I've always been partial to Tri-X 400 and D-76. 120 and 135. If I was stranded on an island I'd be content with them.
Those who know, shoot film
i would second the tri x in whatever you want to soup it in.
i sprint seems to work for me
( its kind of like d76 but a little different, and better some say )
its cheap and no on your list ..
If you are looking for one combo that works reasonably well in multiple formats, and you prefer a non-tabular grain film, I humbly suggest FP4 with Ilford DDX. DDX is an excellent general purpose developer, easy to use and quite flexible. The tonality is excellent, grain is fine enough for 35mm, and it gives good film speed. When you are using 4x5 where grain is a non-issue issue, you can dilute DDX a bit more than the usual 1+4 if you want a further small increase in speed and a slight increase in sharpness.
Well, here is a challenge for you.
Buy five rolls each of TMax 400 and Tri-X/HP5.
Shoot and process both films in the same chemistry and similar contrast lighting.
Make necessary adjustments to make both films appear with the same contrast in the negatives. This will take some testing.
Make prints from both types of negatives.
See how you like TMax 400 now.
I'm partial to TMax 400, because it's the film I primarily use unless something else falls in my lap. If processed right, I can't really tell that much difference between it and other films in my prints.
Your results with each film will vary a lot depending on how you use it. I used to like FP4+ / Plus-X a lot, and they are so similar it's hard to tell them apart. After some experimentation with varying how I shoot TMax 400 I could replicate the look of those two films by just changing how I shoot it and then process it. All of this is done with replenished Xtol developer.
So my recommendation is to not count TMY-2 out, and to try it with replenished Xtol. It is a very flexible combination that will allow you an astounding array of variations in your results with enough blood, sweat, and tears put into it.
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Leo, I quit the solvent developers (with rare exception) because like you, I don't shoot and develop frequently. I like Rodinal and PMK, both of which have long shelf life, so that takes one factor out of the development equation. FP4+ takes pyro stain really well.
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The original poster wants to shoot 4x5 with the same film, though, and was pretty explicit that TX and TXP aren't "same enough".
Originally Posted by IloveTLRs
San Diego, CA, USA
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Many helpful suggestions. I agree that handheld 35mm use is hopeless at EI64. FP4/Xtol is definitely something I've considered, but still a compromise. Rodinal in the 400s doesn't suit me grainwise. Tom B. collects TMY2 royalties (Tom, I've read many of your TMY2 posts and assure you they convinced me to look long and hard at that option.)
I like the no compromise suggestion. After this morning's post I looked at my signature and thought how hypocritical that I would try to apply one solution to all situations. I guess it's either (a) no compromise: (FP4/Rodinal for MF/LF; TX/Xtol for 35), or (ii) compromise (FP4 or HP5 / xtol all around).
Guess I'm lucky just to have all the choices. Thanks for the suggestions.
"There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri
I am partial to Tri-X and HP5+ in XTOL. Excellent fine grain, contrast and sharpness.
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