Oh So Diafine!

Diafine: time, temperature, film ... what the heck!

Diafine: time, temperature, film ... what the heck!

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:
Grainless scanned with an Epson 4990 Photo Scanner

Grainless scanned with an Epson 4990 Photo Scanner

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:
If the Bechers had worked in the Landscape

If the Bechers had worked in the Landscape

Flattr this

Tags: , , ,

5 Responses to “Oh So Diafine!”

  1. Tim Layton Says:

    I am curious about any further experiences or comments about Diafine? I’ve been using it on various b/w films and found that it works great for when I plan on scanning my negatives? I just found a guy that is using Diafine to develop color film, essentially making it a b/w negative. I may have to give that a try to see how that turns out.

  2. chammann Says:

    Not so sure that Diafine is specifically useful for negatives that are to be scanned. Pyro and PMK developers like Peter Hogan’s Prescysol EF should be better in this regard. As I understand it, they are (a bit) chromogenic, in effect filling up the interstices between filamentary silver grains with pigment. This smoothes out the appearance of grain and gives less cause to emphasized grain in the further digital image processing workflow.

  3. The Leica M Gestalt « Mostly Black & White Says:

    […] need, put a lens (Oh those Leica lenses!) on the front and a good film in the back (I’ll take Tri-X developed in Diafine, thank you!) and head […]

  4. Film Fetischism | Mostly Black & White Says:

    […] today, I found a secret stash of Diafine. Going to Berlin to buy darkroom supplies and film at Fotoimpex as I had originally planned for […]

  5. Delayed Gratification Machine | Mostly Black & White Says:

    […] darker stripes reaching into the picture. Comes from exhausted developer (I mixed this batch of Diafine in April of 2018) or wrong agitation. Seeing that in the scans, I’m devastated. A saying […]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: