Formula for Diafine

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by J Drew, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. J Drew

    J Drew Subscriber

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    Formula for Diafine
    I was looking on line for the price of Diafine, but 1st I saw it for 1 qt of Accufine. I damn near fell out of my chair. Then I saw the price for 1qt of Diafine of ~$35 & I did fall out of my chair.
    Next I picked up my copy of 'Film Developing Cookbook' looking for Diafine. So far as I can tell there were no Ethol or what the other company’s name is, formulas nor any mention of them nor any of their products.
    Am I mistaken? Are they buried in there some where? Maybe if I looked in the 'Darkroom Cookbook', I'd find something. I doubt that I could save any $ by mixing my own, but, boy $35 got me to thinking. I shot a 35mm roll of Fuji B&W 1600 by accident instead of Fuji Color neg 1600. I would feel a lot safer w/ Diafine. it's near foolproof. If I lived in the City (San Francisco) I might be able to find a custom lab to soup it. But I don't want to make the drive.
    Come to think of it, 140 miles round trip @ $.50 per mile makes it $70 dollars. Makes the $35 for Diafine not seem so bad.
    BTW do Troop & Anchell have something against Ethol & their Ilk of developers?
    Thanks. Jay Drew
     
  2. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Diafine is expensive, but it lasts almost FOREVER. In terms of per-film cost, it's still probably one of the least expensive developers around. And the gallon usually doesn't cost more than maybe 1/3 more than a quart.
     
  3. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    Can someone educate me, why is it fool proof?

    What kinds of tones does it have? Is it closer to Rodinal or HC-110 in sharpness vs grain etc?

    Nearly forever is Rodinal... So there's more than one nearly forever? Lol


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    There is very little need to control temperature, and past a certain point an increase in time makes little difference in development.

    One re-uses Diafine over and over - if you don't contaminate it, it will last for a very long time and will develop a lot of film.

    With some films, it gives a real speed increase - e.g. old Tri-X at EI 1250 and you got good shadow detail. I haven't used it in years, so I don't know what EI people are getting with current Tri-X.

    It accomplishes its speed increase by, inter alia, lowering contrast. So one needs to try it to determine whether it will be suitable for one's needs.

    It might do a good job with negatives designed to be scanned - you should ask someone who uses it for that purpose.
     
  5. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    I shot "the old Tri-X" at 1600 with good results. With current Tri-X I find it depends (I find the same thing with TMY to a greater extent) very much on the light. In daylight, say an overcast day, I can still use 1600 and get great results. But in tungsten light 1600 is a bit thin and I prefer 1000. 1250 is a good compromise.

    If I had to standardize on only one developer it would be Diafine. One of my favorite combos used to be Plus-X at 400-500 in Diafine. I preferred the results to Tri-X at box speed in D76. Current medium speed films don't seem to do as well, by which I mean they don't get the same speed increase though they work fine. FP4+ is more like 200.

    I use Diafine now mainly for two films: Tri-X when I want 1000-1250 but don't need Delta 3200 speed, and for Pan F+. It's a great developer for Pan F+ in my experience, both taming some of the contrast by moderating the highlights and giving a small but useful speed increase. I shoot this combo at EI 64. Though that's only 1/3 stop over box speed, most people using other developers seem to shoot it at 32-40 so it's more like 2/3s to 1 stop.

    I've posted this before, but I gave my wife's parents a mounted and framed print of roughly 15" square of this photo for Christmas. (I shot this at the beach house they rented for a month in 2011, while we were staying with them.) They put it over the mantle and wrote a thank you card saying how much they like it. The print I made for them is somewhat darker than this rendering. Pan F+ in Diafine, EI 64:

    [​IMG]
    Apalachicola Beach 1 by Roger Cole, on Flickr
     
  6. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    The formulas for commercial developers are usually closely guarded secrets, you are not going to see them published. What you can find are formulas that claim to produce the same results as a particular commercial one. I posted three formulss for Diafine, check the archives.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2013
  7. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    Thanks, interesting... Well when I'm done testing D76 and played with my can of polydol, maybe I'll give diafine a chance.


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. J Drew

    J Drew Subscriber

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    That's true & I'll look for a gal. size.
    Thanks Rodger
     
  9. Jerevan

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  10. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Diafine is something that, while I dont use it that much now, I would really really miss if it were to go away and it comes in airtight sealed aluminum cans so it should last a very long time. I just got another gallon to set aside along with my order from Freestyle (received today) and the box has changed. Instead of the old coated box with printing it came in rough cardboard with a printed label stuck on. Inside cans are same as always so no impact to the product itself that I can see.

    I now have my working gallon and two unmixed. Considering I used to get about 50-70 rolls through a quart I ought to be set for a while for Diafine.
     
  11. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    My gallon kit just arrived this past week and I can't wait to try it.
    It may be pricey, but my understanding of it's capacity and the life of the mixed solution actually seems to make it economical. The cost for the gallon over the quart made the gallon a better deal.

    Less expensive developers can turn out to be more expensive in practice. I rarely get through half of my d-76 before it goes bad and must be disposed of. I guess I should just use more film :smile:
     
  12. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Just in case you weren't aware, D76 lasts MUCH longer than Kodak specs if kept tightly sealed. I've used it out to 18 months with no problems at all but usually don't go quite that long since its also cheap and there's no point risking my film.
     
  13. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    I have a litre of d-76 left that is about 9 months old, stored in a plastic water bottle (club soda) with all the air squeezed out. That is actually pretty good for me, as I typically have three litres left in that amount of time. I tend to develop in spurts.

    A cloudy precipitate is forming. Last month I'd used some and it was fine, but I was only testing a Bronica GS-1 back I found on ebay. I know it should be okay, but it does make me a bit worried that untouched developer is forming white filaments. Perhaps I should filter and not worry, but I'll use up the rest for testing too (I've purchased three more backs:smile:).

    Soon I will be storing everything in glass, starting with the Diafine. It will make displacing air a bit more complex for developers that need it, but I've decided I like glass better.
     
  14. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    A few pointers for Diafine: the speeds they publish on the box are often reasonable starting points but usually a tad optimistic. OTOH, while I know people who claim to shoot films at box speeds in Diafine, I doubt you'll be happy doing so with the films that get the most speed boost - Tri-X being one of the best with this developer. So it's going to take some experimentation, but that's easy enough. It definitely works better (in terms of getting more effective speed) with some films than others. Expect negatives to look a little flat compared to what you're used to. If you're scanning this will be a complete non-issue, if printing optically you may well need to print on a harder paper grade than you're used to but, again, not an issue. It's not going to need a grade 6 or anything, usually grade 3-3.5 works well, but I also print with a condenser enlarger. This can be a good thing with some films and definitely in some lighting.

    Be very careful about contaminating any of the A with the B, as they say. The other way (carryover of A solution into B) happens in the course of regular use anyway and is of no consequence. Do not over agitate. I just invert and twist once per minute. You can always give a little longer than the specified 3 minutes as development just goes to completion. Most films are complete in 3 minutes per bath but not all, so if you want to develop different films together and one requires 4 or 5 (per box instructions) just give them all the extended time. You will not see any difference.

    The box warns about this too but it bears repeated - do NOT rinse between the A and B.

    It's really simple. I occasionally see people asking about "why use this more complicated developer..." or saying they like to keep things simple. Considering the virtual absence of effects from time and temperature variations as long as the minimums are followed this is actually the simplest developer that I've ever used, and I've been experimenting off and on since the late 70s.
     
  15. Trask

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    I know the ideal way of using two-bath development is to have A in one tank and B in the other, and to move the film from the first to the second. That requires a darkroom; would be hard to do in a changing bag. For those with experience with Diafine: are there any issue that crop up in using one tank, and pouring the solutions in and out? It seems to me that would inevitably increase carryover of A into B, as most tanks always seem to keep a little solution even after you think you've poured it all out. But that reportedly isn't an issue, except that you'd eventually reduce the amount of A you'd have on hand.
     
  16. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    No, no problem at all. The only time I've ever used separate tanks has been with 4x5 and my 1/2 gallon deep tanks and hangers (which work fine for Diafine.) For 35mm and 120 I always use one tank and just pour the A back in the bottle and pour in the B. Carryover of A into B hurts nothing (within reason of course.) It's getting any amount of B into A that you have to be careful not to have happen, and it won't in normal use.

    It WILL reduce the amount of A solution. The instructions say to add equal amounts of A and B, discarding a little B, to bring up the total. So mix your gallon and divide each solution into two half gallon jugs. As the A solution carries over top it off, then add the same amount of fresh B, discarding a small amount of the used B. Say you need to add 2 ounces of A solution, but your B bottle is still full. Add two ounces of the unused A to top off the working bottle of A, and discard two ounces of the used B and top off with two ounces of fresh.

    I haven't been bothering with this, just using it all from a big jug and that works fine too, but that may be why I do eventually have it "wear out" at somewhere between 50 and 70 rolls per quart. Next batch I mix I'm going to do what the instructions say. (In my defense I was introduced to it by a friend in the early 80s and he just re-used it like that, and getting more than 50 rolls through a quart seemed like a bargain. I didn't see much point in the replenishment scheme, and I was using quarts at the time, which were also pretty cheap, about $4 or $5 if I recall correctly.)