TMAX XTOL

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by stevebarry, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    I have not shot 35mm in a while, only been using med/large formats. Coming back to 35mm I am finding the grain of trix/foma100 in hc110 is bothering me where it never did in the past.

    I tried ACROS but don't like the look I am getting in HC110.

    So I said what the hell and ordered tmax 100/400 and XTOL to try.

    Much more expensive that is for sure.
     
  2. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Xtol developer will give more muted highlight tones. It is a really fantastic developer for when light directly strikes a surface. It keeps those highlights in check without looking flat. TMax film has a longer straight curve than Tri-X and Foma, and a different spectral color response, but it is also a fair bit more sensitive to processing variables, so you have to really watch your temperature, tweak your agitation scheme, and keep track of your developing times in order to get the negatives you need for your paper to work well.
     
  3. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    You didn't say what specifically you didn't like about Acros/HC110.

    Anyway, both TMax films are awesome in XTOL at a variety of dilutions (and D-76 and other developers). TMax 100 and XTOL can produce the finest grained negatives I've personally observed. Acros is not far behind TMax 100 in terms of graininess, although it has a different curve shape with very high highlight contrast. TMax 400 has a very long straight line and is exceedingly fine grained for a 400 speed film.
     
  4. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    Thomas - good to know, I am in direct bright sun alot of the time. Is this combination OK to use at higher temps, as long as all chemicals are held constant? Say 78 degrees?

    Michael - ACROS hard to say what I did not like. The middle tones seems real real flat to me, and for whatever reason the prints/scans looked like they were very cool, almost blue (even though they were not).
     
  5. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Kodak has recommendations for 75*F in their data sheets, so I don't see why 78*F would be a problem.
     
  6. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Steve,

    The Xtol data sheet has times for wide ranges of temperatures and exposures. The cost of Xtol is insignificant by the time you've proofed the images worthy of printing. :>)

    Neal Wydra
     
  7. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    Thanks Thomas.
     
  8. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    Thanks Neal...the cost of the developer is more, but insignificant like you said. The film is about twice the price though.
     
  9. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    even the film at twice the cost is probably insignificant as well.
     
  10. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    TMax is twice the price of Tri-X? I thought it was about the same. I see $4.29 a roll for TX and $4.95 a roll for TMY-2.
     
  11. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    That's at B&H Photo...
     
  12. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    I was getting the Tri-X from freestyle :smile:
     
  13. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Not fair. :smile: I use Arista Premium too, because I love Tri-X, and it's inexpensive, so to me it makes no sense to pay 40-50% more for the same film in a different box.
    But if you like TMax, then you should buy TMax, regardless of cost. Compared to the time and effort you put into making your photographs, from exposure to finished print, the cost of film is insignificant even if it was $10/roll.
     
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  15. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    I agree with you 100%

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
     
  16. damonff

    damonff Member

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    I put my TMAX 100 in PMK Pyro and love it.
     
  17. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    The other day I devved a roll of Rollei Retro 100 in Rodinal 1+100 60min stand (as small a grain as you're getting with Rodinal, really).
    The same day I also did a few rolls of Tmax400 and TriX 400, some at 400, 800, and 1600, in Xtol, some at 1+0 and some 1+1, all fresh and ditched after, I don't reuse anything but fixer.
    All of the Tmax and TriX ended up smaller grain than the Rodinal, and just as sharp (can't compare tonal range easily though, the high-speeds were shot indoors, stupidly-high contrast with spotlights on faces on a stage and black background, the rollei was outdoors).

    Now the question, do I stick with my Tmax/TriX + Xtol (which I at least know works well), or would my new bag of Microphen give worse/same/better results than the Xtol for pushing?
    (And should I ditch the Rodinal stand and use Xtol for slow-speeds too?)
     
  18. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Yes

    Giggle :whistling:
     
  19. dorff

    dorff Member

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    +1. The cost of film is fairly negligible overall, compared to all other costs to photography and print making. But for some, especially students, their budget may be quite tight, and then Arista Premium is very attractive. I try to use the best film I can afford, so that afterwards if there is a special negative, I don't have regrets about the medium it was captured on. And of course it has to do with one's visualisation of how one would want the print to look etc. But I also believe if a picture is worth taking, it is better to capture it on any film, rather than none.

    I have used Acros fairly extensively, and develop in Rodinal 1:50 with gentle and infrequent agitation. It gives fine grain and does a bit of highlight compensation. One does have to watch the highlights with Acros. TMax 100 may be the better film for you if that is a worry. I am not sure what you mean when you say the midtones are flat. It can be the particular lighting conditions, or maybe the way you develop. Aren't you over-agitating? That is one of the main issues when a negative looks flat, and it causes other types of problems too. Flatness mostly lies in micro-contrast and not in the overall tone curve. It is that which makes eyes look dull and foliage not to sparkle etc., and it is very sensitive to agitation with some developers and dilutions. I wouldn't know what applies in your case without more data. My Acros negatives look and print fine, and they do not look dull to me. Acros is about the only film where I have virtually no worries about grain in 35 mm. I also use FP4+ and HP5+, and TriX and TMax400, from time to time. But in all those cases I accept some grain as trade-off for speed, or I like the look of the film, in spite (or maybe because) of grain. Shooting HP5+ or TriX in 35mm makes the grain very obvious, depending on how it is developed, and it can give a nice effect on the smaller negative that would be lost with MF.

    Rodinal and HC-110 are very similar, and are "honest" grain developers, i.e. they show the grain as it is. Fine-grain developers in many cases can be destructive of very fine detail, but one would have to have the lenses and technique that resolve those details to begin with to worry about it. It is an often discussed topic, how to get the least grain for a given film or developer, or combination of the two. So there are a few ideas around. The smaller the format, the more reason to pay attention to it. To the best of my knowledge, high temperatures are not good, and one should try to develop as cool as possible. With Rodinal, developing at 16 - 18 °C might even be preferred. 25 °C would not be recommended. I would think the same applies to HC-110, and possibly to other non-solvent developers as well.
     
  20. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    I also think Acros and HC-110 is a poor combination for similar reasons, use any other developer with it.
     
  21. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I develop at 25c because my CPE-2 can raise but not lower the temperature and in summer my solutions are about that temperature at ambient. I can't tell any difference between these negatives and those developed cooler as long as I adjust times to give the same contrast.

    This is, though, with different developers and ice heard this "don't use warm Rodinal" before too. It might be a reason Rodinal wouldn't be a good developer for me.
     
  22. dorff

    dorff Member

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    Hi Roger, I thought the CPE-2 has two-way adjustment, whereas the CPA-2 can only heat up. But I am open for education on this point. One possible avenue is to look at aquarists' temperature control systems. There might be a dual temperature controller available for cold-water fish that costs less than the typical film processor. A simple answer for small tanks might be a Peltier cooler. I haven't seen one, but it should not be too difficult to make.

    Tropical developers AFAIK were created specifically for warm ambient conditions to avoid the sort of problems that warm Rodinal would create. On the mechanisms involved, I have little insight. Essentially, as I understand, at colder temperatures the developer doesn't make grain smaller, but prevents grain clumping that would increase the apparent graininess. Grain development and grain clumping are two separate processes. Solvent developers dissolve some of the silver and then deposit it elsewhere. These are not linear processes, and for that reason they are temperature sensitive. Or to rephrase, they consist of multiple processes that have different kinetic dependency on temperature, so one can by changing the temperature change the extent to which a particular process happens/dominates. In reality it is probably a lot more complex than that still.

    I agree that Rodinal is maybe not the best choice for you. But it does depend on how grain averse you are, and what film and format you shoot.
     
  23. clayne

    clayne Member

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    You should also just consider Tri-X in XTOL 1+1.
     
  24. clayne

    clayne Member

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    I'd drop all the stand stuff but I definitely wouldn't drop Rodinal out of the picture and absolutely do not drop it out of the picture when using APX100 - it's mate is Rodinal 1+50/1+100. Now for the others, sure use XTOL 1+1, but Rodinal provides a different look, and it's not really objectionable. Don't pay so much attention to the grain.

    As others have mentioned, Acros and HC-110 don't play well together. This probably has something to do with HC-110s propensity for upward swept curves and Acros' already punchy highlights. Misbalanced combination.
     
  25. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I have to agree with Clayne, the APX100/Rodinal combination gives superb results very fine grain, sharpness and excellent tonality (detail in shadows and highlights), Tmax100 in Rodinal gives very similar results at 50EI (same development times).

    Having said that the results from replenished Xtol and APX100/Tmax100 (50EI) are equally as good, better than D76/ID-11.

    If you use Xtol replenished it's a superb all round developer, personally I'd use it at 1+2 if I had to use it one shot (and have done), although manufacturers give times for FS, 1+1 & 1+3 some of us find that developers like Xtol, ID-11/D76, Perceptol give the best balance of sharpness, fine grain, tonal range and film speed at 1+2 and it's a little more economic than 1+1 which is a bonus.

    It's worth looking at Kodaks comparison chart, Xtol gives the best results, D76 lags but HC110 is the worst in terms of grain etc

    Ian
     
  26. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    You are think of the CPP not the CPE which I have. It's the small model.

    I'm happy with my results with D76 and T-Max RS. Xtol worked fine back when I tried it too but didn't do anything that special for me and I don't care for 5 liter powder mixes.

    Worse heresy is that I've tried Rodinal in years past and was never able to get results I like with it. I have some to try again, probably inversion not rotary and I may have to limit that to winter. :wink: