4x5 Kodak Tri-X 320, developed Taco style in Paterson Universal Tank in Caffenol CL

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Ed Bray, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Ed Bray

    Ed Bray Member

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    My first exposed 4x5 photograph taken on my Toyo C Monorail Camera with a Schneider 90mm f8 Super Angulon Lens on Kodal Tri-X 320 and rated at ISO 640 the exposure was 1/15th Sec at f32. This was Semi-Stand processed in Caffenol CL (1.4g of KBr) @ 21 degrees C using the Taco Method of 4x 4x5 films in a Paterson Universal Tank with constand agitation for the 1st 30 seconds and 3 inversions of the tank after a following 2, 4, 8, 18 minutes with the Caffenol drained out after a further 40 minutes. After 4 tanks of water constantly agaitated the films were fixed with an Alkali fixer for 4 minutes. After washing the films for 8 minutes they were hung up to dry in my film dryer.

    Although this was my first developed 4 x 5 sheet of film (actually 1 of 4 but 1st exposed and safely stored), I have to confess that I had tried 2 previous exposures (both in the same film holder and both ruined) on this subject as I had managed to insert the films into the dark slide groove and after exposing the films could not get the dark slides back into their slot, a lesson learned. I have also learned how difficult it is to get the film out of a Fidelity Deluxe DDS whilst I had no trouble at all with the Fidelity Elite DDS.
    The negative has a fantastic range of tones and I am really pleased that after my recent trials with the Caffenol CL and Semi-Stand development gave me the knowledge to expose this film rated at 1 stop higher than the box speed.

    Using the monorail camera seems a steep learning curve even with my previous experience with my Canon Tilt/Shift lenses and my Fuji GX680 cameras. It engenders a much slower way of working and requires serious thought on the photographer of what he is trying to acheive, not least because each frame of Tri X costs over £1 (1.5ish euros/dollers).

    [​IMG]
    Old Garage Window, Brambles and Boards by Ed Bray, on Flickr
     
  2. bernard_L

    bernard_L Subscriber

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    Congratulations for this first test. But as you state, you expose TX320 @640. Do you really get 640 speed? My guess is you're robbing yourself of part of the tonality advantage of LF.
     
  3. Ed Bray

    Ed Bray Member

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    Possibly Bernard and thank you for your comments, but my previous tests on Medium Format have shown that films processed at box speed in the Caffenol CL have been very dense. I use the frame numbers as a guide as to whether or not the film is over/under developed and have adjusted the Caffenol CL time to suit, I then adjust the speed of the film to give me a negative with a full range of tones. Typically with medium format this has been best with a doubling of the box speed.

    As this was my first 4x5 there is bound to be a period of testing going forward and I will eventually settle on a film speed to suit but I am very pleased with this first image and there is a full range of tones on the negative including in the dense shadows on the RHS.
     
  4. dorff

    dorff Member

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    If I may ask, have you used TMax400 with Caffenol C-L? And if so, would you use the regimen as you explained above? I have so far experienced very blocked highlights and generally dense negatives with Caffenol C-L, and wasn't sure how to adapt for TMax400, partly because I do not how whether it will decimate the shadow details if I develop shorter and shoot at higher than box speed. I don't really have a lot of time to experiment at the moment, so unless there is a workable way with Caffenol, I'll stick to Xtol or TMax developer for TMY400. Any guidance would be much appreciated.

    BTW, very fine image.

    dorff
     
  5. aRolleiBrujo

    aRolleiBrujo Member

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    Bookmarked
     
  6. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    Nice image, Ed.

    Keep up the good work,

    Doremus
     
  7. momus

    momus Member

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    Well, that worked well, didn't it? I never had much luck using the 320 version of Tri-X, but have found the 400 version pretty much bullet proof. Beautiful tones on that shot.
     
  8. scheimfluger_77

    scheimfluger_77 Subscriber

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    Stunning!
     
  9. Axle

    Axle Member

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    Fantastic! A lot better than my attempt at the Taco method, now I use a Unicolor Drum and rotating base for all my 4x5 processing.
     
  10. vdonovan

    vdonovan Subscriber

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    Nice work.
     
  11. hamradio

    hamradio Member

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    Same here. I'd always get a weird uneven mark where the band went around the base side (I tried hair bands and rubber bands), and usually the corners of the negative would end up moving and scratching the hell out of the emulsion during agitation. I moved to a Unicolor setup, which also took some learning to make work right, but now works quite well for me.

    OP, could you outline your methods on keeping the sheets in a 'taco' and how many you're putting into a tank? I'd like to give the taco method a try again–it'd be nice to not use continuous agitation sometimes.
     
  12. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Nice! Didn't know Caffenol is such a good developer.
     
  13. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    The original post was made in 2012 and the OP himself hasn't posted at APUG for several months. Don't hold your breath :wink:
     
  14. hamradio

    hamradio Member

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    Ha! That's what I get for just assuming someone wouldn't dredge up a dead thread. :laugh: