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08-20-2010, 03:53 PM   #1
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Having trouble with Diafine.

I need to first clarify that my experience developing film is virtually none. I think I have developed 8 rolls of film so far, all in Diafine. Tthe first roll I developed was Acros and I had lots of problems which I think were caused by bad developer and bad fixer. In that case I was using some Diafine that was given to me in an unopened box but was fairly old. Also I think I mixed it wrong. I was also usng Ilford Rapid fix that was fairly out of date. I have since replaced all my developer and fixer with new Diafine and new Kodak Fixer. I mixed the new stuff with bottled purified water as per the instructions. I have since developed 7 rolls of various films and every other roll or so I keep having issues with a sort of streaking.
My usual method is,

Add Part A, knock four times, agitate 30s and then 5s every minute. 5 min time.
Repeat same thing for Part B and Fixer.
Then rinse for 10 minutes in running tap water aprox. 75 degrees.
Put film in Photo Flo bath for 30s, pull out and hang to dry. I have read that it is better not to squeegee off Photo Flo so I don't.

Here are a few sample images from today, all Fuji Acros 120. All have some sort off streaking visible in the sky.







Any help or direction would be much appreciated.

08-20-2010, 03:58 PM   #2
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How are you doing your agitation?


Steve
08-20-2010, 04:12 PM   #3
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Figure eights not to fast.
08-20-2010, 06:59 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
I need to first clarify that my experience developing film is virtually none. I think I have developed 8 rolls of film so far, all in Diafine. Tthe first roll I developed was Acros and I had lots of problems which I think were caused by bad developer and bad fixer. In that case I was using some Diafine that was given to me in an unopened box but was fairly old. Also I think I mixed it wrong. I was also usng Ilford Rapid fix that was fairly out of date. I have since replaced all my developer and fixer with new Diafine and new Kodak Fixer. I mixed the new stuff with bottled purified water as per the instructions. I have since developed 7 rolls of various films and every other roll or so I keep having issues with a sort of streaking.
My usual method is,

Add Part A, knock four times, agitate 30s and then 5s every minute. 5 min time.
Repeat same thing for Part B and Fixer.
Then rinse for 10 minutes in running tap water aprox. 75 degrees.
Put film in Photo Flo bath for 30s, pull out and hang to dry. I have read that it is better not to squeegee off Photo Flo so I don't.

Here are a few sample images from today, all Fuji Acros 120. All have some sort off streaking visible in the sky.


Any help or direction would be much appreciated.
What Kind of Purified Bottled Water? The Only bottled water I would use for developer and other chemicals is Distilled water. The streaking however looks like agitation error. Figure 8 is ok but you really should get an inversion type tank if you don't already have one. To do an effective job, the developer has to wash over the film (5 times every time period).

I also use a wash of Hypo Clear (some swear it isn't needed but I always have used it) after the fixer. Also, I squeegee the PhotoFlo. I have pretty good results with my negatives.

I've never used Diafine but also, I've read that 5 minutes of develop time isn't enough in many cases (but I don't know about part A and part B developers).



08-21-2010, 03:34 AM   #5
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Another possibility is some sort of light leak, either in camera or on the roll itself, i.e. if the backing paper isn't rolled tight.
08-21-2010, 08:15 AM   #6
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Try less agitation initially.
Fill tank, bang it a few times and let it sit for half a minute, then do your first agitation.
And unless you have tap water that is unfit for human consumption or has really high iron, you are wasting your money buying purified or distilled water.
08-21-2010, 09:15 AM   #7
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The point of suggesting Distilled water is that the OP may be convinced (falsely) like many others that 'bottled' water is better or somehow more pure. I agree that the tap water is probably fine for processing. If anyone thinks that by buying purified water (whatever that is) they are doing themselves any favors, take two glasses. Fill one half way or so with their purified bottled water and the other with tap water. Let them sit for a week and then tell me which one is more pure. That is of course unless the OP is actually talking about Distilled water. Big difference.

08-21-2010, 09:16 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
Figure eights not to fast.
Figure eight with inversion, I assume? If so, that should be adequate.

I have seen those sort of marks as "eddy" patterns from poor agitation. Usually this would be from using the center "swirler" on a Patterson-style tank. Another possibility is that the film loaded onto the reel with inadequate clearance between adjacent film surfaces.

Here is something else to put into the mix...How about developer volume? Is it possible that the tank was under-filled?

Finally, the above comment regarding light leak is a possibility, though the pattern in photo #3 (Glacier Point) is the opposite of what I would expect to see. I also looked at your color work with the same camera (Pentax 67) and those are clean.


Steve

---------- Post added 08-21-10 at 09:31 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Try less agitation initially.
Fill tank, bang it a few times and let it sit for half a minute, then do your first agitation...
Now that is a novel idea. Doctrine is that continuous agitation in the first 30-60 seconds is fairly essential even with semi-stand development. Can't say for sure though since I have never tried your approach.

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
...And unless you have tap water that is unfit for human consumption or has really high iron, you are wasting your money buying purified or distilled water.
I would not doubt that Swift1 has pretty tap bad water, though not as bad as what I have sampled from the Canadian prairie provinces. Well water from the more volcanic areas of Oregon often is pretty hard with a ton of silica (Radon too!). While distilled water may be overkill for developer and fixer, it definitely helps for the final rinse in Photoflo.


Steve


(My tap water, if left to stand, will precipitate out a fine powder in the bottom of the glass. The municipal well draws from within the volcanic plug on which I live.)

08-21-2010, 07:27 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote



Now that is a novel idea. Doctrine is that continuous agitation in the first 30-60 seconds is fairly essential even with semi-stand development. Can't say for sure though since I have never tried your approach.
Doctrine is all well and good, but the film has to get wet before anything happens, and that takes between 20 and 30 seconds.
Let the emulsion soak up developer and then agitate. This works well for all developers.

Now, on to Diafine specifically. Two part developers are unique in that there is no development at all happening during the part A soak. All you need to do is let the film soak up the solution, and this can be done with very little agitation.

The actual development takes place when the part B hits the film and is a very fast process, with probably 90% of the development happening in the first 30 seconds.
Even then, too much agitation will bugger things up because you can remove part A from the emulsion too quickly and cause under development streaks, which is what the OP appears to have.

As an aside, I have found that most B&W development problems are the result of too vigorous agitation or too much agitation, and that most people agitate far more than they should.
08-21-2010, 07:49 PM   #10
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How you guys feel about a pre-process soak? Water @ temp, in, out
was told by my jouneyman at newspaper I worked at. Said it helped with streaking.
08-21-2010, 10:02 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Doctrine is all well and good, but the film has to get wet before anything happens, and that takes between 20 and 30 seconds.
Let the emulsion soak up developer and then agitate. This works well for all developers.

Now, on to Diafine specifically. Two part developers are unique in that there is no development at all happening during the part A soak. All you need to do is let the film soak up the solution, and this can be done with very little agitation.

The actual development takes place when the part B hits the film and is a very fast process, with probably 90% of the development happening in the first 30 seconds.
Even then, too much agitation will bugger things up because you can remove part A from the emulsion too quickly and cause under development streaks, which is what the OP appears to have.

As an aside, I have found that most B&W development problems are the result of too vigorous agitation or too much agitation, and that most people agitate far more than they should.
I don't have experience with Diafine, but what you wrote makes sense. I tend to agree regarding over-agitation and favor the gentle approach myself. There are exceptions where fairly aggressive development is required (e.g. TMax 100 in D76 and FG-7), but each photographer needs to figure out what works best.


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08-22-2010, 08:15 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for replying.

I did use Distilled water and not purified water. I am on city water that is pretty good and is probably fine. After my initial failure, I decided not to chance it and bought distilled water.

@Stevbrot, Yes I am doing figure eights with inversions and make sure to use more than enough developer. I think you are right about it not being light leaks as some of the streaking is darker and not lighter, on #3 and on a few others I didn't post.

@Wheatfield, I will try your suggestion of letting it sit for 30 seconds. Should I do this with Part B as well as Part A? What about the fixer?

Thanks again for everyones input, as I said before I am a total novice at developing and any info is helpful.
08-22-2010, 09:12 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillM Quote
How you guys feel about a pre-process soak? Water @ temp, in, out
was told by my jouneyman at newspaper I worked at. Said it helped with streaking.
I believe Diafine says to not presoak.
With conventional developers I always presoaked though.

---------- Post added 08-22-10 at 10:59 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
Thanks everyone for replying.

I did use Distilled water and not purified water. I am on city water that is pretty good and is probably fine. After my initial failure, I decided not to chance it and bought distilled water.

@Stevbrot, Yes I am doing figure eights with inversions and make sure to use more than enough developer. I think you are right about it not being light leaks as some of the streaking is darker and not lighter, on #3 and on a few others I didn't post.

@Wheatfield, I will try your suggestion of letting it sit for 30 seconds. Should I do this with Part B as well as Part A? What about the fixer?

Thanks again for everyones input, as I said before I am a total novice at developing and any info is helpful.
Here's the instructions. They recommend very gentle and very minimal agitation.
Fixer can tolerate more agitation than developers, but even with fixer, 5 seconds in 30 is lots.
08-24-2010, 02:58 AM   #14
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Try developing Acros in HC110; DDX or another conventional developer first
I think the problem is loading in the spirals as you may be crimpling/creasing the film and thus the shape of your streaks

Diafine defies conventional wisdom
Agitation in A is OK, but with B just knock, agitate once and leave standing for 5 minutes or so.

Your pics look OK, ACROS is not very good in Diafine and you may also be crimpling and creaitng creases in the 120 film.
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