Greetings everyone from Prague,
Overall very good comments from previous posters.

However, Corrie...I hate to dispell your theory but in fact it is the opposite. Higher speed films such as Tri-X, HP5, APX400 etc are lower in contrast by nature than slower films such as PanF50, FP4+,APX100,Plus X etc. All films are capable of "decent" tonal range if exposed and processed for that result...keeping in mind that tonal qualities are rather subjective as with many photographic issues. All films have different charcterisitics and behave differently under the multitude of methods of handling them, but as a rule, higher speed emulsions have lower contrast characteristics than that of lower speed films.


Density is controlled by: Exposure.

Contrast is controlled by well lets see: Type of film, Film Development (time, temp,dilution,agitation etc.), Enlarger type, Type of Paper, grade of paper or filter grade, Paper developer, method of print development (agitation, temp,dilution,two tray or not...), potential toning/intensification of the neg and or print etc... I'm sure others can think of things I didnt mention.

Woody,
Try the advice you get from others, such as on this forum, if it seems sound. Otherwise just keep working at your method of achieving the results you are looking for, knowing that the above factors are most of the major factors that determine the technical and to a certain degree the esthetic nature of your image. I do, however, recommend sticking with one film/dev/paper/enlarger/combination and using the other variables to experiment with how you can affect change. If you like Tri-X/Rodinal stick with it and get it down cold!...then try other combos if you feel you want to.

Good Luck, you're on the right track! and if you need any particular help with Tri-X and Rodinal E-mail me as I have been using this combination almost exclusively for 25 years.

If it helps you, my usual procedure with Tri-X is:
Tri-X Pan 400 (EI 320) Rodinal 1:100/ 21mins./23-24C/Cont. Agitation, 1st 30secs. then 5 inversions (approx 10secs.) every 3 mins.

This gives me (what I call) very nice tonality, reasonably fine, very sharp grain, and a contrast range that suits my work, which is documentary...I print with a Magnifax Diachroic head on Oriental Graded Paper, and Agfa Multgrade glossy. I use LPD and sometimes Moersch SE 6 Blue in various dilutions to control warmth/coolness. I tray bleach some of prints and Selenium tone all my prints. This is my standard process. Yours will be unique to your style and vision.

BTW were you shooting with TXP 320 or TX Pan 400 rated at 320?

LD Horricks
Prague, Czech Republic

trickster_raven@hotmail.com