Kodak Tri-x black and White film?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ToddB, May 15, 2013.

  1. ToddB

    ToddB Member

    Messages:
    1,136
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hey guys,

    I noticed that Mcnew uses Tri-x Black and white film for his images. I went to B and H photo, it comes in 400asa. The grain in this film that good in 400 asa? if so.. WOW!! Can anyone confirm this?

    ToddB
     
  2. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,579
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, just because it is an ISO400 film doesn't automatically make it "grainy"

    I believe he uses MF, which by virtue of its size de-accentuates the effect of grain size
     
  3. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

    Messages:
    2,165
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    the grain clumping is due to exposure, developer used, developing time and constant temperature. When all three are under control the grain clumps less and therefore is less visible.
     
  4. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

    Messages:
    879
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well you CAN expose it in a different iso ( I think the terms are push/pull). I metered and developed this for iso250, 35mm TriX.

    8483039103_d1f9f63530_c.jpg
     
  5. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,199
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Alamos,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Tri-X is a fine grain film despite the 400 speed. It isn't as fine grained as TMY, but it is pretty close, any many people prefer the look of its images.
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,553
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, Sanders is shooting his Tri-X in 120 and/or large format sizes (mostly 5x7 if memory serves). It also helps that at least with his nudes, he's shooting on a continuous white background that eliminates any texture that would show grain. And different developers will have different grain masking/emphasizing characteristics. Rodinal at 1:25 would emphasize the grain, but Pyrocat HD at 1:1:100 would mask it considerably.
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,261
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Tri-X is a really good film with beautiful grain, and of course in medium format at the size normally displayed on the internet or books, you won't see grain at all unless you either tried to enhance it or screwed up (depending on how you like your film to look).
    You will find though, with time, that the results of your efforts will depend a lot more of what you and your brain put into it, how you light the scene, and how you treat and print your negatives, than your choice of film will. There is a LOT more to it than just using a particular film.
     
  8. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,954
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    +1. That and I think way too many people underexpose, and/or more often overdevelop, Tri-X. It's all subjective though....
     
  9. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

    Messages:
    756
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Location:
    NY
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Tri-X is as grainy as you want it to be. Lighting, exposure, development and printing techniques are all interconnected to achieve a desired look. I believe Mr. McNew rates it at 200 and uses HC110 dilution E. With medium format, good exposure and development, grain is barely perceptible on 20x24 prints.
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    20,234
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    they used to say tri x had a 7 speed latitude.
    it is as slow or fast as you want it
    and the grain is beautiful.
    not many films are like tri x
     
  11. williamkazak

    williamkazak Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Location:
    Lansing, Ill
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I got away from using TRI-X when TMax came out. I made my comparisons and I like TMAX- 400 better. It showed me less grain.
     
  12. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,614
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    1. Don't try to judge the graininess of a print by looking at scans online
    2. The judgement of what is fine grained vs coarse grained is subjective, and is also highly variable depending on the nature of the image
    3. The size of the negative relative to the print (ie enlargement factor) is probably the most important single factor
     
  13. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

    Messages:
    549
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    Location:
    Hendersonvil
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    ain't it the truth.... and Kodak want to quit making it !
    shame shame shame shame
    Logan
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2013
  14. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,907
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Many people use Tri X because of its grain. It has always had a look all its own.
     
  15. dorff

    dorff Member

    Messages:
    458
    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Location:
    South Africa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There are many pro photographers still using TriX, and many do so among a variety of other films and media. One of my favourite photographers is Michael Crouser, and he is a TriX user. He uses it in 35 mm, and enlarges up to 1 m. I am not saying that grain is not visible at that size enlargement, but I do believe that the content of the photograph is so powerful that grain is hardly an issue, with most of his prints. And as others have said, the TriX grain is beautiful, and seldom ruins the photograph. I would probably not use TriX for detailed landscapes with soft skies, but it can produce terrific "gritty" type nature images, and it is the de facto standard for B/W photojournalism, especially night or dusk photography.

    All the above said, it takes a good eye to tell the difference between the other good 400 emulsions and TriX, e.g. HP5+ and Neopan 400. If I didn't know which I had used, I think I'd find it hard to tell them apart on a print, unless it was on a comparison with identical subjects, lighting conditions etc. When a camera or a lens is good, you know what you can do with it, and you go out confident and do not worry about the equipment. The same is true for films, and TriX certainly falls in that category. If I have it in a camera, I'll shoot whatever with it, knowing the results will be fine one way or another. I would say the same for the Ilford and Fuji films. They may be slightly different in character, but they are good. Don't obsess over it much. Shoot what you can get, try to develop it to suit your objectives, and for the rest focus on the photography and image-making process rather than the materials or equipment. TMax 400 is also a great film, which I also often use. It is a bit more quirky, if that is the right word, meaning, one cannot stretch it as far as TriX or HP5+, and it is more sensitive for over- or under-development. If you really need fast speed and very fine grain, it may be a better film for your purpose, provided that you apply the necessary care to get the best out of it.

    This image of mine was made with TriX developed in caffenol H (Nikon F75 on 35 mm):

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/botanography/8733215552/in/photostream

    This one was developed in TMax developer, from 120 (Pentax 67 II):

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/botanography/8514053632/in/photostream

    I leave it for you to judge whether the grain kills them or not. I enlarged both to 12x16 on Ilford MGIV and was happy with the result.
     
  16. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,261
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Agree with what you said, except TMax 400 being tricky, and cannot 'stretch' it as far as Tri-X or HP5+. TMax is actually more forgiving with exposure, because it records 14 stops in a straight line. Can't do that with either of the other. But that's just petty details and hair splitting, really. TX and HP5 is, as you say, less sensitive to developing alterations, and that could be both good and bad.

    In the end, again as you say, it's the print that matters. It's best to see how we want the print to look first, tonality wise, test to see that the paper we use is capable of it, choose paper developer wisely, and then expose and process the film until we have what we want. Everything builds up to what fits on the paper, and has to serve that purpose, which is why technique becomes infinitely more important than materials.
     
  17. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,261
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    100% agree with this.
     
  18. dorff

    dorff Member

    Messages:
    458
    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Location:
    South Africa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, you put it more eloquently than I can. One makes the assumption that the output will be a silver-gelatin print, and pre-visualised in terms of tonality, texture etc. I wonder whether the majority of film users do darkroom printing, though. If the end goal is a scan (which cannot come close to extracting what the negative can offer, IMO), then one would probably choose TMax 400 because it produces the cleanest scan, and the curve can be adjusted any way you like. But even if that is the case, it is worth a lot more focusing on technique and vision rather than materials and equipment.

    I must add, that pre-visualisation is sometimes a luxury for me when shooting roll film. I try to make the best of the entire roll, knowing what kind of paper I'll likely use to print on, what I'll develop the film with etc. Then, once the film is developed, I try to make the best of each frame. If pre-visualisation was no part of the process, then I wouldn't have thought about what film to pack for where I am going and what I'd be shooting. But once there, I tend to forget about that and use what I have with me. I don't know whether that makes me lazy or pragmatic :smile:. As I said, if my Pentax or 35 mms have TriX loaded, then I'll shoot that until the roll is finished. I'd rather be shooting with any decent film than waiting for the perfect occasion to use a particular film. I have only one Pentax 67 II body, so I have to use it wisely, concerning colour vs B/W. With 35 mm or 645, it is less of an issue since I have multiple bodies or film backs.

    As a student, I had only a Nikon FM and little money, so when I wanted to do B/W, I had to finish the roll before I could do slides. I took part in both formats in the local photographic society's meetings, so I had to do a bit of both. My solution was to binge on B/W, and then stretch the printing out over a year or so. It would have been easier then if I could afford a second camera like nowadays. But it also gave me some insight into how especially the younger analogue shooters operate. Having slides in the camera means no B/W for today, and vice versa. So film choice was rather important from that perspective. One can choose to do only B/W, and use only one film type, of course. I am a bit restless, and have to do a variety of things, otherwise it gets boring for me. If it weren't for that, I'd probably be a better photographer and darkroom printer sooner. But I also think in the long run, having a broad experience base at some point enables one to make better choices that produce better results. Which is why it is worth discussing what TriX is like, for instance.
     
  19. williamkazak

    williamkazak Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Location:
    Lansing, Ill
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I remember making tests in a photo studio, shooting the beautiful models in the late 70's and early 80's and enlarging our 35mm pics to 11 x 14 for our portfolios. I liked Tri-X in Microdol X developer. The owner liked Tri-X with D76. Wow-his stuff was grainy but he liked it. I chose T-Max when it came out because I liked it even better, especially developed in T-Max developer. Such good times. Make your own tests is always the way to go.
     
  20. tadeo

    tadeo Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    8cmx8cm Rollei CAmera

    I know it's out of topic my question but can't find where to start the thread since I just got in. My question is:
    Is there a negative film scanner for a Rollei 8cmx8cm film? These are negative films from 1950 and 1960 and I'm planning to design a book with those pics..
    Any help?
    If so, please reply to tadeopub@yahoo.com since is always on.. thanks!
     
  21. dorff

    dorff Member

    Messages:
    458
    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Location:
    South Africa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You can scan with a flatbed scanner, possibly an Imacon too (expensive!). Anything capable of doing 4x5 will also work, but you might have to make a cardboard or opaque plastic frame to fit in the carrier (if the scanner uses one). Your other option is a drum scanner. Most can handle quite large formats. But they are a PITA to get working on any current platform. You will end up having to buy a computer of 15 years ago with matching software, SCSI cables etc. The cables are very specific, and the software/hardware match has to be correct, too. These things were not made as plug and play. One of my friends is going through the drill, and he has been at it for weeks now, and still no complete success. If you can find a lab or private individual to do it for you, that would be worth serious consideration. If you want to do a book, then getting the best possible quality is worth the extra cost, and a flatbed might not cut it for you. Depends on what you are happy with.
     
  22. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,464
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    People look at a positive print or scan and say "that film is grainy." In actuality what they are seeing is the spaces between grains. To determine the amount of grain one must look at the film itself under a microscope! Actually there is a scientific way to measure granularity known as the RMS Granularity value. Koddak used to publish these values. For some reason Ilford chose not to.
     
  23. John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

    Messages:
    634
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Location:
    Penwithick,
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Tri-X is my film of choice. I tried all the rest but still like it the best. Graininess is dependent on, amongst other things, developer choice, and how you use it. For me, it works best in HC-110H and gives crisp wonderful grain. It is THE standard by which all others are judged in my opinion.