Originally Posted by sparrow6224
Roger -- wow. Those are stunning shots. You have controlled the shadows and highlights on an Ansel-Adams kind of level; really beautiful (of course I suppose the trick would be to print them that way but I know nothing, yet, of that art so cannot say). Is that developer you mention a divided developer like Acufine? What EI / ISO did you shoot the Tri-X at? How long in what formula did you develop? Obviously I'm hankering to try the same approach.
Aculux is Paterson's standard fine grain developer. 13 minutes at 20 deg C. They are scanned negatives so obviously I've had to adjust the brightness and contrast because they're very grey straight off Vuescan (it doesn't understand that I metered from the mid-tones and *most* of the scene is actually supposed to be dark). In the old days I would print everything on grade 3 Record-Rapid and that's the look I'm trying to get.
To be honest, I'm not totally happy with the negatives. Kodak have reformulated Tri-X and it doesn't seem to achieve its full speed (I rated it at 400 ASA and used a hand meter). The negs are rather thin, although when you're taking pictures of largely black things in dark sheds, you expect fairly light negs. Grain is also excessive, although there is shadow detail if you look for it.
What Tri-X does achieve is remarkable sharpness despite the hevay grain; without any artificial sharpening, the scans are far crisper than from any digital camera. The grains obligingly seem to line up around the fine details.
Now I'll let you into a secret. The scans are very slightly "toned" as if they'd been dipped in selenium toner, by using the Colorize control in Photoshop (the one in Paint Shop Pro does exactly the same thing, so there's no need to spend lots of money on software). This gives them the warm look and the impression of deepened tonality. It's an optical illusion which I discovered a little while ago.