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  1. #1

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    2 bath film developers?

    Hi there,

    Not posted for ages, been content with enjoying reading the posts etc - but here we go again!

    does anyone have experience with using 2 bath developers for film? Silverprint has two products listed - Tetenal Emofin & Speedibrews Resofine. I have used neither but understand a bit on how they should be used.
    Questions: Does anyone know the capacity of the packs? i.e. assuming they are not one-shot use, how many films can the 1 liter packs dev ?
    Any tales/experience/suggestions users may like to share, very welcome.

    Sim2.

  2. #2

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    The A bath can last a very long time if properly stored. Some volume is lost from carryover to bath B. Bath B will darken from oxidation products and should be replaced if film begins to be stained. I use a two bath developer occassionally for negatives taken with simple cameras like the Kodak Hawkeye which have no exposure control. I only used a commercial product once (Diafine) and found their claims for speed increase to be inflated. I now prefer to mix my own. Divided D-23 contains only 3 ingredients and is very economical. You can also find formulas for divided D-76 and also Diafine substitutes on the net.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  3. #3
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Why would you want to do this?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    Why would you want to do this?
    Er, well why not? Apologies for asking advice/experiences with a process...sheesh.

  5. #5

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    2 bath film developers?

    Why not?

    I enjoy the results I get from Diafine. I also appreciate not having to be a chemist to use it. I only measure and mix very rarely, mostly my bottles of Diafine are ready to use. I don't have to control temperatures in my kitchen sink/darkroom lab, because if I'm comfortable, so is Diafine. I can focus on fewer variables (like camera exposure) because once I have tested a film to determine the effective speed, Diafine gives me perfectly repeatable results every time. I can process quicker because I can put lots of films together in a big tank, regardless of brand or ISO.

    What's not to like?
    My other camera is a Pentax

  6. #6
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I've never used 2 bath developers before. Is there an advantage using a 2 bath soup?
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  7. #7
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Can you define the advantages of 2 bath development?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  8. #8
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    I use Diafine frequently. For some films (Tri-X and Pan F+ mainly) I love it. It gets the most effective speed without excess contrast that I've seen from Tri-X (I shoot at EI 1250 in daylight, a bit less tungsten but can get by with the developer recommended 1600 in daylight - normal to even slightly flat but easily boosted in printing contrast, good shadow detail.) For Pan F+ it gets a touch more speed (I shoot it at 64) and tames the highlight contrast nicely.

    Why? Well the above reasons, plus while it's expensive to buy these days it lasts practically forever. In my poor high school and college days I used it as my only developer for reasons of economy. I've put 60 rolls of 35mm through one quart of it. Be very careful not to contaminate the A solution with ANY of the B (the other way does no harm and is normal due to carryover) and this is quite normal. It's also stone simple to use. Any temperature from 70-85, 3 or more minutes in each bath. As long as those minimums are met, they are entirely non-critical. Some films want 4-5 minutes. If you want you can just settle of 5 in each bath for all as it will make no difference. You can soup different films together if you want. I have recently processed Pan F+ at 64 and Tri-X at 1250 together in the same tank on two reels with great results.

    It's not my only or even most used developer now, but is' a good one to have in the tool kit.

    From a 6x6 Pan F+ negative, EI 64, Diafine, Yashicamat 124:


    Apalachicola Beach 1 by Roger Cole, on Flickr

  9. #9
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filmamigo View Post
    Why not?

    I enjoy the results I get from Diafine. I also appreciate not having to be a chemist to use it. I only measure and mix very rarely, mostly my bottles of Diafine are ready to use. I don't have to control temperatures in my kitchen sink/darkroom lab, because if I'm comfortable, so is Diafine. I can focus on fewer variables (like camera exposure) because once I have tested a film to determine the effective speed, Diafine gives me perfectly repeatable results every time. I can process quicker because I can put lots of films together in a big tank, regardless of brand or ISO.

    What's not to like?
    I agree with much of this. Some things "not to like" though:

    1. If you shoot with a camera that reads DX coding some films are going to be exposed more than you'll like. Not a factor for me, but I have a friend wanting to learn darkroom work. I'd steer her to Diafine for simplicity except she has an autofocus auto-DX code SLR and I'm not sure it can be over ridden. I'd need to find out.

    2. No flexibility. It does what it does and that's all it does. Often that's fine but you can't increase development for more contrast or decrease for less. I haven't even tried it in 4x5 for this reason.

    3. It doesn't tend to work well with some films. I know some people like it for TMX and TMY but I tried it and hated it. YMMV. It tends to work better, in my experience and for my tastes, with traditional style films.

  10. #10
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    I use Diafine frequently. For some films (Tri-X and Pan F+ mainly) I love it. It gets the most effective speed without excess contrast that I've seen from Tri-X (I shoot at EI 1250 in daylight, a bit less tungsten but can get by with the developer recommended 1600 in daylight - normal to even slightly flat but easily boosted in printing contrast, good shadow detail.) For Pan F+ it gets a touch more speed (I shoot it at 64) and tames the highlight contrast nicely.

    Why? Well the above reasons, plus while it's expensive to buy these days it lasts practically forever. In my poor high school and college days I used it as my only developer for reasons of economy. I've put 60 rolls of 35mm through one quart of it. Be very careful not to contaminate the A solution with ANY of the B (the other way does no harm and is normal due to carryover) and this is quite normal. It's also stone simple to use. Any temperature from 70-85, 3 or more minutes in each bath. As long as those minimums are met, they are entirely non-critical. Some films want 4-5 minutes. If you want you can just settle of 5 in each bath for all as it will make no difference. You can soup different films together if you want. I have recently processed Pan F+ at 64 and Tri-X at 1250 together in the same tank on two reels with great results.

    It's not my only or even most used developer now, but is' a good one to have in the tool kit.

    From a 6x6 Pan F+ negative, EI 64, Diafine, Yashicamat 124:


    Apalachicola Beach 1 by Roger Cole, on Flickr
    Have you compared this with single bath development?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

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