Well I took a shot last night and souped two rolls of Tri-X in my 3 year old diafine and wow, I am amazed at the results.
Can you develop Tri-X that was shot at 400 in Diafine? What results should one expect?
Yes, the negatives will be somewhat grainy and have great shadow detail. If the light was contrasty, the results will be better than if the light was flat.
Originally Posted by BetterSense
By circumstance rather than intention, I often end up using Tri-X on bright-sunny Southern California days with strong contrast so this is good to know.
I think I'll get some and mix it up just to have on hand.
Agree, but I like Plus-X in it even better, mainly because it's almost a stop faster in apparent speed. Box says EI 400 and that seems spot on.
Originally Posted by Dave Martiny
I started to say I used tons of Diafine in the old days but that's not true. I used maybe three quart sizes, but did tons of film in it! It was my standard developer for years when I was a high school yearbook photographer and later in college, because it was very cheap to use, gave increased apparent speed when I needed it (with Tri-X, I used to rate at 1600, now I use 1200, not sure if the film changed some, my tastes changed or my meters are different) and was stone simple all the time. Like others said, it's not really controllable. It does what it does. For most light and subjects it does fine.
There are arguments all over the place about whether the speed gain is real, but the bottom line is the negatives don't look right and are grainy if exposed at box film speed, and they look good, have finer grain, print easily (mostly, unless the light was flat to start with) and have adequate shadow detail when uprated a bit, so that's what I do.
I no longer use it as my standard - that's now T-Max RS, but I do keep it on hand and use it for when I need 1200 speed with Tri-X but don't need higher speeds. Dimmer light calls for TMZ or Delta 3200 in 35mm and 120 respectively, with good results but if light allows I prefer the Tri-X in Diafine. It's also good for taming contrasty scenes.
Bottom line like many said, if it works for you there's no reason not to use it as your standard. I need more versatility now, for + and - development of 4x5 in particular, but still find it very handy at times.
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Originally Posted by Dali
Seriously, I have never been happy with Diafine. Whether you use it or not depends on how much quality you are prepared to lose. Ask yourself this question how many cans of Diafine are sold each month compared to standard developers like D-76 or HC-110.
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
I also want to know the answer. I'm very happy with Thornton's D-23 two bath. Wondering how Diafine compared to other two bath developers.
Originally Posted by Usagi
I've used Diafine exclusively for the last four years, and I've souped about 7800 rolls of all kids of film in it. Last night I took a roll of Kodak Technical Pan, Rollei Advanced Tech-Pan 1.1, Adox CHS Art 100 and Rollei Ortho 25 out of the tank and they were stunning looking. Where else can you soup those four rolls together without agitation or temperature concerns?
Typically I rate the film one or two under and the results, I find, are generally the very best for scanning purposes, as it produces a very evenly developed negative with all shadow and all highlight details available for use unlike any other developer that I've used. It is by far the most consistent developer I have ever used.
I typically buy it in quarts and make liters from that and have at any one time two liters going for each A and B, and in a four tank I'll use a liter and the other liter will stay in the bottle, this method serves an a sort of rejuvenation. I get about 200-240 rolls of film (35 or 120) per two liter mix, then I'll add in new powder and water to bring up the A and I have to chop off some B in order to keep them rejuvenated at the same time.
I have noticed that over the course of time Diafine builds up a silver precipitant in the bottle, and this actually has a very positive effect on the film you are developing. It takes about 50 rolls in to make the beginnings of change in my negatives, and I can see a subtle contrast and detail change in the scans afterwards. I think at this point I might have the price of a few bottles of fine Irish whiskey from that silver precipitant.
I'm not very technical about developing, I just do what is easy fast and looks good when scanned and printed in a darkroom. I love this developer.
I use Thornton's 2-bath for everything up to 400asa. Beautiful, consistent results.
Originally Posted by BugraK
Usually I'll mix up 1 liter of A & B and that's good for about 15 rolls, although you could renew bath B and probably double that.
I used to shoot a lot of Delta3200, but unfortunately it's gotten quite expensive. I'll still buy it on occasion, but for the most part I now I'll grab a Summilux and shoot Tri-X or TMY-2 400 @ 1000-1250 and develop in Diafine. I love Diafine for low light shooting, because I can really favor the shadows during exposure and the two bath properties of Diafine will go a long way in retaining detail in the highlights. It's a truly great developer.
That is what the developer was designed for. Photographers shooting mid-day in high contrast. Great speed for indoors photography (using Tri-X) and good at compensating for high outdoor contrast.
Originally Posted by wblynch
You know, the kind of photography where one doesn't have time to wait for really good lighting.
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