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Cinestill Cs TCS-1000

TCS-1000 intro.jpg

Cinestill Cs TCS-1000

Temperature Control System

To develop film it is very important that the chemicals are at the right temperature. If this is not the case, the results are far from optimal. 1 Degree difference can quickly make a 7% difference in the development times.

You can keep your liquids at the right temperature by putting them in a container of water of the right temperature. You can check the temperature with a thermometer and if the water is too warm by manually adding hot or cold water, but you understand that if you often want to develop negatives, you need a better way that is more accurate and simpler.

“One degree difference can quickly make a 7% difference in your development times”

Jobo has beautiful systems for this, from simple containers that keep the water at the right temperature to containers that also run the tank for you. However, these containers are quite large and quite slow to heat up your water.

Another way is that you use a Cinestill TCS-1000. This is actually a kind of Sous-Vide (with which one can also cook meat slowly in the kitchen, very popular). However, specially adapted for developing negatives and photos.

All you need is a bowl of water and the Cinestill ˚CS. You hang the Cinestill ˚CS in the water, clamped to the edge and set the temperature. The Cinestill will then keep the water at the right temperature by pumping and heating the water. Ideal! I have the Cinestill hanging on the edge of my sink, so I only have to fill the bowl and set the Cinestill to the right temperature.

“Specially adapted
for developing negatives and photos”

The temperature for developing color photos is a lot higher than with black and white, namely 38.5˚C for color compared to 20˚C for black and white. The development times for color are also always the same, while for black-and-white film, each brand and type must be used at different times.

By default, the Cinestill is set to the temperature and times for color film development, 3:30min for developer and 8:00 for Blix/fixer. So if you want to use it for b/w, keep in mind that you set the temperature to 20˚C. I don't use the timer myself, but in principle I could.​

“the development times for b/w film are different for each brand and type”

To set the times during development I use the app "Massive Dev" from Digital Truth (App store / Google Play). With this app you choose the film you want to develop, the developer you want to use and the speed at which you shoot the film (ISO).

The app then indicates how long you have to develop, stop, fix and rinse by means of timers and sound signals. Truly a must have as far as I'm concerned.


What I like about the Cinestill is how compact this solution is. I have tried different solutions such as kettles with thermometers and several Jobo developing trays but the accuracy and compactness of the Cinestill is unmatched. Because the temperature is an important factor, it is important to me that it is also accurately maintained.​

“the Cinestill is very accurate and compact”​

With my current setup in the "doka" I fill one of the sinks with cold water, place all my chemicals in the water and clamp the Cinestill to the rim, set the temperature with the dial and let it do its job.


The water will be at your preferred temperature in no time within a tenth of a degree. I wouldI leave the chemicals in the water for a while to get up to temperature. I check my developer's temp with a thermometer to make sure when I can start my development process. When I still have to mix developer, I can simply use the water from the sink that is already at temperature.​

The development itself is then relatively easy.