Tri X 400 vs TMax 400

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by tania_fernandez, Nov 19, 2003.

  1. Another thread back from the dead...

    Put me in the Tri-X camp.

    With that said, the person who ultimately intends to scan would-IMO-be much better served by Ilford XP-2 Super. This is a chromogenic C-41 process B&W film, meaning that it is processed in the ubiquitous C-41 chemistry but yields a B&W negative. Even 5 years ago this was a REALLY big deal at least in the US as a lot of drug stores and other places like that had C-41 miniliabs in-house and could do it in an hour. Just doing a quick mental tally of my little home town of 30,000, I think that there were 9 or 10 1-hour minilabs in town.

    XP-2 Super has a clear base and was designed to be easily printed on an enlarger. The competing Kodak product(sold under a few different names, including Portra B&W and T400CN) had an orange mask designed to give good B&W prints on automated color printing equipment.

    In any case, after processing XP-2 Super, you are left with dye clouds and not silver grains as in a conventional B&W film. This means that you can use Digital ICE or equivalent technology to get rid of dust and scratches, something that makes your life a LOT easier when it comes time to actually scan.
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  2. I have found that Tmax400 (Xtol1:1 21°C) gives poor results at the edge of clouds (~granular aspect). Tmax 100 is much better to this point. Anyway why 400 iso with bright landscapes?
  3. A lot of folks on the Large Format Photography forum swear by TMY and won't use anything else-even though there was a time last year when Kodak had run it up to $150ish a box($3/sheet) in 4x5.

    To be fair, with large format you are often working at small apertures and at close distances can you can lose a half stop or better for the bellows factor. The latter is even more common in 8x10 than 4x5. It doesn't really matter to me(my main films are FP4+ and Velvia 50, although I use TXP 320 some) but even a landscape photographer can appreciate fast shutter speeds on a windy day.

    In addition, I've seen more than one person say that they don't need a yellow filter with TMY. I'm not sure if that's unique to the sheet film or true of all formats.
  4. Funny I like Tri-x in 35mm and Tmax 400 in medium format. Both are great films. Tri-x curl turns me off a bit.
  5. Tri-X in Rodinal for the grainy, harsh look.
    Ilford user otherwise.

    Note the original thread is from 2003, so it was a lot closer to (or around) the change to Tri-X 400. Perhaps it influences some of the findings in the original thread.
  6. My problem with Tmax is that the fine grain makes it difficult for me to see with my grain focuseer in the darkroom. Just printed a batch of 16x20 landscapes shot with Tri-X, and I must say they are beautiful.
  7. I always say if I am stranded on a deserted island I want an F2, a 28mm and 100 rolls of Tri-X. The T Max films were intended, I think, to reduce the grain and so on and they did this well. For me though, it loses something. The grain, which I often want for one reason or another.

    Rick H.
  8. I am not sure why this is back, but I won't complain.

    Seems to me that there are at least two, maybe three, different films that are TMY. They have different names, and different development times.

    Tri-X has changed over the years, but maybe not quite as much.

    I used to do pretty much all film in Diafine, but now have some HC-110 and XTOL, too.

    Tri-X has a recommended EI of 1200 or 1600 in Diafine, where TMY has EI of about 500 or 640.
  9. I've shot a lot of Tri-x over the years but recent experimentation with TMY has me leaning toward the later. Beautiful tones, fine grain and it dry flat. I think the Tmax films were considered non traditional to the point of heresy for a few. Seems some have never gotten over that IMO.
  10. Of course, there are also two different Tri-Xs, and they are actually quite different films. The ASA speeds aren't even the same!

    Unfortunately, now one of them is only available in sheet film while the other is only available in roll film. At one time, TXP 320 was available in 220, and going back a bit further it was available in 120 also. TX 400 hasn't been available in sheet film since sometime in the late 80s or early 90s as best as I can tell, although now of course it is ubiquitous in 35mm and 120. 10 years ago, when TXP 320 was still available in 220, I don't think you could get TX 400 in 220.

    Despite being a somewhat newer emulsion than TX 400, TXP 320 has a lot of "old" properties. Not the least of these is that it comes with a "tooth" already applied to the base side so it can be manually retouched for anyone who still practices that mostly lost art. I suppose that also makes it better suited to sheet film-even 6x6 is uncomfortably small for me for getting a mole off a portrait. One of these days I'll get brave and try some manual retouching. although I'd love to go all out and get a retouching station. Also, even though I said it was a "newer" emulsion, I'm not sure it got the "finer grain" touch that TX got in ~2008(although that's mostly comparing expired 220 to fresh 120, and I don't really care about grain in 4x5).

    As a nice side effect of the backing on TXP, though, you can actually scan it between two sheets of regular glass without worrying about Newton's rings.
  11. Admittedly I haven't shot any film in a few years, but never warmed up to TMY. It has a certain signature tonal quality I can usually spot a mile away. Back when the earth was young and the T-grained films were introduced, Kodak put out a brochure with a lot of incredibly nice photos. They had tonal quality like crazy. Richness in the shadows and delicate not overblown highlights. Not all studio stuff either. I never got results like those, nor did anybody else I knew, even after a lot of fine tuning of exposure and development.

  12. Same here. I went to trad grained films.
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