TMax 100 questions

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by magic823, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    I just picked up a Kodak Readyload holder to handle those days when I want to shoot more than the number of holders I can carry. Since Tmax 100 is the only B&W film available in readyloads I'll probably want to try it out. I'm also looking for a cheap Fuji Quickload holder so I can try Acros.

    I've avoided Tmax in the past, due to its tricky rep. I'll run BTZS curves for it to help zero in things before I shoot anything serious.

    So my questions are as follows:

    Is it worth my time? I know Sexton loves the film, but he seems to be about the only one.

    What developers to people like with this film? I usually use Pyrocat HD now, but I have most anything else available (or could mix it from scratch).

    Anything to watch out for with it?

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  2. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    I can't speak about doing T-max LF, but I have shot globs of it in 35mm. The LF could be a bit of a different beast, but how much different? I never cared for the tone and contrast of the T-grained films, but I did get my best results with T-max 100 in Rodinal, 1+50 @ EI 64. I used the time from the Massive Dev. Chart at digitaltruth.com.

    Good shooting!
     
  3. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Just ona different point, if your kodak readyload holder is the current single sheet holder it does fuji quickloads very nicely. I have run a fair bit of acros thru mine and fwiw prefer it to tmax100. With this holder I have had zero failures with Tmax100 and acros (never used colour).

    Tom
     
  4. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning, Steve,

    I think that it is far from correct to state that Sexton is the only one who has a positive view of T-100. There have been various posts here on the topic, and a search would turn up a lot of differing opinions on both the film and the processing options. My own thought is that some of the complaints about T-100's "tricky rep" may be more reflective of sloppy, careless darkroom technique than indicative of any inherent property of the emulsion; I find the film to be capable of excellent, consistent results and very responsive to variations in processing times, especially with T-Max developer--a desirable characteristic in my opinion.

    Konical
     
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  5. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Instead of tricky I would describe TMAX-100 as very responsive to time in making adjustment for contraction and expansion development. You really need to test the film for best work because it does not have a lot of latitude in develoment.

    I don't use TMAX-100 because it has a UV filter that adds about three stops of printing speed for UV sensitive processes. For printing with silver or for scanning, however, it is an outstanding film.

    Sandy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2005
  6. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I was talking with Clyde Butcher yesterday. He says he loves the film. Looking at his latest prints, which are now ink jet prints, he, IMHO, has gotten a better handle on contrast that he had with the huge silver prints he formerly made. The prints no longer have empty shadows and blown out hightlights, but they still don't glow.

    I have never been able to get good mid-tones with the film, but that may be because of the light here.
    juan
     
  7. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Steve,

    Avoid the overexposure/operdevelop trap. Xtol 1:1, T-Max (yes, I realize Kodak specifically recommends against it for sheets) and PMK have all worked well for me. Rather than going through an entire BTZS test, I suggest you expose at EI100, tray processa couple of sheets in Xtol 1:1 and follow the times/temps in the Xtol data sheet to the letter. Your negs will probably look a little thin, but that's ok. If you don't like it after a printing session, why spend a lot of time on it. Personally, I don't see what all the complaints are about but maybe I need new glasses.<g>

    Neal Wydra
     
  8. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    I love 100 tmx in 4x5. I just think of it as being very sensitive (like color film) to time and temp. I shoot it at ISO 100 develop only in Tmax-RS at 72F and agitate very gently. I use 4x5 plastic tanks in a water bath with film in hangers. I put them in and pull them out slowly and tip them to almost a 90 deg. angle for a slow count of five. I am more active with other films but if I treat TMX that way I have a problem with surge marks. When the last of my 8x10 is gone I am going to Efke but with 8x10 TMX i develop one sheet at a time in a stainless tray with about 14 oz of developer as a one shot. TMX is a good film but will not take the abuse we sometimes give older films. At one time in order to meet deadlines I was so hard on tri-X you would have thought I was shaking a martini.
     
  9. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    Hi: I shot TMax 100 almost from the time it was first introduced, and am reluctantly giving it up because now it just costs too darn much. In the simplest zone system terms, if you normally test by multiplying your normal time by 1.4 to get a plus 1, and by .7 to get a minus 1, simply cut those multiples in half to get a handle on where TMax is going. Try exposing it at e.i. 64 for good shadow detail.
    Koday started everyone out wrong by neglecting to inform us that the purple die washes out easily if you fix the film for a longer than normal time. I seem to remember that it took them about 6 months to get the word out after putting the film on store shelves. Somehow I figured it out by myself.
    I've developed it in HC110, dilution E, and gotten good results for years. I've also used it with PMK pyro, which I stopped using because, well, HC110 is so cheap and easy to get. I used to work for a company that gave me the stuff, and it's kinda hard to beat that price.
    I've gone over to JandC Classic 400, at about 60% of the price of TMax. It has a different look which I'm getting used to. It's hard to give up an old friend, but money being what is and all. I haven't yet hit the lottery. Dean
     
  10. Wally H

    Wally H Member

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    I processed the Tmax 100 readyloads rated at 200 asa, developed in Photographer's Formulary TFX-2 @ 8' @ 68* in a Jobo ATL2000 with the film in an Expert Drum. After establishing this base thru densitometry I have not found the film hard to work with. I use the same processing with TMX-120 too, (except for the drums of course).
     
  11. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    This topic comes up time and time again and for me there are two clearly seperate issues:

    1. Getting your exposure and development nailed.
    2. Liking the 'look' of the film when you get the above right.

    Poeple who do not like the look of the film are not neccessarily messing up exp and dev. I have developed sheet Tmax very successfully (techically ie good shadow detail and controlled highlights) with pyrocat and exactol lux and still dont like the stuff in the main. There is nothing 'wrong' with the resultant prints, but to me they lack soul and are somehow lifeless. I do however have a few scenes where it is outstanding (dominated by shadow and highlight....bizarrely...contrasty scenes). I have come to conclude that the shadows and highlights are great, but everything in between is not (for me, the shots I take, the light I shoot in etc. The middle greys I find flat and lacking somehow. This film does have a specific look to it and it just is not for everyone no matter how careful you are. I do however agree that it is entirely tameable with a little effort. I would also look to use this film for architecture where it's modern look seems to work very nicely ( a tiny proportion of my work.)

    Tom
     
  12. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    Any tricks to using a quickload in a readyload holder?

    Steve
     
  13. BradS

    BradS Member

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    I tend to be a little too relaxed in my approach to get consistently good results with Tmax-100 but, in my experience, when it's good, it's really, really good.
     
  14. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser Advertiser

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    I have shot TMax100 almost exclusively since 1998. It is incredibly sensitive to changes in development time and temp.

    You will read that with anxiety or with positive anticipation.

    The meticulous dark-room technician will find its sensitivity to be a delightful attribute to be manipulated to great advantage. The less obsessive-compulsive technician among us will end up with results as predictable as a random-number generator on steroids.

    If it has an area where it lacks, I have never been able to accomplish the exagerated edge effect achieved in stand-development.

    The fact that it is the only Black and White film that commands a $2.50/sheet price in ready-load form should tell you something.
     
  15. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Bruce,
    I have a box of 4X5 that I want to use...I usually use Pyrocat for the rest of my films...the massive development chart shows 9 minutes at 27 C...does this coincide with your experience?
     
  16. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser Advertiser

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    Hi Don:

    I use TMax RS in a Jobo CPP 1+9 @75 degrees. I don't imagine it will be much help but perhaps you can interpolate a starting point. My times are as follow:

    N+2 - 14:00 - EI 80 to 100 depending on subject
    N+1 - 10.5 - EI 80
    N - 8.5 - EI 64
    N-1 - 6.5 - EI 50
    N-2 - 5.0 - EI 50 - 32 depending on subject

    This is with 100TMax the "New Tmax" with 4 "v" notches. The times for the older TMax100 (2 "v" notches differ by about 25 %. I have these numbers if you need them.

    Good Luck :smile:
     
  17. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Tmax 100 is a brilliantly wonderful and easy film to use. It is very versatile and will deliver a range of curves for almost any need.

    People got off on the wrong foot when they conceived of it as a Plus X alternative, which it is not. It was, however, a dazzling replacement for Pantatomic X, which it is.

    People who are stick-in-the-mud BTZS'ers will only see a part of it's versatility, but using some of Sandy King's suggestions for agitation variation in drums ( or, for the coarse and barbarian amongst us, trays...).

    .