Blog by Leslie Lazenby
On April 26, 2018 the Film Photography Project introduced an amazing new product – the FPP Super Monobath One-Step BW Developer. It’s currently available (in the FPP On-Line Store) for you to try at home.
above: Processed in the FPP Super Monobath / Kodak Fine Grain 2366 bw film / Canon EOS A2E, 28-105 Canon USM lens
What is a Monobath? A monobath is a developing solution that contains developer, stop bath and fixer all in one solution – that’s right, it’s all in this 1-Liter bottle! You do not mix it, you do not dilute it and you re-use it many times. Please note that the FPP Super Monobath is archival (just like any other developer) if you properly wash your negatives after development.
Super Monobath works at 3.5 minutes @ 75 degrees or 5.5 minutes @ 68 degrees.
Monobath can be a alchemic mystery. FPP’s new venture into monobath is no less a chemical marvel. To use this product, follow these quick and easy steps below. (You will need basic home processing gear like a tank, funnel & thermometer.)
How to use:
- Pre-wash your BW film with water close to the same temperature as your monobath solution.
- After you pour out your pre-wash, add monobath for the suggested time.
- Pour back your FPP MonoBath.
- Water rinse (20 -30 min – to shorten water wash see below).
Using the FPP Permanent Archival Wash is highly recommended as a last step to save an amazing amount of time and water. With FPP Permanent Wash, water rinse for a minute and then dip in our Permanent Wash for 1 minute. Done! (FPP Foto Flow optional to avoid streaking)
You’re DONE – processed and archivally washed film negatives in less than 8 minutes!
It’s the FPP Gang! Shot on FPP bw 200 35mm film and processed in the FPP Super Monobath!
Some monobath formulas claim to work with any film, all at the same time and temp, but we believe this is not the case. Through much testing we have a recommended list of films that work with our monobath formula. What’s even easier there are no time changes for using one of these films over the other. If you want to develop Kodak Double X and Rollie Infrared IR400 in the same tank, it’s no problem. We have found workable temperatures that are easy to accommodate your ambient temperature.
The monobath technique is not new, every Polaroid instant image uses a monobath type of chemistry. Nor is it the perfect solution to all negative processing needs.
You will find greater control of contrast, grain and speed with other traditional developers and fixer combinations. Mastering the monobath technique is easy and satisfying, it’s great for beginners, travelers and those who like to experiment with different methods of developing B/W films. It is very economical as you are buying only one unit of chemistry, not three. There is no mixing or need for any additional containers for the mixed chemicals and it is great for small limited spaces as it is just one bottle, not three.
For those experienced in B/W film processing you will be amazed with how fast the FPP Super Monobath works. At 75 degrees you will have completed all three traditional processing steps in 3.5 minutes, that’s faster than any recommended development step, let alone developer, stop and fix!
Images on this page were processed using this Super Monobath. Visit the FPP Super Monobath product page HERE!
Remember that increasing your overall processing time doesn’t increase the density of your negatives. Increasing your temperature will give you a small boost in density.
If you are finding a slight brown cast to your negatives you can simply place the film back in the chemistry for another minute or so to further clear the negatives. Agitation is 3 to 5 inversions per every 30 seconds. Final wash is 30 minutes in water or shorten this time to 3 minutes with Archival Permanent Wash.
FPP Super MonoBath Tested Films
Adox CHS 50
Adox CHS 25
Adox CHS 100II
Arista Premium 400
Arista EDU Ultra 400
Arista EDU Ultra 200
Arista EDU Ultra 100
Kodak 2366 Fine Grain Blue Sensitive
FPP BW 200
Fuji Neopan 100
Fuji Acros 100
Fuji Neopan 100ss
Ilford Pan 400
Ilford Pan 100
Iiford HP5+ 400
Iiford Pan F+ 25/50
Kodak Double-X 5222 200
Kodak Tri-X 400
Kodak Plus-X 125
Kodak T-Max 100
Kosmo Foto Mono 100
Lomography Earl Grey 100
Lomography Lady Grey 400
Lucky SHD 100
Orwo UN54 iso 100
Rollie Infrared IR400
Rollei Ortho 25
Rollei Pan 25
Svema Foto 100
Washi A iso 12
Ultrafine T-Grain 400