Tri-X @ 1600 developer sharp and dirty.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by mexipike, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. mexipike

    mexipike Subscriber

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I know there are plenty of discussions about this and I've searched through them but just wanted some more thoughts. I had stopped my film for a little while and had been shooting digital but came back to film, and acquired a Leica M6 with a 50 summicron. Arista has the rebranded tri-x for such a great price and I always used to love it so that's the route I want to take.For the world I like to shoot 1600 is the perfect iso, I tend to like dark bars, cantinas, strip clubs etc. So I'm looking for developer ideas. The main goal is sharpness. I really love a razor sharp face. I may use flash sometimes as well. Grain is not an issue, good tonality would also be nice. In the past I used HC110 at 1:100 in a semi stand setup but am not sure if that's for me. I also used Xtol but rarely to 1600. The other day I tried rodinal just agitating the first minute then stand for an hour, and thought it was Ok. Does anyone really love 35mm trix at 1600 in Rodinal? I loved Pyrocat when i used to use it but will it do 1600?

    So to simplify the question: Favorite developer for 135 Tri-X pushed to 1600 with emphasis on Sharpness.

    P.S. I'm mostly scanning now but plan to get back into printing soon.
     
  2. Leighgion

    Leighgion Member

    Messages:
    357
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Location:
    Orcas Island
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  3. Rom

    Rom Member

    Messages:
    135
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Location:
    Lyon - Franc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What about Diafine ? It gives the best results (IMO) at 1250 but i think it's ok at 1600. Especially with Tri-x (and arista of course)

    And, it's is a very flexible developper.
     
  4. michael stevens

    michael stevens Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    England
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I'd suggest giving Xtol another try. I like it 1:1 for 13.5 minutes with the standard Kodak recommended agitation.
     
  5. presspass

    presspass Member

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Location:
    Lancaster Co
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It's a little offbeat, but I've had good luck with D-23 1:1 at 16 minutes, 68ºf. The negs are denser than those from X-tol or Diafine, but print well.
     
  6. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,203
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Xtol 1+3 makes a mighty sharp negative. At EI 1,600 I would recommend starting somewhere around 18 minutes, agitating every 2 minutes for ten seconds, fully inverting and twisting the tank two or three times. This combination gives a huge amount of shadow detail, and almost normal looking negatives in spite of two stops underexposure.
     
  7. SteveR

    SteveR Member

    Messages:
    545
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Location:
    Geelong, Aus
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yep, Xtol gets you great speed. When I found out that Arista was TriX I started buying it in bulk rolls, what a bargain! I've completely standardized on Xtol now, 1:1 at 'normal' speed, 1:3 at 1600, almost fool-proof
     
  8. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

    Messages:
    5,479
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Agree with most of this and I use it regularly with Arista/Tri-X but I don't think it's as sharp as most of the other suggestions here. Sharp enough for me but if sharp is what you want I think Xtol will easily best it especially at 1+3.
     
  9. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,542
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Actually plain old D76 1+3 would probably look sharper than XTOL 1+3 with Tri-X.
     
  10. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

    Messages:
    780
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Location:
    NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I shoot Tri-X at 1600 and 3200 more often than I shoot it at 400 or 200.

    A lot more often. I like to use straight D-76, or straight Acufine, or DD-X 1:9, with lots of agitation.

    For even more fun I use a Red 25 on my lens (either a 35/1.4, 50/1.4, 85/1.4, or 105/1.8)

    It's an acquired taste. You've been warned.
     
  11. mexipike

    mexipike Subscriber

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I was kind of shying away from Xtol because I really love the easy to mix one shot syrup of HC110 or the similar one shot ease of Rodinal. I develop in a home bathroom so I didn't want to get in to the whole 5 glass bottle thing, but I just discovered this wine bladder idea and now I'm reconsidering.
    Anyone else have any thoughts on D76 vs Xtol for 1600 try-x?
     
  12. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,203
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you don't want to get into Xtol, then D76 is a lot more accessible being available in smaller packets. The difference you are likely to see between the two is that Xtol will give you more shadow detail and slightly finer grain. D76 will give you more apparent sharpness, and the advantage of only needing to mix one liter.
     
  13. mexipike

    mexipike Subscriber

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    With the wine bladder idea I'm accepting the 5 liter situation. I recall when I used Xtol I liked it as a standard developer for pretty much every film. A lot of my friends have been having me develop their negs and I think Xtol would be perfect to keep it simple for them too.

    So is xtol 1:3 the consensus for 1600?

    Thanks so much for the replies.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

    Messages:
    1,428
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    The Armpit o
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You'll have to pardon my ignorance, but I don't understand what about XTOL is so complicated. It's two bags, mixed in a 5L jug, and then poured into the tank for developing. Doesn't it only get complicated when you start mixing it at anything other than stock? Stock has seemed to work for me this far, but then my work probably isn't near the caliber of everyone else's, and as I said you'll have to pardon my ignorance on the matter.
     
  16. mexipike

    mexipike Subscriber

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I don't really think it's that complicated. A lot of people worry about it going bad without warning so like to keep it in 5 1 liter amber glass bottles to keep it from contacting air. That's not complicated either, though a little bit of a hassle.
     
  17. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

    Messages:
    1,428
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    The Armpit o
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If your shooting and developing, why would it have time to go bad though? Mayonnaise would go bad too if it weren't consumed.
     
  18. mexipike

    mexipike Subscriber

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Good point, and that's kind of my thoughts. I'm still going to put it in a wine bladder to be safe and I feel like drinking 5 liters of wine. You can usually smell mayonaise and tell if it's bad but Xtol just goes bad with no indication. Though simple film strip tests can help check for it.

    So I guess the point is you're right, Xtol's no big deal and I just ordered some.

    Anyone else have any comments on 1600 with xtol or other developers?
     
  19. mexipike

    mexipike Subscriber

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Good point, and that's kind of my thoughts. I'm still going to put it in a wine bladder to be safe and I feel like drinking 5 liters of wine. You can usually smell mayonaise and tell if it's bad but Xtol just goes bad with no indication. Though simple film strip tests can help check for it.

    So I guess the point is you're right, Xtol's no big deal and I just ordered some.

    Anyone else have any comments on 1600 with xtol or other developers?
     
  20. michael stevens

    michael stevens Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    England
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    One thing you might want to bear in mind with Xtol is the minimum amount of developer recommended per roll (I think it's 100ml). This may come into play at the higher dilutions depending on what sort of tank you use.
     
  21. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,203
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That applies to all developers.
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,972
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format


    mexipike

    the xtol sudden death thing you are talking about
    happened a long time ago, not really something that happens currently.
    it happened with some of the 1L packets of developer, AND because it used to be
    recommended that xtol be used in a variety of very dilute ways ...
    when used very dilute the developing agent got used up, and the developer died
    when used as it is currently recommended, it doesn't die.
    i haven't used xtol in a long time, i never liked it and at the time it seemed like
    it underprocessed all my film no matter how much i over developed it ...
    looking back at my old film it didn't really do that bad of a job ...

    if you can get your hands on sprint film developer ...
    i would use that ... it is easy to use, lasts a pretty long time and works great ...

    if you want to do something out of the ordinary ...
    contact the photographer's formulary, and get some ansco 130 ( pf130 )
    dilute it 1:10 and process your film in it for 8.5mins at 72º,
    you might have to tweek the development time to fit your needs ...
    people also dilute dektol 1:7 /7mins for normal development, you will have to tweek it
    to get a workable time for your 2stops push ...

    you could always mix a batch of caffenol c ... it is a great, and often times overlooked but works better
    than most every developer i have used since i started processing film in 1981
    http://caffenol.blogspot.com/

    i add about 15cc of ansco 130/1L into it, and stand develop my film ( even 10year old drawer stored tmz )
    for 30mins and get great results ... you might have to agitate in your 30mins
    since you are pushing your film, again, you will have to test + tweek ...

    i don't use anything but coffee+130 for my own-stuff and it has been my developer of choice for close to 6years.
    i roast my own coffee beans ( robusta not arabica ) and currently use them 50/50 with green robusta beans
    ( i just make a pot of coffee ) ... i eyeball measure my other ingredients ( washing soda and vit c ) ...
    20 cups of coffee lasts 3-6 months and for 150-200 rolls/sheets of film or prints without replenishment
    --- it works out to about 4¢/development ...

    good luck !
    john
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2012
  23. mexipike

    mexipike Subscriber

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I may have to give caffenol a try. Does anyone have any experience using it as a push developer. I ordered some xtol from freestyle and just received it this morning so I'm going to give it a shot first. Anyone have any secrets they like with xtol and trix at 1600?
     
  24. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,365
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Chris,

    Nice blog and website -- you've much to be proud of!
     
  25. mexipike

    mexipike Subscriber

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Anyone used Tri-x at 1600 with DDX?
     
  26. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

    Messages:
    2,661
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Phoeinx Ariz
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have used TriX and HPT at 1600 in DDX, but found that I get better shadows with TM3200 rated at 1200 in DDX or TMX developer. Other option is Tri X in Dianfile at 1200 or 1600.