I’ll have to rave about a new-to-me wondersoup, Diafine, a divided black and white film developer. I developed my first two 120 rolls of Kodak TMY-400 in it this morning and the results are astonishing:
In use, Diafine is incredibly simple. No matter what the film might be, in a wide temperature range from 70 – 85°F, you can soak your film for at least 3 minutes first in solution A and then at least 3 minutes in solution B. A lot of films gain a bit of speed when developed in Diafine, I exposed TMY-400 at 500 ISO.
There is a fly in the ointment, though. It is a compensating developer, but the compression of the tonal scale goes too far, I think. On my scanner, I haven’t seen more than 9 f-stops of range from a negative developed in Diafine. Inspecting the film visually, I think it has a bit more base and fog densitiy than TMY-400 developed in X-TOL. Films on polyester base like SPUR DSX are hors competition with their clear base, anyway. We’ll see more in the darkroom.
For now, here’s a mockup of the matrix I’m working on: