Simple Diafine Question
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!
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 :)
thanks for your help! time to place an order..
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.
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.
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.
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.
Originally Posted by NedL
For the original poster: Filter the stock solutions before putting into the developing tank.
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.
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!
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.