Tri-X 400 - HC-110B - 3:45 minutes

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2F/2F

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Hello,

What are peoples' experiences with the 3:45 development time for Tri-X 400 in HC-110 dilution B?

Students are using Arista Premium left and right, and the questions about this keep coming. Everyone uses HC-110 dilution B. When I was shooting a lot of Tri-X, I used D-76, so I do not know what to tell them, except "that sounds way too short", and "test it out".

I have heard several times that this is considered too short.

If so, why?

Also, if for some reason this is a long-lasting typo or mistake on Kodak's part, does it affect the recommended development times for when the film has been exposed at other EIs? I have seen a 16 minute developing time for EI 1600 listed, which seems way out of line if normal is only 3:45.

Any thoughts? I have an important project "in the can" on this film, mostly with normal processing, and I am leaning toward going with D-76 for it, just because of the confusion surrounding the HC-110 B time.
 

BradS

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I too decided to avoid the whole question and went back to D-76 (1+1). I have no regrets. As much as I like HC-110, D-76 just does everything right without any nagging uncertainty. I figure that if I cannot print Tri-X exposed at box speed and developed in D-76 by following the Kodak directions to the letter, I did something wrong.
 
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2F/2F

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Thanks, Brad.....but I loves me mah HC...ever so slightly more than I loved D-76, and a syrupy concentrate has many advantages for me. All the students use it too, and that is not going to change.

For my own project, I'll blow a few rolls of Premium on testing...but in the meantime, I am curious as to why this odd development time is out there, and if it is really "valid". It is so much different than other film/developer combinations, and I am wondering why/how that is.
 

BradS

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I too love HC-110...and beer.....and Jack Daniels....but, have had to give 'em all up! (I still have an un-opened bottle of HC-110 stashed away somewhere...want it?)

Seriously though, Yah gots ta try it. When I did, it produced very thin, very printable negatives....that you could "read newsprint through". I don't think it is a typo...I just think it is at the hairy limit.
 

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2F/2F

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Hi,

Thanks.

Two things that make me think it is weird:

1. The time is so odd compared to most other film processing times for HC-110 (1:31).
*1-1/2. Doesn't Kodak specifically recommend against developing times shorter than five minutes?
2. The time Ilford recommends with Tri-X using Ilfotec HC (1:31) is 6:30.
*2-1/2. IME and testing, the Ilfotec HC and HC-110 times vary by no more than 30 seconds.

So, it seems obvious that the time is wrong...but why?
 

brucemuir

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I've read on the net were ambiguous times (errors) were put out there for certain combos and Kodak stood by their guns when confronted.

Did you read the paragraph (scroll down to the paragraph on times and it says "see note" regarding the 3.75 for dilution B and "New" tri x) http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/hc110/index.html where he discusses this exact issue with Tri X

I can't remember if I had adopted the unofficial dilution "H" when I was using HC 110 and Tri X, I was trying to standardize with D76 back then so I doubt I pursued the shorter times if they gave poor results.

Really all I can recommend is test. The Arista Premium 400 may behave slightly differently anyway.
 

DWThomas

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I do dilution H and would automatically reject a time that short and use higher dilution and longer time -- unless maybe I was tray developing. In a small tank, the imprecision of fill and empty would be too large a percentage of the developing time for my taste at less than five minutes or so (which I suspect is why Big K advises against sub-four minute times.
 

erikg

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HC110 is remarkably consistent at various dilutions, I never use the letter units, I just dilute 1:30, 1:50 etc. Kodak's word, and it makes a lot of sense is that times less than than 5 minutes run the risk of uneven development, so I work out a time using a dilution that will put me north of 5 minutes. Also such a short time leaves no room for error, not good for students who are new to film processing. My time for tri-x in HC110 1:30 was 5.5 minutes. So this 3:45 time seems out of wack to me. I usually do 1:50 for 7 minutes, just out of comfort.
 

Lee L

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See Arnold Gassan's method of dilution from his 1970's textbook:
(there was a url link here which no longer exists)

Lee
 
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People do not like such short times because a small time error is a big percent if the time is short.

I worked out EI 200, and 4.5 min at 1:45. Everyone I gave this to reported outstanding negs.

3:45 works for me as I routinely do C41 for 3:15. Just watch the clock and allow the same time for pour out every time. Reel should be dropped into tank in the dark. Start the clock with extra 5 sec time holding the reel over the tank. Count down 5 and drop. During the five sec, find the lid so that is ready. Mine goes directly next to the tank on the left. Right hand holds the reel.
 

DanielStone

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I too love HC-110...and beer.....and Jack Daniels....but, have had to give 'em all up! (I still have an un-opened bottle of HC-110 stashed away somewhere...want it?)

Seriously though, Yah gots ta try it. When I did, it produced very thin, very printable negatives....that you could "read newsprint through". I don't think it is a typo...I just think it is at the hairy limit.


I'll take the HC :smile:. I've been using it at school, but I haven't been able to get a bottle for myself yet :sad:.

let me know if you could help a poor student out :D.

blessings,

Dan
 

DanielStone

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keith(2F/2F),

use dilution H(1/2 that of B)

1:15 instead of 1:7

I have found that with HC and the Arista Premium 400 that 8min at 70deg F gives nice negs, and almost box speed as well.
PCC just won't give me 68F :smile:

-Dan
 

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Just to throw a wench into the discussion, I wonder if the Arista Premium is actually the "new" Tri-X. I wonder if Kodak is using Freestyle to unload their old stocks of Tri-X (hence the old times would be better.) It seems to make sense -- otherwise it seems strange that Freestyle would be able to sell a Kodak product at such a low price. Just a thought with no actual info or testing to back it up. I don't shoot 35mm so I have no comparisons.

If this is the case, Freestyle will run out of the Premium eventually since it is not actually being manufactured anymore.

Vaughn
 

DanielStone

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vaughn,

I'm buying it weekly, since its the only thing I can afford to shoot in 35mm b/w :rolleyes:

I'd love to shoot Tmax 400, but my budget can't afford it at the moment. I've been thinking of switching over to tri-x in 120 however(400TX) from tmax 400, a little cheaper, and the same emulsion from what I've seen.

-Dan
 

Vaughn

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I hear you, Dan. I run the darkroom at Humboldt State and our students are in the same boat (and I agree with your statements you made over in the debt and budget discussion concerning rising tuition costs). We have tried to make the photo classes as affordable as possible -- reducing the number of matted prints a student had to make, for example.

When I was a student (70's to early 80's), I would budget $200 per quarter for photo supplies (HSU was on the quarter system back then -- 9 weeks long). I shot 4x5 and printed 16x20 -- a 10-sheet package of 16x20 Agfa Portriga Rapid cost about 20 bucks....can't remember what film cost. But I do remember that minimum wage was $1.65 pumping gas (finally got a US Forest Service job at $3.35/hr), but tuition was about $75/quarter. I could only afford to take a photo class once a year (I was a natural resources management major).

But the Arista premium is a good film, and while the technical stuff is important, students should try to push their image making as much as possible and not get too hung up on technical perfection -- at least at first. Tri-X and Tmax400 are two very different beasts, but at this stage, making more images is important. Plenty of time later to fine-tune one's technique and find the subtle differences in the various materials.

Vaughn
 

BradS

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I'll take the HC :smile:. I've been using it at school, but I haven't been able to get a bottle for myself yet :sad:.

let me know if you could help a poor student out :D.

blessings,

Dan


Dan, Yes! send me a PM or email with an address and I'll get it to you.


(PS: I agree with Vaughn. Technical perfection is much over emphasized and over rated.)
 
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OK. Tonight I developed four rolls at a rough plus two, assuming the Tri-X 400 time that Ilford lists for Ilfotec HC (6:30) was normal development. Both HP5 and Tri-X 400 have the same recommended normal time in Ilfotec HC. I went ahead and used my plus 2 time for HP5 (15 minutes) on the Tri-X. Nothing precise, as it was low light and I didn't use a meter, but I know the lighting in this bar and grill very well, and results are in line with what I get when doing the same with HP5. I will be testing for a normal time with HC dil. B, but I am going to start my test at 6:30, not 3:45. That is just nonsense. I don't see how Kodak can continue to publish this information knowing that it will simply screw so many people. Sounds like a minus two time to me, or a time for dilution A.

I don't have any problem with HC dilutions. I think it makes perfect sense to me the way Kodak (and Ilford) explain it. You make a stock solution (1/4 concentrate, 3/4 water), and then you dilute the stock to make a working solution. It is part of what makes the developer so easy to use, versatile, and dead-on consistent even with the passage of time. I use B and H. I mix up batches of only 250 mL of stock at a time, however; enough to do two batches of dilution B in my 1 L tank. I store the stock in amber glass bottles, and trial has shown me that the stock loses no potency in 8 months, even when the glass bottle is half empty. (I have not tried anything older than 8 months, but based on these results, I would feel confident trying it up to maybe a year old in a half-full glass bottle. After that, I might just chuck it, or use it highly diluted for stand development.) I don't mix up the whole bottle of concentrate at once unless I know for sure that I am going to use all the stock very quickly (1/2 gal. for Kodak and 4 L for Ilford).

In my MacBeth chart tests, Arista Premium 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400 gave identical results. However, this was lab processing (and I think they use X-Tol there), so I never got a good time for the film in HC.
 

Henry Alive

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I always work with TX400 (EI200) developed with HC110 (1:47) for 6 minutes, 20ªC, and printed in a condenser enlarger. You can read what I wrote some months ago here:
(there was a url link here which no longer exists)
I hope it can help.
Henry.
 
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2F/2F

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Thank you for trying to help with all the different dilutions and methods, etc. However, I am not looking for a magic bullet dilution, film rating, etc. I was really just interested in a time for dilution B, in talking about the odd 3:45 time, and if I am crazy for thinking "no way that is correct!" I am curious where the heck this came from, and why it is still there. It is plain to see just by looking at Ilford's time for the film in their Ilfotec HC that the Kodak time is dead wrong.

ALSO: Ilford's time for the 1-to-15 dilution (what would be called "dilution A" by Kodak) states a time of 3:30. Therein lies the answer, I think: Kodak accidentally listed the time for dilution A. It seems to make the most sense...but why not simply fix the mistake, instead of continuing to publish a time that will likely give around -2 development?
 
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2F/2F

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Just to throw a wench into the discussion, I wonder if the Arista Premium is actually the "new" Tri-X. I wonder if Kodak is using Freestyle to unload their old stocks of Tri-X (hence the old times would be better.) It seems to make sense -- otherwise it seems strange that Freestyle would be able to sell a Kodak product at such a low price. Just a thought with no actual info or testing to back it up. I don't shoot 35mm so I have no comparisons.

If this is the case, Freestyle will run out of the Premium eventually since it is not actually being manufactured anymore.

Vaughn

I wonder if it has something to do with the base. The base of Premium seems a bit thin and curly.

(It also has that annoying Kodak purplishness that I never get on Ilford films...minor annoyance, but grrrrrrr anyhow.)

It is definitely the same emulsion as new Tri-X, or at least indistinguishable from it in all practical respects. My MacBeth tests read with a densitometer showed that. I wonder what the difference is myself. I will have to get the test negs back from the instructor I loaned them to and see if the bases are the same. Though I did not notice any difference at the time, the ones I did tonight seemed awfully curly. My Ilford film always dries straight as a board.
 

Anon Ymous

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...Though I did not notice any difference at the time, the ones I did tonight seemed awfully curly. My Ilford film always dries straight as a board.

Hello 2F,

how did you dry the negatives? Heated cabinet or just left to dry naturally?
 

brucemuir

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I haven't found the Premium 400 to be any more curly than any of the big 3 emulsions (Kodak, Ilford, Fuji). I do press all my 35mm in an stack of encyclopedias (remember those).

I am getting the annoying purple/blue base even after extended fixing and I recently tried sticking the extra leader into a sodium sulfite mixture in a beaker and while it did clear some, it didn't get rid of it completely.

Then I taped another leader to the window to see if the sunlight/UV theory cleared it but no, unless I didn't leave it there long enough.

I'm trying to find good clear based film for my reversal experiments.
 

fschifano

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The Arista Premium 400 may behave slightly differently anyway.

Having settled on D-76 and XTOL as my primary developers for Tr-X long ago, I have no pressing interest in using HC-110 with this film. I can tell you, however, that Arista Premium and Tri-X behave identically in these two developers. I see no reason why they would behave differently in HC-110.
 
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2F/2F

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Hello 2F,

how did you dry the negatives? Heated cabinet or just left to dry naturally?

Heated cabinet, with the film cassettes clamped on as weights.

The uncommon weather we are having here right now may be a contributor.
 
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