Really pushing T-Max 400

ksmattfish

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It's from a 6x6 neg so that's a lot of it. But my experience is that Tri-X at 1250 or 1600 in Diafine is still less grainy than Tri-X at 1250 or 1600 pushed 2 stops in D-76 1:1.

EDIT: Diafine is pretty idiot proof. There are 2 solutions (no variations in concentration). Temp doesn't really matter (as long as both solutions are the same. Time doesn't really matter; 3+ min in each solution. Minimal agitation. It's a compensating developer so it's almost impossible to get a high contrast neg. Most traditional emulsion BW films (anything but tabular grain films like Delta and Tmax) get a 1 stop ISO increase. For some reason Tri-X gets a 1.5 to 2 stop increase. Oh, and Diafine never exhausts so it last for a long, long time. I'm up to somewhere around 150+ rolls developed in my first batch. Eventually you'll run out of enough solution A because a tiny amount leaves with each roll of film.

The disadvantage with Diafine is that you won't have any contrast or tonal range control. I use it with Widelux shots and low light shots, but still stick with traditional developers for most of my work.
 

terri

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Thanks for that info, Matt! Being considered "idiot proof" is among my top prerequisites when trying something new. :) I'm excited to give it a try.
 

Hertz van Rental

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ksmattfish said:
Oh, and Diafine never exhausts so it last for a long, long time.
Not strictly true. All chemical reactions - which is what development is - uses up the reactants, so sooner or later the developer will become exhausted.
Unfortunately, I can find no technical information concerning Diafine so I have no idea as to the amount of chemicals present in the solution which would give an indication as to practical working life.
But as KSM has pointed out you tend to run out of solution before the chemistry stops working.

As an interesting point you can actually get most developers to work as a two bath. I've seen it done with D-76 (but you have to make it from scratch). You have to vary first dev time for different films, though, which kind of defeats the purpose.

As with most things in Photography, for every gain there is a trade off.
 

ksmattfish

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Hertz van Rental said:
All chemical reactions - which is what development is - uses up the reactants, so sooner or later the developer will become exhausted.

I understand what you are saying, and it makes complete sense, but I can't find anyone who has managed to do it. :)

I'm going to get another 150 to 200 rolls out of this first batch before my solution A will drop to the point it won't fill my 64 oz tank (so around 400 rolls total). If I switch to a 32 oz tank I could get another 150 to 200 rolls. I went onto apug.org and asked if anyone had ever managed to find the limit, and no one over there has. There are folks claiming (I have no way of verifying) to be using Diafine that is over 15 years old (since it was mixed).

When my solution A can't fill my 64 oz tank, I'm mixing a fresh batch, because it's only $12, and if I get 400 rolls out of it that's 3 cents a roll.
 

Hertz van Rental

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The keeping properties and high capacity are almost entirely to do with seperating out the alkali from the developer in two baths.
The main reason why single bath developers stop working* is due to the build-up of Hydrobromic acid, a by-product of development, neutralising the alkaline pH of the developer. A lot of what goes on in replenishment is re-buffering the dev to get it alkaline again.
Two bath developers keep for so long because there isn't really anything to react together in each solution as long as air is kept out. Each solution typically contains only one or two chemicals.
Single bath developers generally tend to be a 'soup' of five or six different chemicals in alkaline solution - some of them being there just to cut down on the reactions with each other.


*Asuming that you have a high through-put and don't just leave it lying around to go off.
 

nealjpage

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I'm going back a few posts here. As a person new to photography, when someone says they're shooting at ISO 1600, does it mean he's using 400 film but setting the camera at 1600 and using the light meter to set apature? Will this still work with a flash, too? Please excuse my curiosity, but i guess I'd better learn this sooner or later.:confused:
 

ksmattfish

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nealjpage said:
... when someone says they're shooting at ISO 1600, does it mean he's using 400 film but setting the camera at 1600...

It means they are exposing the film, whatever the ISO, as if it were IS0 1600. If it is ISO 400, then this would be a 2 stop adjustment towards less exposure. What comes after the exposure depends on what they are trying to do, and what chemicals and techniques they are using.
 

doxx

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With Tri-X Diafine simply rocks... Neopan and Diafine - bah :puke-right:

Right now, I'm doing a roll of Delta 3200 @1600 (dunno why, just love my
Tri-X@1600 :roll: )

my last batch of Diafine lasted for a year(!) and I had to toss it only
coz I was running out of solution A.
The 15 year thing sounds flakey, unless they shoot a roll
every holiday or so :lol:

on the same note: fast films with medium format are amazingly
smooth, it actually made me upgrade my Rolleiflex with a
Beattie screen (small fortune)... now the viewfinder is as bright
as daylight! ks, I know how much you like your Rolleiflex -
you have to get one of those, believe me.

the pic above is really nice
 

DocFrankenstein

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I have a yashica with a mamiya screen. I'm pretty sure beattie is brighter, but hell... it was 30 bucks to upgrade.

Composition and posing really improve with that camera.
 

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