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  1. #1
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    Is Diafine really that easy to use?

    Just got some Diafine for Christmas.

    Okay, so I go to read the instructions. It's one sheet of paper, single side, barely bigger than a post card.
    I have a hard time believing it's really THAT simple.

    Whatever film you've got... Just put it in there. Three minutes... five minutes... whatever? 20º C... 25ºC... more or less?
    Okay, I'm being a wise guy, here, but REALLY?

    I've been spending all this time fussing around with times, temperatures, dilutions and all that junk when I could have been using Diafine all these years?
    Is tweaking your film is as simple as changing your in-camera exposure? I usually do that anyway.

    Am I missing something, here?

    Why isn't everybody using Diafine?
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  2. #2

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    Because as with everything, there is a trade-off. Diafine takes away pretty much all control in development. It is super safe, but it takes away artistic control. Other developers require experience/testing/etc but give you more control.
    Last edited by MrBaz; 12-25-2012 at 03:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Is Diafine really that easy to use?

    If you like Diafine's results, yeah, it's that easy. But do not expect it to look like Tri-X in D-76 or Acros in Xtol or....
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  4. #4

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    I used it a lot a few years ago but only for particular films and situations. It's good for high contrast scenes and where you want to rate the ISO higher than normal. I wouldn't use it to process film shot at box ISO or where the scenes were low contrast.

  5. #5
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Is Diafine really that easy to use?

    Yes.

  6. #6

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    Yes, it's MOSTLY that easy. Diafine was probably geared for Tri-X, but other films can do well in it. Lots of folks say Plus-X looked good in it, but I never tried it. Pan-F works at EI 80, but I did not like APX 400 in Diafine.

    You can tweak the results a bit by adding/subtracting a minute to the times, but don't expect big changes.

    They say on the box package that Diafine won't work well with some of the lower ISO films. The box also says you can get EI 1600 out of TX, but I get 1000. It gives TX a bit of the old look: contrasty, gutsy negs with some grain.

  7. #7
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    REALLY?
    Really.

    Is tweaking your film is as simple as changing your in-camera exposure?
    This works both ways, you know. Exposure errors cause much different effects with Diafine than with regular developers. The packaging spins it as a feature.

    Why isn't everybody using Diafine?
    Not everybody likes way it looks.
    f/22 and be there.

  8. #8
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Is Diafine really that easy to use?

    I like Tri-X at 1250 - 1600 is really pretty nice with daylight but more like 1000 with tungsten.

    Plus-X was great in it 400-500. In fact I often preferred that to Tri-X at box speed in D76.

    Now I use it for Tri- X when light is dim but not so dim as to need TMZ or D3200 at even higher speed.

    I also use it for Pan-F+ which is a really nice combo. It gives a bit more effective speed than normal developers - I shoot it at EI 64 though, not 80 - and helps tame the highlight densities.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post

    Am I missing something, here?
    Yes, it also lasts (almost) forever.
    "The problem with photography is that it only deals with appearances." Duane Michals

    "A photograph is a secret of a secret. The more it tells you the less you know." Diane Arbus

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    Am I missing something, here?

    Why isn't everybody using Diafine?
    Stand development can be finicky. I've tried Diafine a few times over the years - still have a fairly ancient mix lurking in the back of my chemistry shelf - but always had trouble getting even development. Since I'm happy with D-76, it wasn't worth the time and hassle to keep testing to try to find an agitation technique that would make it behave for me.

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