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  1. #1
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Why I gave up on Diafine

    I developed five rolls of 35mm in Diafine after a trip to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and the Experimental Aircraft Association there. I had spent two days photographing and fortunately I had a bunch of Holga 120 shots as well that saved the day, but all those five rolls of FP4 were ruined due to this streaking.
    For the heck of it, I developed another couple of rolls of film, one Pan-F+ and one Tri-X. Same thing. This was in 2005, and I dumped the developer right away.
    Next time I developed film I used Pyrocat-HD and the problems were gone.

    Do you think there is a risk to using the same chemistry over and over again, with contamination from one mix to the other? My batch had worked OK on about ten rolls prior to this, so it was hardly old, probably not even seasoned.

    What are your opinions? Has anybody else seen problems like this?

    - Thomas
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Frame 10.jpg  
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #2
    DBP
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    I've been using Diafine since 2001 without problems.

  3. #3

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    This looks very similar to uneven development I experienced several weeks ago with 9x12cm sheet film in a square tank (semi-stand). I simply could not get the developer to circulate evenly, and thus it left these flow marks on my film. I went back using the old trusty drum and roller. Problems gone.

    Example . . .
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2336/...0381355a_o.jpg
    Last edited by DannL; 02-16-2008 at 04:38 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    I never had a problem with Diafine with 35mm. I usually use it with TRI-X at 1600 ISO, looks great.
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
    Ferris Bueller

  5. #5
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I agree that Diafine gives a great look with certain films, but the weird thing is how incredibly uneven the development is. It's entirely across all five rolls of film. I also agitated normally (five seconds every 30 seconds by gently inverting the tank). I'm still puzzled by this one.

    Previous to doing this, I shot some Tri-X at EI 1000 and got fantastic negs. Great speed, looked awesome in printing, the grain was really beautiful. I thought I had found my dream developer, especially since I love working with Tri-X, the speed bump was very welcome.

    Oh well, I think I'll just have to stop being ticked off about all the effort that went into exposing the film and move on.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  6. #6
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    I would think this is one developer that would do well to avoid gentle agitation. You might try a sacrificial roll in it and give it good agitation, especially at the start, so the chemicals can get distributed evenly as it diffuses into the emulsion.
    Gary Beasley

  7. #7

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    It's definitely an agitation issue - bromide drag. Goes away with increased agitation. I start with 15 secs gentle, the 5 every 30. Same for A & B. I've had my batch of Diafine for 1 year & it has done hundreds of rolls, no problems.

  8. #8
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    It certainly looks like an agitation problem, doesn't it? But... how can you agitate more than 5s every 30s? I also did initial agitation of 30s. I developed 4 minute part A and 4 minutes part B.
    Prior to these five rolls I had ten that were fine with Diafine, and hundreds that were fine with Rodinal or Pyrocat. After this incident I've only ever had a few rolls that were bad, and they were film defects from one specific batch.
    Since I got the same problem with a roll after these five, with the same chemistry - is it possible that it was a chemistry problem? I'm really curious. Or else I agitated poorly for two film development sessions and never before or after that again, and that is just too much of a coincidence. Or it was one of those once in a million occurrences. I don't know. It doesn't matter now, I guess.

    Thanks for playing, I think I had best just forget about this episode and look ahead instead.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  9. #9

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    I agitate way less than that with Diafine, and never have uneven development. My first batch lasted two years and a trip from the northern hemisphere to the southern before dying suddenly.

    I follow what it says on the box. Pour the developer in, invert and set down. At the start of each minute, invert (gently) and set down. Same for A and B solutions, and I do 5 minutes in each at room temperature.

  10. #10

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    I use to agitate 5 sec's at the start and 5 sec's out of every minute. I've given up on the beginning agitation and only agitate 5 sec's the end of the minute and thereafter and I do not invert the tank. I roll it in an arc with the top up. All you are trying to do is replace spent developer with fresh so the 1 minute agitation is fine and as recommended. I also develop to 4 minutes. I flood my bottles with nitrogen and keep the solutions in glass bottles, never plastic. Never a problem. Not that you would go back to the developer, but if you do leave it in the "A" solution longer and let it soak up. I have also found that much stronger agitation increases contrast some. This was a mistake I made when I forgot the agitation regime after a year using other developers and agitated like I was using Xtol.
    W.A. Crider

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