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!
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.
Some years ago I did extensive work with pinholes, Zone plates and Holga camera systems, specifically for my Through A Glass Darkly artworks and book. Recently I decided to give a Zone Plate a try on my Leica M7 (it is a 28mm f/32 Zone Plate I purchased from Pinhole Resources) and TX processed as I have already outlined here on the Figital Revolution using Diafine Developer. It seems to me that this combo of TX/ Diafine/ Zone Plate and Leica M are a perfect combo. The TX and Diafine Developer really help control the Zone Plate with regards to contrast and it also gives me a high enough EI to make hand held shots very possible (my usable range for TX in Diafine is 400-1600). The M7, or really any rangefinder camera system is nice as the image view is not reduced (illumination) by looking through the Zone Plate as would be the case with an SLR (of course this means that you will have to visualize your final image as none of the Zone Plate qualities will be visible until you process your film assuming you’re using a film rangefinder). Of course digital capture would give you instant feed back (did this a few years ago in the American Southwest) but I just love the look of this combo. Scans were done in house at Indian Hill Imageworks on our Imacon Scanner, wet mount at 3200 optical dpi- a few resulting images are below from my first roll…
For more information on using a Zone Plate or for that matter what is a Zone Plate check out the links below.
Viva la Revolution!
If you’re like me you’re always on the lookout for a great black and white film/ developer combo for scanning. I’ve tried many different films and developers and then recently stumbled upon the great marriage of Diafine and TX (Kodak Tri-x)…my new standard. Watch the videos below to learn more about this dynamic combination and for tips on proper processing techniques as well as a few quick tips on scanning black and white negatives. Be sure to also check out my sample pictures under the videos to see just how good it is. (Click on the images for a larger view.)
Please note that due to YouTube 10 minute video limit I had to break this 12 minute discussion into two parts. (Be sure to watch both videos!)
This image illustrates the huge dynamic range possible with TX and Diafine. In this example TX was rated at 1600, 35mm. (Check out that shadow detail!)
This example is TX at 1600 in low flat lighting…the full print size is 16″x24″ and the crop is a 4″x6″ section out of the full image area. Film size: 35mm
This example and the close up represent TX at 1600. The final image size (print) is 16″x24″ and the crop represents a 3″x3″ area of the final image at full size. Remember…this is TX at 1600 in 35mm!!
Processing Information for Tested Films:
Fuji Acros 100 EI 200 70-75 5+5 (Best choice for really big enlargements and where an EI of 200 is ok.)
FP4 EI 200-250 70-75 3+3 (Very nice but I prefer PMK for FP4).
TMY-2 EI 500-640 70-75 3+3 (Very nice combo but I’d stick with Xtol or D76 1:1…see my review of this film here on the Figital Revolution.)
TX EI 1250-1600 70-75 3+3 (My personal favorite and my new everyday film. I also keep an ND filter with me (.9) for the bright afternoon light and just remove it as the day ends so I can shoot this film all day long on my M7 with no worries!)
All chemicals are mixed with distilled water. Processing is done by hand with stainless steel tanks and reels.
I will be posting Part 2 in a few days which will cover my scanning techniques (specific and general) as well as basic file handling. Part 3 (next week) will focus on the final print and have a demo (yes another video) on hand coating your own paper for inkjet. Stay Tuned!!
For a quick audioblog on my printing techniques and my thoughts on tonality just click on this link: A Fear of Gray
All images and video Copyright Stephen M. Schaub 2008