HP5 at 800 is good in Xtol
Tri-X at 800 to 1,000 is good in Diafine
Both the above will give you way more shadow detail than Rodinal.
I also have some Tri-X (OK, actually Arista Premium) I exposed indoors at ISO800. I too was thinking of HC-110. Kodak suggests no adjustment of developing times but that seems to trust too much to the gods of exposure latitude.
I also have a quart of Acufine around; it's older, but a sealed can.
"Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer
Everything you said here is true, but isn't it a little overstated? The implication of what you say seems to be that there just ain't much more detail in the shadows in the latent image, i.e., that we normally come very close to developing "the shadows" (whatever that means; Zones I-III or so?) to completion in a typically-exposed-and-developed frame. I can't find a definitive answer, but my feeling from experience (based on things like experiments in ridiculous overdevelopment) is otherwise.
Originally Posted by pgomena
This seems like something that must be known, doesn't it? I guess I'm asking for a characteristic curve for the latent image, a mapping from amount of exposure to density of activated silver grains.
San Diego, CA, USA
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I don't think that the gods of exposure latitude are even involved. It is their cousins, the gods of exposure compromise .
Originally Posted by mgb74
Remember, pushing does almost nothing to add shadow detail. What it does do is increase density and therefore contrast in the near shadows, midtones and highlights and therefore improve the appearance of the near shadows and midtones. The increase in density and contrast in the highlights degrades (at least slightly) the quality of the highlight reproduction.
When Kodak is recommending no change in development time, they are essentially saying that with a one-stop "push" increase in development time, the benefit achieved in the near-shadow and midtone areas is of less value than the detriment experienced in the highlights. No doubt that turns mostly on the fact that the film does an excellent job capturing detail in those near-shadow and midtone regions, even when under-exposed by a stop.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Yes, I agree, we come close to developing all the shadow detail in a normally exposed negative. No argument there. "Pushing" film by underexposing a "normal" negative will give you empty shadows. It's just plain underexposed, and there's no magic potion that will fix that - all you can do is salvage as much information as you can.
Originally Posted by ntenny
Two trains of thought here: First, if you rate film at a higher EI in flat lighting conditions, you're going to retain more shadow detail. The subject brightness range is lower. You can make the negative appear a little more normal by increasing development. In normal or high contrast situations, you're going to lose shadow detail and there's no way back. Using something like Diafine compensates for pushing film by keeping the highlights from overdeveloping while the shadows get as much development as they'll ever get. You're manipulating the film curve, and it's a compromise.
I stopped pushing film about the time TMZ showed up on the market. It outperformed pushed Tri-X so well I just never looked back. Now that I no longer do much 35mm photography at all, I handle contrast differently. I also find myself contracting tonal ranges a heck of a lot more than expanding them, and divided Pyrocat HD or reduced agitation schemes in Pyrocat HD gives me great results. If I need some punch, I'll rate the film slightly lower and increase development or switch to a contrastier film like Ilford PanF+.
The OP was asking about using a developer that wouldn't help much at all. HC-110 and Rodinal are not the best for retaining shadow detail in a push-process situation. X-tol, T-Max developer, Acufine, Diafine, some of the Ilford developers will do a better job.
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Acufine will be fine, if the developer is good (it should be, but I'd try it on test film first if you care about this film.)
Originally Posted by mgb74
I prefer Diafine which will give you excellent, maybe even slight dense, negatives at EI 800, but it isn't cheap - though it lasts a very long time and does lots of film so it IS cheap to use, just not to buy a quart or gallon for use on one roll. Quart sizes are generally over $20 when you can find them and a gallon is $29 from Freestyle.
To my little experience, pushing Tri-X400/120 in X-tol should be done in a concentrated developer and then replenished if wanted...
This way 1000 to 1600 ASA is not that hard to get, even with acceptable 'open' shadows.
You can find more info in the X-Tol Tech Pub, to be found on the Kodak website here: http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe.../j109/j109.pdf .
In this pushing matter, I am a avid Agfa Refinal (still an old but good working stock) user which is/was Agfa's version of D-76 (as ID-11 is Ilford's), all concentrated and replenished too....
I always pre wet, just to slow down the developing in the highlights and hold the contrast a little, give a few minutes more just for the shadows and go a little easy for the agitation (once every min. instead of once every 30 sec.).
And if you still have some thoughts about the shadows, then you can always treat these negatives in a diluted selenium (KRST) bath for a few minutes, just do some trial and error here.
I do admit having read AA, he knows more about it than I do...
Last edited by Philippe-Georges; 01-20-2012 at 03:06 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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I've standardized tri-x at 1600 in stock D-76. Plenty of detail in all areas.
I can't think of a time I ever disagreed with Matt and this is no exception. Exposure determines your shadow detail moreso than pushing your film. You can't get something from nothing. If you didn't expose for shadow detail, you're not going to get it by pushing your film -you'll get it by adjusting your exposure. Pushing your developing time simply adds contrast.
Originally Posted by MattKing
Now, I know this is a forum that promotes a vast array of knowledge from lots of people, but I'm always a little baffled at the lack of initiative in doing tests to get answers. Throwing out something like "what is the best developer to push Tri-x to retain shadow detail?" is going to bring an onslaught of subjective answers that are often untested against all the necessary variables. Rarely do I see anyone offer a well tested answer with examples like "This is a negative with tri-x in x-tol and then this with tri-x in hc-110 and then this with rodinal....etc. etc." to actually show the differences in the same shot with the same lighting conditions.
In short, your answer won't be on this thread. Spend a few bucks, get those developers you want to test, grab a roll of 35mm, a tripod, a camera, a scene and shoot a whole roll on the exact same settings in the same lighting conditions. Cut up the strip into as many sections as you want to test. Spend an hour or two developing and analyzing your results and you'll have YOUR answer, not someone elses. I'm not trying to be an a-hole and I'm sure if someone looked through my posts I have probably asked at one time or another, "what is the best........" so that I could have a quick and easy answer. But personal testing is the way to go. It takes more time, but it pays off in the end.
Now, all that being said, I've used x-tol, d-76, rodinal, pyrocat-hd and hc-110 extensively with Tri-x over the last 10 years and I've settled on hc-110 even though 4 years ago I swore it off. Often I push Tri-x to 800 and 1200 with great results, but I compensate and visualize my exposures and run tests based on my own conditions and workflow. I can't say it will work for you too. You'll have to test and see what works for you.
Could you please elaborate on that, the overdeveloping with flat light and pushing. I live in a place where we are plagued by flat light (not something that I like most of the time) and I've been trying to figure out a way to get more contrasty negatives. I usually end up pushing Tri-X to 800 or 1600, but I do end up running into problems with lower contrast a lot of the time. I would gladly appreciate any more tips!
Originally Posted by brian steinberger