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Thread: Tri-X vs. T-Max

  1. #41
    ozphoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Lime View Post
    As many people have already stated, they both have their strengths and weaknesses (for a lack of a better word.)

    If you want fine grain and 400 asa shoot TMY-2.
    If you want a more forgiving film, shoot Tri-X

    It's traditional vs modern in the looks department.

    The statement regarding poor tonality makes no sense to me. If anything I would say that especially in 135 format TMY-2 has better tonality, due to the much finer grain.

    Personally I prefer the spectral response of Tri-X, but the fine grain of TMY-2 is very impressive, as is the smooth tonality in 135.

    I hope they are both around for a very long time to come.
    I haven't used Tri-X in a long time, but when I was running a semi-pro photo lab, we'd sell quite a bit of Tri-X to our customers. When TMax hit the shelves, those same customers were clamouring to use it, BUT they were extremely disappointed with the results they were getting.

    We would send off the film to Kodak for processing and I don't know what they were doing, but the grain usually ended up the size of golf balls! Their claims that it is "extremely fine-grained" were blown out of the water by (dodgy?) processing.

    I used to process by hand, for those customers who wanted to pay for it, and the results were definitely better, but I found that TMax was not very forgiving with exposure errors, whereas the TriX handled the point-and-shoot/auto-everything_SLR/I-don't-have-any-idea-what-I'm-doing shooters much better.

    My advice to them - learn how to use your camera in manual mode, to really get the best from TMax; if that's *not* your thing - stick to TriX, you'll be much happier with the results.

    Personally, I love TriX. TMax is ok, but I loved the "grittiness" that TriX gave me, loved the "bite" my prints had whereas TMax left me a little cold as it was "too perfect" - what happened to my grain??

    3200 though was outstanding - I loved that film and shooting sports at night meant it was *always* pushed to its limit (and often over it) and I always got usable images.

  2. #42
    Harry Lime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    I think we agree with each other; we are just using different words
    etc
    .
    I don't wet print much these days. Everything is scanned (not on a cheap flatbed), processed digitally in Nuke and them output on Ilford fiber so we are working with two entirely different workflows.
    Last edited by Harry Lime; 12-18-2012 at 01:46 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #43

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    I've often read people talk about TMax's supposed bulletproof highlights if you do not have perfect control of development time etc. In my testing I have never found either TMX or TMY/TMY-2 to be any more prone to hot highlights than any other film. In fact I have found them to be generally more forgiving than the conventional wisdom regarding tabular films would have people believe. Sure, if you're sloppy you can screw it up, but you can screw Tri-X up essentially as easily. I think while it is true tabular films need a little more care, this is often grossly overstated, and may have turned some people off them over the years for fear they'll get unusable negatives if the temperature is off by 0.2C. It's not true.
    Last edited by Michael R 1974; 12-18-2012 at 09:49 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  4. #44

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    Once you expose and process enough film and learn what you're doing, what you're after, and how to print your ideas, I think it becomes possible to use all of the mainstream 400 speed films interchangeably, as they're all extremely flexible. This is within the reason of course, but generally if the picture isn't good because it was on tmx instead of tri-x then the user either didn't know what they're doing or it's not really a good picture to begin with. Right now I use HP-5, Tri-x and Tmax 400, and I base my use on whatever I can get cheapest. This summer HP-5 120 was $3.50 someplace so I loaded up on it. Now Tmax 400 in 120 is on sale for $4 a roll at bh right now, so I bought a load. Tri-x, I love, but it's $ right now. Overall, I think developer choice plays more of a part in negative differences, and then even more so printing materials + techniques.

    There's a lot of psychology to our processes though, which is what makes this fun, so use whatever makes you feel good or confident to shoot and print.

  5. #45

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    Keep in mind that Steve Anchell refered to the 1980's.,
    The current Tri-X and the 1980's Tri-X are not the same film, its just a name on the box.
    Present day T-Max and Tri-X share much more similarities than they did in the 1980's.
    This is very true. When T-Max came first came out I blew out the highlights on 35mm film. Tri-X worked much better. Since then both films have changed. Tri-X is better than ever as long as you don't shoot it at box speed, de-rate to 200, and develop in a general purpose developer (D/76 1:1 or XTOL 1:1).

    You have to use the right materials to get the look you like.
    RJ

  6. #46

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    Keep in mind that Steve Anchell refered to the 1980's.,
    The current Tri-X and the 1980's Tri-X are not the same film, its just a name on the box.
    Present day T-Max and Tri-X share much more similarities than they did in the 1980's.
    I infrequently use TMY-2 but in small format it has a smoothness that has somewhat of a medium format look. I would like to experiment with 1980s Leica glass and TMY-2. Simpliflying to a Leica allows me to downsize to one camera and one Leitz enlarger; simple, small, and a joy to use.
    Last edited by Richard Jepsen; 12-18-2012 at 10:58 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    RJ

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Jepsen View Post
    Tri-X is better than ever as long as you don't shoot it at box speed, de-rate to 200...
    I used to buy into the blanket de-rate idea, even suggested it to others, no longer though. There are simply too many variables. Not saying its necessarily bad, just not needed.

    My experience with TX, TXP, TMY, HP5, Delta 100&400, and ... is that they all work just fine exactly per the normal info provided by Kodak, Fuji, and Ilford.

    Unless the person shooting has personally tested for her/himself and found shadows lacking at box I see no point in giving up a stop at the camera.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

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

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    I used to buy into the blanket de-rate idea, even suggested it to others, no longer though. There are simply too many variables. Not saying its necessarily bad, just not needed.

    My experience with TX, TXP, TMY, HP5, Delta 100&400, and ... is that they all work just fine exactly per the normal info provided by Kodak, Fuji, and Ilford.

    Unless the person shooting has personally tested for her/himself and found shadows lacking at box I see no point in giving up a stop at the camera.
    +1, I always shoot at box speed and make adjustments in development, why add one more variable to the equation is what I figure...
    "I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraemeMitchell View Post
    Once you expose and process enough film and learn what you're doing, what you're after, and how to print your ideas, I think it becomes possible to use all of the mainstream 400 speed films interchangeably, as they're all extremely flexible. This is within the reason of course, but generally if the picture isn't good because it was on tmx instead of tri-x then the user either didn't know what they're doing or it's not really a good picture to begin with. Right now I use HP-5, Tri-x and Tmax 400, and I base my use on whatever I can get cheapest. This summer HP-5 120 was $3.50 someplace so I loaded up on it. Now Tmax 400 in 120 is on sale for $4 a roll at bh right now, so I bought a load. Tri-x, I love, but it's $ right now. Overall, I think developer choice plays more of a part in negative differences, and then even more so printing materials + techniques.

    There's a lot of psychology to our processes though, which is what makes this fun, so use whatever makes you feel good or confident to shoot and print.
    I would agree with that. I can certainly use it. I just have a preference for Tri-X when working faster with less precise tools. But then again:

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Jepsen View Post
    This is very true. When T-Max came first came out I blew out the highlights on 35mm film. Tri-X worked much better. Since then both films have changed. Tri-X is better than ever as long as you don't shoot it at box speed, de-rate to 200, and develop in a general purpose developer (D/76 1:1 or XTOL 1:1).

    You have to use the right materials to get the look you like.
    Funny, I knew about the changes from TMY to TMY-2 but hadn't thought to revisit it in 35mm and medium format, and it never occurred to me that TMX had changed. Good point.

    Going back to the first post though, I'm not going to change films back and forth because one is on sale for a dollar a roll less than the other. That's false economy to me. If you really have to make every penny count and shoot a lot of rolls, and if you have your process down with both to the point you don't waste material getting it right (which will quickly cost more than the discount) then that makes sense.

  10. #50
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    I used quite a bit of the old TMY and compared to TMY-2 I can barely tell a difference, even in 35mm. The prints look identical in tonality, but with a very slight grain advantage to TMY-2.

    What is it you feel is very different with modern TMax 400 versus old?
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

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