Film ratings and development times

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by mporter012, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. mporter012

    mporter012 Member

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    I typically shoot tri-x 400 at 200 - to make sure I get enough density on my negative. It may not really be necessary, i don't know, but that's what i do. Question is this: When I develop, should I use developing times for it's rating at 400, or what I'm shooting, at 200?

    Mark
     
  2. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    Developing times are highly personal and should be optimized for your workflow and the paper you print on.

    "Normal" development, i.e., development for scenes of "average" brightness range (contrast), should yield an "acceptable" print without much manipulation for such scenes on the grade of paper you consider "normal." For most workers, this is grade 2. Some smaller film-format users prefer grade 3 in order to minimize grain a bit. If your negatives from normal scenes are consistently too contrasty to print easily on your normal paper grade, reduce developing time. If they are consistently too soft, increase development. Keep adjusting till you are happy.

    Since you are a roll-film user, I would recommend that you just leave it there and use your paper grades to deal with scenes of higher and lower subject brightness range than normal. If you want to tailor development more specifically to your individual subjects, then learn about one of the exposure and development systems like the Zone System or BTZS.

    As for a starting development time: I would recommend that you try the development time that the film manufacturer recommends. I doubt that Kodak gives different development times for shooting the film at an E.I. of 400 and an E.I. of 200. If you are using a developer that Kodak does not give times for, use the times the developer manufacturer gives for Tri-X 400. Adjust from there.

    Best,

    Doremus
     
  3. momus

    momus Member

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    It may depend on your developer, but I doubt it. I shoot it at 200-250 and develop in D76, TD-16, Acufine and Rodinal at "normal" times. Tri-X will be fine this way. As Doremus said, a lot of us have developed our own developing times to suit our particular needs (and eyes), but using Kodak's normal developing times will certainly give you good results.
     
  4. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Yep.

    I use box speed normally, but to get the camera settings I need, I'll happily let the EI float and I won't chase that variation with a development change.

    I want the contrast rate/the steepness of the film curve to remain fixed because: a-the scene contrast has not changed and; b-the paper I'm targeting, grade 2, hasn't changed and; c-the print I want hasn't changed.

    It is sometimes easier to think of box speed as the minimum safe exposure rather than a hard target.
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I'd use the advice already given and if it produces negs with good shadow and highlight detail and the prints are fine somewhere between grade 2-3 then I'd conclude that you have got it right.

    On the other hand when people give advice that basically says: "leave well alone" the human psyche often want to see if the advice is optimal or if some development change might improve things.

    If you are left with nagging doubts then you might try progressive reductions of initially 10% in development time to see if there is any substantial improvement. This will be a win/win outcome in the sense that if less development is in fact a lesser option it won't enough to ruin the negs which should still print OK.

    pentaxuser
     
  6. waileong

    waileong Member

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    The developing times for rating at 400 were made with certain assumptions, we may not know what those assumptions are. However, both Tri-X and modern photographic paper have enough latitude that it's quite ok to shoot at 200 and develop at 400. You may get a little more shadow detail and a little more exposure in your highlights, but nothing that Tri-X cannot cope with.

    I personally shoot at 400 and overdevelop a little bit, using the times for 800 or 640.
     
  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Develop so the negatives print on #2 or #3 paper. With rollfilm, development is your 'rough' contrast control. Fine contrast control is in the darkroom when printing.
     
  8. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    400...
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi mark

    condenser enlargers need less developing ( 30% less ) than cold light head
    electronic duplicating devices might be inbetween the 2 ...

    you might consider a film test .. 2 rolls
    bracketing your exposures ( one at box speed, one at 200 ) and
    processing your film 1 at normal ( for 400 ) the other for 200

    and see which one you like the best.

    what i like may be totally different than what works for you ..

    have fun!
    john
     
  10. mporter012

    mporter012 Member

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    Thanks for all the responses! Helpful, as always. :smile:
     
  11. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    Kodak doesn't list separate developing times for 400TX shot at an E.I. of 200. They do list "push"-processing times, but nothing at all for "pull" or simply put, overexposure. The reference to "developing for 200 or 400" has no meaning here.

    Development amount has a direct relationship to contrast of the negative. The reason "push" processing often requires longer developing times is that contrast needs to be increased to compensate for the underexposure so that there is something close to a normal range of tones on the negative, even though the shadows have been sacrificed.

    For overexposure there is a lot more latitude built into the film. One stop (E.I. 200) won't make much difference; just move the densities up the curve a stop, but not to the point where the highlights should block up. If you want normal contrast, develop normally in this case.

    Normal development is what you determine by testing for scenes of normal contrast and your workflow.

    Many shoot Tri-X at 200 as a safety factor against underexposure or because of their preference for lower-contrast negatives.

    Best,

    Doremus
     
  12. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Until '61 Trix's ISO (ok ASA) was 200, then they reduced the safety factor from about 2.2 stops to 1.2 stops.

    HP3 got the same treatment.

    Both changed to 400 'overnight', or if you bought a new batch of film - after an interval.

    Colour did not change only mono

    They said it was cause more people were using meters instead of tables or slide rules, I only had a slide rule.

    Then I think they had two times for developers e.g. for condenser or diffusion enlarger cause it was fixed grade silver bromide paper.

    Today if you scan you need to avoid its DMax.

    Meters are easy to check you need two. Shutters more difficult all it needs is a cold day and a ribbon can snap.

    The rule then was don't underexpose and overdevelop ie push.

    There was only Ilford or Kodak in pharmacies.