Tri-X 400 at the beach?

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by ericdan, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. ericdan

    ericdan Subscriber

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    I usually shoot 35mm Tri-X 400 pushed to 1600iso with my GR1v.
    The GR only goes to shutter speed of 1/500th so I use an orange or 2 stop ND filter during the day.
    I develop with ID-11 (1+1) for 13 1/4 mins. I really like the grain it gives me.

    We've been having good weather here in Tokyo and I was planning to head down to the beach for the weekend.
    I am now wondering if I should be using a different film or just rate it slower.

    I've shot it at 400 ISO with flash indoors before with mixed results.
    I know that trying it out is the best way to figure this out, but I any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. waileong

    waileong Member

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    What's wrong with shooting it at 400? It's beautiful.
     
  3. ericdan

    ericdan Subscriber

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    Nothing. I am just worried that 1/500th of a second won't be fast enough for the beach.
     
  4. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    Remember Sunny 16: it'll get you f/16 at 1/500th if you shoot it at 400. If you want a more open aperture, or a slower shutter speed, then you'll need the ND filter. An EI of 1600 would definitely be too fast.
     
  5. jspillane

    jspillane Member

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    Honestly, I would find Tri-X, even at 400ISO, a bit fast for use at a beach during the day, unless you can get very high shutterspeeds. I'd get some FP4+ / Foma 100 (tradition grain) or Delta 100 / Tmax 100 (t-grain). If you are pushing to 1600 because you like grain, you might look at Foma 400 (I haven't used it really, but it is grainier than tri-x at equivalent speeds.)
     
  6. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    news

    When news photographers got their hands on Tri-X (the new version that came out around 1960 or so) they used it for everything, including at the beach. Before that we used Plus-X for most stuff but Tri-X for low light shots. The grain in the older Tri-X was like golf balls. I'm talking for 35mm and 120.
     
  7. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Subscriber

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    With bright sun on sand (or snow) both Kodak and the sunny 16 rule recommend F22 at 1/500. That is as far as that camera will stop down. So if you want to shoot at 1600 you need at least two stops of filtration.

    That being said it is pretty hard to go wrong with Tri-X. I would imagine you could just shoot away and it would all work out.
     
  8. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    Tri-X is god-tier black and white film but a bit fast for a beach scene, I would use Tmax 100 or something similar
     
  9. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I'm not sure what development regime you use, but EI 1600 with TX is going to be mighty high contrast no matter what you do. I can see where that might be a desirable beach aesthetic, and if you like your results, then there it is; but, yes, plain arithmetic says you're going to need a couple of stops of filtration---more if you want the flexibility to open up the aperture beyond f/16 or f/22.

    But it's not too clear what the intent of your question is---of course, you can use a slower film, you can rate your Tri-X at box speed, you can lower the effective speed with filters, but you know all those things and I'm not sure if anyone else can really tell you how to choose among them. But if you really want the distinctive look of TX under a significant push, that seems to eliminate the first two options.

    If you can stack the filters without too much vignetting, you might use the orange filter *and* ND2, for an EI around 200. Even that isn't going to buy you too much flexibility in exposure, though; on a beach in full sun, I'd normally be thinking of an EI around 50.

    -NT
     
  10. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    There is a problem when using the fastest shutter speed on any camera. Typically they are off by -20 to -40% from their marked value. This has nothing to due with the maker or quality of manufacture. it is solely a matter of physics. So a speed of 1/500 sec may actually be only 1/300 to 1/400 of a sec. This will only acerbate the problem.

    There are several things that can be done, alone or in combination. None of which may appeal to you.

    1. Don't push the film.
    2. Use a stronger ND filter.
    3. Use a slower film like FP4+.
    4. Use a speed reducing developer like Perceptol.

    BTW, you may like the grain at an EI of 1600 but you are sacrificing shadow detail and optimal results from 400TX. Kodak clearly states this in their publication, read Push Processing in http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/f4017/f4017.pdf
     
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  11. momus

    momus Member

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    You're doing this backwards. If you have problems w/ a limited shutter speed, you want to rate the film speed lower, not higher. Just shoot it at 100 and develop it normally. I do this all the time w/ Tri-X and it comes out fine. I use D76, or it's equivalent, but w/ Tri-X it will work w/ most any developer. A shutter speed of 1/250 will normally stop action. If you're really worried about motion blur, shoot it at 800. If you shoot it at 1600 w/ a two stop ND filter, you're right back to rating it at 400 w/o a filter. Maybe I'm missing something. When I shoot at the beach w/ a limited speed camera (1/500 generally is an actual 1/300 if you ck it), I rate the Tri-X w/ a yellow filter (one stop) at 200 and everything comes out fine.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2014
  12. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Wait, what? There's a physical principle that knows if your shutter is set to its highest speed?

    The GR1v has an electronic shutter, so I don't see why it would be subject to the high-speed issues of mechanical shutters. Modern electronic shutters routinely nail sub-1/1000 exposure times, and while this camera isn't the latest and greatest technology, I'm sort of inclined to call shenanigans on your generalization about "any camera". But perhaps you know something I don't about the limitations of electronic shutters?

    -NT
     
  13. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Yes, it's called inertia. Shutter manufacturers must always make a compromise between robustness and accuracy. You can lower the mass of the shutter parts and thereby reduce inertia but only at a cost. The lighter parts are more subject to damage from use. Timing errors become more pronounced as speeds increase. I don't want to get into a long discussion on shutter design -- but in essence the highest shutter speed in not intended for use but its existence makes the next highest value more accurate. I know this sounds funny but it is an outcome of the designs. You design for the highest speed knowing that it will not be often used. A shutter may be electrically controlled but it is still a mechanical shutter and subject to mechanical law.

    Many years ago there was an attempt to make LCD shutters which would be essentially be free from inertia. The problem which could not be solved was that even when "closed" they still transmitted too much light to be useable. Even this shutter was not completely free from inertia since the liquid crystal molecules are still subject to inertia. The problems that shutter designers face is yet another example in photography of the principle of TANSTAAFL.
     
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  15. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Eric,
    Consider bracketing your exposures and keep a record so you will know which settings work best for the next time you have similar lighting conditions at the beach. I have shot Delta 400 at 400 under many different lighting situations in the 120 format with maximum shutter speeds of 1/500th with and without filters developed in ID11 (D76) and have never really encountered unprintable negatives.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  16. pstake

    pstake Member

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    Shoot at 200, under-develop by 20 percent (time) and use Rodinal, which cuts speed by a half to a full stop.

    Probably a good way to do it anyway with all those harsh shadows; even if you had a faster top speed.
     
  17. philosli

    philosli Member

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    That's an interesting comment. Can you refer us to empirical test results of the accuracy of shutter speed?
     
  18. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    On leaf shutters, the center of the image is exposed longer than the edges because of the time needed for the blades to open. This affects the higher speeds more because the time opening/closing is a greater percentage of time.

    At 1/500 you may have an additional 1/2 stop exposure. Or more, depends on the shutter.

    Focal plane shutters don't have this added exposure because the shutter is a traveling slit

    In any case ISO tolerance on shutter speeds is pretty large.

    1/500 = 1.953ms with +/- 1.66-2.54ms being the range that's acceptable.

    1/60 = 15.62ms +/- 13.28-20.31ms

    1/8 = 125ms +/- 106.3-162.5ms

    1 sec = 1000ms +/- 850-1300ms
     
  19. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    If you've heard of the "straight line section" of film curves, rating Tri-X at 200 or even 100 still places your beach exposure on the straight line - so you can use the same development time as normal.

    But since your normal is push processing, that's not what I mean by normal. momus has a good answer, shoot it as if you had 100 speed film in the camera, develop it normally - but not as you normally do - develop as if you had rated it at 400.
     
  20. Nuff

    Nuff Member

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    You are in Japan, get some Fuji Acros and Fuji Microfine developer. I really like the look, but to get grain with that combo, you will need to magnify a lot. Still, the tonality is very nice.
     
  21. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Focal plane shutters are also effected by inertia. BUT the problem areas in a curtain's travel are behind the frame mask and so do not effect exposure.
     
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  22. Ulrich Drolshagen

    Ulrich Drolshagen Subscriber

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    I had to look up what a GR1v is first. No I'd like to recommend another approach to your issue. What about just getting another camera? They should not be too expensive from the source where most of us get their used cameras from. I suspect it would be cheaper to get an second one than to buy a new ND filter.
     
  23. pstake

    pstake Member

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    Bill,

    Wouldn't you still have dense negatives using this method? Even though Tri-X is so wonderfully versatile as to land ISO 100/200 in the straight line?

    Seems like your highlights would still need some burning and you could save yourself some trouble by reducing development.
     
  24. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I would just take the film out and use a slower one.
     
  25. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Dense negatives, yes (suppose you expose 2 stops over, it's going to take twice as long to print) but the contrast would remain the same.

    But even though I think the contrast of the negatives would be the same, I see your point. Overexposed film might make better quality negatives with less developing. Other qualities of the negative would be improved compared to an overexposed and normally developed negative.
     
  26. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Have shot many many rolls of TriX400 at the beach and am choosy over time of day. Try at 400 or 320 and enjoy.
     
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