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Thread: TRI X vs TMAX

  1. #1
    John cox's Avatar
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    TRI X vs TMAX

    I'm getting consistent results with TRI X in HC-110. It's film ordering time however and I'm considering switching to TMAX 400. I should point out that this is just for 120 rolls, I would still shoot Arista premium for a while yet.
    My main concerns are tonal range, and variance. If I'm off by a minute with TRI X there's really no issue. Will this be a problem with TMAX? I've heard you can shoot TMAX at 800 and develop as normal.
    how does this work if I push to 1600. Do I push 1 stop? 2? I have about 80 rolls worth of HC-110 at the moment so is TMAX conducive to HC-110?

    Thanks in advance,
    John

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    Have a close look at the Kodak specs for Tmax 400. The marketing men have written the opening stuff about shooting at 800 and developing as normal then the PE's take over and introduce some sanity by giving a time for 800 which is 1.5 mins more.

    I think that Kodak are really saying that if you want to develop both 400 and 800 in the same tank then use the 400 time and it works OK. I have tried this. However if you want to develop the 800 by itself then use the 800 time. The times are for 400 and 800 respectively 9.25 mins and 10.75 mins

    I have done both at the times for 400 speed at 9.25( the stated Kodak time) and the box speed 400 looks better than 800 at the 400 time.
    I should add this is with Xtol at 1+1. I cannot speak for other developers

    pentaxuser

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    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Both great films. Tri-X certainly more "forgiving" but Tmax 400 is not as difficult as many portrayed it, mostly when it first came out is when it gained this inflated reputation. Can be very different in it's look and frankly like all films that depends highly on how you expose it, what look you're after, and then how you develop and print it. Really very subjective. Google it and search here and you'll see the subject has been beaten to death. Best to buy 5-10 rolls and have fun figuring out what you can do it with and in the end decide if it does what you like. Personally I shoot both.
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    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    I like Tmax 400 in D-76 1+1, Tmax Developer 1+7, and PMK. Haven't tried it in HC-110. I think it pushes to 1600 in Tmax 1+4 very well, but HC-110 is not a developer I'd use for pushing any film. Tmax Developer is very good for pushing any film. I use it for Delta 3200 too.

    Here's a 35mm Tmax 400 (TMY-2) shot at 1600, developed in Tmax Developer for Kodak's recommended EI-1600 push time.

    Chris Crawford
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    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    -----------------------

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

    Richard S.
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    jp498's Avatar
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    Tmax I think has a more flexible tonal range; it can be like any thing you want depending on the developer choices; and the brightness range it handles is unmatched.

    You really don't want to be 1 minute inconsistent developing though. There's no need for that with any film, and Tmax reacts more to such changes.

    So shooting, it's not too fussy; developing it's more fussy, which isn't a problem if you can be consistent in time/temp/agitation.

    I've used it with PMK, Pyrocat HD, hc110, D76, xtol, Lots of ways to develop it successfully for different results.

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    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Are you unhappy with Tri-X?

    How?
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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    Harry Lime's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of TMY-2 400. I prefer the spectral response and forgiveness of Tri-X , but in technical terms Tmax 400 is hard to beat.

    Tmy-2 400 pushes really well to 1250 / 1600. It's finer grained and I think it retains better shadow detail than Tri-x, because it's curve is more linear. Tri-X has a dip in the toe.

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    TMAX films have a quick change in gamma and effective film speed with small changes in developing time and temperature. This makes the very effective for Zone System N-2, N-1, N+1, N+2, etc. But it does demand precision in the darkroom.

    TMAX has a much more linear tonal scale than Tri-X. Tri-X has more highlight and shadow compression.

    TMAX can develop a very high Dmax, which is useful if you need it (Alt Process printing), and a pain if you don't want it. Again, precision and repeatability will reward you. Sloppy work will send you back to Tri-X.

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    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser View Post
    Have a close look at the Kodak specs for Tmax 400. The marketing men have written the opening stuff about shooting at 800 and developing as normal then the PE's take over and introduce some sanity by giving a time for 800 which is 1.5 mins more.

    I think that Kodak are really saying that if you want to develop both 400 and 800 in the same tank then use the 400 time and it works OK. I have tried this. However if you want to develop the 800 by itself then use the 800 time. The times are for 400 and 800 respectively 9.25 mins and 10.75 mins

    I have done both at the times for 400 speed at 9.25( the stated Kodak time) and the box speed 400 looks better than 800 at the 400 time.
    I should add this is with Xtol at 1+1. I cannot speak for other developers

    pentaxuser
    I'll repeat a post that I made earlier today in regards to Tmax 100 - the same analysis applies for Tmax 400 2:

    Originally Posted by Helinophoto
    Well, according to Kodak, TMax 100 can be shot at 100 or 200 without needing to change the development time (weird)."


    Actually, not weird at all.

    "Pushing" doesn't significantly change the film's sensitivity, it just increases contrast.

    So while a a push development may improve the contrast in the near shadows (where underexposure will cause low contrast), it will also increase contrast in the highlights, which may very well be detrimental to the image.

    So Kodak is saying that the improvement you will gain in the shadows from a one stop push isn't worth the loss of quality in the highlights you will experience.


    I have a feeling as well that pentaxuser may have been looking at Kodak's publication F-4016 when he made his post. That no longer applies to the current version of the film, although it still applies to the current TMax 100.

    The current publication, which applies to the current 400 TMY-2, is F-4043, which came out in 2007. It does not list times for EI 800.

    If you look at the Kodak datasheet for XTol (J-109) you will note that it does provide a time for EI800, but that it is the same time as EI400 (for certain temperatures). What I find fascinating is it also lists the Contrast Indexes (CI) for various EI and that, despite the fact that the development times are the same, the CI is higher for EI 800 - no doubt due to the loss of shadow detail.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

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