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  1. #1
    menos's Avatar
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    pushing Tri-X, D-76 stock, variables with most influence during developing?

    I am using Tri-X 400, exposed for ISO2500 and developed in stock D-76 for ISO 3200.

    I get consistent, usable results for scanning and further post processing.

    I would like to change a few things though and would learn, which variables during processing would introduce the biggest effects.
    I would like to stick with D-76 and would not like to sway to different developers.

    The shadows are very much blocked already and I would like to learn how to open them up more.

    The grain size and shape is perfect to my taste, only the abundance of grain would be nice to be limited somewhat.
    Which ways do I have to reduce grain quantity, but keep the overall character of grain.

    Contrast is already very high as expected - are there ways to flatten contrast slightly during developing with sticking to D-76 undiluted?

    Sharpness is sufficient and is no concern at the moment.

    I develop currently:

    1min constant agitation, after this every 60 sec 10 sec agitation.
    at 20ºC development time is around 11 min

    Which influence has agitation on the variables, mentioned above, keeping all else consistent?
    What influence does the fixer have if any on the grain? I use Kodak Rapid fixer without hardener and keep fixing times at 4:30min with fresh fixer without stop bath.
    Is my way of underexposing+overdeveloping ideal or would it be better, to have more exposure and less develop time for less grain and more shadow detail?

    Generally I use this combination to be able to still shoot handheld in very low light and run out of shutter speed already (1/8 − 1/30s already).

  2. #2
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    The shadows are blocked because you are underexposing the film. Tri-X is an ISO 400 film and that doesn't change much, if at all with development changes. Shooting at an EI of 2500 is about a 2-1/2 stop underexposure. Using more exposure will solve the blocked shadow issue. Adjust EI downward toward 400 as needed until you get the detail you want in the shadows.

    To reduce contrast, reduce development. Time is normally the easiest variable to adjust. Temp changes work fine to. Agitaion is the least effective method.

    Believe it or not it's that simple.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  3. #3

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    Don't push film unless you are faced with a low light situation and there is no other option. It's not something that good photographers do routinely. Shadow detail, grain and contrast will all suffer. In fact some photographers over expose this film by a stop to get better tonality. There are faster films that can be used.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 12-15-2013 at 10:40 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

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  4. #4
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    As Mark and Gerald said, there are no mysteries. The further you move away from 400ISO with Tri-X, the more you block shadows. Even with XTOL, after testing, all I could get was roughly 320. If you want grain and open shadows you can use TX @100-200, expose for the highlights, and overdevelop with Rodinal. You can then print at hard grades (4-5) to get very interesting prints. Having said that, for scanning, it's better to have well balanced, less contrast negatives, since much can be added later. The problem with grain is that any consumer scanner just doesn't see grain the way an enlarger does.

  5. #5
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    menos,

    Can you supplement the light? For instance in a nightclub discreetly take the candles from nearby tables so your subjects have three instead of one.

  6. #6

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    Someone, sooner or later will tell yoou to switch developers. It might as well be me. I can shoot TX in soup it in Diafine and get an easy EI of 1000, sometimes 1250. Diafine is a two-bath dev and that helps control contrast. There will be grain, but I don't find it harsh or overwhelming. Actually, using diafine gives me negs that really don't look pushed.

    The above info is good, too.

  7. #7
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim appleyard View Post
    Someone, sooner or later will tell yoou to switch developers. It might as well be me. I can shoot TX in soup it in Diafine and get an easy EI of 1000, sometimes 1250. Diafine is a two-bath dev and that helps control contrast. There will be grain, but I don't find it harsh or overwhelming. Actually, using diafine gives me negs that really don't look pushed.

    The above info is good, too.
    Actually, if a change in materials were to be made Delta 3200 would be at the top of my list, may as well get a real speed bump.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  8. #8
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    pushing Tri-X, D-76 stock, variables with most influence during developing?

    Tri-X is great in Diafine at 1000-1250 but not at 2500. At that speed I second the suggestion of Delta 3200 (or TMZ which is still available from remaining stock but if you change you might as well change to something still being made.) I get superb results from D3200 at 3200 in T-Max developer and I'd think D76 wouldn't do too badly at 2500.

    But the OP is just seeing the inevitable results of the way he is using this particular combination then asking how to escape those results without changing materials. Sorry, TANSTAAFL.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    Sorry, TANSTAAFL.
    The laws of physics are a hard task master.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  10. #10
    menos's Avatar
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    Thank you guys for the overwhelming flood of comments!
    Some were really helpful, but I think, my point was not understood entirely.

    I use the described combination of film, exposure and developing for a while and am happy with the results.
    I do not seek to deviate from:
    film (I like the look and multi purpose qualities of TX),
    exposure (I cannot raise exposure unfortunately but would actually have less exposure ideally as I am at the bottom of shutter speeds already),
    developer (I like to keep things simple and D-76 simply works perfectly well - I can easily source it, store it and mix it very economically)


    My intent was to gain more knowledge of which slight changes to my process might result in improvements, small or not I am happy to learn and tweak the process.
    I cannot believe that changes to my agitation will have any visible influence.

    Unfortunately I cannot switch to 3200 ISO films - the costs are absolutely prohibitive (+ sourcing them locally in 120 is impossible).
    I do not have more exposure (and frankly do not care about better tones at ISO 200, as it is not available to me for when I need ISO 3200).
    When I want better tones and have more exposure, I simply use Tri-X at 320 or just shoot digital.

    I read a side note about agitation and dilution with D-76, even fixing time having potential influences on detail and grain here:
    http://rogerandfrances.com/photoscho...%2035-120.html

    …and simply wanted to hear about these minuscule effects from the experts, so I can improve upon the developing I do now.

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