Beginner Tri-X developing

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Stuggi, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. Stuggi

    Stuggi Member

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    I was wondering if this set of chemicals is sufficient/unnecessary to develop Kodak Tri-X at home, and if there are any other chemicals that might be better/easier to use?

    This is what I intend to use;
    Kodak Photo Flo, 50ml
    Kodak Polymax fixer 500ml
    Kodak Max-Stop Stop Bath Liquid, 1 litre
    Kodak HC110 Liquid, 500 ml
     
  2. cherryrig

    cherryrig Member

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    I've got some Tri-X 320 and 400 but I'm looking at developing it in DD-X just cos I have some 3200 Delta as well

    I had a look on Flickr and the results with the DD-X looked quite nice
     
  3. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Stuggi, your good to go. If you are using the US hc110 there is a page on my website about using it undiluted at 1:50.

    you can find it here: http://www.jasonbrunner.com/hc110.html
     
  4. Stuggi

    Stuggi Member

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    I'm getting it from the UK or something so I'm not sure if it's the US version..
     
  5. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  6. TLR

    TLR Member

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    In Europe the "real" HC-110 concentrate come in 1 litre bottles. The 500 ml bottle, I presume that is the pre-diluted version.

    Tomas.
     
  7. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, the 500ml version is the less concentrated "Euro" hc110.
     
  8. Stuggi

    Stuggi Member

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    How many rolls can one get out of this prediluted halflitre bottle if one uses it as a one-shot developer?
     
  9. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    You might or might not also want some hypo clear. This speeds up the washing process in some cases -- whether or not it helps depends on the fixer you use, and I'm not familiar with the details of the Kodak Polymax fixer you mention. If you don't get hypo clear and your fixer would benefit from it, you'll still be able to process your film, but you'll need to wash the film for 20 or 30 minutes rather than the 5 minutes or so that's needed with the help of hypo clear.
     
  10. J Ollinger

    J Ollinger Member

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    Back to the original question: there are a lot of different developers you can use, and each has its own special characteristics. HC-110 is an excellent place to start, however. It's been around a long time and it's well known and documented. It's liquid so it's easy to mix (I hate mixing powders). It can be diluted at a lot of different strengths. It gives you good contrast and grain. It's my favorite pre-packaged soup.

    I also recommend using hypo clear. But I live in a drought environment so water conservation is important to me.
     
  11. Saganich

    Saganich Subscriber

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    I would recommend dropping the photoflow for distilled water from the drug store. The main reason is unless you can measure out ml quantities you will use too much and that will cause problems. I also recommend dropping the stop and using a water stop, (fill the tank and empty three times prior to fixing). I did this just so I didn't have to have the chemicals around but I also use an alkaline fix TF4 which I recommend. Again, you will need a method of measuring out ml quantities of HC110 and it is thick so lots will stick to whatever your using. I run TriX 35mm and 120 at a 1:41 dilution, ASA 250 @22C for 9 minutes with minimal agitation (2 inversions in 5 seconds per minute.
     
  12. luckycharms

    luckycharms Member

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    I agree that liquid developers are easy to use compared to powders. I recently started developing my own black and white rolls (including a few of Tri-X) using Clayton F76+ and I have been very pleased with the ease of use.

    As far as better/easier, you can get away without the stop bath or Photo Flo. I am using water for all of my washes and my only chemistry is developer and fixer, which hasn't caused me any trouble so far (and people who I've discussed it with who've been doing it for decades haven't had long-term problems). As J Ollinger said, however, you will use more water this way. For me, I like the process as simple and low-toxicity as possible, so I use F76+, Silvergrain Clearfix, and water, but what you have suggested will work fine as well. It's just a little more complex.
     
  13. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    In all cases, be sure to get the dilutions right. I think you listed the bottle sizes, and you need to dilute the stock solutions for use. You need only about a third of a capful of PhotoFlo in a pint of water for a final rinse. Your choice of chemicals looks fine. Liquids are easier to use than powders.
     
  14. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, by all means work out the right dilutions, for example Chris Saganich's 1:41 from above isn't the same developer concentration as your 1:41 would be unless he ordered in the 500ml bottle from across the pond. The web page I posted earlier has the direct dilutions for the 500ml Euro version.
     
  15. Adrian D

    Adrian D Member

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    Hi, I've recently been having great results (ie, consistently easily printable negs with no blocked up highlights and good tone and grain by using Tri-x exposed at 200iso ( this gets me sufficient shadow detail) and using the Euro (more concentrated) HC110 diluted thus: 10ml of HC110 "syrup" topped up to 600ml with water at 75 degrees Farenheit. This gives me two 300ml shots of developer (handy for doing a couple of films in a session) and I usually develop for 10 minutes with only one gentle inversion at 5 minutes. It works great for me, and I find it a very consistent method to get reliable negatives. Its always best to do your own tests of course, but this might be a good starting point for you. As long as you are careful with the stop fix and wash, I imagine the actual brands and types you use for these stages are immaterial. Its a good idea to keep all the chemistry at the same temp, and give the film a pre-soak in plain water at the same temp too, if you have the time. Good luck, hope you get some great results!!
     
  16. scinysnaps

    scinysnaps Member

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    What's a good baseline time for Tri-X with TMAX developer?
     
  17. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  18. Stuggi

    Stuggi Member

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    Okay, I've done it now, but I did some changes;

    First I dropped Kodak's stuff entirely. That's just due to the fact that Ilford is locally available and with shipping cost cheaper as well. I would have loved to use Kodak's chemicals, but that will have to wait until I run out of chemicals from my first batch.

    Secondly, I couldn't get my hands on some tri-x locally, so I got T-max, but I'm planning on getting some shipped to me from an online store (4,40 € per roll instead of 10 €). But, then I had a brilliant idea, I had an roll of BW400CN that was probably a bit damaged and exposed to light (compact camera winds film in all the way when I want to transfer it, I pop the cap from the canister in a dark room and load it into a reusable canister which cap doesn't stick on that well and falls of twice in daylight), so I developed it in ID-11

    So, here's what I did;

    Kodak BW400CN in ID-11 diluted 1+1 at 22C

    Develop 14 mins, continuous agitation for the first 30 seconds, then 3 inversions (10 sec) at the top of each minute.
    Water stop for 1 min, continuous agitation, tap water at 22C
    Fix for 5 mins, continuous agitation for the first 60 seconds, then as with the developer. Ilford Rapid Fixer diluted 1+3 (screwup on my part, should be 1+4 for film)
    Ilford wash, last filling with a drop of washing-up liquid. I then squeegeed the film between my fingers to remove residual foam and water.

    Results are here;

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sstorholm/, it's the sepia looking shots.
     
  19. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    Wow!
    I wish all my rolls would have been exposed to light if this is the outcome!!
    Mindblowing, truly...
    I love the sepia cast...
    Why 14 minutes?
     
  20. Stuggi

    Stuggi Member

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    It's a C-41 film, that why it has that sepia cast, due to it being developed the "wrong way". The 14 minutes was the only info I could find for developing this film in D-76, so I just used the same times for ID-11. The 14 minutes are also very nice since you doesn't really have to rush anything while you're developing, since a few seconds here or there wont do that much difference.

    I also added a set for these pics, here it is; http://www.flickr.com/photos/sstorholm/sets/72157607227367097/

    And I also discovered that chemists (drug stores) sell bottles graded for chemicals MUCH cheaper than the bottles that are intended for darkroom chemicals. The chemist bottles are also a lot more resilient since they are intended for much "heavier" stuff, like acids and such.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2008
  21. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Not really. With any negative film (traditional B&W, C-41 B&W, or color), the color you see in a scan or print on color paper is the result of how the color is balanced when doing the scanning or printing. You can get a sepia cast from Kodak BW400CN processed the "right" way (in C-41 chemistry) or from a traditional B&W film -- or you can eliminate the cast entirely in various ways. The scanning software use (VueScan) has a B&W scanning option; scan a negative with that and you get a B&W scan with no cast, even if the negative was a color negative. You can desaturate an existing scan in a photo-editing program, too. You can make a traditional print on traditional B&W paper, in which case any cast in the negative becomes irrelevant to the final print color. (A deep cast in the negative could necessitate long exposures and complicate contrast adjustments with variable contrast paper, though.) You might even be able to make a nearly neutral print on color paper by using appropriate filtration.
     
  22. Stuggi

    Stuggi Member

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    Yeah, but I'm talking about mini-lab processing. Cause all other rolls of BW400CN I've had the lab to process and print has turned out completely B&W. Still, I like it better this way. ^^