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  1. #1

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    Film ratings and development times

    I typically shoot tri-x 400 at 200 - to make sure I get enough density on my negative. It may not really be necessary, i don't know, but that's what i do. Question is this: When I develop, should I use developing times for it's rating at 400, or what I'm shooting, at 200?

    Mark

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    Developing times are highly personal and should be optimized for your workflow and the paper you print on.

    "Normal" development, i.e., development for scenes of "average" brightness range (contrast), should yield an "acceptable" print without much manipulation for such scenes on the grade of paper you consider "normal." For most workers, this is grade 2. Some smaller film-format users prefer grade 3 in order to minimize grain a bit. If your negatives from normal scenes are consistently too contrasty to print easily on your normal paper grade, reduce developing time. If they are consistently too soft, increase development. Keep adjusting till you are happy.

    Since you are a roll-film user, I would recommend that you just leave it there and use your paper grades to deal with scenes of higher and lower subject brightness range than normal. If you want to tailor development more specifically to your individual subjects, then learn about one of the exposure and development systems like the Zone System or BTZS.

    As for a starting development time: I would recommend that you try the development time that the film manufacturer recommends. I doubt that Kodak gives different development times for shooting the film at an E.I. of 400 and an E.I. of 200. If you are using a developer that Kodak does not give times for, use the times the developer manufacturer gives for Tri-X 400. Adjust from there.

    Best,

    Doremus

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    It may depend on your developer, but I doubt it. I shoot it at 200-250 and develop in D76, TD-16, Acufine and Rodinal at "normal" times. Tri-X will be fine this way. As Doremus said, a lot of us have developed our own developing times to suit our particular needs (and eyes), but using Kodak's normal developing times will certainly give you good results.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    Developing times are highly personal and should be optimized for your workflow and the paper you print on.

    "Normal" development, i.e., development for scenes of "average" brightness range (contrast), should yield an "acceptable" print without much manipulation for such scenes on the grade of paper you consider "normal." For most workers, this is grade 2. Some smaller film-format users prefer grade 3 in order to minimize grain a bit. If your negatives from normal scenes are consistently too contrasty to print easily on your normal paper grade, reduce developing time. If they are consistently too soft, increase development. Keep adjusting till you are happy.

    Since you are a roll-film user, I would recommend that you just leave it there and use your paper grades to deal with scenes of higher and lower subject brightness range than normal. If you want to tailor development more specifically to your individual subjects, then learn about one of the exposure and development systems like the Zone System or BTZS.

    As for a starting development time: I would recommend that you try the development time that the film manufacturer recommends. I doubt that Kodak gives different development times for shooting the film at an E.I. of 400 and an E.I. of 200. If you are using a developer that Kodak does not give times for, use the times the developer manufacturer gives for Tri-X 400. Adjust from there.

    Best,

    Doremus
    Yep.

    I use box speed normally, but to get the camera settings I need, I'll happily let the EI float and I won't chase that variation with a development change.

    I want the contrast rate/the steepness of the film curve to remain fixed because: a-the scene contrast has not changed and; b-the paper I'm targeting, grade 2, hasn't changed and; c-the print I want hasn't changed.

    It is sometimes easier to think of box speed as the minimum safe exposure rather than a hard target.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  5. #5

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    I'd use the advice already given and if it produces negs with good shadow and highlight detail and the prints are fine somewhere between grade 2-3 then I'd conclude that you have got it right.

    On the other hand when people give advice that basically says: "leave well alone" the human psyche often want to see if the advice is optimal or if some development change might improve things.

    If you are left with nagging doubts then you might try progressive reductions of initially 10% in development time to see if there is any substantial improvement. This will be a win/win outcome in the sense that if less development is in fact a lesser option it won't enough to ruin the negs which should still print OK.

    pentaxuser

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    The developing times for rating at 400 were made with certain assumptions, we may not know what those assumptions are. However, both Tri-X and modern photographic paper have enough latitude that it's quite ok to shoot at 200 and develop at 400. You may get a little more shadow detail and a little more exposure in your highlights, but nothing that Tri-X cannot cope with.

    I personally shoot at 400 and overdevelop a little bit, using the times for 800 or 640.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mporter012 View Post
    I typically shoot tri-x 400 at 200 - to make sure I get enough density on my negative. It may not really be necessary, i don't know, but that's what i do. Question is this: When I develop, should I use developing times for it's rating at 400, or what I'm shooting, at 200?

    Mark
    Develop so the negatives print on #2 or #3 paper. With rollfilm, development is your 'rough' contrast control. Fine contrast control is in the darkroom when printing.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by mporter012 View Post
    I typically shoot tri-x 400 at 200 - to make sure I get enough density on my negative. It may not really be necessary, i don't know, but that's what i do. Question is this: When I develop, should I use developing times for it's rating at 400, or what I'm shooting, at 200?

    Mark
    400...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by mporter012 View Post
    I typically shoot tri-x 400 at 200 - to make sure I get enough density on my negative. It may not really be necessary, i don't know, but that's what i do. Question is this: When I develop, should I use developing times for it's rating at 400, or what I'm shooting, at 200?

    Mark
    hi mark

    condenser enlargers need less developing ( 30% less ) than cold light head
    electronic duplicating devices might be inbetween the 2 ...

    you might consider a film test .. 2 rolls
    bracketing your exposures ( one at box speed, one at 200 ) and
    processing your film 1 at normal ( for 400 ) the other for 200

    and see which one you like the best.

    what i like may be totally different than what works for you ..

    have fun!
    john

  10. #10

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    In addition to dev time/temp, also heed the manufacturer's recommendations for agitation, as this can affect both the negative contrast and density uniformity. Insufficient agitation will cause reduction of contrast and can produce uneven development (mottle) most evident in sky areas.

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