Kodak Tri-X- D76 vs HC110 Dilution B (upswept curve look?)

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by GarageBoy, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

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    Is there any significant difference in the results (specifically, tonality) with 400TX in these two developers? I know that HC 110B gives contrastier highlights, but is that a big difference? Also, are shadows an issue with Tri X/HC110 Dilution B at EI400?
     
  2. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Kodak designed HC-110 to produce results as close to those of D-76 as possible. Any differences between the two developers are described by Kodak as being slight. Read the following site under the section Developer Characteristics for more information. http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/hc110/
     
  3. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    It seems to me much of the HC-110-upswept reputation has to do with the HC-110/Tri-X Prof. combo which was the Zone System combo for legions of photographers (mostly due to Adams in the 70s-80s), and that film had a long toe, upswept curve. Tri-X Prof. (TXP 320) still has this characteristic.
     
  4. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    My personal experience is that Tri-X 320 (320TXP) does well in HC-110 and D-76. However, Tri-X 400 (400TX) does not do so well in HC-110 as I find it more contrasty and harder to control, so I use D-76 when developing this film. Most of the time when Ansel Adams is referring to Tri-X, it is actually a formulation of Tri-X which hasn't been made in decades (pre-320TXP, even though it was a 320 speed film as well); thus, people use the modern formulation with his times and get different results.

    I would recommend the D-76 with 400TX, much more manageable and versatile.
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    How does your processing method compare to what is given for the site listed above. If your negatives are more contrasty then perhaps you should reduce developer time a bit.
     
  6. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    I completely agree with the point I think you are trying to make, namely that if I were to do more testing, I could gain negatives more to my liking. However, I find D-76 produces better negatives for my particular workflow - this is not to say I think HC-110 is not a good developer, I just find for 400TX, that D-76 is a better developer. Now, maybe it is my water supply, maybe it is my agitation cycle or maybe it is my method of metering but it works for me.

    Note this is even contained within the link:

    For me, shadow detail and acutance are more important than grain, when I am shooting Tri-X. If I need finer grain, I switch to FP4+.
     
  7. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

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    Thanks
    I'm a sucker for smooth midtones, so I was wondering if the difference was THAT great
     
  8. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Sounds like a myth to me. #76 produces more of a sag in the curve than HC-110, which is capable of a
    perfectly straight line in films engineered with that characteristic.
     
  9. John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

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    I prefer HC-110 to D76 for the following reasons. Ease of mixing one shot developer, superior keeping properties, and economy. I use it 1:63 instead of dilution B and it is very forgiving and less contrasty at this strength especially when used gently with less agitation than the norm. Used in this fashion it is capable of some very smooth tones and controlled highlights.
     
  10. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Shadows are an issue anytime you don't expose for them adequately, regardless of the film/dev combination. In the abscense of any established testing regime, if you are consistently getting unsatisfactory shadows at 400, then bump the EI down a bit, see what happens, you may have to reduce development some to keep highlights controlled.

    With that said, a shadow value in the toe region of an upswept curve will have a lower density than at the same location with very straightline curve----the straightline curve even lower than a more concave curve as seen with TG7----compare the density values in the toe at Zone III, for example, and even on up the rest of the scale to the "normal" development calibration density at VIII to VIII 1/2. The curves show how different gray scales would be produced with each curve.
     

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  11. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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    Drew - I use HC110 Dil. B at 68F with Tmax100 and can't get away from a sag in the mid range of the curve. What do you have to do to get the curve to run straight?

    Gord
     
  12. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

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    Thanks, will probably start off with HC110
     
  13. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    CPorter,

    You've got HC-110 curves, as I recall... they DO have a bit of an up-sweep.
     
  14. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    They do, both for TMX and TXP, as opposed to very straight-lined with XTOL and D-76 1:1.
     
  15. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I believe this up-swept curve would be beneficial to portraiture, where the customer's facial tones need the best separation...

    But it would drive Ansel Adams nuts trying to hold highlights in check - thus leading him to conclude the diffusion enlarger is the only way to go...
     
  16. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    Bill, out of interst, would this add a bit more "reality" to a portrait, making wrinkles etc stand out? Or would the upsweep affect eyes the most?
     
  17. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Yes, I think it would give you more details and information in the area where the viewer is looking. My curves in D-76 tend to be relatively straight-line until above 1.2 density, so the effect is "above Zone VII" for me. In my case, I tend to have my high-density step wedge values towards the outside of the film, where agitation effects provide more development action. So I ignore it.

    Quickly getting out of my league because I am a nature/landscape photographer - and the portraits I do are typically candid/available light.

    In another thread, an upswept curve is viewed as a defect.
     
  18. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    Thank you, Bill. It is very helpful for me to learn how different aspects of a curve's shape are used by photographers in their practice. As you know, I am a newcomer to graphing characteristic curves, and I am still surprised by the relative meaning of their nuances in the pictorial domain.
     
  19. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    And I think the people who really know this the best... know it by feel.