Diafine Developer


TPF Noob!
Nov 12, 2007
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Western NY
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I have some B&W development questions:

1) Does anyone have first-hand experience with Diafine developer? I'm looking to get started doing my own B&W development (probably using T-Max film) and I'd like to keep it simple for now. I realize you can't do any push/pull with it, and that you're pretty well locked in to how you exposed the film, but for now that's fine. How well does Diafine do with T-Max?

2) What stopper, fixer, etc. would you recommend I use with Diafine? And where would you suggest I purchase it from to get a good price?

Diafine really appeals to me because I basically can't mess it up. :lol: Let it sit in A for 3 mins, let it sit in B for 3 mins, stop, fix, dry, and you're done. At $14 from Freestyle.com for a 1 gal A/B mix, it's also very, very economical.

Why not use tmax developer for tmax? It's not very expensive.
As you have already realised, Diafine is not as 'adjustable' as other developers. It works well with some films and not with others. I use it for Tri-X at EI 1250, T-Max 100 at EI 125 and HIE at EI 1600, metered through a B+W 093 filter. I also use DiLussol Vitesse, which is very similar to Diafine, perhaps with slightly lower graininess. That is one of Barry Thornton's developers, and it is sometimes available in the USA from The Photographer's Formulary.

I haven't been as pleased with other film in Diafine, and Diafine is not always my choice for the three films I've listed.

Use water for the wash between B and the fix, and any fixer. I use Formulary TF-4, as a two-bath fixer, but that is partly because I can walk to Adorama to buy a gallon. If I was buying mail order I would use something else.

Diafine seems to need some gentle agitation in B to avoid unevenness. Too much agitation is also bad. It doesn't seem to matter how much agitation it gets in A, but I use thsame gentle regime suggested by the instructions. This also applies to DiLussol Vitesse.

Yay Barry Thornton. Such great developers. His staining developers are killer, but can be really finicky.
I use Diafine and like it quite a bit. It seems to make for very contrasty negs, though.

Efke 100 (135):


Fortepan 100 (120):


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