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Thread: TRI X vs TMAX

  1. #11

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    I far prefer Tri-X. I rate it at 200 and develop in Rodinal. I tried Tmax 400 the other day at box speed and didn't much care for it. I may do some more for work with it to get the EI that works best. But I think I will just stick with Tr-X
    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014

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  2. #12

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    Well.... having regularly using both, I really suggest you'd actually purchase a few rolls of TMAX 400 and try it yourself. You say your main concerns are tonal range and consistency. Both films have more than sufficient tonal range. As far as consistency is concerned, TMAX is bit more critical but is quite manageable once you get a hang of it. I'd suggest being accurate to, say 15 seconds or best you can though. A minute is way too much variance for any film for consistency.

    The big difference is how they look. To me, TMAX has more of a clinical look with very little grain and very smooth rendition. Tri-X has more of a traditional look and have some bite. If you are expecting similar results, you may be very disappointed. That's why I use both - they look different.

    Having said that, I exposed Tmax400 and Tri-X at EI 1600 at a shoot and processed it with XTOL per Kodak's documentation. Results were remarkably similar.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  3. #13

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    I really wish people would first ask themsleves what characteristics they are looking for. OP says he's getting consistent results with Tri-X/HC-110. So, what is making him want to try TMY? Is there something specific he's looking for in comparison to the results he's already getting? Finer grain? Different curve shape? "Pushability" (ie underexposure tolerance)? This would really help.

  4. #14

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    hi john


    i agree with tkamiya ..
    film is cheap, get a few rolls and see how you
    like it, see how your processing methods and developer &c like it
    see how your paper prints like it ...
    over and under expose / bracket
    then over + under develop ...

    nothing is a direct replacement for anything ...

    im not too plugged into any one film, i just pick up and shoot
    what happens to be handy ... and it all seems to work OK ...

    have fun !
    john
    ask me how ..

  5. #15
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Natural enough to want to try something new. Even if you're happy with what you're getting, you won't know if you might like something different better.

    I shoot Tri-X in 120 (and occasionally in 35mm, mostly shot at EI 1250 and developed in Diafine for 35mm) and TMY-2 in 4x5. When I'm working with the view camera and spot meter and able to take my time, I like TMY-2. But with rolls having mixed contrast ranges and sometimes hurried exposures, I like Tri-X in smaller formats. That said, if I wanted the best quality results in terms of grain and sharpness from 35mm - really from 120 too but especially 35mm - I'd shoot TMY-2. It isn't THAT difficult by any means.

    I think you'll notice surprisingly little difference in medium or large format if you're careful with development. TMY-2 is definitely more responsive to development changes. As someone else said a minute is way off for any film/developer but while you can get by with it using Tri-X you won't like it if you're that sloppy with TMY-2. In 35mm the grain difference really starts to show up more. Of course this depends too on what size you print.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    I think you'll notice surprisingly little difference in medium or large format if you're careful with development.
    Nonsense.

    Every time I have thought that and shot the same scene with the same film in different formats I get proven wrong.

    I'm not suggesting one or the other is better for a given shot, I'm just suggesting that they are really, truly, and significantly different.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  7. #17
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Nonsense.

    Every time I have thought that and shot the same scene with the same film in different formats I get proven wrong.

    I'm not suggesting one or the other is better for a given shot, I'm just suggesting that they are really, truly, and significantly different.
    Humm, well I've said "nonsense" to a few people too so I suppose that's karma, but it's usually been in reply to more strongly worded statements, not "I THINK you'll notice.."

    How about this - "I have personally tried both and I personally notice surprisingly little difference?" Of course there are some caveats: when both are exposed and developed carefully, when subject brightness range is close to what I think of as normal, when enlargements are kept under 8x and especially at 5x or less, and when prints are as closely matched as possible for density and contrast. Any of those variables will change things. TMY will record a wider range without compression. It is much more responsive to changes in development, making it also much more sensitive to errors but certainly not hard to control. It is noticeably finer grained but I don't personally notice that very much in the sizes I mentioned.

  8. #18
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    I really wish people would first ask themsleves what characteristics they are looking for. OP says he's getting consistent results with Tri-X/HC-110. So, what is making him want to try TMY? Is there something specific he's looking for in comparison to the results he's already getting? Finer grain? Different curve shape? "Pushability" (ie underexposure tolerance)? This would really help.
    Absolutely agree. The key to obtaining the correct answer, is to make sure the correct question was asked in the first place.

    What is it about Tri-X that you don't like enough to consider TMax?

    What I see in TMax that I don't see in Tri-X, is higher resolution, a slightly different color rendition, less highlight compression, and more shadow detail. TMax has a more spirited reaction to developing alterations. TMax is more forgiving in exposure because of its 14 stop, straight-as-a-nail tone curve. Tri-X has a more pronounced toe and shoulder.
    You can make TMax look a lot like Tri-X, but it's difficult to make Tri-X look like TMax. You can't really straighten a film curve, but you can bend a straight one, by using various exposure and developing techniques.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

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  9. #19

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    Thomas,

    How would you make Tmax 400 look like Tri-x?

    Thanks!

  10. #20
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco Buonocore View Post
    Thomas,

    How would you make Tmax 400 look like Tri-x?

    Thanks!
    Shoot it at 800 to 1000 EI, and slow down agitation to 10s every 3 to 5 minutes (I use Xtol developer because it's efficient in the shadows). Adjust developing time to get similar contrast index as Tri-X, which you develop normally, with normal exposure and developing agitation.
    "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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