Tri-X low contrast, why?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by highpeak, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. highpeak

    highpeak Member

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    I shot a roll of Tri-X rated at 320ASA, the day was cloudy. After developed in 1:50 Rodinal at 20*C for 11.5 min, I got a low contrast negtives. Is that because the less development time or becuse this roll of film has been passed twice under the airport X-ray machine. I am asking is because Tri-X always give me good results before.

    Thanks.
     
  2. dr bob

    dr bob Member

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    I have processed TXP in almost the precise way you described. I have no problem with contrast. I usually use an ISO of 200 however, and employ the Zone System to make decisions of exposure. Therefore it seems possible that your contrast may be representative of the scenic conditions and your camera setting giving a reduced density instead. Have you tried printing this negative yet?
     
  3. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Cloudy day = lower contrast
    Less development = lower contrast
    Add the two together pus possibly a low contrast subject and you are bound to get low contrast negatives.
    Also, the film is underexposed if you used an EI of 320. Try an EI of 200-250, and increase development time when photographing under soft conditions.
    Jim
     
  4. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I am not sure that the film would be underexposed much under low contrast conditions at an ei of 320..........yes it might drop the shadows a touch but this would not neccessarily result in lower contrast......but deep black shadows. ISO tests are strictly governed and I am in no doubt that film is downrated under real world conditions (primarily due to higher contrast conditions and hence reduced development also employed). Flat conditions generally means that box speed is often suitable to give you a chance of some blacks! Inspecting the neg will show whether it is underexposed. Is there clear rebate in shadows or detail where there should be detail? As for dev time, how dense is the neg in the densest parts? Compare it to your other Tri-X negs.

    99% of the time when I have flat negs it is a combo of flat scene with insufficient development. Worst of all is when I overexpose and have too little development. This combo would render a flat scene flat beyond belief.


    Sounds more like under development to me.......

    Key question is:

    Have you used the same film in the same dev for the same time temp etc as above before?
     
  5. highpeak

    highpeak Member

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    Thanks again for your help. Since you didn't mention anything about the effect of airport X-ray on this film. I guess the flatness is because of less development.

    Tom, I didn't shoot Tri-X at this speed before, I generally shoot it at 200 or 400. 200 gives me the best result so far. I think I will stick to it. Once I tried at 1600, the grain is amazing :smile:.
     
  6. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

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    I assume, then, that the time you used for EI 320 was the one that you've found you like at EI 200? That would make sense that it's lower contrast than you expected, then.

    And TXT @ 1600 has nice, tight, punchy grain, I've always thought. I prefer it for that speed in low contrast situations, or even up to 3200.

    allan
     
  7. wfwhitaker

    wfwhitaker Member

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    Underexposure, underdevelopment or both.
     
  8. highpeak

    highpeak Member

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    I attached a picture here. I think it was under developed.

    Thanks again for everybody.
     

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  9. ElrodCod

    ElrodCod Member

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    It looks like what it is; a nice photo taken on a cloudy day. It's fine. I wouldn't change the developing time at all.
     
  10. Saganich

    Saganich Subscriber

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    Your dissapointed because there isn't enough snap in the buildings or the sky is blown out? It is difficult to get'em both. A split grade print will look fine.

    Chris
     
  11. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    loads of detail in the shadows so no underexposed....had you exposed at 200 it would have been less contrasty. I would therefore say that under flat conditions you dont expose at 200, but 320/400 and develop more. this will increase contrast. 200 will reduce it further. I do this with hp5. I use box speed and manufacturers dev time for street shots in the UK under flattish light in normal devs and cut speed to 260ish when shooting under contrasty light and cut dev time to control contrast. Try Barry Thorntons "Edge of Darkness" for more on simple ways to deal with contrast.

    Tom
     
  12. highpeak

    highpeak Member

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    yeah, I want more snap in the buildings, when I print it, I will make sure to tell the lab to dodge the sky. But I think a large format would help in this situation :smile:.