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  1. #1
    Snapshot's Avatar
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    Trying Time With Tri-X

    Hi All,

    I was recently using Tri-X at EI 1600 while photographing a hockey game. I attempted to account for the white ice by compensating 1 1/3 stops but this ultimately proved to be insufficient. The shots were still underexposed after I developed them with Diafine. I don't think Diafine gives Tri-X a 2 stop boost. I'm wondering if pushing with some other developer wouldn't have been a better option.

    After processing the Tri-X in Diafine and making some prints, it became evident that I would be getting gray-blacks. A Kodak 4 polymax filter helped but the pictures are not right as they still seem a little flat. I could intensify the negative but that won't bring out the detail that isn't there.

    Anyone have any ideas how I can salvage them?
    Last edited by Snapshot; 11-30-2007 at 10:44 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    "The secret to life is to keep your mind full and your bowels empty. Unfortunately, the converse is true for most people."

  2. #2

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    I know this is not appropriate for this forum... but scanning?

  3. #3
    gainer's Avatar
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    Diafine gave a push in the days before ISO, when Tri X was rated 200 on the box and Plus X was 50. The film did not change, but the cushion on the bottom got smaller. Diafine still touted the push.
    When you have tried all else, including scanning, bleaching with the bleach used for sepia toning and redeveloping with a staining developer such as Pyrocat or PMK will restore the silver and add to it a proportional stain which will appear as more silver to graded paper or to VC paper with a #4 filter or lots of magenta dialed in.

    Scanning is very useful for negatives that are thin due to underdevelopment. Often it will show densities that you can only see from the emulsion side by reflected light.
    Gadget Gainer

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Try intensifying the negs. Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner, 1:3, about 8 min. should get you a one stop expansion of contrast.

    A real two-stop boost with good shadows and normal contrast and grain you could tolerate in 35mm is an iffy proposition, in my opinion. 1-1.5 stops is more realistic with speed-increasing developers. I've gotten two stops with XR-1, but low contrast, so it would be good for night photography, but not normal indoor lighting. I've gotten around two stops in daylight (not quite as much in tungsten) with Tri-X sheet film in RAF pyro-metol, but it's really grainy--okay for contact prints, but not really for smaller formats.

    I haven't tried things like hypering with ammonia fumes and such, but these methods are another alternative.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  5. #5
    gainer's Avatar
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    P.S.
    Next time, take a reading from a shadow like Zone IV and lock it in. Forget autoexposure. It is not much use for these situations. I used to play in a symphony orchestra and was privileged to take photos during rehearsals from my chair as principal oboist. I had the same problem with music stands in the foreground with mostly white music on them. I used 1/60 at f/2.8 no matter where i was aiming with Tri X. The thumbnail is of pianist Alicia Delarocha discussing a point with conductor Russell Stanger of the Norfolk Symphony, with violinists in the background.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails delarocha small.jpg  
    Gadget Gainer

  6. #6
    Snapshot's Avatar
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    I spot metered of the ice but I should have compensated for about 2 stops instead of the 1 1/3. Also, I should consider Diafine capable of giving about a single stop of extra speed. Next time, I'll set the EI to about 1000.

    It seems the rapid selenium toner is a good option and I'll consider this a learning experience for future reference.
    "The secret to life is to keep your mind full and your bowels empty. Unfortunately, the converse is true for most people."

  7. #7
    htmlguru4242's Avatar
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    As far as salvaging them, I can't really give any input there, but I can say Tri-X can definetely give fantastic results at EI 1600. I've developed it with D-76 (ID-11 should work the same), HC-110, Microphen and TMax RS. Just follow the times on the massive dev chart. IMO, D-76 gives the best results. They're generally a bit contrasty, but more than easy enough to work with.

  8. #8
    Snapshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by htmlguru4242 View Post
    As far as salvaging them, I can't really give any input there, but I can say Tri-X can definetely give fantastic results at EI 1600. I've developed it with D-76 (ID-11 should work the same), HC-110, Microphen and TMax RS. Just follow the times on the massive dev chart. IMO, D-76 gives the best results. They're generally a bit contrasty, but more than easy enough to work with.
    It seems my problem is two-fold:

    1) Unexposure by 2/3 of a stop
    2) Diafine not giving a full 2 stop boost

    I'll experiment by trying pushing it to EI 1600 and use D-76 to develop it. I also heard XTOL is good for pushing. Additionally, I wonder if FX-37 useful in this regard? I have a nearly full bottle of it.
    "The secret to life is to keep your mind full and your bowels empty. Unfortunately, the converse is true for most people."

  9. #9

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    Don't meter the ice! Negative film is based on shadow detail, not highlights. I would try either spot metering a shadow area or use the incident (sp?) reading point back to where you will be sitting.

    I like to use homebrew "Acufine" for pushing. I can push TX to 6400? (it's been awhile) with ok results; remember you're giving up some image quality to get the shot. I'll try to dig out the recipe and times for you.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    Try intensifying the negs. Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner, 1:3, about 8 min. should get you a one stop expansion of contrast.

    A real two-stop boost with good shadows and normal contrast and grain you could tolerate in 35mm is an iffy proposition, in my opinion. 1-1.5 stops is more realistic with speed-increasing developers. I've gotten two stops with XR-1, but low contrast, so it would be good for night photography, but not normal indoor lighting. I've gotten around two stops in daylight (not quite as much in tungsten) with Tri-X sheet film in RAF pyro-metol, but it's really grainy--okay for contact prints, but not really for smaller formats.

    I haven't tried things like hypering with ammonia fumes and such, but these methods are another alternative.
    In my experience you can get a real film speed increase by hypering the film in a vacuum chamber by pulling a modest vacuum, backfilling the chamber with metallurgical forming gas and then heating the film. This only works if you do it Prior to exposure and development.

    Pre-Exposure - try exposing (flashing) the film to the equivalent of a grey card or open sky.

    Post Exposure - developing in a Hydrogen Peroxide atmosphere can help a little - but not much - and is very messy and fiddly.
    Tom Hoskinson
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