Simulating the Tri-X Look

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by harold_leyes, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. One of the nicest feelings I have as a photographer is to finish processing a
    roll of Tri-X file. I pull it out of the tank and view the finished images in
    the light - I love the shades of gray that this film captures.

    I am shooting digital, and I have Photoshop and Macromedia (Adobe) Fireworks.
    How can I take a color digital image and change the settings so the result
    looks like it was shot on Tri-X, with the slight grain, and the gray scale?

    Thanks in advance,

    Harold Leyes
    Fort Myers, FL
  2. There are a lot of different techniques. The better ones (IMO) start with desaturating the image to give it the gray scale, manipulating the contrast, then, depending on the version of PS you're using, go to Filter | Artistic | Film Grain to get the grainy look.
  3. Convert to monochrome and there are many ways. Desaturation is the poorest. Either with
    curves or put the file in the raw converter, you can adjust the contrast and gamma at
    individual places along the curve to make it look different.
  4. email me to get my action set for CS2-3, and my Ligtroom should get a nice BW.

    also search the forum for a old post of mine where i give recipe to emulate different bw film using the channel mixer. Indeed, you will need to use some level, curve, mask and add some film grain to get what you want in the end.

    Here, to save you some time..


    Agfa 200X: 18,41,41

    Agfapan 25: 25,39,36

    Agfapan 100: 21,40,39

    Agfapan 400: 20,41,39

    Ilford Delta 100: 21,42,37

    Ilford Delta 400: 22,42,36

    Ilford Delta 400 Pro: 31,36,33

    Ilford FP4: 28,41,31

    Ilford HP5: 23,37,40

    Ilford Pan F: 33,36,31

    Ilford SFX: 36,31,33

    Ilford XP2 Super: 21,42,37

    Kodak Tmax 100: 24,37,39

    Kodak Tmax 400: 27,36,37

    Kodak Tri-X: 25,35,40

    Basic Settings
    Normal Contrast: 43,33,30 or 24, 68, 08

    High Contrast: 40,34,60
  5. Or use CS3 BW tool to get what you want visually adding some level curve and some film grain.

    or use the 300$ exposure plugin..

    your choice : )
  6. Or why not just keep shooting with Tri-X and scan the film? :)
  7. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    He says he's shooting digital, it's hard to put Tri-X in a digital camera.

    You will see some difference between grain characteristics in Tri-X negatives and digital images after processing into black and white. Some people use a scan of a Tri-X frame and add it as a layer, adjust opacity to the desired level, and then flatten.
  8. You can't. It is not the same you can get real close but it won't ever be TriX will it. You won't get the satisfaction of pulling it from the tank for starters. I've seen great digital B&W images. I can make nice nice digital B&W images myself. You can have real blown out highlights with B&W film but you can still burn them in using traditional darkroom printing. With digital even shooting RAW you just don't get that. As you shoot TriX now why not continue and enjoy it also enjoy digital for what it does well. Digital B&W can look great develop your B&W digital conversion skills and you will get great images use a scan from from Trix as Jeff suggests you will probably even closer. Digital is a different medium so expect it do look a bit different. B&W film look different shot on medium format compared to 35mm even if it is the same film. You may even end up prefering your digital B&W convertions compared to B&W film.
  9. Jeff - I know! My point is - if he's familiar with shooting Tri-X (which means using a traditional SLR), why not continue with it, rather than spending a lot of time making digital photos to look like film? Isn't that counter-productive?
  10. I do both, scan 3x and do it other ways. Once you get a look you like, it doesn't take any time at all.
  11. Hi Ronald, Why do you say that desaturation is the poorest method. It is the one that my guru's use the most often to get things going. I'm always trying to learn... not challenge you. Thanks!
  12. Michael, start to think about changing guru..

    I cant explain it as well as other, english is not my first language, but let say that by desaturating only you dont get the full range of tonality that you could get by using the channel mixer or the calculation method. By using the channel mixer for example, you could get the red to react one way and the green to react another way. If you simply desaturated your image everycolor react the you a poor conversion, almost identical as just converting your image to grayscale..ask your guru what is the best method between rgb > grayscale VS rgb > desaturated, he should say desaturated indeed..but do it yourself and realize that both of the method yield to the same result..than realize that your guru need update in is knowledge : )
  13. stb


    By desaturating you don't only loose colour, you also loose the real luminance information.
    Two colours that would make a B&W film react with different grays can give the same gray
    after a desaturation. That's avoided when using the grayscale conversion or, better, the
    channel mixer.

    Another good way to convert is to convert the file to Lab space and isolate the L (Luminance)
  14. What about the B/W tool in CS3. I find you get a little more control and its more intuitive (for me) than straight channel mixer. It is actually, a finer tuned channel mixer is it not.
  15. Thanks to you all for your input. That gives me something to think about.


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