Pushing Tri-X In Tmax Developer

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by lawrenceimpey, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. lawrenceimpey

    lawrenceimpey Member

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    I have a roll of Tri-X that I exposed at about EI 3200 and am considering which developer to use. I took a look at the Kodak Technical Data sheet (November 2005 • F-4017) and I'm surprised to see that the combination of Tri-X and Tmax is not recommended for pushing to EI 3200, whereas D76 is recommended. Since I always thought Tmax developer was great for pushing I'd be interested if anyone knows why it isn't recommended in this case.
     
  2. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Check out "The Massive Development Chart".
     
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    lawrenceimpey

    lawrenceimpey Member

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    Why is it that every time I post a question on this forum someone chips in with a reference "The Massive Development Chart"? If you read the question you would see that I am not asking for a development time, I am asking why Kodak doesn't recommend Tmax for EI 3200. I don't think the chart answers this question, does it?
     
  4. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Stea-dy...steaaaa-dy.
     
  5. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Kodak does more than omit TMax Developer from the suggested list of developers for pushing Tri-X to 3200, they go out of their quiet way to say DON'T DO THIS ! If Kodak offers times for all the developers they make but one, there is a strong message there.


    If you hunt further, to Publication J-86, the T Max Developers data sheets,
    you WILL find that 11' @ 75 degrees is what they suggest.

    I can't tell you exactly WHAT will happen to your film, other than T Max Developer was NOT designed for Tri X, it was designed for T MAx films, and it doesn't offer the broad performance potential of D-76. Not all combinations of film and developer work for all circumstances. T Max is great for a lot of films. Not pushing TX.

    From recollection, back in the late '80s, a prominent lab in a major US city fully embraced T Max Developer for all their work, without completely wringing it out. They assumed it was a super-duper evolution of D76, and used it for everything with or without Kodak's blessing.

    There were twenty rolls I had to print for a client who normally dropped his film to be developed and proofed by the lab, than dropped at my lab where I printed the order for his agency who had a second set of proofs (while the shooter went to the airport to go do another job). The lab switched to T Max without warning ANYBODY and the results were miserable, the shadows were underdeveloped, the midtones, too hot. Since the job HAD to be salvaged, I hired two other printers, and we worked flat out doing surgery to make the images look like my shooter's normal lovely work. It was miserable work. Exactly WHAT they did, I can't tell you.

    The reason Kodak didn't recommend T Max developer for pushing TX to 3200 is simple: it doesn't work. The reason Kodak DOES recommend D-76 is because it DOES !

    If you WANT to push something in T Max developer, push TMZ or Delta 3200.

    The escape clause: do what you want to do. Try it. You may love the results.




    .
     
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  6. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Member

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    It's a good opportunity to find out for yourself the limitation of the products you have in mind.

    Shoot another roll of Tri-X at EI 3200 and try half the roll in TMax, and the other half in D76. True learning where you might find out that you really like the results of either developer, but it's good to see these things for yourself. In a test... :smile:

    I've recently experimented with new developer and new film, and it takes a little while to understand the variables of agitation, time/temp, and exposure with a new combination. Diving head first into a new combination might not be the best idea, especially if you don't know what to expect. If the roll is important - test it first.

    Why Tmax developer doesn't work with Tri-X underexposed by three stops - I haven't the faintest idea. But I'm a practical user, and I reason that if something works it works, if it doesn't it doesn't. For my work, the 'why' isn't that important. So I'm sorry I can't help you with that.

    Good luck.
     
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    lawrenceimpey

    lawrenceimpey Member

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    Thanks for pointing this out, which answers my question. My guess as to the reason is that one of the developer constituents isn't active enough at lower temperatures to provide sufficient contrast.
     
  8. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    I use Tmax developer to push Tri-X all the time. Works just fine for my tastes.

    - CJ
     
  9. kenkuro

    kenkuro Member

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    I have a theory. I have not yet tried with Tri-X, but have done with Plus-X.

    The T-max developer gives higher speed (good honest 1/2 stop inclease) compared against D-76 when developed to the same contrast. It does so with incleased grain size and fog level. The T-max film has fine grain and low fog level to start with, so it will withstand pushing better than Try-X.

    If you pushes Tri-X by 3 stops, one should expect large grain along with high fog level. It may exceed the criteria of Kodak's standard, but does this stop us doing it. No.

    I think you should try it.
     
  10. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Ken

    Comparing the Kodak curves for Tri X in D-76 & TMax doesn't bear your theory out. More fog, yes, from TMax developer, but no speed difference. The data do a shoulder beginning to form in the TMax curves.

    I looked back though the data in J-86. Kodak offers no information for Large tank development , which might have to do with its unsuitability for sheet film. They offer data for small tank development for TX at 400 ~ 1600. They only offer data for 3200 @ 75˚.

    But they offer full support for rotary development, at all temps and EIs.

    I wouldn't try to guess why. But if my life depended on the results, I'd suggest XTOL as the only alternative to D-76.
    XTOL DOES give higher shadow information, with less fog.

    Remember, only one manufacturer provides full data for its films, and it isn't Fuji or Ilford.

    .
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    T-Max developer is fairly harsh stuff, and accentuates grain quite a bit, in my experience. It is designed to get the best out of T-Max films, which are fine grained and sensitive to minor changes in development parameters. It is also supposed to be used at 75F rather than 68F (as is any modern film emulsion).

    You can use it for your situation just fine, if these things are OK with you.

    I am sure many people will chime in with specific combos that they like. In my opinion, this is fairly useless information for *you*, and you should just push the film with whatever you normally use. You already have it on hand, and you already know how it normally behaves, so you can extrapolate how it will behave in other situations quite well.

    What you have done is underexposed your film by three stops. This means anything that would have been a sub-medium grey with "normal" exposure is now black, no matter WHAT developer you use. The things that would have fallen on middle grey will now only have a hint of texture at zone II, assuming "good" metering technique. You can write the low tones off. What you are worried about now is getting the middle and high tones to the density you need them to be to get the prints you want.
     
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  12. donbga

    donbga Member

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    TMAX RS and TMAX developer works fine with Tri-X and you can push process Tri-X in it very easily.

    As the saying goes test and YMMV based on your exposure and developmet technique.