Diana issue - cannot get enough density on cloudy days
Hello all - I finally buckled down and went completely through my Diana. Got rid of all light leaks, taped all questionable seams, cleaned the inside surface of the lens, calibrated the focus. This baby is ready to do battle with a Hasselblad.
One problem though. Using Tri-X and Rodinal, I cannot get enough light onto the film on cloudy days. Everything is almost a couple of stops under. Is there some other developer that will magically increase the shadow density of Tri-X? Or what would be a good 800-1000 ISO back-and-white film? I like the look of things on cloudy days but right now I cannot shoot candids.
A camera with a real lens might make a difference...
Diafine gives me great results with Tri-X shot in my Holga.
How did you do that?
Originally Posted by jon koss
All my shots with the Diana are very soft (I don't mean soft focus but soft as in contrast). Even in bright sun. I think that's the way the lens is. Everything in my Holga, is sharp, too sharp. Its two different extremes.
One problem though. Using Tri-X and Rodinal, I cannot get enough light onto the film on cloudy days. Everything is almost a couple of stops under. Is there
Perhaps, your shutter spring is too strong. The shutter design similar to the Holga, you might be able to use one of the tension springs in the Holga and try it on the Diana.
I'm assuming that you moved the pseudo aperture level to the <cloudy> setting? I don't think the Diana is a good camera for those even lighting days. Even with my Holga, I prefer to carry a small flash for it and use it most times as fill-in. Can you provide a scan of the negs? A neg that was shot in the sun and a neg that was shot in cloudy day? (post a negative, not the positive).
...I calibrated the focus.
[QUOTE=eric]How did you do that? [QUOTE=eric]
Easy - I sent it to SK Grimes for their $299 Diana tune-up! The camera has never been better.
Actually, I just set up a series of markers at known distances. I then set the Diana lens at the various settings and compared the theoretical focus versus the actual. My camera was focussing closer than marked.
I understand what you are saying about soft contrast on the Diana. This Diana has The Look so I am happy about that. Thanks for the sanity check on the aperture lever. I did actually shoot with the camera "wide open." I do not have a scanner to post some negs, but by way of info, when I shot a test roll I did some double and triple exposures. The doubles are where I want to be for density on my cold enlarger - still "soft" but luminous.
Originally Posted by eric
I have a roll of HP5 Plus in it now. I will advise after developing.
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You might try TMAX 400 to gain some speed and then push it a bit in development to gain some contrast. I think Ilford made Delta 3200 and Fuji had Neopan 1600 in 120 as well.
Diafine developer would probably maximize speed.
Personally I'd try slowing the shutter down by adding a shim or as someone else suggested, changing the spring.
You could also add a flash synch and get more exposure that way. Thanks to The Internet Wayback Machine you can still see my flash modification from my old "Dianarama" website:
I also wonder if you could drill one of the apertures to a larger diameter.
Originally Posted by Satinsnow
Since it would have to defy the laws of physics it would have to be truly magical. Density is determined by exposure not development. Some developers like Microphen and Acufine appear to provide a nominal speed increase but they are merely better at exhibiting a film's true speed.
Originally Posted by jon koss
BUT, for your problem I would try one of the two mentioned developers or Diafine to obtain another 1/2 to 1 stop additional speed.
Xtol 'boosts' shadow speed about a full stop over Rodinal with 'normal' agitation given to both developers, and does not 'push' the film.
But you should adjust the mechanics and make the camera behave you, so you can use the film and developer you want.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
If you don't mind mixing your own, you can get even more speed (EI 1600-3200) on TX 400 with RAF Pyro-Metol. I've posted the formula in the "Chemical Recipes" section. Results will be considerably grainier, though, than Acufine.