What I'ved learned while taming T-Max 100

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by CPorter, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    I'm sure this will bore most, but I'm posting this in case there are others that have been testing TMX or are thinking about it. Perhaps it may be informative, IDK. If there is anyone who has tested with a similar process as mine with similar results, that would be good to know.There are two things that I changed from what I did before, which was:

    1. I was using the combi-plan in a dip and dunk fashion of agitation. This did not work for me as I got very uneven densities across the negative, even some mottling could be seen, and the EI was, seemingly, just too fast at 160 to 200. I changed to using the combi-plan as a daylight tank, as it was meant to be used with inversion agitation and the density uniformity improved drastically, and the EI worked out to be equal to the box speed of 100. The curve for speed crossed the 0.1 density line at exactly Zone I, using D-76 1+1, 68 deg, at Kodak's recommended time of 9:30.

    2. I was testing for speed by expsoing several sheets at Zone I and then measuring each sheet; this was working, but of coarse, more time consuming and more film consumption. I changed to the method in John P. Schaefer's: AA Guide - Basic Techniques of Photography. I bought an uncalibrated 21 step density strip (1/2" x 5"), about $7.00 from Stoufer and calibrated it with my densitometer and graphed the curves as recommended. This method is, relatively, amazingly easy and quick; being able to graph a curve from one sheet of film puts you on a fast tract to learning about your own process.

    I completed the testing of TMX by consuming just 6 sheets of film. One for the speed test and 5 sheets subsequently exposed at the "working EI". Each of those had to be developed individually, at different times of course, for determining dev times. My times were the following when developing for a Zone VIII density of 1.3:

    N+2 = 11:30
    N+1 = 10:00
    N = 8:00
    N-1 = 7:30
    N-2 = 6:30

    I was surprised that the curves showed that the minus development times have middle zone densities that seem to be very well supported. N-1 gave a Zone IX density of 1.3 and a Zone V density of 0.7; N-2 gave a Zone X density of 1.32 and Zone V at 0.6. I would be interested in knowing if anyone else has had similar results well. N-2 showed a loss of film speed by 1/3 and N+2 a gain in film speed by 1/3.

    This post mostly reflects my excitement about completing the test with simplicity and timeliness. I've learned so much since being able to evaluate my own process in a more informative way.

    Chuck
     
  2. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    "...using D-76 1+1, 68 deg, at Kodak's recommended time of 9:30."

    As far as I have been able to find Kodak does not recommend any times for Tmax SHEET FILM in D-76 at 1+1, only straight.

    I found John Sexton's thoughts helpful, you can read them HERE.

    I've only started figuring this combo out (Tmax100 sheet film in D-76 1+1 @68degrees) but so far it seems like N = 12min, N-1 = 9.5 min, and N+1 = 14.5 min. Film rated at about 64. Quite longer than your times... My highlights even have a little more room to expand if needed. I wonder why the big difference? I'm doing this with 6 sheets in a slosher and 1 liter of solution in a 12x18 tray. My tests are done making negatives in real word situations and evaluating by eye on the light table and making prints.
     
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  3. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Kodak has a recommendation right on the bag of D-76 for small tank processing at 9:30, so I just used that as a starting point. I goofed by implying it was for sheet film, as that is the time for a small tank time. I don't know why the big difference, but those times are how it worked out for me.

    Yep, making negatives in a real world situation is how the tests will be confirmed, or not. I'll purposely seek out different lighting situations to see how those times work. I'll be in the field this weekend doing just that.
     
  4. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    I hope you post the results in the gallery or in this thread. I would be especially interested since I am working to "tame" the same combo. If all goes well I will be posting some of my first prints over the weekend or early next week.

    I'm always surprised by the the different times photographers seem to come to with identical materials and similar processes... I guess I should expect it by now! Best. Shawn
     
  5. drpsilver

    drpsilver Member

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    06 Nov 2007

    Chuck:

    I will echo Shawn. I "inherited" several boxes of TMX 4x5 and wanted to process it with HC-110. I did with very disappointing results (low contrast with very little negative density in the highlights). My usual developer is D76 (1:1) and have yet to try this combination. Your post is very timely for me. I await any further results.

    Regards,
    Darwin
     
  6. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    The CombiPlan tank is considered to be a small tank. Large tanks have a capacity of around 3 gallons or 12 L. That's a heck of a lot more than the 1.2 L needed for the CombiPlan. So yeah, Kodak's time for TMX and D-76 is valid for sheet film or roll film. The emulsion is the same. Only the support is different.
     
  7. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    According to Kodak:

    "Small Tank Processing, (8- or 16-ounce tank)—Rolls"
    "Large-Tank Processing, (1/2- to 3 1/2-gallon tank)—Rolls"
    "Large-Tank Processing, (1/2- to 3 1/2-gallon tank)—Sheets"

    They do list an increase in recommended time from small tank to large tank at full strength. However, they make no recommendations for D-76 at 1+1 in large tanks or trays. See Kodak pub F4016. The lack of 1+1 recommendations is what led me to John Sexton's comments. I don't consider my times nailed down yet, but close.
     
  8. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    The combi-plan uses 36oz. so not "small" and not "large". I never have understood why Kodak never recommended d-76 (1+1) for T-max sheet film when it has obviously been used very successfully by others.
     
  9. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    My question exactly. I mean John Sexton is their goto guy for this film and it is what he uses and recommends so.....
     
  10. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Perhaps they're assuming that most sheet film would be processed in large tanks with replenished developers. That, along with reduced agitation, explains the recommended longer development time. One shot processing in a large tank is not economical, especially for commercial processors.
     
  11. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    I have no way of posting a photo since I don't have a scanner, so I will just have to describe how my first attempt with my new times for TMX.

    I went out on Monday it was a very gray day or what I referred to as an N+2 day as I left the house. I photographed a scene with a SBR of 1:8 (a range from zone II to zone V, the highest value in the scene was V) and planned N+2 development with intensification of the negative using selenium toner. I reduced the exposure by an additional 1/3 stop (as indicated by the curve for N+2 dev) to maintain a net expansion of +2. I simply could not be more pleased with the result. So, I guess that is all I can say as I wish I could post the result and share it.

    As strange as my times for TMX may seem, it is apparent to me that, with N+2 anyway, something is working out.
     
  12. dslater

    dslater Member

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    I don't have a scanner either - however, it has occurred to me that for web display, I should be able to go to the local drug store where they have a flat-bed scanner and scan my prints there.

    Dan
     
  13. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    Hope you find a way to post, Chuck. I'd love to see your results. I wonder if I'm just making denser and higher contrast negatives than you as I only contact print my sheet films?

    Below are links to a couple print scans of N-1 negs I made recently. Haven't scanned any prints from my N or N+ negs yet but will post those as well.

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=29577&cat=500&ppuser=2279
    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=29528&cat=500&ppuser=2279

    Tmax 100 in D76 1+1. My N- time was 9'30". The solid leaf areas were reading 9 and my bare table was reading 13. I placed 9 on Zone 5. I used my dichro head so split grade print these onto Ilford MGIV FB developed in Sprint QSPD.
     
  14. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Shawn, IDK, but does contact printing require denser negatives than projection printing?
     
  15. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    The AZO I used to print on worked better with somewhat dense negatives of fairly high contrast. I've carried this over to my work with graded enlarging paper with great results. However, the images I linked are printed on multi grade and it seems I can print just about ANYTHING on that paper using the split grade technique. Sure would be nice to stand around a light table together and evaluate negatives and prints.... I guess all that is to say, IDK either!