In celebration the revolution’s ten year anniversary, I have decided to post the Figital Revolution Manifesto book as a free PDF download. (The print copy is no longer available for purchase online.) Written in 2007 and admittedly snarky and over the top, I am struck by the fact that, despite so many changes in the industry, the book is entirely still relevant today! I want to thank my wife, Eve Ogden Schaub as my co-author… she has moved onto bigger projects like her book Year of No Sugar which went viral… and her next book is due out in January 2017 so stay tuned.
Lately I am seeing far too many images praised, not for their quality, but simply because they are film based. Much as I love film, that pisses me off. I want to see great work get attention- film or digital- whatever!
Favoring film-based images simply because they’re from film strikes me as similar to the mistake that some shooters make when they assume a certain camera brand (did someone say Leica?) magically makes their images superior. Bottom Line… use the tools that help you make your work. Process is important but it’s not all-important especially to a collector or client… in the end people buy what they like.
I am sure many of you are as disappointed in the new Leica introduced today as I am…. the Leica X Vario. This coupled with the M 240 which I am NOT a fan of makes me think Leica needs a swift kick to get back into the game. A note to Leica… do not try to compete with Fuji or Canon or Sony as you can not… Instead, do what you do best and make cameras like the M9P and my MP a la carte. Anything else is just a waste of time.
Now to put a smile on your face (well, it did mine!)… here is my newest camera with some fun additions…. a black paint Leica MP a la carte with my PinZonie 28mm pinhole lens as well as a 18mm pinhole lens in the Leica Lens Holder M on the bottom and the very cool Leica Universal Viewfinder – The Frankenfinder!! (covers 16mm-28mm with a brilliant clear view and also has parallax correction for close up distances which is sooo nice… for me the perfect walk around camera!
So currently in my JOBO CPP2 I am running Diafine full strength Part A and full strength Part B for 5 minutes for all BW films at rotation setting “F” which is around 40 rpm. After part B I increase the rotation to “P” which is around 80 rpm and keep it at that for the remainder of the process. My tests have shown that times around 7+ minutes in A/B can stain some films- yet 5 minutes in A/B at 75F seems about spot on to me and perfect for most scanning applications. The 1:1 development of Diafine decreases the shadow detail at higher EI… for example at 1:1 TX dies after about EI 800 whereas with the full strength process as outlined above EI 1600+ is very solid (note: box speed at 1:1 is about perfect- for box speed). With regards to streaking…. none, full strength or 1:1. An obvious advantage to full strength is that Diafine can be used over and over again for a lot of film where as the 1:1 is a one shot developer. I have personally used Diafine (1 gal A/B) full strength for well over a year without issue…. if it becomes a bit dirty just run it through a new clean coffee filter and presto! Perfect developer ready for more film.
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!
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.
My suggest EI…. 800.
Viva la Revolution– Stephen
All images shot with a Leica MP with a 35MM Summicron ASPH… on Film!
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.
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.
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.