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View Full Version : Ilford FP4+ in Diafine... any experience/advice?



Leigh
27-Apr-2011, 21:54
Hi All,

I'm shooting FP4+ in 8x10 and will be developing in tray.

The wide time and temperature latitude of Diafine seem well suited to tray development.

Has anyone done this, or used Diafine in other development methods with FP4+?

TIA.

- Leigh

Tim Layton
27-Apr-2011, 23:27
Leigh, I use Diafine as my standard b/w developer. I normally shoot Tri-X as my standard film but I have used FP4+ with excellent results in Diafine. FP4+ runs at about EI 250 as a general rule, but also works well at box speed. I like Tri-X because I can rate anywhere between box speed up to 1600. I use a 4 minute A and B bath regiment with no agitation other than making sure the film is fully in the developers. I fix at 5 minutes with full agitation and wash for 10 minutes. Just water for your stop bath. Just use your chemicals at normal room temp and you will be fine and will love the results. If you have specific questions let me know and I will be glad to help.

Tim

Leigh
27-Apr-2011, 23:30
Thank you very much, Tim.

That's very much in keeping with my hopes for the process.

I appreciate the info.

- Leigh

Geoffsco
28-Apr-2011, 00:29
How does Diafine react to rotary processing? I use it a lot with roll film, but minimise agitation as much as possible. I process LF in a Jobo expert tank which I roll by hand, would this be less than ideal with diafine?

Roger Cole
28-Apr-2011, 03:10
How does Diafine react to rotary processing? I use it a lot with roll film, but minimise agitation as much as possible. I process LF in a Jobo expert tank which I roll by hand, would this be less than ideal with diafine?

Don't. Or do try it with a test but don't expect much.

Disclaimer - I've never tried it, but I do know that Diafine is very susceptible to over agitation. I love Diafine for some things (notably pushing Tri-X) and my Jobo for others, but not together.

I've used FP4 (don't recall if they called it + yet) back in the old days with fine results at 320, which was the recommendation on the Diafine box at the time, but preferred Plus-X which the Diafine box pegged at 400 but I found a tad better at 500. (And #$%^ Kodak for canceling Plus-X in 120!)

Leigh
28-Apr-2011, 05:02
Thanks for the info re the Jobo machine. I have one, but had not considered it for sheet film processing.


I've used FP4 (don't recall if they called it + yet) back in the old days with fine results at 320, which was the recommendation on the Diafine box at the time...
The speed recommendation on the yellow Diafine box for FP4+ is 200 for sheet film and 250 for 35mm and roll films. I believe this is the latest info since I just got these from B&H.

- Leigh

Tim Layton
28-Apr-2011, 07:15
agitation and diafine is not a good combo. you want to agitate your a and b developer baths as little as possible. For example, when I process my 120 roll film my process is as follows:

A bath for 4 min. Fill tank and let stand for 2 min. invert once and stand until 4 min.
B bath for 4 min. repeat above
wash for 2 min.
Fixer for 5 minutes with constant agitation
wash for 10 min.
done!

lbenac
28-Apr-2011, 08:22
How does Diafine react to rotary processing? I use it a lot with roll film, but minimise agitation as much as possible. I process LF in a Jobo expert tank which I roll by hand, would this be less than ideal with diafine?

In an article by Sandy King in View Camera Jul/Aug 2008 about used of two-bath for compensation and scanning, he tested Diafine with rotary development dilution 1-1 and normal time. He was quite positive about good result for a flat negative sharp and easy to scan.

Cheers,

Luc

Juergen Sattler
28-Apr-2011, 08:55
I've used Diafine in trays and in Jobo drums - I have not seen any negative impact from agitation. I really think it is a myth that Diafine does not work well with rollers. I've hand rolled it and I even used it in my ATL 2+ processor - all negs were just fine and printed and scanned well.

Nathan Potter
28-Apr-2011, 10:42
Luc and Juergen, I agree that you can use agitation with a correction for time (minor). I use Diafine with Tmax in a single 4X5 roller (slow continuous rolling) for making masks for Ilfochrome. I also use it for developing 4X5 in SS hangers in SS tanks using very slow rocking of the hanger in the tank. Plus the two solutions, kept separately, have great storage properties if you are an intermittent user like me.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.

Roger Cole
29-Apr-2011, 00:05
Thanks for the info re the Jobo machine. I have one, but had not considered it for sheet film processing.


The speed recommendation on the yellow Diafine box for FP4+ is 200 for sheet film and 250 for 35mm and roll films. I believe this is the latest info since I just got these from B&H.

- Leigh

Yes I know that, the box does indeed have those film speed recommendations - now. I have a gallon box waiting to be mixed. It did not have those speed recommendations back when I was using it (in the 80s - I used Diafine again in the late 90s but not with FP4 so I don't recall the speed recommendation then.) Back then it was 320, and that worked well for me.

I've heard that FP4 is sort of an in between film in terms of being a semi-modern films. I never liked T-Max films (either 100 or 400) in Diafine though I've heard from someone on here who does. It's quite possible the changes in FP4+ resulted in not gaining quite so much speed in Diafine as it used to.

As I said I never tried Diafine in my Jobo so I'm not sure it won't work well with rotary processing. More importantly, perhaps, is that with the incredible lasting properties of the solutions and the virtual insensitivity to time and temperature as long as the minimums are observed, I see no reason to use the Jobo with it. The great benefits of the Jobo are absolutely consistent agitation and temperature control, which are unnecessary with Diafine.

Geoffsco
29-Apr-2011, 03:07
The other thing is that the Diafine instructions advise not to pre wash, though I believe some people do. Does pre washing have any ill affect? I don't want all that anti hallation dye going back in the bottle.

Leigh
29-Apr-2011, 05:41
Does pre washing have any ill affect?
Diafine works by Part A being absorbed into the emulsion where it is acted on by Part B.

A pre-wash might reduce the amount of Part A that's absorbed.

I've never tried it, so I don't know if it would really impact the final result or not.

I prefer to pre-wash film, so I might give it a try and see what happens, although not in open-tray processing.

- Leigh

Roger Cole
29-Apr-2011, 15:41
How are people processing sheet film in Diafine?

I did a few sheets in a tray once I believe, but haven't used it much for sheet film. These are my options:

1. Trays

2. Deep tanks and hangars - I have them, and I can do six at a time easier (or at least I'm more familiar with it) than via tray processing and without risk of scratches. This is what I was planning to try with it. Anyone do this? Any problems with streaking or other unevenness?

3. I have the 2509n reel and loader and the matching tank. My tank has a cog lid for the lift on my CPE2 so it isn't good for inversion, but I could probably find another tank somewhere and use that. Not usually that good for non-processor use because of the amount of solution required for inversion, but with Diafine being so long lasting this wouldn't be a problem.

Nathan Potter
29-Apr-2011, 18:59
Roger, I've used a number of development techniques. For tray development I do one sheet at a time using a 4X5 SS film hanger with the hanger part bent up at about 45 degrees. The bend enables the film to be loaded as usual, then the film section can be immersed flat in the tray solution while holding onto the bent up part which is out of solution. I keep emulsion side up and agitation is continuous but moderate by moving the film vertically but not quite out of the solution. Development typically for three min. in the developer (A) then three min. in the accelerator (B).

You can do a presoak but the absorption of water by the emulsion will reduce the subsequent concentration of developer and thus alter the end point of density that can be achieved by the accelerator. I will say that I have messed with this a bit but not systematically, so as to conclude much about consistency; but there are possibilities. Maybe someone here with experience can comment.

Also varying the time of the developer solution such that less than full absorption occurs means the accelerator has less or developer to work on. Thus less reliance on an end point to development means more sensitivity to temperature.

See my comments above on small tube and "dip n dunk" type development.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.

Leigh
29-Apr-2011, 19:17
For tray development I do one sheet at a time using a 4X5 SS film hanger with the hanger part bent up at about 45 degrees.
I hadn't thought of that... Make horizontal "hangers".

Neato.

- Leigh

sanking
29-Apr-2011, 21:14
Diafine works by Part A being absorbed into the emulsion where it is acted on by Part B.

A pre-wash might reduce the amount of Part A that's absorbed.

- Leigh

A pre-wash would reduce the amount of Part A that is absorbed if *time* in Part A is short. On the other hand, if you increase time of the film in Solution A, and /or increase the temperature of Solution A, you can get more of the reducer into the emulsion, pre-soak or not.

Most films don't require a pre-soak. However, some of the new T-grain emulsion films, as well as slow speed micro type films, may benefit from a pre-soak in fairly warm water, say 75F-85F.

Don't take any of this as the word on stone. Results with two bath development can vary a great deal depending on film type, pre-soak or not, temperature and time in Solution A, and type of agitation in Solution B. Be prepared to experiment to get optimum results.

Sandy King

drew.saunders
29-Apr-2011, 23:06
I developed 4x5" FP4+ in Diafine in a Jobo, diluted 1:1 with water as per the View Camera article, with a drop of Photo-Flo in the "A" solution (based on recommendations on this forum, I'm pretty sure from Sandy), at 5+5 minutes and it worked just fine. I've since switched back to T-Max 100, which works at 3+3 minutes (but requires more fixing time) simply because I prefer the grain structure of TMax when scanned.