High Speed Films in Diafine Developer with a JOBO

So my testing has confirmed that with the 1:1 dilution of Diafine in a JOBO at Rotation P you need to extend your development time to 6 minutes in part A and part B and also run at a temp around 25 C. If you choose not to, you will find that films like 400TX die after about EI 800 (shadows get a bit too thin for me) which is about a stop lower than is expected with the Diafine/ 400TX combo. If you only want box speed to say 800 with 400TX then the standard 3 minutes in A and B is fine.

So today I ran a test to compare 1:1 and full strength Diafine also in a JOBO. Density as you would expect is a tad bit higher at the full strength but not by a lot… again I am extending the time to 6 min in A and 6 min in B. The contrast of the full strength is also a tad bit higher, but nothing a good scanner could not work with…. but the 1:1 is soooo nice.

My advice…. Diafine 1:1 at 25 C for 6 min in A and 6 min in B, rotation setting P. (Note: 1:1 with Diafine is a one shot developer!)

With regards to high speed films, Kodak TX400 works out to a usable E.I. range 1:1 (6 min A and B) from about 200/400-1600 with 3200 somewhat usable…. maybe! Ilford Delta 3200 is amazing with this developer and is nice from about 100/200 – 1600 with 3200 also quite usable in a pinch ( note: you have to love grain to love this film)! The now killed Kodak P3200 is still undergoing tests as it is still around in good supply and it looks like it will have a very solid 3200 but much more grain than the Ilford… which could be nice! I love grain!!

Ilford Delta 3200 and Kodak 400TX both Diafine Developer at 1600.
Ilford Delta 3200 and Kodak 400TX both Diafine Developer at 1600.

The Kodak 400TX has nice grain but wow the Ilford is just stunning…. The Ilford is only long term bet as of now – much lower contrast and very easy to scan across a wide range of EI. All the scans above are 100% crops from a very large 35mm scans at 3000 dpi on my Imacon Scanner (I decided not to do 6300 dpi on the scan just to save time and sharpening is off on the scanner, -120 setting).

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

Film Testing Kodak 400TX and Diafine Developer

Amazing couple of days running dozens of different developer tests all with 400TX… love the look of the grain and depth of this film! In the end I came back to an old friend but with a new twist. Diafine is back in my life in a big way! Diluted 1:1 and used as a one shot developer it is spot on in my JOBO with very nice grain, great tonality, no processing issues and best of all a usable EI from about 100-1250 (the chart shows 200-1600… I think 1600 is a bit on the edge for my works but is totally usable in a pinch. So again, in a JOBO speed is 4, temp does not really matter but I ran at 75F, Dilute part A and B 1:1… I did 3.5 minutes in each followed by a 2 min wash with water then fix (box time), clear (box time) and hang to dry…. easy as pie!

BarnTest200-1600

Of course an advantage of Diafine that I have written about here before is that many different films can be souped at the same time which is a huge time saver. Diafine negs are a bit flat and do requiere an “S” curve in PS to make me happy but I am now quite happy indeed. I will post links to Diafine articles I have written and a great one from a friend Sandy King from View Camera.

RiverTEST_800_Web

My suggest EI…. 800.

Viva la Revolution– Stephen

All images shot with a Leica MP with a 35MM Summicron ASPH… on Film!

LINKS:

Sandy King Article Diafine…. a must read!

as for articles here… there are a lot!!!! Just type in Diafine in the search box and enjoy!

Also please note these were just quick scans (first set) as I am leaving tomorrow for a week of shooting but the final scan (last image) is quite nice and shows the real potential for this amazing combo.

Film Testing

So I very recently got a Leica MP Black Paint a la carte with a matching black paint Leica 35mm F2 ASPH Summicron… Nice! But what film? I’ve been shooting a lot of 4×5 film recently, mainly Kodak 160 Portra and there is NO way a 35mm negative was going to give me the tonality or depth of color that I had grown acustomed to. So what to do?!

Here are the results of my first tests…. Kodak 400TX processed 1:100 at 68F for 20 minutes with gentle agitation every 3 minutes. The negatives when scanned on my Imacon scanner at 6300 dpi were fantastic- I love grain! I made a test print at 28″ x 40″ on Canson Aquarelle 310 on my Epson 9900 using the BW mode and it was spot on. But…. was it perfect? No.  Since this first test I have run many others and now feel that a bit more agitation is needed, perhaps one gentle inversion per minute. I also have ran a test with D76 1:1 using my JOBO and the results were quite nice but the grain was not as crisp as the Rodinal.

Ilsa2013FR_B

Ilsa2013FR_A

So today I am running one last test as I am leaving tomorrow for a week of shooting from FL to VT (will mainly be shooting 4×5 color but want the Leica for my reportage work.

My test today will use PMK developer which I used a lot back in 2006-2007 and I remember how amazing the never ending highlights were…. more as that test concludes.

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

LF Kickstarter – Travelwide 4×5 Camera

Of course not the first camera of this kind and I do worry about the build quality BUT at $100 for the camera (lens and accessories are additional $$$$$$) it is quite interesting.

Travelwide 4x5
Travelwide 4×5

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wanderlust/travelwide-45-camera

As I said others options do exist and many with a better build quality and additional options, however, anything to keep film and LF alive is cool by me! Ive been shooting a lot of LF in the last few months… but more on that and a review of some LF films and processing options in a few weeks.

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

New Kodak Professional Portra 160 Film Review

When Kodak released the Portra 400 a few months ago many of us speculated that a new Portra 160 would be just around the corner… and guess what? Kodak has announced today that Kodak Professional Portra 160 will be released starting in March 2011 in: 35mm, 120/ 220, 4×5 and 8×10… fantastic!!! Click on the audio-play button to listen to a 13 minute in-depth review of this new film (I tested 120) and be sure to look at the sample images provided below while listening to the audio… What a nice way to start the week!!!

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

Please click on the images below to see larger versions of each.

Indian Hill Imageworks Interior Kodak Portra 160
Eve- Kodak Professional Portra 160- 50" x 71.65" Print!
16" x 20" Crop from a 50" x 71.65" File. WOW!!!
5" x 7" crop from a 50" x 71.65" file... amazing tonality and detail!

Article for Consideration

First click on the link below and read the article and look at the examples…

http://www.twinlenslife.com/2011/01/digital-vs-film-canon-5d-mark-ii-vs.html

Now here are my thoughts…

1. The film looks fantastic! The latitude is much better and I like the feeling of the film file much more.

2. The test was very good. It would have been even better if the film scan was done on a higher resolution scanner like say an Imacon. This would have also leveled the field a bit as the RAW processing done to the digital file corrects a lot (but apparently not enough) and the film image was stuck with a relatively middle of the road scan on a Fuji Frontier SP-2500. It is a shame that the scanned image had to be upsampled (due to the scanner resolution limitation) as this film has a lot of subtle detail that a higher quality scanner could have showed optically.

3. I would also like to hear their thoughts regarding a side by side print analysis say at 2 or 3 different sizes… the proof is in the print!

4. The digital wins in the high speed test but the film is still quite good.

In the end will this article sway any true blooded digital shooter to consider film…? I don’t think so, as there will be a myriad of excuses on the RAW conversion technique or other BS that really does not matter. It is a good solid test and it confirms once again the many strengths that film and the hybrid workflow provide for the working creative photographer

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

Goodnight Kodachrome: 1935-2010

Click on the audio play button to listen to this bed time story read by Eve  Schaub… but first be sure to get a glass of warm milk. Today is the last day to get Kodachrome processed.

Goodnight Kodachrome


In the big yellow room

There was a camera

and a classic film

and a picture of Paul Simon jumping over the moon.


Goodnight Kodachrome

Goodnight moon

Goodnight slide show in the living room


Goodnight 25

Goodnight 64

Goodnight dynamic range eight stops more


Goodnight Dwayne’s

Goodnight flare

Goodnight little Afghan girl’s haunting stare


Goodnight mail order

Goodnight rush

And goodnight to Steve McCurry whispering “hush”


Goodnight plastic carousel

Goodnight transparencies rare

Goodnight glorious old color film… everywhere.


–“Goodnight Moon,” original text by Margaret Wise Brown

–”GoodNight Kodachrome,” text by Eve O. Schaub and Stephen Schaub, Copyright 2010

Two Buck Chuck… Good Cheap Film Does Exist!

Yes Virginia, good cheap film does exist. Click on the audio play button to listen to my thoughts on new approaches and needs for film in this figital / hybrid world.

The test images below are Fuji 400 Superia X-Tra which is a fantastic film and is readidly available at only two bucks (24 exp)… that’s $2 Dollars, 1.51 Euro, 1.28 United Kingdom Pounds, 167.94 Yen… about the price of a cup of coffee!

Fuji 400 Superia X-Tra at EI 200
Fuji 400 Superia X-Tra at EI 100
Fuji 400 Superia X-Tra at EI 200
Fuji 400 Superia X-Tra at EI 1600

And for those of you who want even smoother results here is an example of the portrait of my wife (same file as above) that has been processed through Imagenomic Portraiture Photoshop Plugin at default settings and then faded back to 50%… very nice!

Fuji 400 Superia X-Tra at EI 200, Imagenomic Portraiture at 50%

Thoughts On Testing And A Quick Lens Review

Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2.0 SL-II and Nikon 45mm F2.8P

Click on the audio play button to listen to this 10 minute audio on real world testing and a quick review of Voigtlander Ultron 40mm F2.0 SL-II Lens vs Nikon’s 45mm F2.8P lens… real world!!