Streaks with Diafine

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Geoffsco, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Geoffsco

    Geoffsco Member

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    I've found that I occassionally get streaks in the sky when I use diafine on bright days. I use diafine at night 95% of the time, and it pretty much only gets used in the day if I have a roll of film to finish off.

    Sometimes I get streaks in the sky which look like light leaks. The camera is a Leica M3 in excellent condition, though it is 50 years old. Rating film at normal speed and using normal developer, these streaks have never appeared.

    Is it perhaps minor holes in the curtain usually not noticeable, but exaggerated using diafine, or a chemical issue?

    [​IMG]


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/geoff_roberts/6006387009/
     
  2. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    What agitation are you using with the diafine?
     
  3. Geoffsco

    Geoffsco Member

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    5 sec each minute, as recommended on the box.
     
  4. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    To me it looks like bromide drag from the sprocket holes but it's difficult to tell from that web image.

    The one thing that has held me back from experimenting with diafine is this type of uneven development that I have seen mentioned on the net.

    Like I said, I've never used it but it seems that agitation is a tricky thing with this stuff. I've read about it time and time again. Some experience no issues and some have problems. May be tied water quality???

    Did you mix it using tap water?
     
  5. Geoffsco

    Geoffsco Member

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    I mixed the diafine solution with de-mineralised water, as with all my chemistry, water used for washing is tap water. I'm unsure of the water quality here, have never really had any issues apart from the streaks above with diafine.

    I've been using diafine for all my pushed film for the last two years or so, have probably processed 150-200 rolls in it. I've never had any problems in the low light films, just daylight. I don't particularly like the look of diafine in daylight, so I tend to avoid it.
     
  6. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    My take on it is agitation is touchy because on the one hand you want the solutions to soak into the emulsion to give the speed boost in the shadows but if you don't agitate enough you get this uneveness/bromide drag issue in heavy exposure areas.

    Maybe try googling if you haven't already as I've read many threads on diafine when I've considered it in the past.
    Seems some love it and some hate it.
    I decided to pass for the time being.

    IDK I'm sure I'll get around to testing it at one point.
    I'm sure there's mucho info right here on this site, don't know why no one else has commented yet.
    Good luck.
     
  7. Geoffsco

    Geoffsco Member

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    I was not aware of the issue....I guess I just started using it one day without doing any reading!

    I give it very gentle agitation for 5 sec per minute, and tend to avoid over agitation. Perhaps I should give it heavier agitation and see what happens.
     
  8. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    http://1pt4.com/blog/diafine-days/

    go 1/3 down the page roughly to the cornfield/sky image
    very similar

    he mentions increased agitation solved his problem
    may or may not work for you...
     
  9. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

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    Been using it for years and have never seen this.... sorry you do.... I love disaifne!
    Logan
     
  10. Geoffsco

    Geoffsco Member

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    That pretty much looks like what I'm getting. Glad it's not the camera!
     
  11. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I've used Diafine a lot off and on since literally 1980 or so when I discovered it in High School, including for a lot of outdoor photos. It's no longer my preferred developer (the ease and economy back in high school and college made it my standard) but I don't hesitate to use it if I have a roll I started in lower light or such. Wish I could help but the real point of my post is that I have NEVER seen results like this.

    Quick question - what kind of tank are you using? I've done all my 35mm in plastic tanks and reels. I have a stainless tank and reel but never liked (or really mastered) loading it and used it only for color where the stainless transmitted the heat of a temperature bath better and the lower solution requirements saved chems. I've always used plastic, and now my Jobo (though not for Diafine) for black and white.

    I ask because these look like they could be related to the sprocket holes in your 35mm film and I think the reel type might, just maybe, have a bearing on them.
     
  12. Geoffsco

    Geoffsco Member

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    I use Jobo plastic tanks, the smaller 1520 kind. Never had any problems with other developers, or diafine in anything other than bright light.
     
  13. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    Same thing happened to me with the first roll I did in Diafine. That was agitating gently 5 seconds every 60. I changed to 5 secs every 30, not so gentle & never had the drag again.
     
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  15. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I thought Diafine contains Phenidone. Depending on the developer formulation, Phenidone can be very finicky about agitation since as a developing agent it is more prone to streaking and unevenness than other agents. The development by-products also tend to accelerate its activity (rather than decrease activity as is the case with Metol for example), which would explain why the streaking shows up as increased negative density (lighter values in the print) - what I see in OP image.
     
  16. mr.datsun

    mr.datsun Subscriber

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    I've got another take on this:

    These streaks are unevenly spaced and also not vertical. In fact the angle changes as you move across the frame. In my mind that discounts the sprocket hole streaking from uneven development theory.

    Also one the streaks on the right seems to be going right down the frame from top to bottom – that is not also something that you are likely to see in sprocket hole streaking from my experience.

    The streaks are light in colour and that means that the neg is darker there, not lighter. In socket streaks you get lighter bands under the sprockets. The bands on the print are darker due to thinner neg.

    That strange angle makes it look like something else. Like light from a source at the right-hand side??
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2011
  17. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    I've loved and used disaifne for years now and invert the can three times with 1/4 twist every 30 seconds.
    No pre-soak, I've had issues with films in the past with this so I never do it.
    No water rince between A & B.

    I do have a fine filter for my red 2 piece funnel from the 1970s I will strain parts A and B back into the bottle by habbit, I have seen "Floaters" in the screen before, from both A and B. Not often but since I use disaifne till the cows have come home I found it good to remove some of the floaters that occasionall come about. Rare but I wonder if that night be the issue.
     
  18. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    That makes sense to me. It was very late when I posted and I didn't look closely just saw vertical (more or less) streaks.

    I have a Jobo 1510 tank but have used it only when I want a single roll on the Jobo with minimal solution volume so I've never used it with Diafine. For that I've been using an old Yankee two reel tank. For that matter I have the cog lid on it for use with my lift so I can't invert it. I should be getting a 1520 and then will have both lids too so I may give it a try.

    I do what the instructions say and agitate once per minute, but while I thought of it as "very gentle" it may be less gentle than some. I slowly invert the tank, twist about a quarter to half turn and and turn it back right side up, and do this twice per agitation cycle. A friend and fellow high school yearbook photographer at another school back in 1980 or 81 turned me on to Diafine and I think that's about what he did. It worked so I've always done that.
     
  19. laser

    laser Advertiser Advertiser

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    Looks like bromide drag. Randomize your agitation movements. Don't use the same motion for each agitation cycle. Invert the tank in a variety of different motions. Agitate vigorously and randomly for the first 30 seconds.

    To test the effectiveness of your technique: uniformly over-expose a few frames at various frames locations on a roll. That is while shooting, shoot the sky and over expose it a three stops (shooting way out of focus will help the exposure uniformity). Repeat on say frames 1, 12, 24,36. This doesn't use much film and will provide a lot of information. Agitation changes depending on the position on the reel. If the negs are line free you are agitating well.

    If all else fails use a more forgiving developer i.e. T-max or D76. .
     
  20. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    The box says it contains Sodium Sulfite and Hydroquinone.

    - Leigh
     
  21. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    That's probably the partial list for safety reporting. It can't just have Hydroquinone. I'm pretty sure the other developing agent is Phenidone.
     
  22. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    According to the MSDSs...

    Part A contains:
    Sodium Sulfite
    Hydroquinone
    Sodium Phosphate, Tribasic
    Citric Acid
    Potassium Bromide
    1-Phenyl-3-Pyrazolidone (I think that's Phenidone)

    Part B contains:
    Sodium Sulfite
    Sodium Carbonate
    Sodium Bicarbonate
    Sodium Phosphate, Tribasic

    and that's all, folks.

    - Leigh
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2011
  23. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I've used tons of Diafine. I have had this issue before. I agitate as little as possible with Diafine because I think it keeps the grain down. When I went to super-minimal agitation or stand developing, I got the streaks. First of all, I only worry about agitation for the second bath. For the first bath I agitate 10s then let stand 3 minutes. For the second bath I like to pour it into my stainless 1-reel tank, and then now I agitate VERY GENTLY, more or less just rotating the tank slowly and randomly, for the first 5 seconds of development, then for 5 seconds every 30 seconds. I think that this took care of my streak problem, but I haven't shot as much diafine as I used to.

    In this pictures you can see the streaking in the sky

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  24. mr.datsun

    mr.datsun Subscriber

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    Firstly and off-topic, I love the quality of your photographs.

    Back on topic, your streaks appear to line up with sprocket holes and run perpendicular to the film edge but the OPs do not. So yours looked like uneven development. But as I have described in my earlier post, I think the cause in the OPs case may be different.
     
  25. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    I've had some streaking problems with Diafine.

    I just did a dozen sheets of 4x5 Acros in a Nikor tank, and they look good wet. I used only rotation for agitation this time.

    We'll see how they scan.

    - Leigh
     
  26. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    Well, no joy. A couple of them look OK, but most had streaking from just noticeable to severe.

    - Leigh