Accufine or Diafine
Old 04-16-2012   #1
Steve M.
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Accufine or Diafine

Anyone using these? For the life of me I can't figure out which one might be better for Tri-X. I understand that both work best if you shoot it at 800-1200 ISO, but which is finer grained and gives sharper shots? Which, if either, is better for portraits?

I called Freestyle, but their only recommendation is that Diafine has better exposure latitude if your metering isn't right on. To make it even more confusing, one of their developers in their catalog photo says Diafine on the box, but the heading says Acufine Diafine Film Developer.

Maybe I should stick to D76, but I'm curious to try this stuff.
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Old 04-16-2012   #2
bananasplit
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This is a question I always wanted to ask.
I might soon proceed to some test but need time.

What I can tell you is that Acufine is the name of the company producing/selling those developers (Acufine and Diafine as well as ACU-1). So Acufine Diafine refers to Diafine.

Hope this can help.
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Old 04-16-2012   #3
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It is a bit confusing. From what I understand Acufine is a developer and a brand of developer. Acufine the brands makes three developers: ACU-1, Acufine, and Diafine. http://www.digitaltruth.com/products/acufine.php

Diafine is a two-part developer (A + B). That's what I use. I am still playing with it as I recently reentered film photography. I like it because it's very easy to use—very forgiving process, especially temperature wise—it has a long shelf life, and there is minimal chemical waste to worry about.

It does push tri-x a one or two stops, nice with slower lens and available light.
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Old 04-16-2012   #4
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Diafine is a two part developer which is simply reused. It has fans. I see the downside as an inability to control exposure / contrast.

Accufine is a one part developer which is replenished when used. It can be diluted 1:3 and used as a one shot developer. This is the way I have used it to get a significant speed boost with the normal negatives.

ACC-1 was meant to be a one shot developer. It does not see to be available any more. I am told that diluted Accufine used as a one shot is similar to ACC-1 but not the same times.

I ended going back to DDX with extended times when I need a push developer. But that was just me, your choice may differ.
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Old 04-16-2012   #5
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i've used Diafine for 3-4 years now. still using the batch i mixed back in 2008. Diafine is described as a fine grain and compensating developer. it is very tolerant of temperature changes. often i would keep my bottles under the sink and when i need to develop a batch, i just pour the developer to the tank. i don't control the temp much unless it is summer. time is also constant for _most_ films (the MDC, suggests 5+5 on other films.), 3min in A solution, then 3 minutes in the B solution. fine grain and compensating works hand in hand. means it pushes your film automagically but keeps your grain small. i mainly use it for developing 400TX shot at EI1600 exposed during the night.

for Tri-X 400TX, that 3+3 time will give you an EI of 1600 already. it will always develop at that EI, it will not develop at box speed, you can't even tell it to stop at EI800. that is a gothca if you don't know it.

if you want total control in the development of your film Diafine it is not for you. if you want great tonal range (you said portraits) _maybe_ Diafine is not for you. IMHO Diafine is a developer for the lazy person or a very busy person, i call myself a lazy person btw. you should test it if it achieves the looks you want. if you don't like put it in the shelf, several years later you'll remember it is there, then use it again :-)
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Old 04-16-2012   #6
Noserider
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UFG!! Better than Acufine, formulated by the same chemist. Use replenished, shoot Tri-X at 1250 or 1600.
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Old 04-16-2012   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noserider View Post
UFG!! Better than Acufine, formulated by the same chemist. Use replenished, shoot Tri-X at 1250 or 1600.
It is made by the same company in Vernon Hills IL.
Really hard to get. B&H has it, nut one has to walk into the store, no shipping at all. To bad.
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Old 04-16-2012   #8
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Thanks guys. It's a little clearer now. Diafine sounds better, but I normally shoot Tri-X at box speed because on older cameras you'd need higher shutter speeds outdoors to shoot at 800 or 1200 ISO. For low light it might be the ticket.

The idea that it isn't time or temperature sensitive, stores a long time (several years apparently), and sounds idiot proof as long as I expose properly, makes it very interesting though. I'm going to order some and see how it goes, especially for high ISO portraits in low light. Might be fun.
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Old 04-16-2012   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
Thanks guys. It's a little clearer now. Diafine sounds better, but I normally shoot Tri-X at box speed because on older cameras you'd need higher shutter speeds outdoors to shoot at 800 or 1200 ISO. For low light it might be the ticket.
neutral density filters are your friend!
slap one on to your lens and shoot. though for the odd filter sizes of some old cameras, it's really troublesome to find one that will fit.
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Old 04-16-2012   #10
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This person did some extensive tests with pushing Tri-X, using a "2xDiafine" as one of the methods.
I tried it once, with limited success, after having shot Arista Premium 400 and then realizing I significantly underexposed the roll by at least 2 stops. Results were varied, and complicated by the fact that my meter was super sensitive to bright areas.

http://jasonsoulrecordermillerphotog...h-ISO-Test.pdf
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Old 04-17-2012   #11
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I use Diafine, not because I'm lazy, but because I like the results. My 35 mm negatives are very detailed and I have a bit of extended contrast range that resembles medium format.

A person who shoots a 4x5 remarked about my 120 negatives, "With negatives like those you don't need a 4x5." I use to use ID-11 and D-76, but with these solvent developers I don't get as good a results.

I found that the least amount of aggitation is better and now only perform two gentile inversions every minute. I found the correct film speed for me was 100 ISO (box speed) for Fuji Arcos doing 5+5 for parts A and B, 650 ISO to be the right speed for Tri-X using 3+3, and overall found using the recommended speeds to be way too aggressive with results that produced thin negatives that looked underexposed. BTW my negatives are for wet printing and are perhaps denser than those that are ideal for scanning.

I will also say that Diafine gets better as it is used, producing more mid-range with use as it gets seasoned. One thing I learned is that under diffused low contrast lighting to adjust your ISO lower by a half stop to control negative density, so on an overcast day shoot Arcos at 80 and Tri-X at 500. Also Tri-X is finer grained than HP5, but HP5 I rate at 800 ISO.

I also have a can of Acufine that I will experiment with and compare against Microphen for pushing film. I understand that Jim Marshall shot Tri-X at 800 ISO and used Acufine as his developer. If you are familure with his work his shots do not look pushed at all and had very nice mids. BTW I'm a long time user of Ilford Microphen.

I'd consider using Acufine for pushing film. With Diafine consider using it for its contrast compensating effect to extend contrast range. Imagine getting MF qualities on your 35 mm negatives.

I shoot lots of film and perform processing marathons using an 8 reel tank. Diafine saves me a lot of money because it gets reused, processing costs per roll becomes a few pennies worth of fixer, but I use Diafine because of the results.

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Old 04-17-2012   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdeyes View Post
This person did some extensive tests with pushing Tri-X, using a "2xDiafine" as one of the methods.
I tried it once, with limited success, after having shot Arista Premium 400 and then realizing I significantly underexposed the roll by at least 2 stops. Results were varied, and complicated by the fact that my meter was super sensitive to bright areas.

http://jasonsoulrecordermillerphotog...h-ISO-Test.pdf
Thanks for the link. I found this very interesting and will give it a try.

Metering at night is very tricky.

Cal
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Old 04-17-2012   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
I also have a can of Acufine that I will experiment with and compare against Microphen for pushing film. I understand that Jim Marshall shot Tri-X at 800 ISO and used Acufine as his developer. If you are familure with his work his shots do not look pushed at all and had very nice mids. BTW I'm a long time user of Ilford Microphen.



Cal
Do you get the same (excellent) sharpness also from Microphen as you do from Acufine? The original Microphen used to give rather "good" sharpness with medium grain compared to Acufine's excellent sharpness with medium-fine grain.
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Old 04-17-2012   #14
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Originally Posted by BobYIL View Post
Do you get the same (excellent) sharpness also from Microphen as you do from Acufine? The original Microphen used to give rather "good" sharpness with medium grain compared to Acufine's excellent sharpness with medium-fine grain.
Bob,

I still have the can unmixed and haven't done any work with it. My friend Richard recommended Acufine to me. From what Richard was telling me he suggested that Acufine was kinda unbeatable as far as sharpness and this is why I wanted to try it.

I've been pursuing pushing film and only most recently have been back to Microphen, but I've been pursuing higher speeds than 800 having been inspired by some of RanceEric's work where he pushes Tri-X to 3200 and processes it with Microphen with minimal agitation that requires an extended development time of 25 minutes using stock solution. Agitation is limited to only two gentle inversions per minute.

I found the results to have nice mid-range if exposed properly, but I want to try a similar technic with a shorter time at 1600 ISO. With fast glass 3200 ISO is excessive.

I read the link above and will also try doing Diafine times two. Since I minimize agitation like LanceEric this is probably why I get less film speed than what everyone else experiences. I'm partially doing stand development for additional contrast compensating effect.

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Old 04-17-2012   #15
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Thank you for the comments Cal..

If I remember correctly (Bill Pierce also had covered these developers way back in the '70s, hopefully I find that "shootout" for all films & developers available then) Diafine and Acufine both were belonging to the "excellent" sharpness with medium-fine grain category (the same as D76), with Diafine delivering one stop higher ASA (ISO today) compared to the latter one.

Anyway, I would be looking forward to hearing your findings as you now have all these three developers to experiment with. However I would not be surprised if Diafine would deliver the smoothest gradations above ISO 1200.
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Old 04-17-2012   #16
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Bob,

I'm thinking because of my minimized agitation and the less development that results is the reason I only get 650 ISO with Tri-X and Diafine.

I'm also thinking that I might be able to get 1600 ISO and get wonderful smooth mid-range by performing Diafine-Times-Two. The doubling of the film speed just happened to work for the author of Diafine-Times-Two. Seems like a linear progression and I had plenty of good results shooting Tri-X at 800 ISO, but I like the tonality at 650 better.

The tricky part is to perform a sufficient rinse in between the two developments because otherwise Part A will get contaminated and ruined by any trace of Part B. I'm lucky because at the research lab where I work I have a source of water that makes it chemically pure with a resistivity of 18 Mega-ohms for this purpose.

Cal
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Old 04-17-2012   #17
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Is this a trick question? Or a joke?

Pardon my bad manners. I don't get along with Diafine.

Wayne
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Old 04-30-2012   #18
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Is this a trick question? Or a joke?

Pardon my bad manners. I don't get along with Diafine.

Wayne
Wayne,

Not a joke from me, but I understand that if you followed the recommended film speeds that you might get thin negatives that are unsuitable for wet printing. I did lots of testing and learned that for me Arcos at 100 (box speed) is kinda wonderful.

With Tri-X try 650 ISO or even 500 ISO if the lighting is flat.

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Old 04-30-2012   #19
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Tri-x in Diafine, IMO, is the street photographer's best friend. In daylight, it basically gives you the ability to use an orange filter for free, and orange is my favorite color of filter for street shooting. At night, just swap the orange filter for a UV filter, and you have good low light capabilities.
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Old 04-30-2012   #20
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Originally Posted by BobYIL View Post
Thank you for the comments Cal..

If I remember correctly (Bill Pierce also had covered these developers way back in the '70s, hopefully I find that "shootout" for all films & developers available then) Diafine and Acufine both were belonging to the "excellent" sharpness with medium-fine grain category (the same as D76), with Diafine delivering one stop higher ASA (ISO today) compared to the latter one.

Anyway, I would be looking forward to hearing your findings as you now have all these three developers to experiment with. However I would not be surprised if Diafine would deliver the smoothest gradations above ISO 1200.
Bob,

I performed my first batch of Diafine-Times-Two and developed a roll of Delta 400 and a roll of TRi-X both shot at 1600 ISO. I liked the results, but I think I can get an honest 1250 ISO out of Tri-X and wonder if HP5 will give me a better result at 1600 than the Delta 400.

Using Diafine I found HP5 to be 800 ISO and Tri-X only 650 so 1600 for HP5 and 1250 for Tri-X seems about right for Diafine-Times-Two.

As expected there's more contrast, but there is also fine grain. I think I will be able to use Diafine-Times-Two for my need to push for night shooting.

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Old 04-30-2012   #21
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Tri-x in Diafine, IMO, is the street photographer's best friend. In daylight, it basically gives you the ability to use an orange filter for free, and orange is my favorite color of filter for street shooting. At night, just swap the orange filter for a UV filter, and you have good low light capabilities.
Filters with Tri-X works for me too. I use 2X yellow to loose a stop and go 320 ISO.

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Old 04-30-2012   #22
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Bob,

I performed my first batch of Diafine-Times-Two and developed a roll of Delta 400 and a roll of TRi-X both shot at 1600 ISO. I liked the results, but I think I can get an honest 1250 ISO out of Tri-X and wonder if HP5 will give me a better result at 1600 than the Delta 400.

Using Diafine I found HP5 to be 800 ISO and Tri-X only 650 so 1600 for HP5 and 1250 for Tri-X seems about right for Diafine-Times-Two.

As expected there's more contrast, but there is also fine grain. I think I will be able to use Diafine-Times-Two for my need to push for night shooting.

Cal
Diafine gives better results with old styles of emulsion. It isn't nearly as good with HP5 as it is with Tri-X, for instance.
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Old 04-30-2012   #23
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Diafine gives better results with old styles of emulsion. It isn't nearly as good with HP5 as it is with Tri-X, for instance.
I agree. Tri-X is almost as small grained as Arcos. HP5 has a bit more film speed and the grain is kinda pronounced.

Arcos and Tri-X provide amazing detail. Arcos is my favorite.

What speeds do you use? I go for denser negatives for wet printing.

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Old 04-30-2012   #24
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I agree. Tri-X is almost as small grained as Arcos. HP5 has a bit more film speed and the grain is kinda pronounced.

Arcos and Tri-X provide amazing detail. Arcos is my favorite.

What speeds do you use? I go for denser negatives for wet printing.

Cal
I go with 1600 to make my math easier, and generally split filter print.
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Old 04-30-2012   #25
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I go with 1600 to make my math easier, and generally split filter print.
Back in art school I learned to make negatives that I would straight print with no filters on number graded two paper. Perhaps this is why I like denser negatives.

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Old 04-30-2012   #26
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Back in art school I learned to make negatives that I would straight print with no filters on number graded two paper. Perhaps this is why I like denser negatives.

Cal
I can definitely see that. I have always basked in the glory of multigrade papers, so I am a lot more willing than some to just work loosely within the film's latitude, and atone for my sins with the enlarger.
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