Tri X vs HP5 in Pyrocat

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Tom Stanworth, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Just put some more 120 TriX thru pyrocat as an alternative to HP5. Rated at 200 (normal contrast lighting) and deved with normal agitation (60s initial then 10s every minute) for 13 mins in 1.5:1.5 pyrocat (a year old and perfect) and thought I would share my very subjective results:

    The film is much easier to get contrast from that HP5 in this developer. The stain in TriX is clearly more brown without any tinge of yellow green that HP5 has (not easy to see in isolation but blindingly obvious when side by side), which might have something to do with this. The grain is about the same (perhaps a touch finer with the TriX) as is acutance. The prints do seem to have a better range of greys and I did not have to fight to get the desired contrast and clean tonal seperation in the prints. HP5 plus is so much more 'stately home' and TriX, the 'street'. When the sun is not about HP5 can be a grey soup!

    All in all I am really pleased I tried the TriX. The negs printed themselves and the 'look' of the prints was fantastic. I am not especially used to TriX, but have used loads of HP5 plus. I know other users have struggled as I have to get snappy prints from the HP5 in pyrocat under dull conditions without insane dev times. I am changing to Tri X for my 120 work. The sun does not shine often enuff here to need Hp5 plus's lowish contrast!

    BTW the pyrocat is the phenidone version and is in mostly empty brown glass bottles, with a good seal. I made it in August last year and it has not changed at all as far as I can see.
     
  2. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Thanks, Tom. Good to know.
     
  3. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    good timing - at the rate Kodak is going, you'll have six months to enjoy you're new found love... :smile:
    TriX is awesome stuff - its actually pretty magical, so I am not surprised - I just doubt how long it will be around. Plus I hate giving Kodak money nowdays...
     
  4. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I compared volumes of TriX with HP5 and as Tom states I found a more pronounced contrast in TriX than HP5 in PMK . It looked about a 1/2 grade difference. For my personal work I like the TriX .
     
  5. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    4x5 Tri-x has an upswept film curve, i.e. contrast increases with density. Thus, it's a good candidate for staining developers, such as PMK, which tend to lower contrast in the highlights.

    -Peter
     
  6. Davo5X7

    Davo5X7 Member

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    Thinking of shooting tri x in med. format. Are the many references to tri x to be assumed the 400 speed unless otherwise stated? Is there a general preference between the 2 tri x's (320) among the experienced users? Thank you. David O'Connor
     
  7. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    To Davo5X7 -
    Most folks in my experience prefer the straight Tri-x (400) over TXP (320). I was told once that TXP was intended for "studio" use and had better response to incandescent lighting, or something like that-the memory fades. I used the TXP320 in MF many years ago, and always felt that TX400 had better crispness and tonal distribution outdoors, but not from any scientific testing.
    Anyway, my default speed for Tri-x (400) is 250, mostly from experience with Rodinal, HC110 and TMAX developer, in 35, MF, and 4x5. Whenever I test it with a developer, I always start there and bracket test exposures from that point, which I am currently doing with PMK (Pyro from bostick-sullivan.com), and like it so far.
     
  8. Davo5X7

    Davo5X7 Member

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    Thank you George, I kind of assumed that the 400 was the topic, and that it was the original favorite of many. I remember seeing some really bad prints done with tri-x negs 20 years ago in a photo class and thinking "good luck with that film". Since then I have seen some truly stunning work done properly with the same film and thought, " so this is why people rave about it". All that time I thought the tri-x ers were touched (not by an angel). Now I look forward to shooting some 645 portraits, want a little more speed than the 100-125 choices.
    I'll start around 250 and run an EI routine. Thanks again, David