Tri-X possibly overexposed

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by etn, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. etn

    etn Subscriber

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    Hello Folks,

    Apologies for the newb question. I am facing the following dilemma. I just came back from several weeks travelling in various countries where I shot about 20 rolls Tri-X 400 in both 120 and 135 formats. I realized later that I somewhat miscalculated my exposure on sunny shots during that trip. The way I tend to work out exposures is to remember a certain EV value for a certain condition, such as EV 13.5 for Velvia 50 on sunny scenes. ("sunny 16", here you are).

    Now the thing is, I shot pretty much all my B&W sunny pictures with an orange filter at EV13 whereas 14.5 would have been a more adequate value (I know, I know, I should have listened more during arithmetic class!) The next problem is, those pictures are randomly spread over the 20-ish rolls, therefore if I develop the Tri-X for ISO 200 or 160 I run the risk of underexposing the other pics. I used a meter for those, therefore they will likely be correctly exposed.

    Now the question: how bad is overexposing Tri-X by 1-2 stops? I think it is certainly better than underexposing, correct? Is it easy to recover when printing?

    I could possibly reduce development time a bit (I don't have the developer yet, but I think I will use the "standard" D76). On the other hand, as suggested by this thread, longer development time brings more contrast, which I like. Therefore I think I will develop the film using the recommended conditions for ISO 400 and just quit bothering about it. I hesitated a long time before posting, as I think I am just over-analyzing a non issue.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear etn,

    Just make sure you avoid over development and you should have no problems.

    Good luck,

    Neal Wydra
     
  3. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    First off, the exposure is what it is. What you do in developing doesn't change that.

    The exposures that are 1 or two stops over will be dense, but there should be no problem printing them. There are many people who prefer Tri-X exposed at 200. Not so many who would routinely expose it at 100, but it will tolerate that easily enough.
    I would process a few of the rolls at the ISO 400 recommended time, evaluate the results, then adjust your timing if necessary for the remaining rolls.
    Increasing the development time will increase contrast by making the highlight values more dense, which is not necessarily a good thing for the frames that are 2 stops over exposed.
     
  4. Kino

    Kino Subscriber

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  5. macfred

    macfred Subscriber

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  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi OP
    how about develop 1 or 2 rolls "normally"
    and see how you like it .. if the negatives are a little
    too dense for your liking, reduce your development time by 30% ..
    and then develop another 1 or 2 rolls ...
    if you are worried about too much contrast,
    use something like xtol, its a flat developer
    and probably will work great for your situation.
     
  7. OP
    etn

    etn Subscriber

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    Thanks to you all. I was just being overly paranoid I guess :smile:
    I am pretty new to B&W after 25+ years of using exclusively slide film. (My chromes from those trips are already processed and turned out great, btw.)

    Etn
     
  8. Harry Stevens

    Harry Stevens Member

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    I shoot my expired 78 Tri-X 120 at 200 iso, a film that is very forgiving and the best B&W 400 film ever made in my view.

    Love that car......
     
  9. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    This looks perfect. I wonder what might have been better in this picture if shot 400 or 200? Frankly I can't think of anything other than a shorter exposure time for the likes of action shots. Maybe others can enlighten me

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  10. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Subscriber

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    Films have a wide latitude especially for over exposure. For many films this is 4.5 stops over to 1 stop under exposure. So don't worry and develop the film normally, no compensation is needed nor desired.
     
  11. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    8.5-9 mins D-76, 1+1, 20c. It should place almost all of your negs between 0-5 on MG paper. That's about it. You might be surprised how easy to print those negatives will be.

    What you want to do is take 10-15% off Kodak's recommended times - this & your increased exposure will reduce the contrast on the negs, which is what will make them fit more easily into the exposure range of your paper.
     
  12. macfred

    macfred Subscriber

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    Forgot to say : Developer was D76 1:1 for about 9min / 20C (I tend to work sloppy ... )
     
  13. Dali

    Dali Member

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    Decades ago, David Vestal made a test exposing Tri-X from 50 to 1600 ASA. Best negatives were at 100/200 ASA. So, no trouble!
     
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  15. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    No, the exposure is done.

    Development adjustments are used to adjust print contrast.

    All the questions now relate to how you want to print.

    In your situation I would develop the film exactly per Kodak's specs for 400. That puts you nicely in the norm.

    From there you can just adjust the printing process to get what you want.
     
  16. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Subscriber

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    +1

    Yes the OP does not want to tinker with development and change negative contrast which will effect printing. Negatives may be a bit denser than usual but just print thru.
     
  17. OP
    etn

    etn Subscriber

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    OK! thanks for your help and your great explanations :smile:
     
  18. Cholentpot

    Cholentpot Member

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    These guys might know better than I but I tend to overexpose with B&W. I'll blowout photos left and right. I can, for the most part recover the highlights no matter what.
     
  19. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    This is typical with negative film, any negative film.
     
  20. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    You should be fine. BW film is very forgiving. Especially with over exposure. Digital camera sensors not so much. Once an area is over exposed, highlight recovery is very difficult. You can tweak your development accordingly. To find out how long to develop, you can snip a piece of and run a test.
     
  21. bernard_L

    bernard_L Subscriber

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    David Vestal (in The Craft Of Photography) shows prints of a scene shot with Tri-X exposed between 1600 ASA and 0.37 ASA (yes zero-point-thirtyseven ASA). Well, maybe below 6 ASA, the prints start to look different, but still usable. Rest assured that your 1.5 EV overexposure is just a joke for Tri-X.
     
  22. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime Member

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    Negative films can tolerate considerable over-exposure. Just develop normally.
     
  23. Pat Erson

    Pat Erson Member

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    But the grain will be coarser, right?
     
  24. chassis

    chassis Member

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    I expose TXP 320 at EI100. Tri-X is pretty bullet proof from an exposure point of view. As commented above, take care to adjust development in order to get a printable negative. If you are scanning the negatives in a hybrid workflow, the development latitude (margin for error) is pretty large.
     
  25. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Technically true but the magnitude of the change/problem IME is minimal bordering on unnoticeable.
     
  26. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    How yu process the film has a greater influence on grain structure than exposure.