Under Development, Tri-X

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Loren Sattler, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Loren Sattler

    Loren Sattler Subscriber

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    Has anyone had a problem with Tri-X acting underdeveloped, when normally exposed and developed? I just bought a fresh 100 ft 35mm bulk roll. My first roll was developed along with a factory packaged roll in D76 1:1 at my standard time (medium contrast) of 8 min, 15 sec at 68 deg (shot at ASA20). The film from the bulk roll requires a #4 filter to yield correct results, while the factory roll prints well with a #2 filter as usual.

    I processed a test roll under various lighting conditions at !0 min 30 seconds and the results look good. I never process film this long unless the contrast is extremely low such as with fog in the scene. For comparison, most of my work is done with Tri-X 120. Times for brightly lit subjects are as low as 7 minutes. These usually print well with #1-1/2 to #2 filters. I agitate vigorously.

    I am thinking that the bulk roll may be defective. Any thoughts?
     
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi loren:

    i haven't had that problem BUT ... is your developer fresh ?
    (was it short date ) maybe your local store had it stored above the heater
    all winter long ..

    you might contact the store where you bought the film
    maybe there was a problem with the whole shipment ?

    sorry for not being much help
    john
     
  3. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    actually, i yhink john may be onto something here. can you try a totally different develoerwith you bulk film?hc110 or mix your own?
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Kodak is known for consistency. Did you shoot both with the same camera, lens, lighting conditions? Shutter problem, perhaps? Light meter battery going bad? Something along those lines...?

    I would probably roll up a short roll with 10 frames on it, and then put a factory roll in and burn off a few frames on that too, using the same body, same lens, same meter, etc... Just to make sure, unless that's what you already did. Then develop them together again.

    If the same problem persists, I would say you have defective film. Perhaps storage issue of where you bought it could be a factor too.
     
  5. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    As Thomas says, Kodak is good on consistency. Since you did develop both rolls ("right along with. . .") I assume you mean in the same tank, not 2 tanks side by side. If so, then I would question the differences in lighting, subject, etc, and take Thomas' suggestion about another test - one factory and one bulk roll, tripod, identical conditions, etc.
     
  6. snederhiser

    snederhiser Member

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    Hello Loren;
    The developing times using D-76 1+1 starts at 10minutes for tri-x. Try this first, Steven.
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Probably not when shot at 200. That would not really solve anything, because it seems like the OP processed the two rolls together in the same tank, so whatever difference there is between the two rolls would be because of something other than the developer.
     
  8. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Well this is stretching, but do the edge markings indicate it's Tri-X? Could it have been a mis-marked or mis-represented package?


    (Conspiracy theories . . .) :whistling:
     
  9. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    I saw a thread on the same subject some months ago, either here or on the LF Q&A. The poster found that his sheet Tri-X was underdeveloping by about a Zone (N-1 instead of Normal with his usual Normal development). At the time I ignored it and so did most everyone else.

    Recently I had the same problem with Tri-X in 4x5; i.e., with my Normal times it seemed the negs were all just slightly more than N-1 developed. Grade 3 paper did the trick for me, but I went searching for that thread... The poster had done a bit of densitometry and I wanted to see what his results were and maybe contact him. Never could find the post.

    I have increased my developing times for Tri-Xd 10-15% for all development schemes and things seem to be alright now, but I haven't had much of a chance to print the new negs. I should really re-calibrate (a job for this summer when I get back to the darkroom in the States).

    The OP for this thread may have had a similar experience.

    Anyone else?

    Best,

    Doremus

    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    It can't both be normally developed and under developed. One or the other.
     
  11. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Member

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    When Kodak moved everything to Building 38, Tri-X was reformulated and is now called 400TX. Kodak has both data sheets on their web site (Pub F9 and F4017) ...

    Perhaps you are switching from one to the other? BTW, I have heard many folks (including me) dis-agree with the times given for 400TX in HC-110B.
     
  12. dehk

    dehk Member

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    I personally never had a problem with fresh tri X. Even my 1987 exp tri X still turns out - i didnt say how good, but they do turn out.
     
  13. M. Lointain

    M. Lointain Member

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    I may get hammered for this but I don't use Tri-X anymore. Anyone who says it is consistent is talking about the past. I have had similar experiences to the OP. I don't talk about my bad experiences with Tri-X because everyone will jump on me saying I am the one with the problem even if it isn't so.
     
  14. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Getting hammered sounds kind of nice, actually. :smile:
     
  15. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    Just a short post to clarify, since some have obviously misunderstood what I was trying to say:

    I use the Zone System. I calibrated the new Tri-X (320TX) with PMK when the film was first introduced and arrived at personal E.I.s and development schemes for N-4 through N+2.

    Lately, negatives developed my "N" time, which was doing just fine, seem to be underdeveloped. I have increased my development times some (ad hoc) to compensate, but need to recalibrate. It does indeed seem at first glance that the latest batches of film I have used need more development than earlier ones of the same film (all 320TX).

    So, to rephrase my question: Has anyone else arrived at a "Normal" development scheme some time ago and that worked just fine then found their recent Tri-X negatives to be underdeveloped according to what they calibrated for?

    If so, this would support the OPs observations (and mine) and indicate a possible change in the way the film responds. It could be manufacturing inconsistency or, more likely, a reformulation that requires more development now.

    I'm interested in hearing, since there are many other factors that could affect development. Maybe it is just that my last batch of PMK is not as active as what I used in the past (again, possible manufacturing inconsistency or mixing error or...)

    There, I hope that's clear now.

    Best,

    Doremus

    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2012
  16. Pat Erson

    Pat Erson Member

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    "I may get hammered for this but I don't use Tri-X anymore. Anyone who says it is consistent is talking about the past"

    That's what I experienced too. First with a box (=100 films) of TRI-X 135 where about 10% of the films were munched at the edge of the emulsion (that is near the perforations). No effects on the image itself but that was kind of confusing... This happened around 2009.

    And now I currently have to deal with another box of TRI-X where the emulsion feels weird and rubbery.
    Consequence? This makes the film hard to load into my M3, and let me tell after 5 or failed attempts at loading my camera with a snake-like film I start to get angry at Kodak.

    This rubbery TRI-X problem never happened to me before...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2012
  17. Loren Sattler

    Loren Sattler Subscriber

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    Last night I started printing some of the negatives. In a few days I will report back my conclusions after printing from both rolls.
     
  18. Loren Sattler

    Loren Sattler Subscriber

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    Good news, both rolls print great with a #2 filter. The film from the bulk roll is noticeably thinner, about 1/2 stop on the enlarger lens, but prints with equal quality.

    I need to run some test film through my all manual Nikon F2. The rolls in question are mostly autoflash bar "party" scenes taken with a Rollei Prego point and shoot camera that automatically sets the ASA from the DX code on the film canister. I have manipulated the DX codes to indicate ASA 200 to "overexpose" one stop. These were new film canisters recently purchased and doctored up with tape and sandpaper to change the DX. Perhaps my system is not working properly.

    I will update the post later after testing with the manual camera.
     
  19. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I have not actually had that, but I do run off a process control strip when I suspect something is not right, then re-adjust development time accordingly.
     
  20. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    Yeah, I'll run a contact neg of the step wedge when I get back to the States and to the darkroom this summer and compare it with my older ones. I was just interested if anyone else had experienced this and possibly quantified it more than I can for the time being.

    As I mentioned, I read a thread some time back and the OP seemed to have done some testing. I wasn't able to find it by searching, however...

    Best,

    Doremus

    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
  21. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Sounds like it isn't too bad, and that there may be other lurking factors in action. Good for you for giving both films an equal opportunity to perform.

     
  22. Loren Sattler

    Loren Sattler Subscriber

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    The bulk roll is OK. I exposed and developed two test rolls; one from the bulk roll and one factory packed Tri-X. I used a manual camera and both rolls came out identical in density and contrast.

    It appears that my original roll from the bulk roll was somehow underexposed. It may have been the doctored DX code, not sure. Sorry to have troubled everyone with this.