Tri-X or T-Max pushed to EI 3200 vs Delta 3200
So how do these films compare? I have a small stock of Plus-X, Tri-X, and could get some T-Max.
Basically I have an idea for a project to photograph my family and our daily lives (kind of like Larry Clark's Tulsa, but not as risque). I want to have a lot of grain but not to the point the image is obscured. I love grain. I also love contrasty prints, which is why I typically use Plus-X pushed to EI 500. I rarely need to use a filter with those negatives. Amazing stuff. That is photography to me.
Anyway, amazingly with Plus-X pushed to 500 I don't get much grain on an 8x10 print. I want to get a lot of grain for this project.
So, would I get too much grain pushing Tri-X or T-Max to a fast EI, like 1600 or 3200? Or would I be better off going with Delta 3200?
I will probably be shooting 35mm, and one of the reasons I want to use fast film (besides grain) is I want to be able to use smaller apertures, say f/5.6 or f/8 with cloudy outdoor or somewhat bright indoor light.
Thanks everyone for their input!
I personally have had better luck with Delta 3200 at EI 1600. I am able to get much better shadow detail in 35mm film than with pushed Tri-X. You may want to consider the Neopan 1600 as well. I like it a lot.
My take on grain and contrast. If you want contrast, push. If you want grain, use higher speed film (or crop heavily).
400TX is grainier than 125PX. TMY is less grainier than the Tri-X, so I'd skip it. If you like Plus-X but want more grain, Tri-X is probably where its at. You can push it to 1600 to get the contrast you want and you're good to go. Alternately, try T-MAX P3200 and shoot it at 1600. It's going to be lower contrast than the Tri-X, but grainier and faster. You can always print higher contrast if that's what you want. You might need to pick up either an ND filter or a colored filter to slow things down a bit. Actually that might be the ticket - an orange filter to pick up a bit of contrast and bring the speed down and either Tri-X at 1600 or T-MAX P3200 at 1600, depending on the look you want.
Try Tmax 3200 at 3200. It has grain the size of golf balls. In fact, that's why I shoot Delta 3200 instead.
I've done some experiments with pushing Tri-X to 3200 in various developing regimes; see http://www.flickr.com/photos/ntenny/...7615069635788/ for some of the results, mostly in medium format.
The most "normal" results I've gotten have been with Donald Qualls's "Super Soup" developer, which combines Dektol, HC-110, and vitamin C. The negatives are grainy but not ridiculously so---less grainy than Delta 3200 at 3200, I'd say. More grain can be had out of Tri-X by pushing in a more conventional developer (I've used PC-TEA; Xtol should be similar, presumably), but so far I haven't liked the tones as much.
Delta 3200 seems to be a really flexible film, and I've never put in the time to really get the hang of it. People do get a variety of truly excellent results out of it---my efforts have generally had the stereotypical "grainy low-light photography" look, which is fine if that's what you want. Expensive stuff, though.
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I used to love the grain of 'Kodak 2475 High Speed Recording Film', 1000 ASA. Developed in Rodinal it had grain like golf balls - but it was a sharp, gritty sort of grain which I really liked. It has long been discontinued, but I wonder if anyone has a stash of it in a fridge somewhere? Or is some factory from the former eastern block still turning out a clone of it under a different name? We can but hope!
I've tried Delta 3200 but didn't like it much. Obviously a very fine film, but it didn't give me that gritty sharp grain effect like 2475 film and to a lesser effect T-Max 3200. It is maybe too good, for those of us after grain...
Actually, I couldn't resist a quick search - and people are selling 2475 on eBay! Obviously well out of date, though - and a very fast red sensitive film like that isn't going to keep well at all - I wouldn't trust it, but might be worth a play but if it sells very cheap.
Maybe try pushing a 'conventional' grain film in print developer? I've found Tri-X soon gets unprintably dense with a lot of pushing. I reckon HP5+ is better if you are pushing for grain rather than contrast. How about HP5+ in something like Dektol? I've done that in the past and got nice crunchy grain
Or you could shoot box speed and process using Rodinal.