Diafine for film developer

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Question for the guru's. I hear mixed opinion on the old two part Diafine as a film developer. I am new to home darkrooming, processing only black and white 120mm and 35mm Tri X pro 400spd. Got a friend that swears by Diafine and I have watched it used and see no problems. Wanting your thoughts.

-- charles magers (chaupil@prairieinet.net), March 18, 2002


It is a GREAT developer. I've been using it for about 25 years. I love the high acutance for my 4x5 stuff. Couldn't be easier with TXP. I shoot TXP @ 400 and have excellent negs with my cold light. They just glow. Coupled with LPD print developer... a thing of beauty! I also use Divided D76 also. The only thing different is that DD76 seems to be a finer grain but not as high acutance. Side by side they look great but if you want the added snap, definitely use Diafine!!! It is one of those developers that have been around for a LONG time (unchanged) but is a "quiet" one.

-- Scott Walton (walton@ll.mit.edu), March 18, 2002.

Very easy to use. No problems with temperatures, agitation and time. Lasts a long time. Negatives are sharp with good tonal range due to compensating effect of two bath development. Excellent for a beginner who does not enjoy film development.

However, I just tested Delta 100 and T-max in Ilfosol-s (Ilford's Xtol). The grain is significantly better. Delta better than t-max 100. I'm going to try Delta and Ilfosol-s for a while. After examining several test prints, I think I can get almost grainless 16x20's from 6x6 (actually 55x44 mm in a blad)or about the same grain as 6x7 full frame Tmax 100 and Diafine.

-- Gene Crumpler (nikonguy@att.net), March 18, 2002.

I'm completely in agreement with Scott above. I was introduced to Diafine during a photo class. The instructor didn't want students fussing over the details, plus we were shooting a wide variety of film. Diafine was superb. In my basement darkroom, temperature is often hard to control. I heat up a gallon in a closet for a couple of hours, and I'm ready to go. Personally, I don't understand why 2 bath developers aren't used more. Two variables - time and temp - are standardized immediately. As Stephen Anchell says in "The Film Developing Cookbook," 2 bath developers are for the photographer who doesn't want to obsess about development. It works for me!

-- Don Schreiber (donschreiber@hotmail.com), March 19, 2002.

I use it for all my B&W. FP4 rated at 250 and Neopan 400 rated at 640. I love not having to be overly concerned about temp especially as I shoot approximately 30-75 rolls of B&W per week during my peak periods. Very consistant negs which are printed on grade 2.5 Multigrade with Agfa Neutol WA developer.

Kodak Tri-X 35 is rated at 1600 and the 120 pro is at 1000 so you may want to try a slower film. All the B&W images on my site www.georgeweir.com were processed in Diafine. There's a couple of thousand there just now, most are smaller for speed however there are a few larger ones at http://www.georgeweir.com/pages/photo-essay-home.html

Anyway, give the diafine a try, I believe that you will come to swear by it like your friend. Then buy a couple of two and a half gallon containers with floating lids and make your life that much simpler.

ALl the best George

-- george weir (george@georgeweir.com), March 20, 2002.

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