Shooting Tri-X 400 blind

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by 2F/2F, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hello,

    I am about to leave on a road trip. Normally, I would purchase a 50 pack of 136-36 HP5 for about $220 after tax from Freestyle. This time, I have to be a bit more budget conscious, so I am going for 25 rolls of Arista Premium.

    It has been a long time since I have used Tri-X in small format! Basically, I am asking for tips.

    I normally rate HP5 at 500, meter with an incident meter or sunny 16 guessing, and push 10% in development. I can 90% of the time print on grades 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 this way. Roll film makes it tough to be exact, but this is certainly a workable range, given the wide variety of luminance ranges that end up exposed on one roll of film.

    If I recall, Tri-X is a flatter and higher valued film in the shadows, and contrastier and higher toned in the highlights vs. HP5. I think a lot of this comes from its higher sensitivity to blue, which both opens up the shadows and lightens the sky.

    So, since I am not sure, and to cover myself, I am thinking of rating Tri-X at 250 and developing normally or -10%, after a test roll to determine what normal is for me. I want to make it so the films will roughly match my stuff shot on HP5, so I would like to rate at 500, but I also fear that using an untested film may screw me in the shadows. I place less importance on shadow detail that most (I find it to often be distracting and take away some of the mood), but I do want to be able to somewhat control it like I can with HP5.

    My developers are Ilford HC and sometimes D-19.

    As usual for me on the road, b/w will be in the 35s and color in the medium formats. I also keep color in one 35mm body, just in case I want something in color, but without the quality of medium format...It's too good sometimes. I shoot Fuji Press 800 most of the time, and Reala the rest of the time.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    2F/2F.

    I shoot Tri-X at box speed on 400. If I want to bring out more shadow detail [a variation of the Zone System, following the advise of Roger Hicks] I open the lens by 1/2 to 2 stops ... I have had very good results using Tri-X at box speed this way.

    I am now experimenting shooting at 320.

    Box speed I have found to work in most situations.

    Oh yes, I have been using XTOL. Per Volquartz liked the grain and density of the negatives.

    Steve
     
  3. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I use Tri-X at box speed and develop it in D-76 or XTOL by the book. Print contrast comes in at about what you're now doing with HP5+.
     
  4. nocrop

    nocrop Member

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    I shoot Tri-X at 250 usually, developing it in PMK Pyro at 1:1:100. I doubt that will help you, since my process is not typical, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway. Arista Premium is a wonderful bargain. I don't print, just scan.
     
  5. clayne

    clayne Member

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    [​IMG]

    400TX@250, D-76 1+1. Can't go wrong with it, 2F.
     
  6. PVia

    PVia Member

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    I shoot TriX at 200-250, D76 1:1...I treated the Arista the same on a recent trip. Beautiful negatives and prints...
     
  7. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Thanks for the advice.

    I am treating the Premium just like I treated HP5, thanks to Steve's and Frank's comments.

    I am just about to fall asleep in Estes Park, CO after my second day on the road. 1,250 miles so far. Turns out that we lucked out and took the trip on a fee-free weekend for all U.S. National Parks! Once we found this out at Zion, we made a major change of plan and decided to hit as many as possible. We have been to Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Rocky Mountain National Parks...not to mention everything in between, which, IMO, is better than the parks. (We had planned to stay the night in Salt Lake with a friend, but canceled and camped between Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef.) I have to say that Capitol Reef was my favorite of the five, and a thousand times better than that was the area between Escalante and Boulder, UT. It is without doubt the most amazing landscape I have ever seen...and I don't even remember what it was called due to information overload in the past two days (and 34 hours of driving and only 4 hours of off-and-on cold, hard, wet camping sleep, between the two days).

    Turns out that I am shooting a crapload of color medium format on this trip so far, and very little b/w 35mm. However, now that we will be entering the flats, I will probably not be as tempted to pull out the RZ (which has spent the whole trip since Zion mounted on the 3051 'pod in the back of the car, with the 65, 110, and 210 APO lenses sharing duty fairly equally so far) or the M645 (which I have been using hand held with Fuji 800Z and the 55mm lens).

    Casualties so far: one M645. It tumbled out of the car onto the pavement when getting into the motel tonight. Luckily, just a scrape on the left hand grip, and all still works well. I had let it on top of some stuff in the back seat and forgotten about it.

    Thanks again. Off to bed. Sleeeeeeeep......
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2009
  8. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    In all my cameras with built-in meters, I can shoot at 400 especially if the light is flat. But if the light is contrasty and/or plentiful, I need to turn my meter down to 200-250 to get good shadow detail. I develop by the book in D76 1+1 unless I remember that the roll was shot in particularly high-contrast or low-contrast light in which case I will not hesitate to pull development by 15% or reluctantly push it 10%. What this means is that for the most part I shoot it at 250 and pull development just a bit. These print for me on a condenser enlarger at grade 2 pretty well.

    I find that when I use a green filter I have to expose it even more, at no higher than 200, for some reason.
     
  9. clayne

    clayne Member

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    2F, ouch on the 645, glad it's back to work. Also, the free fee parks sound like an awesome deal right now. Sadly I'm concerned about the future of the parks.

    Here's another recent from the recent Carnaval parade (400TX@250, D-76 1+1):

    [​IMG]

    Shots like these always make me laugh at grain arguments in 135. Only a LF zealot would actually care.
     
  10. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    If you come back the same way [I 70], west of Green River turn south on State Route 24 [check this on a map] and go to Goblin Valley State Park.

    http://www.utah.com/stateparks/goblin_valley.htm

    It will be an interesting change of scenery.

    enjoy,
    Steve