Overexposed Tri-X

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by outwest, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    That's what I get for loading a camera and not making a note as to what I put in it. I assumed it was either VP or TMY so rated it at 100. Fortunately I had an X1 filter on and didn't apply the full factor so I could shoot at 60 at f/8. I guess that only puts me a stop or a stop and a half over. So any suggestions for processing in PMK or Rodinal so I don't block it up too badly? Should I just cut development by 10 or 15%? Or, would this be a good time to try stand development with highly dilute Rodinal?
     
  2. trexx

    trexx Member

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    I always under rate TX/TXP by one stop; 200/160, and develop with published. I would think your are golden.
     
  3. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    Develop normally. If you "pull" (i.e., develop for less time), you will just lower the contrast of your negative. The 1-to-2-stop overexposure should be withing the films "lattitude." You may see a bit more grain and the negatives will certainly be denser overall. You will need to print longer.

    Best,

    Doremus Scudder
     
  4. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Stop and a half? Not even an issue.

    When you're 4 stops off, then worry.
     
  5. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Stop and a half takes zone 7 or 8 and pushes it into unprintable white.

    If you are using a normal developer D-76 or so, cut development time by 10%. You might find you always shoot it this way. I did my entire photo school portfolio using about these values (actually -20% with a little known continuous random agitation technique).

    Or... use Rodinal 1+150, stand development for 90 minutes. It will give you grain but no blown out highlights. A image look you won't forget. Very... graphic.

    Best,
    tim in san jose
     
  6. clayne

    clayne Member

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    And at the same time, like color, sometimes highlights are just in the way.
     
  7. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    k_jupiter,

    Modern Tri-X should hold separation up to (and above) Zone XI when developed normally. With overexposed film then, the entire tonal range is just shifted higher on the negative. Films with more pronounced shoulders will, indeed, block the highlights when overexposed, but Tri-X has a long straight line section ensuring adequate separation even three stops overexposed. If one wished to retain the normal contrast range, development should simply be normal. Reducing development will decrease contrast and highlight density, without significantly affecting shadow detail.

    Best,

    Doremus Scudder
    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
  8. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Only if you print it min.exp. / max. black. I think Tri X straight lines to Zone XIII or XIV. It may be that an 8x10 print will be three days at f 8 though!!!:D

    Bob H
     
  9. geoferrell

    geoferrell Member

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    I've found that Tri-X prints well even when overexposed by a stop or more. I've been surprised at results when printing Tri-X that is badly overexposed or overprocessed.
     
  10. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    That's what makes Tri-X so popular. But seriously. I've overexposed some frames with Tri-X, sometimes by up to two stops, and it's not so bad with normal development. It's not so good either. If the contrast range of the scene isn't too harsh, you'll be ok. If not, you're going to have trouble printing the highlights. You'll have some detail in the highlights even with normal development, but they will be dense and difficult to separate. A softer contrast grade of paper and some judicious burning in of the highlights will help. Maybe it would be best to pull back on development a bit. If I was doing this I'd cut back about 15 to 20 percent on the development and see where that left me. You'll have something to print in any case.
     
  11. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Yawn...

    I have always exposed Tri-X at 200 but no, I don't develop like I shot it at box speed. Y'all want your negatives to look like a Japanese comic book, go for it. If you know you screwed up, pull the development a hair, enjoy your increased shadow detail and don't fight the blocked up highlights. If you enjoy taming a nasty, over developed negative, develop at published times.

    It's pretty simple.

    tim in san jose
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    The pictures will no doubt survive in some form. The question really is: In what form do you want this to be?

    Though it really depends on the contrast ("look") you want on your prints, the contrast in the composition, and where your tones actually ended up landing, in general, without specific knowledge of how *your* Tri-X behaves with *your* camera/meter and *your* process, I would suggest underdeveloping the negatives. This is for one simple reason if nothing else: It gives you more malleable raw material to work with and more options in printing. It is easier to tweak a neg that has healthy exposure, yet may be a tad flat, than it is to try to soften a neg that is nothing but straight line and/or zone III densities and above. Your negs will certainly be printable with normal development, as film holds detail *well* above a zone VII fall. However, the normal development will give you fewer options as far as the "look" you can achieve in printing.

    Assuming average contrast light and assuming that you want an average-looking print, I would, at the very least, use a published time for the film at EI 200. If, after doing this, it turns out that you want more pop on the negs, you have the option of selenium toning the frames you wish to push further. This underdevelopment will also help reduce the graininess that the overexposure will cause. For this reason, when shooting small film and striving for as little grain as possible, I almost always develop to 1 half - 1 full grade less contrast than I think I should, then tone if necessary for more push. Usually, I do the toning before I even dry the film, as I know they need the extra push anyhow. With film larger than 6x4.5, I just do it in development, as there will be no grain at any print size I will be making.

    As I said at the top, there is no right answer. It depends on what you want the print to look like. Some people routinely and purposefully do the equivalent of what you did in order to shift the tonal range of the composition onto their desired stretch of the film's characteristic curve.

    Think about the contrast in which you shot. If you shot in flat light, I'd develop as normal. If you shot in harsh light, I'd underdevelop two grades (or a little more if you can). If you shot in normal light, I'd underdevelop one grade (or a little more).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2009
  13. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    Thanks for the input everyone. I decided to play it safe and use PMK and to reduce development by just 10%. The negs turned out fine, a little denser than normal, but with no problems on either end of the scale and nice contrast. The old Rollei 2.8C always impresses me.
     
  14. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    I agree with k_jupiter Tim, best to play a little safe. I'm glad all worked out well.
    At times of confusion I pull out Les McLeans most helpful book "Creative Black and White Photography".
     
  15. dfoo

    dfoo Member

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    Could you be more condescending?
     
  16. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Sure - with a little effort:D

    Bob H
     
  17. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    IIRC, 8 zones do not fit on normal grade printing paper without some contraction. In any case, if the scene shows 8 Zones or only 5, and it's on a roll with other scenes, the idea of treating each negative separately in development goes out the window (no pun intended).
     
  18. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Actually, the hard part was editing out the truly impulsive nasty comments.
    Nothing in the comment posted is technically incorrect and my disagreements are fully in line with the counter arguments left on my original advice.

    Having made my fair share of mistakes, I only give logical advice that might help someone pull a usable, well developed negative out of a mistaken exposre and not have to blast through darker than night highlights.

    best,
    tim in san jose