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  1. #11
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Example print

    This is a fairly low resolution scan of an 8x10 print (negative cropped in the long dimension to fit a 6x8" aspect ratio).
    It's possibly not perfectly indicative of what grain looks like, but it gives you an idea.
    Shot with a Pentax 35mm system and a 55mm f/2 lens wide open. Film is the old Tmax 400 (TMY) processed in Xtol replenished. Print is on glossy Ilford MGWT, developed in Ethol LPD (replenished) and split toned in sepia/selenium.

    - Thomas
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    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #12
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Diafine with Tri-X rated at 1250 is something I use a lot, and it's significantly grainier than a normally-exposed Tri-X in D76. It's not an ugly grain and the tonality is good, but it is definitely grainy.

    I also recommend TMY if you want fine grain in a high-speed film.
    f/22 and be there.

  3. #13
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    Why stick with 400 speed film at all? Why not a 100 speed film, which will take care of the grain issue easily.

  4. #14
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Oh I thought you wanted 1250-1600, that's what the original post led me to blieve.

    Hell, if you want low grain then there are plenty of better options than any 400 speed film...
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Corneau View Post
    Why stick with 400 speed film at all? Why not a 100 speed film, which will take care of the grain issue easily.
    Because the OP needs the speed for the work he wants to do.
    Frank Schifano

  6. #16

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    Thanks for all of the suggestions . . . so quickly offered too!

    Yes, my desire is for high speed film as I want to take "street" shots of my kids indoors using a wide angle 21mm lens on a rangefinder but want to enlarge up to 11x14 (8x10 as well). I never had luck with flash. I use a Nikon F6 with its SB flash and it always looked obvious a flash was used. I don't like that kind of look and have never used a negative of a flash taken picture to enlarge.

    I agree that a larger negative would be better and do have a MF camera that takes marvelous pictures that I have enlarged and framed. Alas, it is too bulky and difficult to focus for candid shots.

    Having read all of the replies, I ordered some TMY from B&H to try over the weekend. It only takes a day to get here from NYC. I will use Xtol either straight or 1:1.

    According to some posts, TMY is more finicky to process compared to Tri X and Fuji Neopan. I have a bathroom as a darkroom and don't have any temperature control. When it is hot outside as it is these days, the cold water gets down to about 70 degrees at it's lowest. Is there enough latitude in the film that I can use the usual published times for 68 degrees?

    Also, to get the skin tones right on my kids, I usually rate Tri-X at 200 and develop accordingly getting what I consider adequate results. With TMY, when shooting people (indoors or outdoors/shade or sunlight) and developing in X tol, how fast do you rate TMY to get skin tones you are satisfied with?

  7. #17
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    If you water is warmer than spec, just drop an ice cube in it until it cools down to 20C or a degree or two below to account for warming. If you don't have a thermometer, you can buy a digital food thermometer at Target or whatever for about ten bucks.

    I measure out 250mL of D76 and about 200mL of distilled water in a container, then use ice until it gets to 19.5C, then I fish out the ice cubes and top it off to a total of 500mL if needed.

    I use distilled water that I store in a closet and it gets to near 30*C. I just grab some ice cubes from the fridge; I think doing all my developing at 20C rather than correcting my time for varying temperature has helped my consistency.
    f/22 and be there.

  8. #18
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    TMY isn't really finicky to process at all. I think it's easier to control well than Neopan 400. TMY is a robust film that tolerates both under and overexposure.

    I agree with BetterSense that it's best to keep the chemistry temperature constant, and you can do that easily by keeping your film developing tank in a bath that you continue to feed ice cubes and keep the bath at 68*F. The digital food thermometer is probably as accurate as a photo thermometer. And accuracy is not as important as consistency anyway.

    Regarding skin tones. I use TMY at box speed. And get satisfying skin tones. I don't feel like I need to overexpose at all. But I meter for the shadows to begin with, I suspect your Nikon meter is on 'average' or matrix, and I don't know how that works by comparison in different lighting situations.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  9. #19

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    "I plan on shooting indoors without a flash and want a B&W print film (35mm)/developer combo that can be enlarged to 11x14 with not too much grain (very subjective, I know)."

    I am going to refer you to Jagger/Richard for this one. Spin side two of Let It Bleed; last song.

    Seriously, I think HP5 and Tri-X look good in 8-10x linear enlargements, even pushed a stop. Assuming you are printing full frame onto 11x14 paper (which is always what I assume when people say they are making 11x14s from 35mm), you are making a 9x13-1/2 at most. That is a 9x linear enlargement.

    If it isn't good enough for you for some reason, and you have time and money to invest, get a Mamiya 645 with the 80mm 1.9 lens. Your full frame print onto 11x14 paper is under 7x linear enlargement that way. They are not expensive.

    Also, regardless of format, there are other films to look at, such as Delta, T-Max, and Neopan.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  10. #20
    Chazzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ymc226 View Post
    Thanks for your suggestions. How do you replenish X tol as I use it diluted 1:1 one shot. What changes in development times are there once you replenish? Does X tol replenished give fine grain with all films such as Neopan 400 or Tri X in addition to Tmax 400. I just want to limit my films and work with Tri X or Neopan 400 which I have loads of.
    If you are looking for the finest possible grain, you might have a little better luck with Xtol at full strength instead of diluted.
    Charles Hohenstein

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