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Thread: Tri-X vs. T-Max

  1. #11

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    Keep in mind as well when T-max was introduced many people tried it and tested it and didn't like it forever and ever closed book. In my experience those who already had a a closer tolerance method and style of negative work seem to have a more favorable view of it. Those workers who had 'looser tolerances' got more variation on the results. My first few rolls were not very good, and it did take me a bit to really understand and work with the film. In those days I was shooting for a newpaper and they switched from Tri-X to T-max so you could imagine there was a bit of grumbling from the old timers. The best advice I got was from John Sexton, who advised to shoot at box speed and try to nail the best exposure and process D-76 1:1 with not too much agitation. I had more consistent negs after I learned T-max like that, and when I started switching developers I had a better feel for the film.

  2. #12

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    I have used both. Both are great, but I lean toward T-max.

    Jeff

  3. #13
    MDR
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    The Question is which Tmax and which Tri-X. They are both great films if you want super smooth tones with very little grain for the speed Tmax is your thing. If you want the classical look meaning more grit but in fact less dynamic range than use an older tri-x the new trix has less grain than its predecessor but is still a great film. It basically comes down to personal preference.

    Dominik

  4. #14
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    I like TriX with Rodinal. Before I used Tmax 400 in Tmax developer and Rodinal - it has much finer grain than TriX, but somehow it is not for me. Good thing is that we have both .

  5. #15
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    i too would take john sexton's word for it, but keep in mind that he is experienced enough to get the best ou of any film.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  6. #16
    Rafal Lukawiecki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RidingWaves View Post
    The best advice I got was from John Sexton, who advised to shoot at box speed and try to nail the best exposure and process D-76 1:1 with not too much agitation. I had more consistent negs after I learned T-max like that, and when I started switching developers I had a better feel for the film.
    I wonder if that advice was somehow specific to your own work or, to a particular application. The general advice that I heard John Sexton give, which he also outlines in his handouts, is to do a speed test, however, he lists his own results, and he does not seem to use TMax at box speed, but at lower speeds, which are dependent on the required contrast adjustment through ZS developing time. Also, he agitates vigorously by hand, or uses a Jobo, except when aiming for extreme contrast contraction.

    And to answer OP, both films are great, with a fairly different look. TMax, to me, may be a tad more perfect, technically speaking, while TXP and HP5+ for that matter, a little more old-fashioned. I like TMax in MF and HP5+ in LF. Bear in mind, however, that I am more familiar with HP5+.
    Last edited by Rafal Lukawiecki; 12-17-2012 at 06:27 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Rafal Lukawiecki
    See rafal.net | Read rafal.net/articles

  7. #17
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    What I find about shooting at box speed and developing normally (with most any films) is that it provides high quality, is normally very forgiving of errors, and gives a great place to decide what I might like different.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #18

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    True that John generally down-rates his TMX (for example to 64-80 for normal development) like many of us end up doing, but each person should do their own test and figure out what works for them. It also depends on the developer and procedures.

    The nice thing about all these current films - including Tri-X - is they have long scales. So under a wide variety of conditions, giving a little more exposure to ensure you get full separations in the shadows, doesn't cost you anything in the highlights. But if you find, like Mark, that box speed gives you everything you need, it makes perfect sense to expose at box speed.

    At the end of the day the biggest differences between Tri-X and TMY-2 are in image structure (granularity, resolution etc). TMY-2 is an exceedingly fine grained film for its speed. It is actually more comparable to say Delta 100 in graininess than any other 400 speed film. Another favourable characteristic of TMY-2 is reciprocity behaviour, if that is deemed important to a particular individual.

  9. #19

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    Don't forget that for sheet film Tri-X and Tmax are very different films. Tri-x has that long toe steep highlight curve and Tmax is straighter. To me Tri-x sheet film easily produces a more dramatic look. But you don't always want that.

  10. #20

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    ChuckP makes a good point we should be careful to differentiate between TXP 320 and TX.

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