TMAX developer with P3200
I've got some P3200, some rolls shot at EI 1600, some at 3200, that I want to try developing with TMAX developer.
Page 9 of the Kodak J-86 document mentions time compensation for developing more than 16 rolls of 135-36 per gallon. I take it that it's referring to reuse of working solution, do people typically do that or do most users just use it one-shot?
The same page also says that "if you use this developer for push processing, discard it after processing one batch of film." In this case, would developing P3200 qualify?
I consider the TMax family to be one-shot developers, the same as D76 1:1. You will be dealing with lots of grain in any case so don't expect much from it.
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I use the Tetenal Ultrafin Plus which has nearly the same formula. I always use it one shot, diluted 1+6. It works fine with TMZ.
Please keep in mind: TMZ has a "real" ASA of around 1000 and must pushed if you want to use 3200 ASA.
I have used T-Max developer and it is not that bad. It might be grainy, but that could be a good thing.
Use it as a one-shot developer diluted from the concentrate as directed. P3200 is low-contrast ISO 800 film that gains contrast with push processing. It looks really good up to EI 1600, 3200 is fair, and you'll not get any decent shadow detail beyond that point. The grain is tight, gritty and sharp. It's great for a gritty fashion or photojournalistic look, but too grainy for "fine" portraiture. Skin texture starts to look like oatmeal.
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I've always developed it in HC-110 before as that's what I've used the most of. A friend mentioned that he seemed to remember it working pretty well in TMAX developer, so I figured I'd try it. I was hoping to reduce the grain a bit, I understand 3200 is going to be grainy, but figured I'd at least experiment and see how I like it.
I've also considered trying D-76, any reason to prefer it over TMAX developer?
I shoot mostly Tri-X and have done almost all of my developing in HC-110 or D-76 with it.
Can we stop with these "this or that film has a real speed of xxx"?
Kodak is very clear on their developing times with a given film rated on a given ISO. All this "real, undisclosed speed" versus what's onthe box only brings confusion.
P3200 is designed to be used with T-Max developer, especially for rating the film at higher exposure indices, but you certainly may process it in any developer you like. D-76 undiluted will reduce the grain as will undiluted Xtol, but you may or may not get the shadow detail you want at higher EIs. HC-110 will tend to increase midtone and highlight contrast at the expense of some shadow detail, depending on dilution and agitation, so it's not a great choice for your purpose. (Much depends on your intended purpose and anticipated results - all up to you.)
I had great results in controlled tests with P3200 in T-Max developer 1:4 from concentrate just by following Kodak's directions. It worked best at EI 800 to EI 1600. EI 3200 is about the outside limit, good for shooting basketball in dim, flatly-lit high-school gymnasiums. EI 6400 gave blank, textureless shadows.
When I tested the film, I ran it alongside my former favorite developer for processing Tri-X at EI 1600 in "push" situations, Diafine. Diafine failed miserably in comparison with the T-Max developer.
The 3200 films are not ISO rated at 3200. They are in fact not ISO rated at all.
Originally Posted by NB23
They just list what's called an Exposure Index (EI) range for the film.
The recommendation of mentioning 'real' speed is actually helpful if you care about shadow detail, because at EI 1600 or higher you will lose shadow detail no matter what you do. The farther from EI 800 you get, the more of a compromise the film becomes.
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I've only ever developed this film in XTOL 1:1. Always worked out pretty well. I like it most at 800 and 1600, but have some good shots at 3200 as well. The only times I used it at 6400 were kind of 'Hail Mary' situations with incredibly poor lighting, so the results would have been crap no matter what with out significantly longer exposure times...
I've heard good things about TMAX developer and this film as well. I'd use it one shot.