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Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by JWMster, Dec 13, 2017.
I am glad that your son made the sacrifice, someone needed to!
Alex... I suspect you've never learned to correctly meter and expose T-Max; otherwise you'd discover the sensitometric FACT that it is capable of resolving shadow values significantly better than Tri-X. But it does need careful shadow placement. I have no desire to convert you, and applaud what works best for you personally. My experience just happens to be completely the opposite. I've also done hundreds of TMax densitometer plots which confirm Kodak's own reason for coming out with these films as their flagship line.
Since Kodak recommends no change in development if TMAX400 is exposed at ISO800, I have no doubt that this film can resolve shadows nicely.
Even at 1600 it does pretty wel,l though I have never had reason to push it any further.
Interesting. I never tried that as I always used Ilford Delta 3200 if I needed to shoot at that level. I wish I tried that before I gave up on TMAX400 due to the paper quality issue.
This Kodak statement might be misunderstood. Since TMax films have a relatively long straight line, underexposure might result in the balance of the image printing normally. But in contrasty scenes, the deepest shadows will simply be lopped off to the corresponding degree, rather than going mushy bland like in more forgiving long toe films. I have sometimes deliberately underexposed and overdeveloped TMax to obtain a combination of deep bold textureless shadows and expanded microtonality in the midtones and highlights. But this requires careful metering of the shadows. In Zone jargon, you can actually dig clear down into Zone I at box speed and resolve detail, but not quite as far down as a classic straight line film as Super XX or Bergger 200. Most old-school practitioners of Tri-X, by comparison, would place their shadows clear up on Zone 3 in order to assure the straight-line section of the curve, and then worked with a "thick" neg very dense in the highlights. This worked well on contrast printing papers, not so conveniently for enlargement, where I often see highlights overexposed and washed out, even by well-known current practitioners of Tri-X. Yes, one might resort to "minus" development (often incorrectly called "pulling" on this forum), but that sacrifices mid-next expansion. Or you could attach a separate unsharp mask and print on higher contrast paper, like I have often done when deliberately overexposing and overdeveloping HP5. But there truly are differences in all these respective films.
Sorry... I meant to say Contact Papers relative to Tri-X. This damn Dumbphone tends to change words.
"Alex... I suspect you've never learned to correctly meter and expose T-Max"
Drew, I posted almost 2 dozen pictures. I assume your comment is just lighthearted and sarcastic or do you have a specific question on the exposure or development of the Tmax examples I posted?
You can zoom in at 100% on the convex specular surfaces like the turn signal on the truck here to see the gradation:
Thanks, Alex. A specular surface shows highlights, not shadow gradation. I was not attempting to be rude. But neither was I sarcastic. Anyway, the web is utterly useless for showing nuances in deep shadow gradation. Don't waste your time trying to prove something that way. I'm not belittling your personal choice of film. If it does what you like, great. But your statements on specific film distinctions run completely contrary to the characteristic curves of these respective films.
Well.. the web is what we have in the forums.
But to be clear as well, I love and shoot Tmax (100 and 400). My point was simple, every time I shoot and print the exact same picture with several films side by side, the relative characteristics are those I mentioned.
Also I don't think it runs contrary to the experience of those who have shot Tmax, Trix and Acros side by side; and it is (in my opinion) actually coherent with the strange hump in TMX's characteristic curve.
Have you shot Tmax and Trix side by side? If you have, I would love to borrow the negatives or scans so I can print them for comparison.
(And I don't mind mailing you dozens of negatives of controlled tests comparisons).
In isolation one can never fault Tmax.
But, same as you, I only share experiences in the interest of collaboration. Not to convert anyone.
This is for Trix and Tmax 100. Saddly the same curves for Tmax 400 are only available at 75F.
Fine, Alex. I really don't have time to explain all this to you. There are different curves for TMax RS (different from regular TMax developer, for HC-110 at various dilutions, for D76, various pyros, on and on, including curves that are the straightest of any current reliable film on the market. Even more remarkable is how TMX can produce nearly identical overlapping curves with a very long straight line from R,G,B respective exposures, even with long exp recip factored in. This is because these films were originally engineered to replace a number of films at once, including Super-XX and Color Separation Film. Tri-X came close to getting axed too. Only the "all toe" character of Plus-X left a void in the new Kodak scenario. Pictorially, I really prefer TMY to TMX, but it is sensitometrically similar. That "hump" in the curve which you legitimately point out is easily removed with the right development technique. Due to its unique spectral versatility, TMX was even once offered in glass plates for precise astrophography and microphotography purposes. I've done hundreds of specific densitometer plots with these films, using various developers, dilutions, times, temps, specific narrow-band light sources, so am probably not the best person to argue with on this particular subject. Of course, in creative personal photography all that counts is whatever look we like. But often it truly helps to understand basic distinctions. And with a freezer full of 8X10 TMax (both speeds), I've certainly put my money where my mouth is! Glad I bought it at a third of the going rate.
I'll bet you are!
I used up the last of my TMY400 4x5 last year and have (temporarily?) moved to HP5+ because I can't afford to pick up any more right now.
I've been using HP5+ pretty steadily now in anything larger than 4x5 because of the high cost of Kodak sheet films.
Drew, those curves are all for Tmax developer so once again please don't assume others post are wrong. Also you keep pointing out you have run hundreds of densitometer plots, but my point to you was have you ever shot 2 pictures side by side and compared the prints?
My freezer is full of Tmax too but that once again doesn't change that Trix prints look better (that is on the same picture and to my eyes).
If you want to find out what print you like better of the same subject/lighting/time, the only way is by testing just that. If it doesn't matter to you it is fine too; but no need to be argumentative with people who have done it and openly share and discuss results.
I'd say it is best let go at this time so it we don't look like obsessed photographers (who we are). We can touch base in a few years and share new experiences.
No, Alex, I haven't compared a few prints, but have visually compared hundreds of them. My interest in TMax was piqued by trying to find an all-analog protocol to revive dye transfer printing. I discovered that not only could current TMax films be substituted for things like Pan Masking film and Super-XX color separation film, but actually do a better job when sufficiently understood. Others before me had already discovered this per hybrid technique. PE knows these same people. A lot of work and expensive custom equipment is behind this. Just wish I had more time for the actual color printing, but I'm still involved in valuable new tweaks to color neg printing, plus a lot of b&w work. I'd love to see your prints in person sometime, and am sure they are lovely.
I am in Georgia. If you are ever around, I can fire the pizza oven, open a bottle of Brunello and we can geek out all day.
Thank you. I'm on the other side of the country. I think it's perfectly OK to be enthusiastic about differing techniques. I like watercolor; somebody else prefers oil painting. It makes people look.
Sorry if it has been said already but there is one particular reason why Delta 400 is not a direct replacement for Tmax 400. That Delta variant doesn't have the remarkably fine grain of the Tmax 400 which IMHO challenges the ISO 100 films when one looks at the grain with the focuser on the baseboard of a fairly big enlargement. Personally I like the grain pattern of the Delta 400 but for sure some will not like its characteristics. It looks to me like there is broadly two different grain sizes in there perhaps from two different emulsion components, there is this really fine regular grain like on the slower films then mixed in is a bit of random much bigger grain. I think this is probably why so many say it looks horrible developed in Rodinal. DD-X seems to me perfect for this film as there is the hint of this grain, an effect I really like personally but its just a hint rather than the in your face results you typically get with Rodinal.
Delta has a very long toe, favoring highlight and upper midtone expansion, much like old Plus-X which was prized by portrait studios. TMax is more the heir of Super-XX applications - having a steep toe with excellent shadow gradation, long contrast range when properly exposed, plus overall commercial versatility. HP5 is somewhere in between, though not fine-grained like the others.
This is all true. All of it. And you can add to it that their debt service picture will grow uglier in the next couple of years. In my opinion it's unlikely that they can secure additional financing - even if the appetite for corporate bonds remains absurdly, ridiculously, hot as it is now.
Four years ago, the motion picture units's prospects were secure enough that a reorganization was possible. That's not true now.
Historically, most companies that attempt a 2nd bankruptcy re-organization are not successful. If somebody tells me they can foresee somebody stepping in to provide the capital that would enable the production of Kodak still pictorial film in appropriately-downsized infrastructure...well, I'm all ears...but I don't like the prospects.