Tri-X, Acufine and a Funeral...

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by BradS, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I'm going to a funeral this Friday and thought I'd try to make a few semi-formal portraits of friends and family. I suspect that most of the opportunities will be indoors and, out of respect, I am opting for no flash. I've got a fridge full of Tri-x and a couple of un-opened cans of Acufine...so, thought I'd give that combination a go.

    Here's the thing. I've never used Acufine before and I don't think I'll get much chance to do any testing before departure so, I'm looking for reassurance that this is a good choice and perhaps some advice with respect to dev times & c.

    The label on the can says I can rate Tri-X 400 at EI-1000 and dev for 5 minutes at 70 degrees F. Does that sound reasonable?
     
  2. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    You mean EI 1000 right? Yes Acufine does a good job with Tri-X in my experience from newspaper days. Of course I was apt to push the film to ridiculous EIs in attempts to shoot sports at night with available light.
     
  3. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Ooops....
    Yes. Of course EI-1000. I've edited the original post. Thanks.
     
  4. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Why not shoot the film, put it on ice, shoot a few test rolls (perhaps even in the same location as the formal shots), experiment with the test rolls (or fractions thereof), and then develop the important rolls only when you're satisfied with your test rolls?
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I rate TX 400 at 800 in Acufine.
     
  6. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    search this forum for a thread on latensification. I used it the other day to push TRI-X and it gave me one stop. So if your development is for 1000, do a one minute soak in this solution and you can rate your film at 2000. It does seem to drive up FB+F a bit but the lower 3 zones are toast any way.
     
  7. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I have shot Tri X at 1000 with 5mints, 3200 at 11 mints and Tmax at 3200, I think I used the time on the can with good results. I also ran a roll of Tmax 3200 at 6400 5 mints in Acufine and 11 mints in Edwal 12 with very printable negatives.
     
  8. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    "Back in the day" I routinely did 35mm Tri-X in Acufine at 1000. And at whatever the can said to do. :tongue:

    The negs will be grainy and contrasty, but you'll have images and be able to print them. :smile:

    Good luck!

    David
     
  9. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Short version:

    Acufine is one of those developers that time outran.

    It is coarse, and gives no more speed, by today's standards than many developers.
    It has little charm.

    Use Xtol.

    ( pulling out the pint of rye from the bottom drawer, and chomping on a cigar... )

    "Trust me, kid."

    .
     
  10. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Very important rule: never shoot images that are important to you on a new film/dev combination.

    If you've got time, shoot a test roll to be sure you like the results of the higher EI. If not, shoot the film in a manner you're comfortable with that's compatible with developers you know -- I'd be perfectly happy shooting Tri-X at EI 800 for process in HC-110, but I've done it before, and in any case for your situation I'd more likely shoot at EI 1600 and develop in Diafine, since I have it around and have used it a number of times as well.
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I quite like Acufine. I don't find it that coarse, but I don't shoot B&W in 35mm very much, and I like the tonality and sharpness I get with the films I use it with (TX, TXP, TXT, J&C 400, PL100). I find that it really only gets one honest stop with good shadow detail over box speed typically, so if you are not getting good results, you are probably trying to make it do more than it can.

    I use it in a deep tank with the replenisher, so I always have it on hand ready to use at room temperature, and I like that convenience.

    I did have a batch fail recently, but I traced that to exposure to high heat--we were on vacation and the building's cooling system went down for three days. Other than that, I've used it for years without difficulties.
     
  12. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    My only concern is that I think that claim of 1000 was ASA, not ISO, and the box speeds doubled in the meantime while the same films were in them. Here's what you can do. For Tri-X, set you meter at 1600 and take the readings of significant shadows. I did that long ago for taking pictures where flash was not tolerated. You are in fact exposing for Zone III in such a way that Zone V will be properly exposed without "pushing" and you may be surprised at the available darkness you can capture by doing so.
     
  13. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Today I took a look at some landscapes (enlargements) made from 4x5 Tri-X negs developed in Acufine. Impressive work by Steve Cohen of Santa Monica. He also showed me some wide angle landscapes made with a 6x12 back on his 4x5 that are equally well done.

    BTW, I bought his 125mm f5.6 Fujinon W.
     
  14. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    It's never a good idea to use an untested film/developer combination for irreplaceable photos.
     
  15. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    Brad,
    For B&W, I use 2 primary developers, Pyrocat and Acufine. I've used Acufine extensively with Tri-X 400. I think you can trust that Acufine will yield you good, printable negatives rated anywhere from 800 to 1200.

    I know that the affair lends itself to quick, informal groupings of people, but a small tripod would allow you gain two stops of shutter, allowing you rate Tri-x normally, with much better results.
    Take care,
    Tom
     
  16. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Hi and thanks everybody for the advice. I'm back from the funeral and it turns out that because of the way the funeral was arranged and due to the local customs and rules (this was a very conservative protestant church) I was not able to shoot anything indoors. I did shoot a roll at the cemetary however. Since this was overcast morning sun, I rated the Tri-X at 250 and I'll dev it in my old favorite HC-110.

    I've got the Acufine on stand by and will begine testing it soon. Thanks again to all who responded with helpful insight.