TMAX developer with P3200

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jbl, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. jbl

    jbl Member

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    I've got some P3200, some rolls shot at EI 1600, some at 3200, that I want to try developing with TMAX developer.

    Page 9 of the Kodak J-86 document mentions time compensation for developing more than 16 rolls of 135-36 per gallon. I take it that it's referring to reuse of working solution, do people typically do that or do most users just use it one-shot?

    The same page also says that "if you use this developer for push processing, discard it after processing one batch of film." In this case, would developing P3200 qualify?

    Thanks,

    -jbl
     
  2. mts

    mts Subscriber

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    I consider the TMax family to be one-shot developers, the same as D76 1:1. You will be dealing with lots of grain in any case so don't expect much from it.
     
  3. piu58

    piu58 Member

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    I use the Tetenal Ultrafin Plus which has nearly the same formula. I always use it one shot, diluted 1+6. It works fine with TMZ.

    Please keep in mind: TMZ has a "real" ASA of around 1000 and must pushed if you want to use 3200 ASA.
     
  4. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have used T-Max developer and it is not that bad. It might be grainy, but that could be a good thing.

    Jeff
     
  5. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Use it as a one-shot developer diluted from the concentrate as directed. P3200 is low-contrast ISO 800 film that gains contrast with push processing. It looks really good up to EI 1600, 3200 is fair, and you'll not get any decent shadow detail beyond that point. The grain is tight, gritty and sharp. It's great for a gritty fashion or photojournalistic look, but too grainy for "fine" portraiture. Skin texture starts to look like oatmeal.

    Peter Gomena
     
  6. jbl

    jbl Member

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    Thanks, everyone.

    I've always developed it in HC-110 before as that's what I've used the most of. A friend mentioned that he seemed to remember it working pretty well in TMAX developer, so I figured I'd try it. I was hoping to reduce the grain a bit, I understand 3200 is going to be grainy, but figured I'd at least experiment and see how I like it.

    I've also considered trying D-76, any reason to prefer it over TMAX developer?

    I shoot mostly Tri-X and have done almost all of my developing in HC-110 or D-76 with it.

    -jbl
     
  7. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Can we stop with these "this or that film has a real speed of xxx"?

    Kodak is very clear on their developing times with a given film rated on a given ISO. All this "real, undisclosed speed" versus what's onthe box only brings confusion.
     
  8. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    P3200 is designed to be used with T-Max developer, especially for rating the film at higher exposure indices, but you certainly may process it in any developer you like. D-76 undiluted will reduce the grain as will undiluted Xtol, but you may or may not get the shadow detail you want at higher EIs. HC-110 will tend to increase midtone and highlight contrast at the expense of some shadow detail, depending on dilution and agitation, so it's not a great choice for your purpose. (Much depends on your intended purpose and anticipated results - all up to you.)

    I had great results in controlled tests with P3200 in T-Max developer 1:4 from concentrate just by following Kodak's directions. It worked best at EI 800 to EI 1600. EI 3200 is about the outside limit, good for shooting basketball in dim, flatly-lit high-school gymnasiums. EI 6400 gave blank, textureless shadows.

    When I tested the film, I ran it alongside my former favorite developer for processing Tri-X at EI 1600 in "push" situations, Diafine. Diafine failed miserably in comparison with the T-Max developer.

    Peter Gomena
     
  9. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    The 3200 films are not ISO rated at 3200. They are in fact not ISO rated at all.
    Link
    They just list what's called an Exposure Index (EI) range for the film.
    The recommendation of mentioning 'real' speed is actually helpful if you care about shadow detail, because at EI 1600 or higher you will lose shadow detail no matter what you do. The farther from EI 800 you get, the more of a compromise the film becomes.
     
  10. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I've only ever developed this film in XTOL 1:1. Always worked out pretty well. I like it most at 800 and 1600, but have some good shots at 3200 as well. The only times I used it at 6400 were kind of 'Hail Mary' situations with incredibly poor lighting, so the results would have been crap no matter what with out significantly longer exposure times...

    I've heard good things about TMAX developer and this film as well. I'd use it one shot.
     
  11. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    I have a 1/2 gallon that has processed 4 rolls and it still looks good to me.
     
  12. jbl

    jbl Member

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    One more question on this... I noticed that the times on the Massive Dev Chart are mostly for development at 24C. The TMAX data sheet lists a variety of temperatures. Is there some preference for the warmer temperature (24C instead of 20C)? Is it to reduce development time and therefore reduce grain?

    -jbl
     
  13. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    T-Max developer was, if I remember correctly, designed to operate at a temp higher than the 'normal' 20°C.

    Grain will not be minimized because of a shorter development time, especially when you compensate for the short time with higher temp.
     
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  15. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Like everyone said - use it one shot.

    I love this combo. Don't believe folks saying "don't expect much." Yes, it's grainy, but not as bad as you may expect. It has a great look for some things. I skimmed the other posts so not sure if anyone mentioned this but, for best results use the times Kodak gives for one stop more. That is, for your 3200 exposures, develop for the time Kodak recommends for 6400.

    Kodak used 75F as the standard for T-Max and T-Max RS. I've pretty much settled on it for ALL my developers, dialing in time accordingly. In my case 1) in summer my darkroom is often warm enough that solutions are already close to (occasionally over) 75F, and 2) any time the temperature is lower, it's easier for my Jobo CPE2, which doesn't have a cold water inlet, to bring them up than for me to bring them down. 75F is fine.

    I have got some really good results at 6400 (using the times for 12500.) In the 90s (and for a while in the 80s, an old on again off again hobby of mine) I was active in the medieval group the Society for Creative Anachronism. I shot a roll of TMZ at an outdoor royal court and a candlelit feast, then printed the negatives on RA4 color paper filtered to look like torch light. Here's one of them, EI 6400 in T-Max developer.
     

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  16. jbl

    jbl Member

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    So if I'm reading this correctly, there's not really a benefit or a detriment to developing at 20C, it just means a longer dev time.

    -jbl
     
  17. MDR

    MDR Member

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    Some developers produce grainier images when used at higher dev. temperature >20°C. Rodinal is a good example for that.

    Dominik
     
  18. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Can you show examples of this? Two identical negatives, exposed and processed to identical contrast index.

     
  19. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    According to people like John Sexton, who did a lot of early testing of the TMax developers/films, TMax and TMax RS produced *slightly* better separations in low to mid densities when they were used at 75F versus 68F (developed to the same contrast index) hence the 75F recommendations. More recently Kodak has extended that recommendation to other Kodak developers, though not necessarily for the same reason. I don't use TMax developers so I can't comment with personal experience.
     
  20. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I've heard of this supposed phenomenon before - ie that apparently Rodinal is slightly less grainy when used at lower than normal temperatures (ie slightly below 68F). I'm not sure why this would be. My guess is it is untrue, or at least that it has never been substantiated with proper testing.
     
  21. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    It worked SUPER well in T-max developer. ONE shot down the drain. For me I used to let it "rest" in tempered H20 after developemt and then into fixer. My rest seems to tempter the contrast and help shadow details develop a little more.
     
  22. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    That's a great idea and probably very useful when trying to extract extra shadow detail in low light / high contrast situations. I'll keep it in mind.
     
  23. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    @ Roger..

    I think these "don't expect much" comments come from folks who never shot high school basketball or football at 1/125 at f 3.5 and were rating tr-x at 1600+ to do it. Negs like that barely printed but that was life in journalism in 1974-1987. Fast forward to f 2 and 2.8 lens offerings, sodium vapor and merc vapor lights and more of them then p3200 arrived I could shoot some arenas at 1/750 of a second at 2.8 with p3200 at 1600 and the prints were magnificent. It all depends on where you came from and expectations. ps and dirrect flash photos sucked this was in the land before 1/250 and 1/125 syc speeds.. this was the land of 1/60!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2012
  24. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    It's the same as using a water stop. In reality this "water bath" treatment produces essentially no compensating effect with current films and developers. You're better off with reduced agitation and/or dilute developers.
     
  25. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    Learned it from a guy named Ansel that wrote a book or two!


     
  26. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    Rather THAN ASSUME!!! try it or not.. In college I had more than a few people comment on how damn good my high speed stuff looked compared to the other contrasty stuff shown around in the mid 1980's... and those compliments came from seasoned working photojournalists.


    Rather than post again to Michael1974 calling me sort of a starry eyed fool!. I agree that agitation is also key! for me I swear by my water bath rest for some situations...not telling how long I go!!!! It is longer than stop!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2012