Tmax 400 along with Fuji Neopan 400 is one of the films that can suffer reticulation, although not as a badly as the Fuji film. However it's not quite so simple as it's a developer pH/formulation issue along with the temperature deviations that cause the problems.
In a separate thread I brought up this issue, developers like Rodinal with it's high Hydroxide content and some using Carbonate can soften certain emulsions more than devs like D76/ID-11, Xtol etc.
I used Rodinal for about 20 years and switched to Pyrocat HD about 5 years ago but I've not had an issue with my own negatives and I have used Tmax 400 both old and new and the Neopan 400, I've always used unhardened Hypam or Ilford Rapid fixer. However I have seen this reticulation first hand (someone else using my chemistry etc) and there are plenty of reports of it from other people.
At it's worst the reticulation of the Fuji film is full blown reticulation - cracking of the emulsion surface, but with the Kodak films it's milder and restricted to the surface, this is known as micro-reticulation or surface reticulation, although Kodak don't use the term, it causes increased graininess of prints or scans. The grain structure of the film isn't changed it's the effects of the gelatin surface, it can be worse with 120 films as they often have a gelatin anti curl layer on the back and this can suffer micro reticulation as well.
Ctein wet mounted his negatives for printing to get the finest grain and sharpness and I've found references and an article showing similar techniques being used as far back as the late 1920's to get finer grained prints with 35mm negatives.
In recent years Kodak have changed their hardening techniques to overcome this gelatin surface issue as it becomes even more apparent when negatives are scanned and this is why they now state many of their newer films scan better.
If you maintain reasonably tight temperature controls then a non hardening fixer is fine with all the B&W films manufactured today.
Last edited by Ian Grant; 07-01-2011 at 02:17 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: change date to 1920's