Eastman Kodak Double-X / 5222 and Diafine test

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by luizjorgemn, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. luizjorgemn

    luizjorgemn Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hello all. My name is Luiz and I´m from Brazil. This is my first thread at APUG, so I´m a bit nervous about my poor English. I wonder if you all will even understand what I´m writing about. In advance I´m sorry for my spelling and grammar mistakes.

    I´m using Eastman Kodak Double-X since 2010 and feels very happy with the results. I used to develop it with D96 but now I´m trying it with other chemicals, as I had some rolls scratched in my bulk loader (bad technique, I confess).
    First of all I was using D23 plus water bath, with not-so-nice results. Now I got all chemistries and tryed it with Diafine formula provided at Anchell´s Darkroom Cookbook. We don´t have the original Diafine here in Brazil. These are the results I got from my test.
    I think it´s not necessary to write about this developer as you all may know it, but for those who aren´t aware of Diafine, this is a good review: http://www.blackandwhitefineart.net/2011/01/diafine/

    The negative is a well-known movie negative used in movies like Schindler´s List and 007 Casino Royale, for example. Having a ISO about 250, it´s not a all-around film but I´m looking for a cheaper substitute for Tri-X (US$ 15,00/36 exp roll in Brazil). As this film is thicker than most of negatives (has 2 extra protective layers) I thought it would be a nice candidate for Diafine, that requires the negative to be soaked in bath A to be developed by the alkali in bath B. So, let´s give it a try!

    The negative was developed for 4 minutes in every solution and the agitation scheme was 30s initially and 2 inversions every 30s for bath A and 2 inversions every minute in bath B. Don´t ask why I made it different, just seemed to be the right thing to do.

    This is the test. I shoot with a Pentax ME Super and a 50 1.4 lens, metered in-camera. The scan is a Plustek Opticfilm 7400 with Vuescan, 2400 DPI, one pass.

    A) MDF board (don´t know if you imagine what´s this, it´s a wood-like board used in furniture here in Brazil), metered as medium-gray (zone 5) and closed 2 stops (to zone 3), to see if the negative could retain all details. The intention was to verify the developer´s push capacity. All images are straight out the scan (less contrasted and darker than normal) but there is margin for post-processing on all of them, because there aren´t clipped shadows.

    1. ISO 200
    [​IMG]


    2. ISO 400
    [​IMG]


    3. ISO "600" (half-stop between 400 and 800, that´s all my lens could do)
    [​IMG]



    4. ISO 800
    [​IMG]



    5. ISO "1200" (half-stop between 800 and 1600)
    [​IMG]



    6. ISO 1600
    [​IMG]



    Conclusion: Nice detail retention till "1200" and usable till 1600. Very good for a 250 ISO negative.





    B) Low contrast situation: I would like to see detail retention in bright places, grain size/shape, details in darker places and where I could get the most pleasant contrast curve/ISO. Images edited just to get more pleasant, simulating a real world film situation usage.

    1. ISO 400
    [​IMG]


    2. ISO 800
    [​IMG]


    3. ISO 1600
    [​IMG]


    Conclusion: Low contrast scenes with bright tones predominance could be shooted till ISO 1600. Those situations might not need high ISOS (there is enough light) but we may use ISO 1600 and close the diafragm for depth of field control or high speeds for moving subjects. The best contrast curve was at ISO 800, and the grain was less dominant till 800 also. Again, 1600 might be used.
     
  2. luizjorgemn

    luizjorgemn Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    C) Same situation but more contrast scene. Great contrast between dog´s white and dark fur. I wish to evaluate detail retention in dark and bright zones. Pictures edited in Lightroom to get more pleasant.


    1. ISO 400
    [​IMG]



    2. ISO 800
    [​IMG]



    3. ISO 1600
    [​IMG]



    Conclusion: for situations with more contrast the limiting ISO seems to be 800 or 1-2/3 more stops, as a major concern not to lose important detail in shadows. The hightlights are good in every ISO tested. I need to evaluate better this situations with a modern camera that can handle 1/3 stop speed changes (ME Super changes just full stops in speed)


    D) Real (and hard) light conditions, where we don´t have time to think. The goal was to see if the negative could be used in situations with backlight, high contrast and less control over camera. Used Av mode choosing just the ISO and a fixed aperture. The camera would decide the speed by it´s center-weighted meter. I don´t even know what´s the speed chosen by the camera on each shot. This tends to simulate a street shooting situation.

    1. ISO 400
    [​IMG]



    2. ISO 800
    [​IMG]



    3. ISO 1600
    [​IMG]


    Conclusion: in "emergencies" where we don´t have time to carefully choose settings, like a street or candid shot, we may use ISO 1600 with automatic settings, knowing that we may lose some details but saving the whole picture. Note that the worst picture is ISO 800, where the light doesn´t got the dog´s face (bellow zone 03). In this situations a better light measurement must be made (next test)



    E) Real and hard light conditions, but this time measured for zone 03 (wall bellow the plants) and intented to catch all EV range. Unfortunately, there were no detail at the sky at moment of shooting which was at least 6 EVs apart (zone 9). The buildings was metered ad zona 07. The pictures were edited just to be more pleasant.

    1. ISO 400
    [​IMG]


    2. ISO 800
    [​IMG]


    3. ISO 1600
    [​IMG]


    Conclusion: again, the best contrast curve was at ISO 800. At ISO 400 the contrast was low and should be better ajusted by curves/levels at post-processing. For this film/developer combo the real ISO (best tone curve/scanning) should be 640 ou 800.



    Limitations:
    This test obviously has limitations.
    First of all, there are no images made at night, a typical situation where we should use higher ISOs. I want to test it in future with a good negative (at least a not scratched one) so I can use the images for another purpose than just testing. This would be a real world test.
    Second, the cam doesn´t have 1/3 stops speed control. Soon I´ll get a Canon Rebel (electronic) that can change speed in 1/3 stops (and spot metering) that can do a proper test.
    Third, the in-camera meter couldn´t be calibrated properly and variations may occur. As this camera is my all-around, at least for me, the test is ok.
    Lastly, for enlarging would be necessary to evaluate this data better in contact sheets in future.

    General conclusion: It´s possible to use this film in more situations than normal use I do now, like low light/high speed subjects/low aperture zoom lenses using this developer. We may know the limitations but there is a real speed gain and I, as a rule of thumbs, would use this film rated as ISO 640-800 in better litted scenes and 1250-1600 in dark scenes. In extreme conditions like this, ISO 1600 may be used, since you know that limitations imposed by inadequade tone curve, larger grain and shadow tones losses could occur.

    I´m surprised with this developer. After all I read about it I thought it would be just another promise, but it seems to be a good speed-gainer and tone-controller.


    I´m anxious for your opinion.

    Luiz
     
  3. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

    Messages:
    1,746
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Location:
    Elko, Nevada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This is interesting work Luiz. I just purchased a 100 foot roll of Double X and will most likely be shooting with my Pentax LX so this is coming to my attention at the right time.

    I do have one observation. I could be wrong but I suspect that parts of your test, such as the dog and fence image, may be flawed. If I understand you changed the ISO setting on your camera, set the camera to aperture priority, and then allowed the camera to select the shutter speed. In that situation my Pentax LX will adjust the shutter speed to ensure the image is properly exposed (as the meter understands it). So your film actually received the same (close) light value for each picture. If your dog had been turned to face us in each image his portrait would have been just as dark in each image because the camera's meter would be giving the white background more priority.

    I may be wrong but you would likely get more value by setting your camera to manual and then adjusting only one of the variables; ISO, shutter speed, or aperture for each individual image.
     
  4. luizjorgemn

    luizjorgemn Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    Thank you, Pioneer. I must be mispelled something, as my English is not very good. That´s what I was trying to do: simulate a difficult situation, where you couldn´t think, just focus and shoot. Overexposing is an option (and automatic cameras do this all the time) for recording shadow details even if the camera operator aren´t aware of it. Intentionally changing the ISO settings for 1, 2 and 3 stops above the box rate is dangerous if you get a backlit subject. Even in that situation the film rated as 1600 could record information, but in ISO 800 the dog stared at the camera and avoid the light to illuminate it´s face. Comparing this test with the last leaves just one conclusion: you may try a 2 or 3 stop push, but it requires a careful exposure. Leaving the camera in all-auto mode isn´t an option when dealing with difficult lighting and pushed negatives.
     
  5. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

    Messages:
    1,746
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Location:
    Elko, Nevada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You are doing very well with your English Luiz. Keep up the good work. As soon as I get around to loading up some of my Double X I'll try to catch up.

    Here is some more information from people working with this film as well. You may have seen this, but maybe not.

    http://www.project-double-x.org/about.html
     
  6. luizjorgemn

    luizjorgemn Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thank you, Pioneer. Already know this website, I´ve taken the developing info (4+4minutes) from there.

    I´m waiting for your images.
     
  7. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

    Messages:
    1,746
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Location:
    Elko, Nevada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    So far I have only shot two short rolls in my Contaflex. I used the Contaflex because it is really easy to load the Contax cassettes by hand. I will load a couple more rolls on the Contax cassettes and try it in my Contax 11 as well. So much to do. :smile: My notes don't say so but I suspect I shot this using the in-camera meter, which is quite old now and not always accurate.

    This is from the first roll.
    [​IMG]

    This from the second roll.
    [​IMG]

    Shot at ISO 250 with yellow filter. Developed in Kodak HC110 Dilution B for 6 minutes.

    I haven't haven't had time to work out loading this onto some of my standard cassettes. When I do get to that I will be shooting some in my LX.
     
  8. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

    Messages:
    1,746
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Location:
    Elko, Nevada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It certainly is not as straightforward as loading up a roll of Tri-X or HP5, but I have seen some very good results so I think it certainly should be possible with a bit of work.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2012
  9. luizjorgemn

    luizjorgemn Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The first one seems underexposed/overdeveloped. Dark areas with too much contrast. I'm at iPad now, and the screen isn't calibrated. Second one is nice. I'll see the pictures tomorrow at my calibrated Dell IPS.

    LX is a nice camera. It is K bayonet, isn't? I have 1 K1000 and 2 ME Super. Love those cameras.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  10. luizjorgemn

    luizjorgemn Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I agree. But I made my reasons clear in the beggining of the thread. Tri-x costs 15 dollars per roll here in Brazil. 5222 costs 3 to 5 dollars here. It's an alternative to continue using film...


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  11. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,334
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Double-X works very well as a still film and I wish Kodak spooled it in cassettes. I rate 5222 at EI 400 and develop it in HC-110 1+49 for 8.5 min @21oC with excellent results. In Rodinal 1+49 for 7 min @21oC. D-96 is designed for cine use where it produces a low contrast negative to be printed on high contrast positive stock for projection. I would not recommend its use when 5222 is used as a still camera film. I have hundreds of negatives for this film and for Eastman Plus-X 5231. Never had any bad results.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2012
  12. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

    Messages:
    1,746
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Location:
    Elko, Nevada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I believe it is a bit underexposed but I suspect that some of it also has to do with the scanning. It was very, very early in the morning and the sun had just come above the mountains and the light struck the leaves in the tree and they were glowing. It was a tough exposure and I did not capture it as well as I had hoped. However, the negative looks better than the scan. I am waiting for the new Plustek scanner to arrive before I do too much more scanning. But I also have much to learn about using this Double X film. That is why I found your post so interesting. I found you are also discussing the issue on Rangefinder Forum as well.

    I do enjoy working with my LX. I have never found another camera with a viewfinder as clear and bright as the one in my LX. As hard as it is for some people to believe, even my rangefinder viewfinders are not as clear. Yes, it does use a K Bayonet lens mount. I also own a K1000 which I enjoy but I have no ME Supers. I have heard very good things about them though.
     
  13. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,334
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not true, I don't know where this notion comes from. The quality control for Kodak cine films is the same as for its still films. Add to this that the RMS granularity for 5222 is actually finer than that for Tri-X and you have a fine still camera film. Remember the original Leica was designed to use cine film for there was no still 35mm film at that time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2012
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

    Messages:
    5,480
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No. If you change the meter (in camera meter) film speed setting (and it's not ISO if you set it to ANYTHING other than the manufacturer's rating - it then becomes EI, Exposure Index, /rant) the camera will expose the same scene one stop more if the film speed is halved, one stop less if the film speed is doubled.

    The methodology is fine. The scene may not be the best for an in camera averaging meter, but you will get exactly the same results with a manual camera if you change the exposure setting to get the same meter indication after changing the film speed. If you change the film speed on a manual camera without actually changing the shutter speed or aperture you won't change the exposure at all, just where the meter needles move.
     
  16. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

    Messages:
    1,044
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Double-X 5222 and similar type of cine films are capable of MUCH richer tonality than most photographic films.

    Try some Tri-X, Tmax or whatever You have in high key or low key etc., then try Double-X 5222 or other cine films., make some optical prints and You will be able to better understand why cine films are always highly regarded and why most of the modern photographic films completely fall apart in certain light situations.

    If You scan, Tri-X or Tmax are better choice for 135 since their recent reincarnations look digital enough to be easily scanned. :D
     
  17. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

    Messages:
    1,746
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Location:
    Elko, Nevada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I do know that, even with the little bit of time I have had with this film, I do like it. I will have to work on the scans but the negatives from my 2nd roll look gorgeous. As soon as I get my Focomat set up again I am going to make some prints, I suspect they will come out great.
     
  18. luizjorgemn

    luizjorgemn Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I haven´t found a good developer for this film already. The best I could do was with Diafine. The grain isn´t so beutiful and the gray tones aren´t what I expected. But I think I would feel exactly the same way shooting with Foma, for example, as I´m very used to Tri-X and Fuji Acros.

    This are some pictures using 5222 and other developers.

    5222 and D96
    6761549597_098412971f_o.jpg

    6761549037_3299931234_o.jpg


    5222 and Parodinal
    8121007559_53de9bc1fc_o.jpg

    5222@800 Pushed with D23 + water bath
    8271676190_e7c4446f31_o.jpg

    5222@400 with Diafine
    8284553885_1e2b3f3c2d_o.jpg
     
  19. luizjorgemn

    luizjorgemn Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The ME Super viewfinder is the biggest I ever seen. Ironically, the cam is the smallest SLR ever produced, I believe.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  20. luizjorgemn

    luizjorgemn Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I believe that much of this notion is from our tendencies to trust just in products that are very well tested and, to our eyes, that tone from Tri-x, delta and t-max just seems to be "right". But, when analised carefully, this film retain information that other films just cant. The tone curve is a bit different also.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  21. swordfishphoto

    swordfishphoto Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2015
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'm confused. Why are there different ISO ratings? Diafine is a one-stop shop, you can't push or pull with it. If you change the ISO to say 1600, all you should get in theory is black frame since it's supposedly rated for EI of 200/250, right? Although Diafine tends to push things a bit, but it boggles my mind that all these shots were taken with different EI and they're all properly exposed. So really I have no idea what happened, but something isn't how it actually is. I'm wondering because I just picked up a roll and I wanna know what EI to shoot it at if I develop in Diafine.
     
  22. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,334
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have never been particularly impressed by Diafine negatives. Then there is the lack of control over density and contrast with this developer. As I posted previously I use either HC-110 or Rpdinal. D-76 would also be a good choice.
     
  23. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,334
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Motion picture cameras require better exposure control than still cameras. This is due to how negatives are printed on positive stock. So Kodak gives two ISO values (250D, 200T). One for daylight and one for tungsten light. This is due to the slightly different sensitivity to red light. Still films are similar but the small difference in speed is within the accepted latitude of the film. Manufacturers of panchromatic still films therefore publish only one ISO speed. The two speeds differ by only 1/3 of a stop and can be ignored.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2015
  24. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,456
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I'd have a different 'take' on that i.e. understanding.
    Stills people don't use tungsten studios any more and those that do compensate.
    Some films will be faster in tungsten light and it depends on exposure meter some meter cells are faster in tungsten.
    I shoot a lot of cine cause Tx bulk is 3-4 times the price of xx!
    I get a lot more debris and surface defects on cine...
    I use Microphen, ID68, and Rodinal 1:100 stand for a soft negative close to cine gamma ie contrast.
    Weston II meters at 320 ISO (allowing for the Weston II speed difference).
    I don't mind grain as the style is 60's single coated lens wet rainy overcast days...
    We get lot of wet cold overcast grey cloud days here.
     
  25. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,334
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Tungsten ISO values not only apply to tungsten light but also to instances where there is more red light than normal. Outdoors in the late afternoon immediately come to mind. It is also important to know the spectral response of any light meter.
     
  26. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree Member

    Messages:
    1,334
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Location:
    .
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Where would one find that information?