Ilford’s Hopeful Offerings to tri-x 320

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by cjbecker, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    So I don’t know about anybody else, but I would really like to see Ilford come out with a film like tri-x 320 in 135, 120 and sheet film.

    I want a film that has a long toe, steep mid and a straight shoulder like tri-x 320, that I can use in all formats. It would also be very nice to be able to use one brand of film for both a medium speed film FP4 and also a high speed film like tri-x 320, but both being ilford.

    I know it’s a long shot but there could be a market for it. Most collages that work with large format shoot tri-x 320 but normally come to large format from a smaller size neg. They have to learn a new film and the different developing and if they could just have one film but in different sizes it would be awesome. I do know that hp5 comes in all sizes but the film is low contrast and not the same as a film like tri-x 320. The films are used in different manners so there would not be a overlap in products.

    If ilford did come out with the film I would be a loyal user of it. Possibly if we got enough buzz about it something could happen. They already do special orders for sizes so possibly this could happen.

    What do you think? Is this just crazy talk?

    Ultimately, Would you use this film?
     
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  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I am sorry for your loss :sad:

    Sorry to oppose your idea, but I think the last thing Ilford should do is take any market away from the fantastic fp4/hp5+ markets. Those films are just perfect to me. Have you played with N+1 dev, tried different developers and concentrations, experimented with dev times and agitations etc to see if they don't get you where you want to go?

    Generally speaking, in times of decreasing demand, a supplier pays a very steep price for putting too many products out there... it costs a lot of money to develop, produce, market, stock and distribute a product. If I were calling the shots at any of the film makers, I'd be all about consolidating production, and focusing resources on preserving the market that is still there.

    I would also suggest looking at the foma offerings. Haven't used them lately but I used to like them a lot.

    http://photo.net/black-and-white-photo-film-processing-forum/00HSU1
     
  3. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    I don't want to turn this into an anti-HP5+ thread, but of all the (past or present) 400 offerings from the major mfs, Ilford's film has always been last choice to me. I loved Tri-x 320 and I love Tri-x 400. It'd be great if Ilford manages to emulate either (I don't count on Kodak being around for long). Probably crazy talk indeed but nice crazy talk.
     
  4. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    A new film from Ilford as you propose would also be a "different" film and need time to test and learn to use properly. There would not be some kind of mysterious transfer of knowledge gained from other Ilford films (for that matter, the same applies to FP-4 and HP-5!).

    If you want a film like Tri-X 320, then just use Tri-X 320. It will take no longer to test it and get used to it than it would a new film with the same characteristics from another manufacturer. I really think this is misplaced brand loyalty.

    Of course, if you shoot a format for which Tri-X 320 is unavailable, then your SOL... Maybe you'll have better luck convincing Kodak to make Tri-X 320 in 135 size...

    Have fun,

    Doremus Scudder
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    HP5 isn't a particularly low contrast film, the contrast is dependent on how you expose and develop the film. I wouldn't use it for collages :D Most colleges and universities around the world (outside the US anyway) actually recommen FP4 & HP5 to their students.

    Not everyone likes Tri-X, I've always preferred Tmax 400 or Delta 400, but I do use HP5 for hand held large format work and it's an exceptionally good film and like Kieth's already said maybe you need to hone your film/developer combination determining the correct EI and dev time to give you the results you require.

    HP5 develeloped in Pyrocat HD. 90mm f6.8 Angulon/Super Graphic

    [​IMG]

    Ian
     
  6. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    It's probably do-able now with a number of films, depending on developer choice. I find tmax400 very versatile and available in all formats.
     
  7. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Great idea. I do love a dreamer, but you forgot to ask for it in 220! :wink:
     
  8. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    At the moment I am using tri-320, but in 120 i am using tri-x 400, and I really prefer 320. Tri-x 320 is by far my favorite film I have ever come across. But I really dough they are going to come back with it in 120. That is why I was thinking ilford might do it.

    Also I use to shoot hp5 in medium format and everything I did, I could not get the film to do what I wanted. I am now using a new developer, hc110 so I might try shooting it at 640 and giving longer development, and see where that gets me. I saw some images online of hp5 shot at 1600 and they are actually closer to what I am after.

    My bad on colleges. haha
     
  9. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    You can make TMAX-400 behave like Tri-X320... I thought I missed TXP-320 as much as you, but developing TMAX-400 in TMAX dev 1:4 gives very similar results. I exposed TMAX-400 at 320 and soup it for about 7.5 to 8 minutes (depending on brightness range) in TMAX dev 1:4 (replenished)... In the Ilford range, FP-4 is very close albeit a slower film.... but so what. There are alternatives, and we have to keep Kodak in the film making business so support one of their newer films... My .02
     
  10. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I was just going to suggest tmax dev; as Andy says, definitely give it a try. My suggestion is shoot a 36 frame roll in a 35mm camera, of the same subject, snip it into how ever many separate tests you have the patience for, and try a bunch of different devs and concentrations. Then lay the different frames out and make a contact print with the snips side by side. It's pretty surprising how different the results can be. It's been a while since I felt industrious enough to do this, but it really taught me some things. For the place my head was at the time, undiluted tmax dev was the way to go. Might be different now, I don't know.

    Everyone's mileage varies, of course. The reason why this has to be done individually, by you, is that the very first stage of the photographic process is very individual: we all perceive tones differently and thus (subconciously) seek different ratios of fill and highlight and shadow. We spend a lot of time talking about film curve and paper curve, but I think each of us has his/her own individual sensitivity curve that influences how we use the light. Thus there is no perfect recipe for all, nor will there ever be.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2011
  11. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear CJ Beckem

    Tri-X 320...from ILFORD Photo : Its not possible I am afraid, firstly Tri-X is a superb film, always has been....but our 400 speed conventional film is HP5+ which we love and which we prefer. Many people will prefer Tri-X and thats absolutely AOK because its gives all photographers a choice.....

    Our photo manufacturing philosophy is very clear : we strive to keep everything available that we have now in the ILFORD Monochrome brand, this is currently about 2,600 SKU's Paper / Film / Chemistry & accessories which is more than all the other monochrome film and paper makers combined. This enables choice, and also a connected family of products in the range of formats required, this is very challenging to do as we have had to adabt our whole manufacturing and supply chain to be able to deliver this philosophy, this also makes us as a business, profitable and stable.

    Whilst we will always make new products, like MULTIGRADE Art 300 duplicating existing products from other manufacturers would increase our SKU's but our sales ?......

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  12. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    Coming from the other direction - I have always used Ilford films and in 400 used HP5+.

    About 18 months ago someone gave me a huge box of Tri-X. Too good a gift to give up - I went forth and photographed with it - and made a right pigs breakfast of the first few films. I found it very different to HP5+ - for a start when developed it seems to build up a lot more density very quickly. I knew I could push HP5+ to compensate for flat light quite easily - the same trick with Tri-x with similar increases in time and I had negatives so dense I couldn't print them.

    It took me a while and quite a few film tests to get to grips with Tri-X. Now I have got my times and a few developer regimes sorted out I can get very nice results with it. Although the films behave a bit differently, if handled appropriately I think the resulting prints can be very similar.

    I am using Tri-X 400. I have no experience of Tri-X 320.

    Are we saying that Tri-X 320 gives results that HP5+ would be unable to replicate?
    That sounds like a challenge. :wink:
     
  13. dhosten

    dhosten Member

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    Kodak film division seems to be doing better than expected these days, but whether they will bring back Tri-X 320 is probably too big a task. I like both films, and have used both with decent results, but with different subject matter. I'm just glad that Ilford seems to be pulling hard for the film photographer while Kodak seems to be flailing around a bit trying to please too many markets. I say let Kodak consolidate what they must until their film division can work as a profit center to help keep the company afloat. Until then, I just bought 20 boxes of HP5+ 135-36 to continue my support of Ilford and a great film.
     
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  15. Enrico Scotece

    Enrico Scotece Member

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    Yes, probably crazy but... well actually, is it really that odd that this may happen? They have released the new pinhole camera that takes 4x5 d/d's. They have released a positive paper, they custom make films sizes (at least once a year!)...

    Enrico
    www.thinknegative.com.au
     
  16. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Like others have suggested, getting a film to look like Tri-X 320 isn't terribly difficult.

    I did an experiment a couple of winters ago when TXP was being discontinued. Please read it.

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/88778-do-you-miss-txp-tri-x-320-a.html
     
  17. PhotoBob

    PhotoBob Subscriber

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    I really enjoy working with HP5+ and have recommended it to my photography students :smile:
     
  18. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    thats the reason that I like to use ilford, things like your philosophy. It is no that i wanted a film exactly like tri-x 320. I just want a film that has the long toe, steep shoulder and the straight shoulder with ilford's touch. I want that film in all sizes which would make it the best.

    I will keep testing hp5 and see where I can get it.
     
  19. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Understood, and sorry I spelt your name incorrectly !

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  20. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    No worries.
     
  21. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    IMHO it would be a good idea for Ilford's technical people to try to solve Clark's (and others') requirements using the products they already have in hand.

    If Ilford could "develop" a developing regime, using an appropriate Ilford film, developer, temperature and agitation regime so as to shape the curve to provide the long toe, steep straight section and appropriate shoulder that Clark is looking for, they could publish that information on their website, and promote it here :wink:.

    Of course, Kodak could do the very same thing, referencing Kodak materials - although we all know what the likelihood would be of Kodak promoting the results here on APUG :sad:
     
  22. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    There is the kind of thing people need to do themselves. If you want compressed shadows and high contrast thereafter you simply underexpose the film, and then develop to a higher contrast in such a way that you don't build as much shadow contrast - ie use the developer more concentrated (ie stock strength) and agitate frequently.
     
  23. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Disclaimer: I have never used TXP (320.) By the time I got into large format TMY was available and I started with that (and a big box of Delta 400, still frozen) and just used it in 4x5, and have always used TXT 400 in 35mm and now 120.

    I DO like HP5+. As someone said, it behaves differently than Tri-X 400 but once you have your process down can give very similar and certainly equally good results. It also pushes nicely without as much contrast gain in conventional developers, but I also happen to really like the combination of Tri-X (TXT, aka 400) in Diafine when EI 1250 will do, and for this I find it a good 2/3s stop faster effective speed than HP5. I could quite happily use either at 400-800, but I stock Tri-X because it gives me that extra option.

    The only reasons I can think of for wanting a long toe are 1) to rescue bad exposures by preserving some, albeit muddy, detail where it would otherwise fall completely below threshold, and 2) to match certain papers that may have less shoulder. For the former reason, just expose a bit more. I find in medium and, especially, large format exposing ANY B&W film, even the t-grain ones (that need this less) at about 1/2 box speed will give better results. I don't do this in 35mm even when light allows because it also results in a bit more grain. For the second problem, well, try switching papers.

    For the shoulder I can see the same thing, to preserve some highlight detail in overexposed areas, except that it's been decades since this was much of a problem with most films and any reasonable exposure. Now easily printing that detail, that's different - a gentle shoulder can certainly still have enough slope to separate tones while making them somewhat easier to print. There are two approaches here too: 1) a long toed paper. Ilford MGIV RC was specifically matched to t-grain films that have essentially no shoulder (and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth when MGIII went away in favor of it, coming from the Tri-X crowd.) If your otherwise favorite paper just isn't a highlight match, the other alternative is more work and practice printing. Using multigrade paper, which most of us do anyway, and burning down the highlights with a softer filter can help a lot.

    Finally, for the steep mid tones, that's somewhat variable with development. Someone mentioned T-Max developer but also said "replenished" so I wonder if they meant T-Max RS? I love T-Max RS for my Kodak films though lacking even starting points I haven't put in the time and effort to work it out with Ilford, and I do shoot a fair amount of FP4+ in 120 so that's on my to-do list. Many of us use both T-Max and RS more dilute than Kodak calls for, usually 1+7 or 1+9. I rather like 1+6 myself. One thing that is noticeable is that 1+9 in particular can cause midtones to sag a bit, which does suggest that the full strength 1+4 might give you robust midtone separation. I just prefer the more dilute solutions because 1+4 is pretty "hot" in terms of giving rather short times, the more dilute solutions work great, and they're cheaper too.

    You might also try DD-X. I have heard nothing but good things about it (and may have to go to it if Kodak stops selling T-Max RS :sad: )
     
  24. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Film can be developed to any contrast desired.
     
  25. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Or, 3) you just don't care that much about shadow detail. Like me. I think shadow detail is highly overrated.

    Unless, you, once again, don't mind featureless highlights. It can be used quite effectively, and a negative that looks like $hit under a densitometer can make wonderful prints.

    The slope of the curve IS the contrast, which is wholly controlled by development. Longer development time = steeper curve. It describes how with prolonged development you gain more contrast with the same exposure.
    To me, this is why agitation is so important in film development. You basically determine the toe with exposure, mid-tones with development time, and shoulder with agitation. If you compare two films developed to identical contrast index, but one you agitate every minute, and the other every five minutes, you will see a difference in the resulting tonality. This is how we can make TMax 400 look like Tri-X 320, or even TMax 100, tonality wise.

    Replenished TMax developer means just what it says - replenished. A small amount of concentrate is added to the developer at each developing cycle, to replace some of the old. The benefits are the it cools the highlights down a bit, gives a bit finer grain, and becomes a more economical way of processing film. Works with lots of developers.
     
  26. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Well I'm sure you could replenish T-Max but the RS version is intended for it so you at least have manufacturer starting points. Of course you could work it out yourself just as many of us use RS on shot.

    No argument that a print can look good without shadow detail and/or without highlight detail but that doesn't argue for a long toe - just because it's there doesn't mean you have to print it or, if you know you don't want it, you have the option of exposing at higher effective speeds and just letting the shadows fall off. In fact a short toe film will have less shadow detail where a longer toe might have held some, albeit muddy. Similarly with highlights.

    Not sure I totally buy the idea that agitation controls the midtones somehow differently than other areas. MAYBE but I find as long as I tweak my times for similar overall contrast my Jobo negatives look very similar to inversion processing with agitation one per minute.