Someone using TMAX 100/400 in HC-110 (Zone System)?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Max Neumayer, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. Max Neumayer

    Max Neumayer Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi everyone,

    i want to start using the Zone System to get better and more continuable results.

    Does anyone here use TMAX 100 and 400 in HC-110 for the Zone System and would post his development Times for N-2, N-1,N, N+1, N+2?And also the resulting film speed?

    I know that the Zone System is very accurate and the road to success is in testing your own film speed, dev. time and so on in your own Darkroom. But it would be a good starting point for me :smile:

    Thanks!
     
  2. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

    Messages:
    2,057
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Nicholasvill
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    ISO 320 (TMY-2), 6 minutes at 68 F, dilution B. N+1: 8:24, N+2: 10:48, N-1: 3:36, N-2: NR.
     
  3. Max Neumayer

    Max Neumayer Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks Greg!

    Seems like HC-110 in B is a bit too strong for a realistic time for N-2. Are you using another Dilution for N-2 or do you just don't use -2?
     
  4. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    You need to do your own testing. Your water may be different, your agitation method is most surely different, your general working scheme is different from anyone else in the world even if you try to copy someone.

    The only way to get good times for use with the zone system is to do your own testing.
     
  5. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

    Messages:
    2,057
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Nicholasvill
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I don't use HC-110. All the information I gave you came from the T-max 400 tech sheet.
     
  6. Max Neumayer

    Max Neumayer Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thank you, but i already know the tech sheet.
     
  7. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

    Messages:
    1,297
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Location:
    Oregon and Austria
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Welcome to the Zone System!

    As you mention yourself, testing your own film is really the only way to calibrate your system. I do, however, appreciate help "getting things in the ballpark" as it were as well, so here's my advice.

    First, since you don't mention what film format and developing technique you are using, it is going to be pretty useless to just use someone else's times. My sheet film tray developing times won't work for someone developing roll film in tanks, and so on.

    There is also another problem with HC-110. After Kodak reformulated the TMax films, they published development times for HC-110 that were simply not realistic; someone in the lab or marketing dept. screwed up. Here is the info from the old tech pubs:

    Small Tank Processing (i.e., roll film with agitation for 5 sec every 30 seconds)
    Kodak TMax 100 7 min @ 20°C in HC-110 dil. B
    Kodak TMax 400 6 min @ 20°C in HC-110 dil. B

    For large tank processing of sheet films (agitation for the first 30 sec. and then at 1-min. intervals thereafter) Kodak recommends:
    Kodak TMax 100 9.5 min @ 20°C in HC-110 dil. B
    Kodak TMax 400 8.5 min @ 20°C in HC-110 dil. B

    I would choose whichever one of the above that most closely resembles your processing scheme and then reduce it by 20% for starters (just multiply the time by 0.8: 7 min x 0.8 becomes roughly 5.5 minutes). Now for what I shouldn't tell you. When I was using HC-110, I developed 4x5 sheet film by hand in trays and agitated once through the stack every 30 seconds. My "Normal" time for TMax100 was 7 minutes.

    I would then shoot some test negatives of typical scenes with my film rated slower than box speed by a stop (yes, you can get into the film-speed tests later, but this is for the ballpark, remember).

    Develop these in HC-110 as indicated above (i.e., Kodak time -10%) and print them on grade 2 paper. Make a "proper proof," i.e., one in which you print the film edge for the minimum time it takes to reach maximum black (make a test strip of the clear area of the film next to an area exposed with no film by leaving some space beside the film edge in the carrier, or simply contact print). Once you've made unmanipulated prints at the proper time, you can set about evaluating them.

    First look at the shadow detail: too little? rate your film slower; too much (i.e., too light)? rate your film a bit faster.
    Now look at the overall contrast: too much? reduce development time another 10% or more. Not enough? increase development time.

    Repeat till you are happy with "Normal"

    Then try this:
    For N+1 increase development time by 25%. Give your film 2/3 stop less exposure if practical.
    For N-1 decrease development time by 25% Give your film 2/3 stop more exposure.

    Repeat the visual tests above to zero in your expansion and contraction. Of course, you need appropriately N+1 and N-1 subjects. To find these, you likely need a spotmeter... Metering for the ZS is for another thread.

    These three development schemes, N, N+1 and N-1 and VC paper should do well for 90% of your needs.

    All the above is assuming you will by printing in a conventional darkroom. If you are scanning, you really just need a goon "Normal" with not too much contrast and lots of shadow detail and deal with the rest in computer.

    And, get a couple of good books on the Zone System and figure out the best way to refine your system: choose a method of film-speed test that suits you and figure out a metering scheme that works for you and go to it.

    Keep in mind that adjusting contrast with paper is a completely viable technique. I shoot N when I need normal or a bit more contrast. I then just print on grade 3 or so for those negs that need more contrast. I reserve N+1 for scenes that really need a lot of contrast. These usually get printed on grade 3 or 4 paper.

    Contractions are a bit more touchy. Some scenes that meter N-1 really just need N development and then dodging, burning, flashing or print developer change to tame the contrast. Others benefit from more contraction and then printing on a higher contrast paper... These things come with experience though.

    I should really say one more thing. For me, the advantage of the Zone System is that it helps me visualize my final print. There are lots of exposure/development methods that work and some would even argue that such precision as the Zone System strives for is unnecessary with modern films and VC papers; just make sure you don't underexpose. there is a lot of truth in that... However, as a visualization tool, the Zone System has no peer. That is what you should try to use it for.

    And for the moment, just try to nail down N; take the next step after that.

    Hope this helps a bit.

    Doremus

    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2012