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  1. #1

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    Pushing Tri-X 400 rollfilm@1600 - which developer?

    Hi,
    I shooted Tri-X rollfilm as ISO1600 in contrast light and I am concerning about best developer. I want to get moderate sharp grain and slightly decreased contrast, I was thinking about Rodinal 1+100 or 1+200, but I think it is too grainy for what I want. Another solution from my fridge supplement is Amaloco AM74 or AM20, but I cannot find dilution and developing time for this combination. Anyone can help with any experience? thx

  2. #2

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    If you are in the states you can use Dinafine.

  3. #3
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    The suggestion to use diafine is great. It is probably the best thing you can do.

    However, that wouldn't be "pushing", just the best option for you, having underexposed your film by at least 2 stops (more like 3, really because even 400 iso is pretty optimistic for XXX. Most people I know use it at 250, or maybe 320. I adjust the speed to correspond to needs of the developer I'm using.). The theory behind "pushing" is that you can compensate for underexposure by overdeveloping. This is just a little bit less likely to succeed than well, buying a lottery ticket, unless you really understand what you are doing. Then, you wouldn't be underexposing at all; you would be exposing and developing by design to achieve a result that you can predict with some assurance of success.

    This idea that one can compensate for underexposed film by overdeveloping is an unfortunate fantasy. In doing so in a situation in which, if I understand you correctly, you need to reduce the contrast, you've created a real contradiction to your intent. You are not going to be able to reduce contrast by overdeveloping! Overdeveloping increases contrast. Development builds contrast. So, in the shooting, you've committed yourself to increasing the contrast, when that is the last thing you probably would want to do.

    It's hard to bring this kind of news, especially noting that your question was your first post. I want you to know that all of us have done precisely this same kind of thing in our careers at some point. When I was beginning, nobody was around to help me understand this. They were around to misinform me. It was terribly frustrating. I tried and tried; they said it would work, but obviously, it did not.

    To make it worse, the popular press and even some textbooks used in photo courses perpetuate this fallacy, making it look simple when it just isn't. Even authors whom I know understand this because I know their teachers (like the author whose book I use in my own course - I won't mention names) put in a page or short chapter on it, casually, usually without explaining what is really going on. I think that it is such a sacred cow that publishers must insist on it, and the authors put it in against their better judgment. In my courses, I caution my students about it and explain to them why it does what it does and doesn't what it doesn't.

    There are times when making the choice to sacrifice shadow detail in favor of achieving a usable image does make sense. Learning what these circumstances are takes thought and experience. Usually, people do this in precisely the wrong situations. You certainly are not alone. You have big company here.

  4. #4

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    When I was working PJ in the 70s and early 80s pushing film was very common, but there is no free lunch, just forget shadow details, expose for the highlights and let the shadows fall where they may. Dinafine works best for high contrast while holding shadows. Other options are Acufine, Edwal FG7 with Sodium Sulfide, HC110, and even Mircrodal X 1:3. I use to carry quart sizes of Dinafine in my luggage just in case.

  5. #5

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    I would also suggest Diafine.

    Diafine gives you something between 1200 and 1600 ISO with Tri-X. This is my favorite combo for low-light. Its is even less grainy than Tri-X @ 400 souped in HC-110 which is my main developper for normal situations. However, IMHO, you will loose a bit of the great tonality of Tri-X, Diafine processed negs are kind of flat. This is not a bad thing especially in really contrasty situations where you risk to blow the highlights.

    Finally, I found that Diafine+Trix doesn't scan very well. But APX 100 @ 200 in Diafine is doing good.

    Hope it helps!

    Kris

  6. #6
    bowzart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Howell View Post
    Edwal FG7 with Sodium Sulfide
    Hey Paul, better make that sulFITE. Sodium sulfide is the active ingredient of b solution of sepia toner. Wouldn't work. If not aware of the difference it might be easy to get the wrong stuff, especially if buying on the web because I'm sure Bostick and Sullivan and PF have both in their catalogs.

    You know, using diafine, it is possible to cycle through several iterations of the process with water rinse in between. In this way, you can promote the shadow development while holding down the highlights. Just a thought. That is, A, then B, then thorough rinse, then A, then B, then rinse....

    The best policy, though, would be not to push in the first place without careful consideration of what the results would be.

  7. #7
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    XTOL 1+1

    No comparison to the old stuff, it'll give you better shadow speed, keep the highlights printable, and give a long linear curve.

    Xtol beats the old school soups because it is simply more efficient, it DOES build shadow speed. The others only build contrast. Kodak has reliable data for EIs from EI 100 to EI 3200. It works, and it looks like it was normal.

    Check it: http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe.../j109/j109.pdf
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  8. #8
    bowzart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell View Post
    Xtol beats the old school soups because it is simply more efficient, it DOES build shadow speed. The others only build contrast. Kodak has reliable data for EIs from EI 100 to EI 3200. It works, and it looks like it was normal.

    Check it: http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe.../j109/j109.pdf

    Sounds far too good to be true. I'll rush right out and buy some!! Is it going to separate zone 1?

    Thanks.

  9. #9

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    Tri-X At 1600

    If you are in Europe you should be able to get Tetenal Emofin. I would try it on a test roll before developing the film you already shot. I also use AM 74 but mostly for slow and medium speed film. For your purpose I recomend that you look up the time for Tri-X at 400 in AM 74 at 1:7, then adjust the time for 1:15 and then develop for 150% of that time. This should give you a good starting point.

  10. #10

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    Make that recommend.

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