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I keep hearing the true speed of Tri-X
Old 02-01-2007   #1
steve garza
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I keep hearing the true speed of Tri-X

is 320....does anyone have experience in "pulling" Tri-X? What about development?
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Old 02-01-2007   #2
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How many people are on RFF that will respond? How much time do you have to read? My recipe:

TX exposed @ 200 (maybe 250)
Rodinal 1:100, 20C, 20 min, 30 sec agitation at star, 5 sec every 3 min. thereafter.

GeneW uses that recipe (or close) sometimes, but more often HC-110 1:100, but I don't know the rest. I like his results, too. I used to use HC-110 dil. G, ~9 min (can't remember), and I liked that, too.

My preference is still the Rodinal.
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Old 02-01-2007   #3
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Actually, Tri-X has never been ISO-rated so it really doesn't have a "true speed". It's guessed that if it were to be ISO rated it would be closer to ISO200 or even 100. But this is common amongst B&W films as there is no standard development (like C-41 for color negs and E-6 for color trannies).

People tend to pull negative films as negatives tend to hold highlight detail fairly well. By over exposing, you are abloie to get more shadow detail in.

Anyway, my Tri-X recipie is EI250 in HC-110 (dil H) for 14m at 20C

The attached 2 shots were done that way.
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File Type: jpg Rainy_Day_by_bQw.jpg (67.3 KB, 105 views)
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Old 02-01-2007   #4
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There is (or was) Tri-X Pan (400) and Tri-X Pro (320). The Tri-X Pro is a different formulation sold only in medium format and sheet film.
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Old 02-01-2007   #5
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the true speed of Tri-X is a personal thing, it depends on your developer/your developing technique/ etc., etc., etc. On bright days I shoot it at 200, overcast and rainy maybe 400. Most of my Tri-X is souped in Xtol or D76 1:1, YMMV.

the first one is rated at 100 in shaded light: http://www.rangefinderforum.com/phot...627&ppuser=489

This one was rated at 800: http://www.rangefinderforum.com/phot...623&ppuser=489

I find Tri-X to be one of the most versatile films around, good luck!

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Last edited by Todd.Hanz : 02-01-2007 at 17:46.
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Old 02-02-2007   #6
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I find Tri-X 400 hits 400 in Xtol 1+1 very happily. I downrate if shooting in very contrasty light to be sure of good exposure using TTL means. In D76 1+1 I shoot at 250 but would happily shoot at 320 in overcast conditions. It also depends on the look you are after. I like some solid black in street phtography and am not so concerned about shadow detail everywhere as I am with landscapes in LF, where I can print down with less grain penalty from well exposed well developed negs etc. I used to go along with the cut teh film speed in half mantra, but found that I was simply overexposing much of the time! Xtol and DDX does give a fair bit more speed (a good 1/2-2/3 stop) over ID11/D76 so you muct take this into account. Everyone's metering is different but when I hear of people rating TriX at 160 in Xtol 1:1 and cutting dev times in half and printing on a diffuser I have to wonder whether this is based on experience or pearls passed on by a local 'expert'.
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Old 02-02-2007   #7
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You'll hear a lot of "true speed" statements if you hang around internet film forums long enough

I like Tri-x at 200 in stock ID-11 for general use and am getting to like it at about 400 in HC-110 b (I'll test at 200 in the next few days as we finally have some daylight).
Trius' Rodinal formula is one I've used and really liked in the past as well. As Todd says Tri-x is a very versatile film.
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Old 02-02-2007   #8
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Don't forget that light intensity varies due to location and pollution - the same speed/dev won't give the same results everywhere.

The best thing is to experiment for yourself until you come up with something you like. Ansel Adams book The Negative provides a very systematic and thorough method for doing this.
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Old 02-02-2007   #9
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I always run film tests, and have had Tri-X rate ISO400, or close to, with most developers. Personal habits developing of course do have an effect on it as well. My favorite would be shot at 400, souped in PMK Pyro for 14min. Has (so far, knock on wood) provided excellent negs from all shooting conditions. It's my own made from scratch PMK though, and others I shoot with that are using the pre-made kits are shooting ISO320 or so for similar results, making me think there's something a bit different with my formula, so same film, and (theoretically) same developer and two different speed ratings.
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Old 02-02-2007   #10
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If I were to experiment with a different developer with Tri-X, it would be with PMK and/or pyro formulas. Also I'd love to try those with Pan F+.
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Old 02-02-2007   #11
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I'm very close to BrianPhotog, I shoot Tri-X (new) at ISO 200. I then develop it at 10.5 minutes, 68 degrees, HC-110 (H) (negatives for scanning), agitate 30 seconds to start and then two more spaced three inversions. I have one image on my RFF gallery that was done this way. If it is a dull day or inside shots, I go with BrianPhotg at 13 minutes development and everything else the same. Thank you for stating this 'thread,' it is very helpful to all of us to read what others are doing with development. I am trying Arista EDU ultra 100 at 50 now. My first roll was at 9.5 minutes, 68 degrees, HC-110 (H), with the same agitation as above. They were a little overdeveloped for scanning (but good for printing) so 8.5 minutes next time. Has anyone ever done a scanning vs printing negative 'thread?'

Last edited by charjohncarter : 02-02-2007 at 08:03.
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Old 02-02-2007   #12
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Quote:
Has anyone ever done a scanning vs printing negative 'thread?'
I've always considered that negatives that are good for a condenser enlarger will be good for scanning. Most manufacturers' times seem to be geared towards diffusion heads and need revising downwards for scanning or condensers. I used to use Ilford's 24C times at 20C to give an appropriate reduction in contrast.
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Old 02-02-2007   #13
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I definitely like the expression "color trannies" interesting thread btw, Tx400 is the main film I use with my Kiev-2A, with transgressions towards Fomapan 400. I always consider as if the real iso speed is 400.
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Old 02-02-2007   #14
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I expose Trix at 200 and develop in HC110B) for 4.5 minutes. Here is why:

I look for a shadow density that gives me decent density above the film base. Generally for a "zone 1" density I want 0.1 above the film fog. Film fog on TriX is around ,48. So to get a ..58 or so, I need to expose at 200. It does not matter what developer or the time you use to figure this out since time and developer have very little influence on Zone 1 (near black) density. Exposure time does (expose for the shadows, develop for the highlights).

The second question is what developer to use and how long to process it. I think that depends on the look you want and the enlarger or scanner you use. I use HC110 (B) because I love the creamy look I get with moderate grain. Negatives I exposed using this 40 years ago (customized time is designed for my cold light enlarger) scan beautifully on my Imacon scanner.

So the question is, after you decide what your meter and camera need to do to get the 0.1 above fog is what developer to use and how long to process. I suspect all the ones recommended above are fine. The real question is how long to process.

That is another story but I would try everyones recommendations and see how it prints or scans. There is a method I could describe to do this, but that is for another post if you want.
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Old 02-02-2007   #15
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I also use the box speed. Tri-X has always been a 400 speed film for me and always will. I use simple solvent developers (variations of D76 & D23). I like that look. Why change or mess with a good thing. I agree that Tri-X is probably the most versatile film around and takes to different developers remarkably well. However, I'm from the "religion" that believes that one of the most perfect matings in all of photography is Tri-X and D76--regardless of its "true" speed.

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Old 02-02-2007   #16
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Kodak generally rates B&W general purpose films as they perform under general conditions and developed in D-76 for Kodak's recommended times.
This says to me, that is a good starting point, but must be tuned to your conditions, the developer and time you use, and maybe a whole host of other factors. That's why we have all the answers above - they're probably all right for their own use, as many of them have stated.
The conclusion? Start with what Kodak says, but bracket and expirement to find what is best for you!
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Old 02-02-2007   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lushd
Don't forget that light intensity varies due to location and pollution - the same speed/dev won't give the same results everywhere.

The best thing is to experiment for yourself until you come up with something you like. Ansel Adams book The Negative provides a very systematic and thorough method for doing this.
What you said is somewhat impossible. Light intensity in china is the same as in Argentina, if the meter reads 1/[email protected], and the same developer will always give the same results (if no user error).

You are probably talking about contrast ratio. That is another thing. But still, contrast changes all the time, every second for every subject. No need to point that out, really.

Last edited by NB23 : 02-02-2007 at 09:08.
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Old 02-02-2007   #18
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excuse me but a trad. BW film at 400 or at 320...what's the difference??? Two digits in the numbers! DO you seriously think you can meter and develop so consistently that 1/3 stop makes a difference?
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Old 02-02-2007   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsdunek
...
Kodak generally rates B&W general purpose films as they perform under general conditions and developed in D-76 for Kodak's recommended times.
This says to me, that is a good starting point, but must be tuned to your conditions, the developer and time you use, and maybe a whole host of other factors. That's why we have all the answers above - they're probably all right for their own use, as many of them have stated.
The conclusion? Start with what Kodak says, but bracket and expirement to find what is best for you!
Obviously.

So shooting at the box speed and developing in D76 is not a valid position because it's the recommendation under general conditions, a "starting point"? I've experimented with TriX and a lot of other developers. I like what I've gotten, but what I really like is the box speed and D76-like developers.And that's no less valid a position than any other post here. Sometimes the "starting point" is the ending point.

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Old 02-02-2007   #20
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My take on things:

1 - there is a reason for the box speed. The ISO (organization) has a set standard combination of highly controlled methods, measurements, and development that yields an ISO number. For TXT, that is 400.

2 - the chance of you running into those exact same circumstances while shooting out on the street are zero. Not next to zero, but zero, IMO.

3 - Therefore, it is not unwise, though perhaps not nec. depending on your nitpickiness, to figure out the speed at which you should expose TXT to get the results you want.

4 - For me, "real speed" is defined by shadow detail. What is the EI (exposure index - the speed at which you rate a film, as compared to the ISO) at which I will get adequate shadow detail, presuming I spot meter the shadows and compensate my reading appropriately? I make looser but still useful allowances if I'm using some kind of averaging meter (usually 1/3 stop more exposure)

5 - this speed is heavily influenced by developer. Someone did a test on PN a while back and discovered that while developing to the same contrast gave almost identical prints, different developers gave radically different speeds. Using my measure of speed, TXT goes anywhere from 200 to 560 for me.

6 - I am not super-rigid - I shoot TXT at 800, 1600, 3200, even 6400 all the time as needed, but I know that I am not shooting at my true speed and therefore accept the compromises.

7 - In that same vein, if I accidentally expose at 200 and don't have the right developer on hand, I will usually just adjust by using less time. 1 stop is doable, but keep in mind that, say, Microphen, which gives you 560 for me, means that I'm dealing with a 1.3 stop difference at 200. That's a bit harder. I'd probably use at least D76 for that.

Oh yeah, and my dev times, per EI, are at http://photos.kaiyen.com/pmwiki/pmwi...lanChen-Kaiyen

allan

Last edited by kaiyen : 02-02-2007 at 09:59.
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Old 02-02-2007   #21
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It's a fair cop! I meant that light is not the same the world over.
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Todd,
Old 02-02-2007   #22
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Todd,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd.Hanz
the true speed of Tri-X is a personal thing, it depends on your developer/your developing technique/ etc., etc., etc. On bright days I shoot it at 200, overcast and rainy maybe 400. Most of my Tri-X is souped in Xtol or D76 1:1, YMMV.

the first one is rated at 100 in shaded light: http://www.rangefinderforum.com/phot...627&ppuser=489

This one was rated at 800: http://www.rangefinderforum.com/phot...623&ppuser=489

I find Tri-X to be one of the most versatile films around, good luck!

Todd
I love the tones you coax from tri-x w/ this recipe. I will difinitely try this.
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Old 02-02-2007   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pherdinand
excuse me but a trad. BW film at 400 or at 320...what's the difference??? Two digits in the numbers! DO you seriously think you can meter and develop so consistently that 1/3 stop makes a difference?
Yes, I do. :-)

If you look under a densitometer, there is certainly a difference from 320 to 400. Under a loupe, it's a lot harder to see, but I can see the difference between 250 and 400. So if I can see that with the naked eye, then I ask myself if it's 250 or 320 (which is hard to see with the naked eye). I tend to go with the higher of the 2 (the extra 1/3 stop is useful, I'll admit).

But I absolutely do think that, using exacting metering methods (spot on shadows) and development times (down to 15 second increments) yields differences.

allan
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Old 02-02-2007   #24
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Todd,
Not to sound critical - remember that I was the one that asked you to get an RSS feed on your blog because I liked your work so much :-) - but I'm actually surprised at the shadow detail of TXT @ 100 in D76 1+1. Not as much as I'd hope. Did you apply a curve to bring the shadows back down?

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Old 02-02-2007   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pherdinand
excuse me but a trad. BW film at 400 or at 320...what's the difference??? Two digits in the numbers! DO you seriously think you can meter and develop so consistently that 1/3 stop makes a difference?
When I over or under rate a film speed, it's because I've done a full film test and the speed I rate it at, with the given developer and developing technique used for the test, gives me the best shadow detail. Same for modifying development time to get proper highlight detail. Now, if I was shooting on the fly, no it probably wouldn't make a lot of difference. But I tend to shoot zone a lot (the only thing I shoot more than my rangefinders are my 4x5's), and yes, I do get that accurate on exposure and development in those cases.

The main reason is that if I'm going to run full film tests for zone, I might as well use what I found there for every other kind of shooting as well. That way, if the exposure is off at all, it was me and the camera settings that did it, and not because the film speed is off.

Not trying to sound arrogant, but at least for me, when I shoot zone, 1/3 of a stop is apparant in the neg quite often.
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