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  1. #1
    henk@apug's Avatar
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    Film exposure with diafine

    I received a box of diafine from someone who won't use it. I will.
    I did some reading on diafine and contrast can not be controlled with
    development.

    Is it really necessary to
    expose for the shadows with such a developer ?

    Anyone used it with TXP 320 4x5 ?


    Thank you !

  2. #2

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    With most films, Diafine will give good results when rated above box speed. For example, I have used Tri-X exposed at 1250 with good results depending on lighting, and FP4+, with a box speed of 125, from my experience gives excellent results when rated at 250 in Diafine, with good highlight compensation.

    Theoretically, there is no constrast control when using Diafine, as time and temperature within broad limits do not affect development, but I have read of some who have experimented with tweaking the development protocol and getting different results.

    The back of the Diafine box lists 21 films and the recommended speed ratings for each, virtually all of which are above box speed. For the film you mention, it says the following:

    "Tri-X Pan Pro (TXP/TXT) - Sheet; 1200"

    Diafine has some other advantages; it has an extremely long shelf life, and a tremendous capacity, with soem users claiming up to 1 million rolls with the one gallon kit.

  3. #3
    whlogan's Avatar
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    I have been using a 1 gal kit for 3 years now with no visible degradation.True, no contrast control, but other features make it my all round developer of choice. I regularly shoot TriX 400 @ 800 with superb results. It does well on Neopan 1600 at box speed. Ilford Pan F at 50 to 80 produces excellent negatives with superb gradation. I use Diafine for almost all my work. I like it .
    Logan

  4. #4
    henk@apug's Avatar
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    I am going to have another try

    When using Diafine as a developer, do you still expose for shadowdetail and put this in zone III (-2stops)
    or do you proceed otherwise ?

    I am going to try Plus-X in Diafine @400. I know I can test myself, but I would like to know from the
    more experienced in advance.

    Thanks again !

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by henk@apug View Post
    I am going to have another try

    When using Diafine as a developer, do you still expose for shadowdetail and put this in zone III (-2stops)
    or do you proceed otherwise ?

    I am going to try Plus-X in Diafine @400. I know I can test myself, but I would like to know from the
    more experienced in advance.

    Thanks again !
    Check out those, it may or may not help, but learn from them to do same or better, good luck!

    http://filmdev.org/recipe/show/5964
    http://filmdev.org/recipe/show/5374

  6. #6
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by henk@apug View Post
    I am going to have another try

    When using Diafine as a developer, do you still expose for shadowdetail and put this in zone III (-2stops)
    or do you proceed otherwise ?

    I am going to try Plus-X in Diafine @400. I know I can test myself, but I would like to know from the
    more experienced in advance.

    Thanks again !
    In a word, yes.

    You should experiment though, as with any developer, with your particular film, meter and camera(s). This is even more important with a developer like Diafine.

    If you use basic zone system like that, meter the shadows then reduce two stops for zone III, you are unlikely to get the effective speeds listed on the box. But you will still probably get more effective speed than with most developers. Just try it. As someone said, it lasts practically forever. It will eventually start to "wear out" but it takes a long time. Back in high school and college it was pretty much my only black and white developer and I shot a lot of film. I'd get about 60-70 rolls of 35mm out of a quart before the results started to look thin.

  7. #7
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    You should expose at box speed if you expect to retain shadow detail.
    No developer will produce detail in an area that has not been exposed.

    Diafine is a compensating developer, so it will mitigate problems with highlights.

    BTW, in case you didn't notice, the instructions say DO NOT pre-soak. This is important.

    Time and temperature are not critical. I ue five minutes in each solution, although you can get by with less.
    Try to keep the temp around 70°-75°F, and keep all other solutions and wash at that temp.

    As mentioned above, the working solutions last for years. Keep them in brown bottles, preferably in dark storage.

    Replenishment is done by replacing the lost volume of Solution A with fresh, and adding the same amount of fresh
    Solution B to its bottle.

    Be VERY careful to avoid contamination. If you get any amount of Solution B in the Solution A stock, you have to
    throw out Solution A, and since they come in a pack of both, you might as well toss B also.

    I have separate mixing and measuring vessels, stirring rods, and of course trays for each solution. These are
    separate from the items I use with other developers.
    If you use a tank for processing, thorough rinsing after processing is sufficient to avoid contamination.

    - Leigh
    Last edited by Leigh B; 07-08-2012 at 03:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

  8. #8
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    If you expose at "box" speed (meaning the film box, not the Diafine box) I'll bet you don't like the negatives. Try it and see - you might. I understand what Leigh is saying, and people have argued endlessly over how "real" the Diafine speed gain is (i.e. shadow speed) but the negs look overexposed and IMHO don't print well like that, at least 35mm negatives. I have used Diafine for 120 with good results. As someone mentioned, it's great for taming Pan F+ making that one of my new favorite combos in 120 for bright conditions. But I've not tried it for 4x5.

    Actually, I'll partially retract the above. Some films get little or no effective speed gain in Diafine and will look fine at film box speed - most t-grain films for example don't do what, say, Tri-X does. TXT is almost made for Diafine. Great combo, but I bet you won't like it at 400. Anything from 800-1600 will look better depending on your metering habits and the light, but don't take my word for it, just try it. You won't know what it does for you until you do.

  9. #9
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    Hi Roger,

    I haven't shot anything over ASA 100 in decades. The only exception was when I was shooting sports in the early 1960s
    using a 4x5 Graphic. I did available-light basketball using Royal-X Pan way above box speed, which was 1250. The
    images were all unlarged down to one- or two-column newspaper size, which look atrocious with an 80-dot halftone mask
    regardless of what you do. I did some regular prints that looked fine.

    I use Diafine for tray development because of its insensitivity to temperature variations, and have been quite pleased
    with it using APX, FP4+, and Acros. I don't shoot any t-grain films, nor any yellow-box products.

    BTW, I normally use Rodinal for roll-film development in tanks. Have not had good luck with 4xt tank processing, but
    that's a process control problem, unrelated to the specific developer in use.

    Everybody's tastes/expectations/experiences/standards are different. Certainly I don't claim to be a sooth-sayer.

    - Leigh
    Last edited by Leigh B; 07-08-2012 at 09:30 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

  10. #10
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    And I haven't tried it with either APX or Acros. I have three unopened, always frozen boxes of 4x5 APX 100 in my freezer (well, always frozen save one week long power outage up in TN and the trip to bring it down here - and even then I put it in a cooler with ice packs.) Expiration on it is 1997 IIRC so I'm not sure how good it is (and no folks, not for sale - unless you want to pay outrageously! ) so I may give it a shot.

    It does make temperature a non-issue. I learned of it in high school from a fellow teenage ham who was the yearbook photographer at his school while I was at mine. I shot lots of Tri-X at 1600 in it. Still have the negatives (most have survived, last I looked) and a shoe box of prints. Occasionally I'd shoot Plus-X at 500. Diafine box said 400 but I gave it 1/3 stop less after trying it. I still use it with 35mm and 120 Tri-X, but it's odd - modern Tri-X has some t-grain characteristics. I noticed when TMY came out that it seemed much slower in tungsten light than Tri-X. Kodak's sensitivity curves do NOT bear this out, but it was my experience, and still is - got some underexposed 4x5 negs to show for forgetting that. Now Tri-X seems to do the same thing. In tungsten 1000 looks decent. In daylight that will look dense.

    I have been meaning to try it with 4x5, though. I have a Jobo and 2509n reels and tanks, so temperature control is easy. Set the dial to my pre-calibrated 75F I use for all BW and forget it. I have trays, but also have my old deep tanks and hangers, which might be an easier way than trays to do 4x5 in Diafine. I've been meaning to give it a try.

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