Diafine speeds for 4x5?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jan Brittenson, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. Jan Brittenson

    Jan Brittenson Member

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    For some films the Diafine box lists recommended EIs for 35mm and 120, for others there's no mention of format -- meaning I suppose they recommend the same speed. No recommendations for 4x5 sheet. What would be a good starting point for a zone V'ish middle-of-the-range exposure for APX100, TX 320 (current emulsion), HP5+, FP4+, in 4x5 sheet?
     
  2. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    for 4x5 in diafine I got good results with FP4 at the box speed of 125. Also, I don't suggest rotary development (neither do the makers) as it produces some quite nasty results.
     
  3. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    Note that when the Diafine data varies according to format the variations in EIs for a given emulsion vary according to film base thickness; thicker films having a lower EI:

    APX 100 in 35mm, EI 200; in 120, EI 250

    APX 25 in 35mm, EI 40; in 120, EI 50

    Pan F+ in 35mm, EI 80; in 120, EI 100 (both of which, IMHO, are optimistic)

    So for sheet film I'd check on the film base thickness and adjust accordingly.
     
  4. Jan Brittenson

    Jan Brittenson Member

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    Thanks guys. :smile: My main interest in Diafine is actually for 120 HP5+ and TX shot in my Mamiya 7. But if I'm going to have the developer around, I figured I might as well see how it works with all films I normally use, both 120 and 4x5.

    I notice the box says not to use a stop bath. What about an acid fixer? Will it exhaust the fixer faster? I assume it's OK with a water rinse inbetween...
     
  5. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    Check the film base thicknesses and figure on adjusting your EI accordingly. In my experience so far with Diafine the manufacturer's suggested EIs are about right for traditional style films but anywhere from a little off to way off on thin emulsion or newer technology films like T-Max.

    And I didn't like the results with T-Max films anyway.

    Remember, since Diafine doesn't respond to N+/- development, the way to determine the best EI for a film is to simply bracket exposures. It works.

    No stop bath or water rinse between Parts A and B. That'll kill the developer action.

    Water rinse only after Part B is finished. I agitate a tankful of plain water for 30 seconds.

    No indication of problems with any residual Diafine shortening the fixer life.

    It's a handy developer when combined with the right film, lighting and subject matter.
     
  6. lee

    lee Member

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    God, this Diafine makes for grainy negs. I ran some tests a few years ago and it developed film but the results were less than impressive. We tray developed the stuff and neither my darkroom partner or I will ever use it again.

    lee\c
     
  7. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    The "fine" in Diafine is a bit of a misnomer.

    It produces fine grain relative to the exposure index with certain films.

    For example, Tri-X in Diafine (my EI is 1200-1250) delivers grain comparable to Tri-X in Rodinal at the nominal speed. That's pretty good.

    OTOH, TMX in Diafine gets only to EI 160 and is quite grainy, surprising for what is normally a virtually grainless film. And with TMY I get finer grain at EI 1600 in Microphen than from this film at EI 500 in Diafine.

    So it all depends on the film.

    It's a quirky developer whose chief benefit is convenience. It also produces a unique look that can be very appealing but, again, only with certain films.

    For example, FP4+ at EI 250 in Diafine is a very useful combo for me, especially for nighttime photography.

    Also, without Diafine I'd have had a difficult time doing any film processing at times this summer when the coolest my darkroom ever got was around 85F.
     
  8. lee

    lee Member

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    Lex said<<<Also, without Diafine I'd have had a difficult time doing any film processing at times this summer when the coolest my darkroom ever got was around 85F.>>>


    I know about that. I use a lot of ice in the summer. I tray develop everything for my personal work and if I shoot 120 I tank develop that. I find it much easier to bring the chems to 75f and adjust the time to correspond with the higher temp.

    lee\c
     
  9. AndrewH

    AndrewH Member

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    I have rotary processed hundred of negatives in a Jobo with constant rotation and they turned out perfectly. Also, Lex and I have agreed to disagree on 100TMX in Diafine. I like it. I also have to disagree with Lee, I don't think that the result are THAT grainy. Granted this stuff isn't Microdol-X, but Rodinal it isn't either. What else could let you shoot Tri-X at 1250-1600 and look like it was shot at 400?
     
  10. Jan Brittenson

    Jan Brittenson Member

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    So, I finally ran into a landscape application for Diafine. :smile: I uploaded an image, Fog Totem, to the standard gallery. Diafine is well worth trying in 4x5 IMO. I also uploaded another more run-of-the-mill night photo, Toasting Marshmallows, also 120 TX400 in Diafine.
     
  11. Sherman

    Sherman Member

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    I too have processed an awful lot of 100TMX in a rotary (Unidrum) processor using Diafine with excellent results. I generally just shoot at the rated ISO of 100 rather than 160 or whatever is recommended. Nothing wrong with a little more shadow detail and it is almost impossible to blow out the highlights with Diafine.

    Since I shoot mostly 4x5 grain isn't much of an issue but with Diafine it seems no worse than D76 1:1 when using 100TMX or APX100.