Controlling Grain in TRI-X 400

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by malcolm_myers, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I have developing my own TRI-X 400 at home using D76 stock solution. On bright days I have found that skies get very grainy. Is this just the nature of the film? I have seen in the Kodak data sheet that reciprocity failure appears to kick in at anything faster than 1/1000 of a second. Should I jsut develop for longer? What will this do to the pictures with less grain?
    Thanks
    Malcolm
     
  2. reciprocity failure appears to kick in at anything faster than 1/1000 of a second. Should I jsut develop for longer?​
    If your density is reduced by RF, processing longer is not going to help (much), and may hurt your grain situation as you are, in essence, pushing the film. Exposure controls density and development controls contrast. You don't say what format you are shooting but Tri-x in 35mm rolls, depending on enlargement, can show a fair amount of grain naturally.
    Check your agitation sequence. After the initial agitation, be sure all subsequent agitations are very GENTLE. Don't even touch the tank in-between. And keep ALL your solutions, including the wash, at a constant temp.
     
  3. In my experience grain is more noticeable in expanses of featureless gray skies and similar scenes. You will also find grain more noticeable if you're underexposing the film. Shutter speed alone is not responsible for reciprocity failure under these conditions. It is more common when very low light conditions necessitate unusually long exposures.
    BTW posting an example would be useful.
    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video
     
  4. Henry,
    thanks for the info. I tried to post an image but messed it up, maybe I can post one with this reply :) I have also noticed more grain in underexposure and Louis, thanks for the tip about agitation.
    00Yoyf-364777584.jpg
     
  5. If that's a 35mm sized frame, it looks like you're getting clumping. Those aren't grains, they're "clusters" of grains stuck together with more grains "flipped" between them. Too high a developer temp, tired developer, old film, something is going wrong...
     
  6. What Henry said about underexposure is very important. Light meters are calibrated for 18% gray. If the area of sky your are getting your meter reading from takes up too much of the finder area your reading will be too high. Beach scenes are more tricky because you have light bouncing off of the sand and the water. Try bracketing your exposures . You may find that the frames with extra exposure are easier to print and appear less grainy.
     
  7. Light meters are calibrated for 18% gray.​
    One of photography's most common misconceptions, and the reason far too many images are half-a-stop or more underexposed. Meters Don't See 18% Gray
    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video
     
  8. Try Xtol 1-1. Also Scanning for some reason for me at least gives Tri-X more grain.
     
  9. Are you diluting your D76 or running it in straight D76? If straight, are you saving and reusing the D76 and compensating, replenishing, or are you using one shot?
     
  10. They brag about, and are right about, the fineness of grain these days on Tri-X and the like. But this is relative. 1:1 will help, but there will always be some grain at some magnification.
    Tri-X is going to be grainier than many slower films and a nice gray sky is exactly the place to show off the grain.
    Images will have grain on film and noise on digital no matter what you do. Pixel peeping at 100% magnification on either media will always reveal how lumpy and crude images really are.
    I suspect that nature itself is a little on the lumpy and crude side, frankly. ;)
     
  11. Tri-X has "hearty" grain.....if you want less grain shoot FP4....Pan-F.....simple really...Robert
     
  12. I recently ran a roll of TX400 through FX-37 which is by no means a fine-grain developer. The resulting graininess is visible but not objectionable, IMO, and the grain pattern is pretty even. I like the gradation very much.
    00YpCK-365021584.jpg
     
  13. Tomasz,
    it is as Henry Posner said ("In my experience grain is more noticeable in expanses of featureless gray skies"). In a picture of clouds like yours above, grain is less noticeable.
    Grain (clumps) in featureless gray skies made me change from (35mm) Delta 100 to TMX so I can very well understand Malcoms' concern ....... with Tri-X.
    Then again, in Xtol 1+1, TMX did not have the sharp look of Delta 100 so I had to change developer as well.
     
  14. Just for the record I have a litre of D76 stock which I re-use, but now I am getting back into B&W I think it is time to get some brown bottles, stock up on D-76, and start to use it 1:1 in one shot. I also want to try Rodinal, but probably on a slower film. Thanks for all your help.
    Malcolm
     
  15. I get exceptably fine grain with tri-x using D76 1-1. 68 degrees at 8.5 minutes. It's more about the exposure. I say bracket.
    00YpQB-365297584.jpg
     
  16. woops here's the sky
     
  17. Try again?
     
  18. One more time dammit. :)
    00YpRl-365305584.jpg
     
  19. I find that using a yellow filter with any B&W film helps the skies even on a clear day. Graduated ND filters also are nice if you have a bunch of sky but a yellow on a sunny day makes the ISO 400 100 and well 100 is perfect for a sunny day.
     
  20. Yes, in the day when we were young and gay (and before 'gay' meant anything but happy), many people shot with a yellow filter on their B&W film all the time. ;)
    Even when there aren't any clouds, it makes the sky a little more interesting; it's subtle, not like a red filter.
     
  21. Oh Shucks I dated myself. :)
     
  22. D76 should give finer grain when used stock but with slightly less sharpness compared to 1:1. Try reducing your developing time if you negs are scanning too grainy. For scanning you don't want really dense B&W negs but you need to find a combination of enough exposure combined with just enough development.
     
  23. Michael, Interesting. You've cut 1 1/4 minutes from the normal dev time for Tri-X and D-76 1:1 (9 3/4). Photo looks great (though I agree with some: a yellow filter would make for more pop. I never take mine off outside).
     
  24. You guys are way more knowledgable that I will ever be, but I have to wonder why you just don't shoot T X 100 instead of 400. I feel a bit silly asking that question but it seems to make sense to me. Thanks for indulging me.
     
  25. You guys are way more knowledgable that I will ever be, but I have to wonder why you just don't shoot T X 100 instead of 400. I feel a bit silly asking that question but it seems to make sense to me. Thanks for indulging me.
     
  26. TX 100? Did you by chance mean PX-125? Well for one thing PX is no longer made and I just don't like the TMX 100. For slower ISO B&W films I use another brand.
     

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