Simple Diafine Question

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by drknow, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. drknow

    drknow Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Hi everyone, this is my first post. Awesome forum you all have here and its time I stopped lurking. I shoot on a Leica CL, mainly with hp5 and trix...

    I got myself a patterson tank and am keen to start developing my own negs. I live in a tropical area in Australia and its about to get really hot again so I figured Id give diafine a shot as it seems really simple. Obviously id like to progress on to D76 and then others to gain more control but for the moment id like to keep it simple and hopefully not get too discouraged. I've researched and read about the process but I thought i'd ask you guys some specific questions before I place my order online.

    So my questions are:

    when reusing the diafine solution wont there still be some drops of Diafine A left in the tank when put in Diafine B. When I put B back in the storage bottle wont it contaminate it with drops of A? Even though it requires two baths i still only use the one tank right?

    what other equipment will I need to mix the Diafine, measure etc?

    Also, what is the easiest fixer to prepare and store? Ive heard its all the same so I just want the cheapest and easiest.

    Im buying all this from Freestyle in the U.S which I've heard is pretty good from people on these forums.


    Thanks for all your help!
     
  2. Rom

    Rom Member

    Messages:
    133
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Location:
    Lyon - Franc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi,

    Good to hear that you are interesting in diafine.

    I am using it too and, i would say that i am quite happy with it (especially tri-x and pan-F plus)

    Regarding your question:
    • There will be always some drops of batch A into batch B, there is no problem for this. When you will "replenish" your solutions, it is very important to drop out some of B batch in order to have the same amount of used A and B. Then, you can fill with fresh A & B each batch.
    • Yes, you just need one tank. First A and then B.
    • Never put some B in A
    • To mix diafine, you need something to bring the water hot. And, i would suggest to prepare your batch with demineralised water. You don't need too much a thermometer because diafine is really t° tolerant.
    • For the fixer, i am using tetenal superfix plus. Indeed, it seems all the same. It's not so expensive.
    • And yes, freestyle is a good shop.
    • After some rolls, you will notice that both batch needs to be filtered. For this, i am just using a coffee filter.

    Hope this help and i look forward to see some shots from you :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2012
  3. drknow

    drknow Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    thanks for your help! time to place an order..
     
  4. Jeff Searust

    Jeff Searust Member

    Messages:
    361
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    Shooter:
    Med. Format Pan
    The part "A" tends to get absorbed by the film and goes away at the rate of about an ounce per roll. eventually you will have a full container of "B" and very little "A" left. At that point I dump both and mix new.

    Any fixer should be fine, I use both Kodak powder and Heico NH-5 which I also mix for paper- even if you use the same dilution for paper and film, mix separate containers for each. Choice of fixer for you may be more based on freight charges, and the easiest for that reason may be the Kodak powder.
     
  5. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,894
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    Sonoma County, California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I hope you don't mind me putting it here but I have a simple diafine question too.

    Why would you buy a gallon instead of a quart size? If you buy the gallon size, can you store the powder and mix new from it? That would make sense. But if it lasts as long as people say, I don't see why you'd want a gallon of liquid unless you were using really big tanks.
     
  6. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

    Messages:
    2,806
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Phoeinx Ariz
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Unless you intend to prcoess a lot of film I would start with quarts, easier to mix quarts than gallons, takes less space to store, and although Df has long shelf life it will go bad. I have used Df for many years, when I was a working JP in the 70 and 80s always carried a quart Df kit a packet of dry fixer, and a small amount of a wetting agent to mix if I needed to develop and did not have access to a darkroom. I also used Df for several years when I moved to the desert as my water temps run 90 degrees F in the summer. I made a water chiller so now I can use a number of developers.
     
  7. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

    Messages:
    2,297
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    Floriduh
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I bought the quart about three years ago and it's still good. I do flood the bottle with nitrogen tho, so that probably helps, but Diafine will last a long time and from what I have read it's better seasoned. You don't use it one shot.

    For the original poster: Filter the stock solutions before putting into the developing tank.
     
  8. Jeff Searust

    Jeff Searust Member

    Messages:
    361
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    Shooter:
    Med. Format Pan
    I do enough film at once to use more than 1/2 gallon at a time -- I have 3 and 5 roll tanks.

    I am in Texas and the best thing about diafine for me is the lack of temperature control. Just the ability to have a great deal of latitude with temperature helps.

    I also teach film developing and Diafine is a great starter developer. Very forgiving.
     
  9. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,894
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    Sonoma County, California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thank you everyone, that answers my question. And actually, diafine seems like a good choice if you have 3 or 5 roll tanks, so I do see how the gallon size could be useful that way. I'm a slowpoke so I only ever process one roll at a time. Quart size seems perfect for me!
     
  10. ntenny

    ntenny Member

    Messages:
    2,282
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In addition to echoing what others have said, I'd just like to point out that Diafine works and plays *really* well with HP5 (EI 800 in my experience). Lots of detail pops out of the shadows, and the shoulder produces nice natural-looking highlights. It works really well for street shooting at night.

    Tri-X in Diafine has a look all its own---one of those "when it's what you want, it's what you want" things. The instructions say EI 1600, but a lot of people prefer it at 1250. You wouldn't think 1/3 of a stop would make that much difference, but it does.

    -NT
     
  11. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,111
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am a diafine freak. Loved it for years, never had a bad experience with it. Just remember to go full term with each solution. I think the instructions say a min of 3 minutes each (A&B) I usually go 4 minutes, it gives me fine results.

    From 35mm to 4x5, I use it more often than any other developer. Just renewed my 1 gal suppliy after 1.5 years. I bet it could go longer but for 5 months it sat idle as I had other high priorities with my mom and dad's health.

    Running two rolls of TX100 tonight in 120 format. Shot at box speed.
     
  12. wblynch

    wblynch Member

    Messages:
    1,637
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Shooter:
    127 Format
    Get the liquid odorless fixer from Freestyle.

    Arista or Clayton, they are the same.
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,180
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm working from memory here, so correct me if I am wrong.

    When I last used Diafine regularly, it was true that it was tolerant of higher temperatures, and temperature changes weren't all that important, provided that you were using it at a minimum of about 68F. It did not respond well to lower temperatures.

    And as for fixer, the shorter times that rapid fixers allow are definitely more convenient.
     
  14. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,894
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    Sonoma County, California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Bill, is there some advantage to this fixer with diafine, or are you just recommending it in general because it's odorless? I'm about due to buy more... have been using Ilford rapid for both paper and film, but I'm a beginner and like to learn...
     
  15. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

    Messages:
    5,454
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    1600 works fine with daylight, where you probably don't need 1600 anyway. Under tungsten light 1000 is more realistic with Diafine and Tri-X. 1250 is a decent set and forget compromise.

    As others said, it doesn't matter that some A is carried over into B. Just avoid the reverse and don't get any B into the A. This will not happen in normal use, just be sure not to do it mistakenly.

    You don't really need to do the "replenishment" thing anyway with Diafine. That's more for a situation where you have a deep tank you keep full. As you use it, dry film will deplete the volume of A solution. I've been happily just pouring it back into a bottle (one bottle each for A and B) and using what I have, for decades. That is, I've been doing this for decades, not with the same Diafine though. It does last a very long time but it will eventually become less active. I used to get about 50-60 rolls of 35mm through a quart. I've been using my current gallon for nearly two years now and it still works fine, but I haven't put that much film through it. I now use it mainly for 35mm Tri-X and 120 Pan F+, occasionally 120 Tri-X when I need the speed but don't need Delta 3200, and mostly use other developers for other needs.

    Quarts versus gallons - for most people a quart is fine, but for a while there the gallon size from Freestyle was the same price as quarts elsewhere. Freestyle has gone up while others haven't increased as much so this is no longer true. But it's still cheaper per ounce in gallons, as most things are. Since I've been meaning to use it in my deep tanks with hangers for 4x5, which need 1/2 gallon of solution, it's just as well but if you are only doing roll film or sheets in trays a quart is fine, and plenty to see if you like it.

    Fixer - well I prefer rapid fixer for the time savings, the easy mixing, and for the fact I can leave out the hardner, which impedes washing. (If you have pretty warm tap water there in Australia though you should probably use the hardener for film.) I never use hardener for paper, so this lets me use one jug of rapid fix to mix both. But since you are shipping from the US to Australia liquids are going to cost a lot more if they can be shipped at all. Regular powdered fixer like Kodak Fixer or the like will be fine.

    Do not use a stop bath with Diafine. I've never actually tried using it since the manufacturer advises against it, so I'm not sure it would cause any problem, but it's definitely not needed. Just rinse in water.
     
  16. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,894
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    Sonoma County, California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    APUG is awesome. What an incredible wealth of information. I'm looking forward to trying it. Thank you.
     
  17. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

    Messages:
    1,607
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Diafine can last years in glass bottles. Seriously. I'd buy the gallon before the quart because the savings is monumental.
     
  18. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,894
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    Sonoma County, California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Right now at adorama: $21 for quart size, $35 for gallon. So the gallon gives you 4 times as much for less than twice the price. I agree the savings is big. However, I'm going to order the quart first to see how it goes. Thanks!
     
  19. drknow

    drknow Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Wow...Thanks for all the tips. This forum is awesome!
     
  20. drknow

    drknow Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I just realised I have another question. 1 Gallon seems like a lot. If I buy a gallon do I mix it up in one big pot (has to hold 4 litres right? 3.8 ltrs I think is 1 gallon from memory) and then put the mixture into one 2ltr bottle (1 quart is .94 litres) and then fill another bottle with the remaining developer and use it to replenish the main 2ltr bottle of solution? Am I understanding this replenishing concept correctly? It seems like a big amount of developer but Freestyle only offers it in 1 gallon. Adorama offers quarts but they want $150 to ship it to Australia as opposed to Freestyle who charge around $20... I only have a one reel tank (but im sure ill get a 3 or 4 reel tank in the future) so I'm not quite sure what to do. Any advice?
     
  21. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

    Messages:
    5,454
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You can do that. You do need to mix the entire gallon at once. It comes in metal cans, one can for each solution (which should also make it last indefinitely.) It's generally not good to mix partial amounts from powders, as the ingredients may not be evenly divided in the powder.

    I just put mine into one gallon plastic jugs. It's not very subject to oxidation as developers go, but it's still good to squeeze the air out. What you propose is fine.
     
  22. wblynch

    wblynch Member

    Messages:
    1,637
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Shooter:
    127 Format
    Well, it has nothing to do with Diafine per se, since no matter what developer is used you need fixer. And the liquid mixes down easily, lasts many rolls and it's just more pleasant if the smell isn't so bad.
     
  23. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,111
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    One nice thing about plain ole Kodak fixer powder is it works. One other fact is you are paying to ship from one side of the marble to the other, so powder fixer and developer (Diafine) might allow you more product per same shipping cost as doing liquids.
    I am certainly blessed every time I smell fixer, it meand I am doing what I enjoy.

    Start easy, learn a lot and love doing it, even if fixer does smell like fixer... btw, it is fixer.