TriX--320 vx 400?

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athanasius80

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Newbie question,
Whats the practical difference between TriX 320 and TriX 400? One photo store told me that 320 has a retouchable surface while 400 does not. Another source said that 320 handles midtones better at the expense of highlights.

Thanks,

Chris
 

jim appleyard

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The 320 does have a retouchable base, making it great for portrait work. I can't say about the highlights as I haven't shot much 320 or mad side-by-side tests.
 

Tom Duffy

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They are totally different films. The practical difference is that tx400 is designed as forgiving film to handle a wide range of contrasts on a single roll. It is virtually impossible to blow out your highlights. Its rendering is quite beautiful, though mostly in shades of gray. Rated normally or pulled it's a great full tone film. rated higher, you loose shadow detail but gain more contrast or snap. Back when photojournalists used film, it was the film of choice. Most of the great news photos dated from the mid 50's on to today were probably shot with tri-x 400.

Tri-x 320 has much higher local contrast. No mushy gray here. It has a strongly deliniated tonal scale from black to white and everything in between. A 320 picture has a lot more "snap". The downside is that it's relatively easy to blow the highlights with over development. The development time should be mated to the contrast of the scene. Good advice in general, but I mean that's it hard to shoot high and low contrast scenes on the same roll with 320, but not difficult with the 400.

Tri-x 400 is available in 35mm and 120. Tri-x 320 is available in 120, 220 and sheet film sizes. Tri-x 400 doesn't seem to work to well in pyro developer if that's a consideration for you.

I like both, but as I either get older or more experienced (probably older :smile: ), I prefer the prints I make from the 320 version of tri-x.
Take care,
Tom
 

gainer

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320 was designed as a film for portraits and other situations where flare in the camera is minimized. It has a long toe and upsweeping highlights. Actually, it looks almost like the toe begins at the top. 400TX has a long straight curve with a much shorter toe. Flare in outdoor situations often causes the same effect as a long toe.
 

John McCallum

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But don't let this stop you using trix320 for landscapes if you'd like to try it. Many excellent photographers produce outstanding results with this film in non-portrait situations also.
My experience of this film is the shadows can easily 'mush out' and lose all detail if underexposed (due to the charactersitics of the toe, as Gainer pointed out). So I tend rate it slower, giving a higher exposure overall. This can give a very dense negative if over developed, however gives very nice separation of the shadow details .
 
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