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  1. #1
    horacekenneth's Avatar
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    HP5 vs Tri-X at 800

    So I just finished scanning two rolls, both shot at 800 in an XA, developed at 24C in 1:50 Rodinal, one Ilford's HP5 and one Kodak's Tri-X. I was sure I was going to prefer the Tri-X but it seems to have way more grain and contrast. (I know I recently said I was looking for grain, but seriously, that was a lot)
    I know the ultimate test though will be printing them and I'm planning on doing that tomorrow night.
    Here's a sample of the Ilford:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    And the Kodak
    Click image for larger version. 

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    How do you think they compare?

  2. #2
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    HP5 vs Tri-X at 800

    What was the development time and method?
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

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  3. #3

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    Rodinol is knowing for bringing out the grain in Tri-X.
    - Bill Lynch

  4. #4
    Chris Nielsen's Avatar
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    IDK but I think they both look great, I don't mind grain when I know it's there on purpose

  5. #5

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    Hi,

    I prefer the HP5 very slightly over the TriX. That said, it appears that both negatives are not scanned very well. It may be the scanner you used, or your contrast adjustment after scanning may be far too harsh. The shadows are completely blocked, and the highlights blown out as well. It would be better to opt for a flatter contrast curve upfront, and then to adjust carefully in post-processing. As posted, your scans don't provide enough information to do a good comparison. I am quite certain your opinion on which film is capable of what will change if you make good darkroom prints at the correct contrast grade for each negative.

  6. #6

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    Try printing both negatives in a darkroom or judge from the negative itself,
    my opinion is that films are not made for scanning. I used to judge from my scans for many years and I was wrong because a film that is good for scanning is not necessarily good for printing.

  7. #7
    Harry Lime's Avatar
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    From all I have read and based my personal experience, Rodinal is not the best developer for push processing. Tri-X and Rodinal give a very specific look. Salgado used this combination for a long time and many of his prints, while gorgeous, look like they were photographed on sandpaper. Contrast can also build real quickly.

    My normal film is Tri-X, but last year I shot a small amount of HP5 for a project. The first thing that struck me about HP5 was that it appeared to have lower contrast than Tri-X, which should work in your favor, if you're push processing. I'm seeing the same in your two shots.

    I don't think you're going to get an accurate assessment from this test, because of Rodinal. It's a great developer, but I don't think it's the best choice for push processing. Tri-X @ 1250 in Diafine is pretty impressive. Smooth tonality, good shadow detail and surprisingly fine grain. Obviously there are the usual suspects, Xtol, DDX, Tmax developer or good old D76.


    If you're looking for a 400asa film to push I highly suggest TMY-2 400. It has a very linear curve and the grain stays very small. Great stuff.

  8. #8

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    Both look like muddy messes. I'd opt for Delta 3200 or TMAX 3200. Or use flash.

  9. #9
    horacekenneth's Avatar
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    There's no question about the scanner, its an Epson 1240 and VueScan and I've never been able to get any shadow detail with it.

    I think the HP5 I did 24C for 10min, inverting the first 30 and then 10 every minute, the Tri-X was also 24C for 13min, same inversions. Rodinal was at 1:50

  10. #10

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    If you want to squeeze 800 ISO out of these films, I would recommend Tetenal Emofin, which is a 2-bath developer. A few years ago I abandoned Emofin in favour of home-mixing Barry Thornton's 2-bath formula, for which I rate both these films at 650 ISO.

    I agree with the comments about lack of shadow and highlight detail. If you can't coax these out with your scanner, make your comparison with a hand lens from the negatives.

    Here is one of each, with the relevant detail, all scanned from 35mm with minimal sharpening.
    Click image for larger version. 

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