Tri-X 320 -- suitable use?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Trask, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    I've picked up a pro-pack of 5 rolls of 120 Tri-X 320 recently. I've never used this film before and, given that it's no longer made, I'm reluctant to shoot several rolls to try to determine what kind of lighting and subjects this film is best suited for. I understand it's excellent for people photography, and that it separates tones well in Zones 7, 8, etc.

    So how do you suggest I use this film, and what developer(s) should I consider?

    I appreciate any and all advice.
     
  2. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I shoot it in 4x5 and it’s my favorite film ever. I shoot it at 200 and develop in hc-110 b (1 to 31) for 6:30.

    I have only used it for portraits but that is mostly what I do.
     
  3. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    how many different answers do you think you're going to get here?
    Shoot whatever you normally shoot and process it in what you normally use for a 200/400 speed film. tmax, pyro, acufine, d-76, rodinal.
     
  4. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Just follow Kodak's directions.
     
  5. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    I rate it at E.I 32 and soup it in undiluted ID-11 for 40 minutes agitating every 1 second.
     
  6. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    :whistling: :munch:
     
  7. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    WOW, those negs must be lead bricks at EI 32.
     
  8. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    Why all the sarcastic, unhelpful replies to an honest question?
     
  9. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Trask, sorry people are being smartasses. I think what you're seeing here is a general fatigue regarding this type of question. All these threads about which film to use for what, and which developer to use with it, end up with pages of different responses based on personal preferences, and the only thing we can every conclude is there are very few wrong answers, or bad combinations.

    Tri-X 320, like most current films, is flexible enough to be used for nearly any application. It has traditionally been favoured by people doing studio work (ie low flare conditions) because it has a slightly longer toe than other films and a more "classic" s-shaped curve. It is also useful in the studio because it is designed to be retouched if required (the base side of the film has a somewhat matt finish compared to most other films). But it can be used just as well for landscapes and general photography, so you can pretty much do whatever you want with it.

    Regarding developers, again, this is a typical modern film with lots of flexibility. As long as you practice, you can use most any developer with it. Since Tri-X 320 is not as fine grained as slower films, you might want to start by using a standard general purpose fine grain developer and go from there. Developers of this type include XTOL, D76/ID11, and many others. Typically, using these developers diluted 1+1 with water gives a good balance of grain sharpness, tonal balance and film speed, so you can start making pictures without too much testing fuss. I'd suggest D76 at a 1+1 dilution to start. Following Kodak's directions, and then alter things as you see fit based on your results. Hopefully the film is still good though. Depends how old it is and how it was stored.
     
  10. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Australian humour is hard to understand sometimes!
     
  11. SWphoto

    SWphoto Member

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    From what I recall reading, it might be good for handling high contrast scenes. I also think one of the moderators, SuzanneR, used to use it- you might try sending her a PM.
     
  12. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I used a few pro packs of Tri-X 320, and I didn't see too much that made it particularly distinctive compared to other films.

    The suggestion to just shoot what you normally shoot with other films, and processing the first roll according to Kodak's instructions, is logical and a good one.
    Adjust contrast in the resulting negs with development time to suit how you print.

    Have fun!
     
  13. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    The curve shape of 320TXP is not s-shaped. Instead, it continuously rises. It's been described as "all toe."

    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/f4017/f4017.pdf

    I just filled a freezer with it in 5x7 and 8x10. This film lends "sparkle" to the whites that's just as valuable with landscapes for me as it is for others in studio situations.
     
  14. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I look at the entire curve up to the shoulder when I describe its shape. Agreed it is "all-toe" to a point, where the shoulder is more abrupt than that of a more straight-lined film. The H&D curves in these tech pubs rarely tell the whole story.
     
  15. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Its a wonderful film with great bright tones. You do have to be careful to make sure you expose and develop correctly though. Its a little less forgiving than some other films, and can blockup the highlights if you overdo it with the development. Get it right, and you will be amazed at the details in the highlights.
     
  16. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    Whoa! From Kodak: "The world's best selling black-and-white film."

    It's Plus-X that's been discontinued, although there's plenty to be purchased right now. When Kodak discontinues Tri-X, there shall be no more Kodak. (Kodak has discontinued packaging Tri-X in 8x10, but that can still be had in that size, too.)

    This is a general-purpose film. Load it up, shoots lots, and enjoy. Yeah, the curves can vary with the developer that's used, but if Tri-X were as bad as some make it out to be, then it would have flopped a long time ago. Shoot it, use your favorite developer or send it to a lab, and enjoy the prints.
     
  17. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    \

    I'm sure Tri-X 400 is still going, but 320 has gone as far as I know in everything but sheet film.
     
  18. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Member

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    D76 dil.1+1 Time 10.30 is safe start. Then you can play with as many combo you can imagine.
    For years TXP320 was the only film sold in France in 120 and in Pack.
    TX400 (120) when available was only sold in single and very few photog used it in comparaison.
    Magazines, Kodak, agencies used to give loads of these TXP320 packs.
    Good old time :-(
    And it was used in any situation.
    Studio, landscape, reportage... anything.
    Fantastic film.
     
  19. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    I use tx320 in 4x5 and found it works very well with skin tones with studio flash and continuous lighting from compact florescent bulbs, daylight balanced. It seemed to work well with all tones of skins, even almost Geisha White colored skin.. I found it nice and easy to use in Diafine.

    I stocked up the day Kodak went into bankruptcy, just to protect the flow of sheet film.

    Never used in in 120 format,wish I had.

    Lee
     
  20. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    Older editions of Kodak Data Book F-5 Negative Making with Kodak Black-and-White Sheet Films has a good discussion of "The Portrait Negative". (Mine is from 1966.) This is about making shots with medium to low-key lighting, where you want good tone separation in the highlights. This is the sort of negative you should be "able to read a newspaper through". There used to be a bunch of films with "upswept" (no shoulder) HD curves, such as LS Pan, Royal Pan (not Royal-X), Tri-X sheet film, Plus-X sheet film, Portrait Panchromatic, Tri-X Ortho, and Super Speed Ortho Portrait. The last of these is 320TXP in sheet film.
     
  21. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Incidentally, Tri-X 320 sheets also make excellent anti-Newton Ring spacers.
     
  22. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Really?

    That's cool!
     
  23. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Yes! I had been testing this for some time and posted it to the enlarging forum about a month ago. I was excited to report my findings to John Sexton, who is in the process of experimenting with some other solutions. This is a really simple fix. And hey - maybe we can get lots of people buying Tri-X 320 so it will stay alive :smile:
     
  24. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    Thanks to everyone who took my question seriously and gave their honest answer. I'm not a new film user - I've been developing and printing since 1965, so been there done that except for using Tri-X 320. Given that it's no longer available in roll format, I was seeking some suggestions as how to maximize my use of 320 in terms of its best and/or unique attributes -- and many of you have given me exactly that. I appreciate it.
     
  25. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    I got "lucky" (or unlucky if you will) and got 8 120 rolls with a used Mamiya RZ67 II.

    Absolutely love it, it can be used for just about everything you want, but as far as I can remember from when I did some research, I think the film was designed for studio use.
    I got really "wow" when I used it in a studio context.
    I like the fine, smooth grain that it has on 12*16" enlargements for portraits (developed in Rodinal 1:50) and it has a nice "bite" to it as well, and it has a tonal response which render red (like lipstick) very dark, at least with daylight studio strobes, which is what I like.

    I found the film to be quite forgiving, because I deliberately overexposed half the roll, to get as much shadow detail as possible, the highlights in the skin were still no problem getting on the print, so it still had latitude for overexposure in that situation at least.

    I'm no expert on this film by a long shot, but I really liked it. I have 5 more rolls to go and then I'm all out, that's why I said I was maybe unlucky. =)