100TMX 4x5 - has it changed again or did I get a bad box?
I'm getting weird results with 100TMX and I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed any changes.
Last February I ran a set of BTZS-style film tests on a new box of 100TMX using DD-X 1+6. It's a testing procedure I have done many times. Things lined up as expected. I actually ran the test a few times and also confirmed in field tests, so I am pretty sure of those results.
Over the last 2 days I've tried to replicate those tests using another new box of 100TMX purchased in July. The results are significantly less contrasty than my February tests. For instance, my 8m curve is roughly about 0.20 G less than my February tests. In other words, using my densitometer and reading an exposed step tablet, that's a 1.34 vs. 1.62 density change. The curve looks fine as is the toe section, it's just that it never gets as much contrast as my February stock. My 8m curve actually looks more like a ~6m curve, like the whole curve has been pulled down or underdeveloped. It is a pretty significant difference.
I have done the test several times now and see the same thing each time. I have also re-tested 400TMY and those tests match my February tests (and thus confirm my testing procedures, developer, etc...)
The only variable is that each box was bought at a different time and from a different place, but both places are reputable and keep film stored properly, etc...
Has anyone else noticed that 100TMX (4x5) is perhaps less contrasty than it used to be a short while ago? I can't imagine that is changed this significantly or that there is this much variation between boxes but that is what I am seeing in a very controlled test. Perhaps I got a bad box? Is that a likely thing? I've never seen an inconsistency like this before between fresh boxes.
Any ideas would be welcome at this point.
Error in diluting the developer?
At first I thought dilution error but I have repeated the tests on both occasions (twice in February and 4 times now) and I get consistent results.
All my 100TMX February tests matched each other and all tests this week match each other, they just don't match between February and this week. Plus my 400TMY test this week perfectly matched my 400TMY test from February. Same developer, dilution, temperature, procedure, etc... between the two films types so I think that rules out dilution errors, temperature, etc... I'd say I am extremely careful when it comes to process and I have double-checked everything at this point.
My February tests for 100TMX are all very similar to what anyone else that has done this developer/dilution test has produced. I've compared them to at 3 other's tests (including one set from from Fred at VCS). My current tests from this week don't match anything else.
It really seems to be this batch of film as strange as that sounds.
At this point I guess I'm going to try and contact Kodak if I can. Perhaps I have a bad batch or an old batch or something.
Only other variable is batch of develper (not dilution).
Did you drop a mechanical thermometer, that could put it out of calibration.
You obviously are much better darkroom practicioner than I.
I would guess that with Kodak's batches being scalled back year to year month to month as production slows this might effect consistancy.... again just congecture.
After posting this I realized that I had a few sheets of the Feb. stock still loaded in holders. I pulled one out, ran the same test and it matched my previous February test so close the curves overlap. I was recently on an extended photo trip and thus kept meticulous notes about film loading/unloading that allowed me to figure out that I still had the older film in a holder that never got used so I am pretty sure of this at this point.
So my newer box of 100TMX from July is definitely the culprit here. For whatever reason the newer film I have develops much thinner than the previous box. Maybe it's older or a bad batch or was mishandled before I got it. Maybe something has changed with newer batches, I really don't know at this point. The two boxes were bought from different suppliers, the good one from Feb. came from the View Camera Store and the off-box from July one was bought locally in Seattle from a pro suppler. Both were kept refrigerated as far as I know. They are different batches though as they have different codes on the boxes. I have no idea which one is older stock.
For reference, the odd behaving box has this code on the box: 02GJ0H. I wrote Kodak pro support so if I hear anything I will update this post.
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While I can't say anything about yours, I recently got some TMX that came out much thinner than expected using published times for XTOL. I don't normally shoot TMX though and certainly don't have it calibrated.
I will also add that I have heard from someone else as well that recent TMX came out thinner than usual for them too. I wonder what is up and whether this is a trend. I hope that Kodak responds to my inquiry.