Tri-X, Diafine, and printing.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Stephanie Brim, May 10, 2007.

  1. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I have a little question.

    I shot a roll of Tri-X at 1000 and developed it in Diafine. The negatives came out rather good, as shown:

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    My question is this: I'll be getting an enlarger within the next few weeks (I found one! YAY!) and the rest of my stuff will follow. I know that Diafine works very well if you mean to scan your negatives, but I've never seen a print of a negative developed in Diafine. Do the negatives print well?

    I may be over thinking this as I've been known to do, but I really like this combo when I'm just scanning and I hope to like it when printing as well.
     
  2. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I've never seen any problem with printing negatives developed in Diafine myself, but I don't use it much at all anymore. It was my first developer and I've not printed those negatives in some time, but I have no memory of having any trouble at all printing them. Diafine gives less contrasty results in general so you should be able to print easily.

    - Randy
     
  3. David Brown

    David Brown Member

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    Diafine has been around a lot longer than scanning. I'm sure they will be printable.
     
  4. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Well, yeah.

    I guess, really, the only thing I can do is tweak the ISO speed I shoot the film at and the developer I use to print until I get it right.
     
  5. DBP

    DBP Member

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    EI 1000 is probably a little slow for Tri-X in Diafine. Most people seem to use either EI 1250 or the Diafine recommended EI 1600. I use the latter, and have gotten some results I really liked.
     
  6. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I've used it at 1200 (my meter doesn't do 1250, but how different could that possibly be?) and gotten quite nice results. The thing about Diafine is that you can only really adjust the exposure to change the results. Bracket the same subject around those times and see what you like the most.

    - Randy
     
  7. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    If the light is hard and and the scene has a lot of contrast, use EI 1250. If there are no hard shadows, use EI 1600. The negatives will print just fine.
     
  8. kwmullet

    kwmullet Member

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    FWIW, I find I always liked Diafine results the best if I shoot box speed.

    Shooting at one or two stops faster might still yield useable results, but I liked the results of box speed the best.

    -KwM-
     
  9. laverdure

    laverdure Member

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    I shoot at box speed, or slower, with diafine. Thing is with scanning, is that you can often retrieve more information from a scan (from an underexposed negative) than you can by printing. But despite that, TX @1000 in diafine is a common thing, so ought to be just fine.
     
  10. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    If something is able to be scanned it is easily able to be printed. I have never seen a neg that could be scanned but not printed unless it was underexposed and underdeveloped, but that is a rare neg indeed if you have any clue what you are doing. I am sure the negs will print fine.
     
  11. laverdure

    laverdure Member

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    The negs I've got in mind were horribly underdeveloped. You're probably right. A more experienced darkroom tech than I could probably pull just as much information out of those negs as I did with a scan. But it's beyond me for the moment. Apologies all around.
     
  12. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I shot a TriX devleoped in Dinafine, it can be a little soft so you want to print at a higher contrast, I usally print at grade 3, but for negatives souped in Dinafine grade 4.
     
  13. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    I've printed images shot on Tri-X and developed in Diafine. The grain is nice but can be "salt and pepper" like in nature. In general, the results are fine, especially considering I'm shooting Tri-X at 1250 or 1600 ISO.
     
  14. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I think you're going to find that the negs print just fine. Not that I scan a whole lot, but I like to print really dense negs, so I expose the Tri-X at an EI of 800-1,000. Scanning those negs have not been fun, but I love printing them. They are probably grainier than a more normally dense negative, but I like grain.

    I use a normal condenser head enlarger, by the way, where denser negs are easier justified than for a cold light head enlarger.

    It's a great combination that's really fool proof and the process is so simple.

    - Thomas
     
  15. Robert T. McCarthy

    Robert T. McCarthy Member

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    For your examples, I would have used D-76 pushed 800-1600 undiluted or with 6X7 Rodinal 1:25. I find Diafine expensive and reserve it for high contrast subjects like the beach and contrasty City Scapes, etc.

    Regards.

    Bob McCarthy
     
  16. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    Diafine isn't that expensive in the long run since you can use it over and over for many years. The inital startup and 4 soda bottles may be daunting but from what I've read, it'll keep for at least 2 years and most people tend to get sick of the results, etc and chuck it out before it actually goes off. I bought my diafine after using up quite a bit of FD-10 on 120 film (since you need that larger volume to develop the taller negatives in a tank) and figured, in the long run, I'd be better off with Diafine. Much more economical especially if you're using larger tanks like my monster 3 120 tank...
     
  17. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I don't know about expensive. A kit I believe is fifteen bucks, but you can literally process almost countless rolls in it. I had a mixed up kit for about a year, and I had at least 100 rolls processed through it. Worked great, and it allowed me to stop being so obsessed with the film and film chemistry. I needed to get into the darkroom more and print, so I simplified to spend less time farting around with developers.
    Good luck with it. The look is really nice with Tri-X.
    - Thomas
     
  18. MMfoto

    MMfoto Member

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    I used to shoot TX @ 800 in Diafine. Easy to print, beautiful for high contrast scenes, but not always the shadow density I'd like, as this is two stops faster than I'd rate TX for most developers. Keep it replenished and it will last a long time.
     
  19. kwmullet

    kwmullet Member

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    Does someone actually sell a Diafine replenisher? Tell me more!




    In terms of general comments, although I think Diafine might not compare all that favorably with other developers in a head-to-head, I think it compares quite favorably with machine processing in a lab.

    During the year and a half or two years we were without a darkroom, we processed many, many rolls in Diafine at the kitchen counter. Loaded up our tanks in a changing bag. worked great. Since you're re-using it, filter your diafine as you pour it back into the jug. It's especially good for ad-hoc darkrooms (or UNdarkrooms, as as the case for us) because precise timing and temperature control isn't necessary. As I recall, as long as you're in each of "A" and "B" for at least three minutes at any temperature remotely comfortable to humans, you're fine.

    Do not presoak -- that works against the general means of operation of a divided developer. As I understand it, the point is to saturate the emulsion with developer when you're in part "A", then activate that developer to exhaustion in part "B".

    Another interesting thing about Diafine is that the times are universal. Anything you process in Diafine uses the same time, so you can load up different films in your tank at the same time. In fact, we had decades old C41 and C22 film (35mm and 126 cartridges) that we were experimenting with, and ran them and got somewhat useable images out of them, so there's definitely is a certain amount of magic to Diafine.

    -KwM-
     
  20. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    It's universal if you accept widely different contrast from your films. I tried Diafine quite a bit with different films, and I don't think two of them were developed to the same contrast. I also found that claims of increased shadow speed to be doubtful at best - what I saw was that some of the films came out with high contrast. In other words, Diafine pushed them.
     
  21. kwmullet

    kwmullet Member

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    yeah... my opinion of the results I've seen with Diafine is that I was better off ignoring the speeds recommended on the box and just shooting at manufacturer's recommended ISO.
     
  22. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I don't think the recommendations on the Diafine label were changed when the safety factor of ASA was changed. I was using at least twice box speed then, but the box was half what is is now for the same film. In other words, I think you are right, kmullet.
     
  23. laverdure

    laverdure Member

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    "...at any temperature remotely comfortable to humans"

    It is possible to underdevelop in Diafine by processing it at too cold a temperature. The box recommends, if I remember correctly, 70-85 degrees F. I used it at 60-something one time, not sure if it was closer to 60 or to 70, but I've been careful to keep it up to temperature ever since. Has anyone noticed any change in effect using hot diafine?