Fine grain dev for fast Tri-x

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by andrew_murdoch|1, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Not too happy with the R09 I've been using to dev the Tri-x pushed to iso800 that I've been shooting recently.
    Results are either inconsistent or lacking the fineness of grain that I was looking for wen I decided to use Tri X with R09.
    I recently saw scans of Tri-X and Neopan negs that had been devved in ID-11 and the grain seemed a lot nicer in a lot of the images than what I have been getting.
    Anyone have any other suggestions of a dev? If I could get above iso800 it'd be good. If there's a better film than Tri-x I'll listen to suggestions too though I have a dozen or so rolls of Tri-X to use.
  2. Andrew,
    This might be of interest:
    I think almost any developer would be better than R09.
  3. Acufine E.I 1000 Tri-X and the grain of 400.
  4. What Charles said and Rodinal is not meant for pushing film. It is a compensating developer which in fact reduces film speed of tri-x to EI 200
  5. Rodinal-type developers are a poor choice for pushing film, as they are "speed losing". They are also known to maximize the grain effect.
    Three good speed-enhancing developers are Kodak XTOL, Ilford Microphen, and Ilford Ilfotec DD-X. There are other speed-enhancing developers, these are just the best known.
  6. Yes, I would second Diafine or Acufine.
  7. Diafine and Accufine are kind of grainy too, by my estimation. Xtol is swell butyou'll find the contrast a little flat. However you can add a touch of Rodinal (R09) to Xtol and get the best of both worlds. I just tried it for the first time, negs look good, I'm scanning them tonight. I like very much the results I've seen from others online. Who knows how that will translate in real life but it's worth a try.
    The traditional formula for this mix is Rodinal 1:100, Xtol 1:4. I don't know why -- there are no published times for Xtol 1;4. You can do this though: Rodinal 1:100, Xtol 1:1, and then process for about 90 percent of the time published in The Massive Development Chart for TriX 800 and Xtol. That's what I did. I'll post results when it's scanned. I also shot it at EI 800.
    If you use Diafine or Accufine you should shoot at EI 1000 minimum; 1250 best, 1600 OK.
  8. Tri-X Pan Pro responds to Diafine quite well. Roll film rates at 1000 and sheet film at 1200.
  9. If you're looking for fine grain and more speed, look to TMY (TMax400). Develop it either in D-76 or XTOL and you're good to go.
  10. Ok here's an image from Tri-X EI 800 developed in Xtol 1:1 and Rodinal 1:100 8 minute 45 sec @ 68 degrees F. Grain looks pretty good even at 150 percent on my screen.
  11. Vince, several years ago I experimented with a brew of Rodinal and Xtol. The results were good, subjectively speaking, but inconclusive. For one thing, I started with one of those one-liter packets of Xtol mix that was probably faulty to begin with (when I opened the packet the powder seemed a bit gummy and discolored). And I never followed up with enough experiments using any sort of methodology to conclude anything. I was satisfied with the photos of a white metal church building against a bright sky - a subject that had defied me before, tho' I can't say for certain whether it was due to the differences in developer or light. Again, without any sort of scientific methodology, all I had was an impression that the results were good, and somewhat different from either Rodinal alone or Xtol alone.
  12. I also tried a melange of Xtol 1+1 and Rodinal some years ago and came to the conclusion that the marvellous results reported by some people must be in the eye of the beholder. They were not in my negatives. And they were certainly not on the prints, and that is what counts for me.
    As Frank said on page one, what you are looking for is TMY in Xtol 1+1. A universally good combo from 200 to 1600. All you need for everything.
  13. My choice for fine grain and good edge contrast is Paterson Aculux 2 which goes superbly with Ilford Delta 400. Other than that I have been getting excellent negatives with Monochromes Presyscol EF and HP5. For slight pushing the Aculux retains good characteristics as it is an excellent 'box speed' developer with plenty of head room for an extra stop, whilst 800 rated Tri-X is not far from the films normal latitude anyway (in my experience).
  14. Sorry, I forgot to add that, for me, Neopan 1600 is the fast film of choice - I have a bulk roll loader for occassional use - (rated at 1250 or 1600 and developed in Aculux 2) as I prefer the look to any 400 film that has been pushed two stops. Several years ago I was shooting some Ilford Delta 3200 with very pleasing results as long as development was extended 10-15% than suggested, if I remember correctly.
  15. No more neopan 1600 in USA I'm afraid. I love it at 800-1000 EI. That's why I'm now experimenting with TriX at 800.
  16. Wow, lots of great replies.
    Looks like I really was on the wrong track with my R09 use.
    Just checked the more likely suppliers here and Neopan 1600 is only available in 35mm, as I shoot a mix or 35mm and 120 and would prefer to keep the film the same for both formats that might be out.
    Xtol seems like a good idea and I can always try adding some R09 to it.
  17. If your pushed Tri-X films look flat out of Xtol: develop 30 or 60 seconds longer. Problem solved.
  18. Cool, picking up some Xtol today. Will report back once iv splashed a few films.
  19. Ethol UFG will allow you to push Tri-X two or three stops while maintaining super fine grain. Development times are still short enough to use it for sheet film souped in trays as well.
  20. After buying some X-tol (still not used it yet) I've had a bit of a change of heart and I'm now not so sure that I want to keep grain fine.
    I'm thinking I want to go for starker contrast and lower film speed so I can get motion blur and the like a bit easier.

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