncompromised quality and accurate characteristic curves, while making it safe and foolproof for at-home use. 

CineStill Film

With this new announcement comes with several advancements in processing motion picture still:

Advantages

  • Great for extremely high contrast scenes or to achieve the low-contrast cinematic look of motion picture negatives
  • Optimized for motion picture logarithmic scanning and ECP film printing
  • Advanced active chemical agents formulated for motion picture processing
  • Simplified and safer 2-bath solution
  • Reduced risk to health & safety and processing defects caused from chemical carryover
  • None of the caustic compounds or poisonous byproducts associated with ECN-2 processing (such as lye, sulfuric acid, hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide fumes, or highly toxic cyanide gas) 
  • Ships worldwide without Limited Quantity Hazardous (ORM-D) regulations 
  • No special processor or additional components needed
  • Use standard processing tanks and reels
  • Excellent for bleach bypass processing with F96 rapid fixer

I find it quite interesting that CineStill Film considered bleach bypass by using their fixer traditionally used for their black and white processing from the F96 rapid fixer!

However, with all the pros, there are some disadvantages to the chemistry:

Disadvantages

  • Not compatible with still photography RA-4 chromogenic paper
  • More difficult to maintain higher developing temperature than Cs41
  • Less film capacity than the Cs41 process
  • Recommended +1 stop of overexposure
  • Thinner low-contrast negatives can be more difficult to scan

Additionally, CineStill Film’s product page goes through the nitty-gritty comparing the spectral charts and additionally the advantages of it’s safer processing standards in comparison to ECN-2 which is noted to contain sulfuric acid in traditional linear processing. If you wish to dive into those specifics, you can view them here.

I Have Motion Picture film with a Remjet Layer, Will this Work for Me?

Yes, but (there’s a big ‘but’ behind that yes) CineStill Film created this chemistry to work alongside their custom 50D and 800T where the remjet has already been removed. The purpose for doing this is to process their 50D and 800T in the native chemistry to provide the proper densities found in motion picture.

With that being said, if you intend to use this chemistry for film with the remjet layer on a motion picture film (say Kodak 5207 250D), it will still work, but they highly recommend it as a “one shot” as the chemistry is contaminated there after. Therefore, they cannot guarantee subsequent films will be free of color shifts after the first batch. The remaining remjet would be gently cleaned off by hand during the washes after the second bath.

If you process this chemistry with the removed remjet or c-41 color negative films, it is rated up to 16-rolls of 35mm/120 film.

Can I Process C-41 Films in this ECN-2 Kit?

Absolutely! If you have a roll of Portra 400, this film will develop with the same densities found in motion picture films. So get creative and cross-process some C-41 film in ECN-2!

Sample Images

Development Steps

Source: CineStill Film Development Instructions

There is still much to be learned in the process and we will be receiving a kit to test and we will report back with a review!

Bill Manning

Host and Executive Producer for Studio C-41

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