Looking at the last few rolls of film I’ve shot, I decided that I don’t really care for the results. Using Ilford XP2 processed by Sam’s Club is quick and easy, but I don’t like the scans. I really like Tri-X. It’s contrasty, has cool-looking grain and is almost foolproof to shoot. The trouble is I have to “get wet” and process/scan it myself. The processing is easy, except for getting things the right temperature. Scanning Tri-X is a bitch. And spending hours removing dust in photoshop has been enough to turn me off the whole process.
Tonight I needed to shoot my Niece’s dance recital. Very low light and of course no flash allowed. XP2 is only 400ISO which wouldn’t be fast enough and I knew that if I exposed it at 1600 or so there would be no way I could explain to the polite but not too bright girl at Sam’s Club that she’d have to “push it a couple stops.” While researching D-76 development times for pushing Tri-X I discovered Diafine. It’s been around for like 40 years. Let me get this straight, I can shoot Tri-X at 1600 and have it end up looking close to normal as if souped in D-76 1:1? I don’t have to worry about temperature or accurate development times? I can reuse the same batch for over a year?
I ordered a couple boxes straight away! Of course it took a while to find somewhere that was still willing to ship a box full of white powder, but Adorama seemed to be willing.
Or I could’ve just used a digital camera and simply dialed the ISO to 1600 and been done with it.