Black and White Photography · Developing Adventures · Mamiya camera · opinion · Vintage Camera

Developing Adventures – Double-X in D96

In this Developing Adventure, I developed a roll of Cinestill Double-X in D96 B&W Motion Picture Developer. I shot it with my Mamiya 645 at ISO 200. If you read my last Developing Adventure featuring Double-X film, you’d know I really fell in love with the look of this film. At over $10 a roll it’s not a cheap film, but then again what is anymore, so I haven’t shot it much recently until now.

According to Cinestill’s website, this developer is well suited for black and white motion picture films because it has an s-curve contrast that gives it that motion picture film look. I’m a huge fan of old black and white movies and television shows, so I love this look.

Developing Double-X in D96

It is really simple to mix up a 1 liter batch of D96. Just add water and mix. I will say one thing, black and white developers I usually use don’t have an odor that I have noticed, but D96 stuck in my nose for a while.

religious statue

I processed this roll of 120 Double-X for 6 minutes and fixed it for 5 minutes using my usual Ilford Rapid Fixer.

My Results

I scanned these photos using my Epson V800. While scanning, I don’t make any adjustments. In post, I usually just crop out the film lines and then sharpen because the scanner badly depletes the sharpness of any film scanned.

Fiddle Fig Leaf

In the photos below, you can see a comparison of a photo from my Developing Adventure where I processed a roll of Double X in Kodak’s D76 with a 1+2 dilution. To the right is a photo from the roll developed in Cinestill D96. The diluted D76 gave the film a lot more contrast compared to the D96.

The dynamic range of this film really does have the look of an old black and white movie. The blacks still carry detail all the way up to the highest highlight. The grain is so fine it looks almost non-existent. Personally, I enjoy fine grain for my style of shooting.

Double-X in D96

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Double-X in D96

Final Thoughts

D96 is supposed to be suitable for other black and white films like Ferrania P30, of which I have several rolls in my fridge, so I hope to use it again soon. I think I prefer the look it gave this film over the look the diluted D76 gave it.

Double-X in D96

I have several more rolls of this film. This was just my first time using this developer, so I wanted to share my results with you all. If you enjoy this film and developer, let me know in the comments. How do you process Double-X film? I’d love to hear from you all.

You can check out my other developing adventures here. If you enjoyed this article or any of my content and would like to contribute something to the upkeep of it all, click the yellow buttons below. Any or all of the three are much appreciated ways of helping me out.

Until next time, stay motivated and keep shooting.

5 thoughts on “Developing Adventures – Double-X in D96

  1. If you want some really stinky developer, try Caffenol C-H :). (Seriously, it makes Double-X sparkle for me.)

    I was done with D-76 after I used up my first bag/bottle. Double-X seemed to contrasty or too muddy (and always too grainy). D96 definitely seems like a step-up – I guess that’s why Cinestill recommends it for BwXX.

    Here’s a few images of mine developed in caffenol.

    35mm FPP Double-X in caffenol:

    It’s pleasingly grainy, even for 35mm.

    Cinestill 120 BwXX in caffenol:

    I over-developed it, but the grain is still pretty pleasing.

    Cheers Aly!

      1. Thanks Aly.

        There is both an agitation and a stand recipe with general instructions in the Caffenol cookbook (

        I use the agitation recipe with the added sodium bromide (Caffenol C-H), and I’ve heard great things about the stand recipe (from large format folks especially).

        If you need details about the chemicals, shoot me a message – the cookbook gives decent info but some important details get left out since the main writer is English and the brands of coffee and washing soda are different over the pond.

  2. Dang, you’re a mind reader, in addition to being a photographic artist and all-around amazing person! As I was reading your first paragraph, I began wondering, “Hmm, I wonder how D96 compares with the D76 I used to work with in my darkroom back in the day.” And then I had my answer forthwith, because you clearly had the same question, did a side-by-side and answered it!

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