Favorite Tri-X (120) film-developer combinations

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Andrew Horodysky, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Andrew Horodysky

    Andrew Horodysky Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I'd like to solicit postings describing your favorite Tri-X (120) film-developer combinations (whether it be 320 or 400), and why. Also, please describe if it's for portraiture, landscape, etc.

    Thanks.
     
  2. gerryyaum

    gerryyaum Subscriber

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  3. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

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    I use Rodinal at 1:50 for both. TXP 320 rated at box speed mainly for portraiture, 400 pushed up to 800 for street work. K
     
  4. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Could not agree more. Tri-X (400TX) and D-76 is a classic combination. I rate the film at box speed and run it at 75F with a correspondingly shorter development time of around 7' 45". If the light was very flat and dull, I'll add another 30 to 45 seconds. If the light was hard and bright, I'll cut the time back about 1 minute. Agitation is constant for the first 15 seconds, then vigorously for 5 seconds every 30 seconds. Base time is strictly by the book and it works like a charm.
     
  5. naeroscatu

    naeroscatu Subscriber

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    My EI for TRI-X 400 is ISO 160 and I follow more or less what Frank said for processing. I've got very good results but I mostly shoot landscapes.
     
  6. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    HC-110 dilution H at 11:00 (20 degrees C). I rate it at box speed.
     
  7. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    I like it at box speed in Xtol or D76 at 1+1 in a Jobo (so my times won't help you, as really no one's will). It also looks very nice in TMAX developer at box speed.

    I've never been enamored of it in HC-110, at least in roll-film sizes.
     
  8. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    Tri-X 400/120 EI 400 in Pyro-HD 1:1:100 — 20°C - 15 min — normal agitation, good for objects with lots of structure like trees, stones, tools, buildings/monuments, skin (elderly people:wink:) etc...

    Philippe
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2009
  9. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Tri-X is probably the most flexible film made. It pushes well and can be develped in just about anything. My faves are Rodinal and D-76, 1+1; although these have a very different look to them.

    I'd like to try it in some of the pyro/cat devs, just to see what's there.
     
  10. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Tri-X in Rodinal 1:50 just for the honnest grain and the sharpness I get, esp. with 35mm.

    If I need fine grain I use MF anyway or go to LF.

    Peter
     
  11. mikebarger

    mikebarger Member

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    I either use 510 pyro continuous on Beseler base (like how it treats clouds on landscapes) or HC110 stand.

    Tri-x 400.

    Mike
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    When I used Tri-X a lot, it was using it the classic zone system way explained in "The Negative". For me, the 320 variety ended up being shot at EI 200 in D-76 1:1 at 72F (seemed to be my average water temperature at the time of the testing, so I stuck with it) in both 4x5 and 120/220. I used a time-temp chart if the water was not 72F. I used the combo for everything black and white, pretty much, except sometimes I used FP4 when I wanted its different contrast and color response characteristics. (Strangely enough, it also tested as an EI 200 film for me, so Tri-X had no real speed advantage - just a malleability advantage and less contrast.) For Tri-X 400, it was in 135 format, so I would be hand held 99.9% of the time, often without a meter, and often with an incident meter rather than a spot meter. Thus, I used EIs 125, 250, 500, 1000, etc. to conveniently match shutter speeds (or 100, 200, 500, 1000 for the Leica or similar cameras with the old shutter speeds). I considered 250 normal for a normal contrast situation. I would rerate and alter development depending on contrast, though it was never tested in a detailed manner like with the 320 film. This was also in D-76 1:1 used at ambient temperature.

    Then I started messing around with HC-110 and HP5. My school had HC-110 for free, and my box of photo paper had come with three rolls of HP5. I found HP5 a better film for most of my pix, though Tri-X certainly has its unique look that is great for some things. Tri-X opens up the shadows and lightens plants and skies slightly more than HP5. So, I ended up retesting HP5, FP4, Pan F, and Delta 3200, all in Ilfotec HC, and that is where I have been for a few years now. I still shoot Tri-X when I want a 220 b/w film or when I want that Tri-X look. I use D-76 and all my times from before, but do a quick combined EI/normal development test for every new batch that I get. After everything, I highly prefer the HC to D-76. It is extremely convenient (though D-76 is a bit cheaper if used to its full capacity - but I used it diluted one shot), and most of all, more consistent and versatile than D-76. One I tested everything with it, I got almost no variation batch to batch, and also got better results with my litho film. It is ever so slightly more contrasty in the highlights than D-76, and this affect the midtones as well. I usually like this, but if ever I don't want it, all I have to do is dilute the developer so I have more fine control during development. D-76 can do anything and do it well, but I prefer HC as an all around developer.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2009
  13. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    Although I have tried Tri-X 400 film, it`s not one I use regularly. When I did, I used D-76 and the results were very pleasing. I`m sure other developers will work well too.
     
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  15. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    I get better negs when I rate Tri-X at 200 vs 400 with D-76 1:1 or 250 with XTOL 1:1. with Ilford's agitation recommendations. For the few times I use Rodinal I rate the film at 160. Rodinal is slower than D-76 and can sag the midtones.

    Derating Tri-X moves the toe closer to the strait line slope and opens up the shadows.
     
  16. Andrew Horodysky

    Andrew Horodysky Member

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    Thanks everyone, for your input.
     
  17. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I use Edwal 12. Wonderful film/developer combination for making prints. Not very different from D76, but with a bit more brilliance in the highlights and finer grain.

    D76 and Tri-X is a classic and a beautiful combination. This, I think, is even better.

    Kit available from the Photographer's Formulary.

    - Thomas
     
  18. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    In Europe in the winter, I used to use TriX (120) shot at EI1000 and developed in Diafine. I found this to be a great combination.

    Back here in better lit New Zealand, TriX at EI400 in PC-TEA works really well.
     
  19. wattsie

    wattsie Member

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    I have just run some tests again (getting back into film for some nourishment) - Tri X rated at 400 in Xtol 1:1 developed for 9 mins and 15 seconds is giving a good result. I used to get up to a stop extra speed out of this combination, but 400 will do seeing it's giving a nice tonal range.
     
  20. wattsie

    wattsie Member

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    Oops - I'm shooting 35mm but about to run some tests on my old Rolleiflex as well. It will be Xtol again. Tri X and Xtol really is a wonderful combination once you get it right.
     
  21. Henry Alive

    Henry Alive Subscriber

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    I usually shoot with TX400, EI200, HC110, 1:47, 6 minutes. It works fine for me.
     
  22. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Xtol 1+2 or 3. Crisp grain and decent tones. Good speed too.
     
  23. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Tri-X 400 at EI 200, HC-110 Dil. B, 5 minutes at 68F/20C. Agitate continuously first 30 seconds, invert twice gently each 30 seconds thereafter. Works like a charm.

    Peter Gomena
     
  24. Clay2

    Clay2 Member

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    Gee,
    Surprised no one has mentioned Microdol-X as the old time developer for Tri-X.
    Have used it since the 1960's, about 8 minutes at 68F.
    /Clay
     
  25. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    This reminds me of what happened in 1978 when I was a first year student photography at the 'Royal Academy for Fine Arts' (what's in the name).
    As my father did not 'believe' in a career as a photographer, he did not really support my choice and I had to go to school with an 'old' Rolleiflex I had been using as a young amateur for years. But I was full of high expectations and courage. Not for long!
    The Royal Academy teachers were not pleased whit me using this kind of camera because all of my fellow students (51 of them) had 35 mm camera's, and they did not like the advantage of my 6x6 camera. As I was used to work on AGFAPAN 400 film and Rodinal, for about 4 years with good results, one can imagine the troubles I had to 'adapt' working on TXP-320/120 and developing it collectively, all together with the 'normal' TRI-X 400/136 in D-76 1+3 as imposed by the Fine Arts teachers. I was not entitled to any 'extravagance' as they constantly remembered me.
    Needless to say that after half a year, I still had very poor results, all my megatives ware useless for good printing. And no teacher seemed to have an answer to this, very strange indeed.
    Desperately as I was (what else?) I send my negatives and my modus operandi to Kodak Belgium. A few day's later the helpful answer came very clearly. Kodak advised me to develop the TXP-320/120, for the best results, in CONCENTRATED AND REPLENISHED MICRODOL-X! I do not recall the exact times, temperature and replenishment rate, but the results were super from the very first time I followed these instructions! Kodak also mentioned that the TXP-320 should not be processed in diluted developer, concentrated was much better.
    But, naive, young and inexperienced as I was I did something very stupid, I showed the letter from Kodak to my teachers... Their reaction was clear too : every time I asked the supposed 'munificent' teacher for something, even simple and small, the answer was : "...why don't you ask Kodak?...".
    At the end of that 'interesting' year, I left this Art school for an other one (Sint Lucas)!
    From then on, I never touched TXP-320 and Microdol-X again, the remembrance hurted to much...

    Salut,

    Philippe
     
  26. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    I use Pyrocat-HD, 18 minutes semi-stand rated at 320 ISO.....when I push to 1600 I use D-76 1:1 for 14 minutes. However, I've used it with HC-110 Dil.B and Xtol with awesome results too. I think there's a lot of good developers with this film and you really just have to try them all and stick with what you like.