Tri-X/HP5 -- is there a differnce or do I just will it?

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by dean_lastoria, Jun 7, 2000.

  1. I have been shuffling between 4X5 HP5 and Tri-X hoping to see the difference and decide on what I want. I think I see the difference, but I don't know. Maybe I am just willing it. So I tried an experiment that could be called anecdotal. Same camera, same lens, same subject, almost the same exposure (320/400 +/- erratic shutter). Somehow HP5 is lighter? not as heavy? I don't know. The HP5 skintones looked (I know it's not a word) more marzipan-ish. The Tri-X looked, well, normal. I'm going with HP5, but I'd like to know if it just because I am stubborn and delusional, or if you can really see a difference. Something in my gut tells me that there can't be any difference.

    <p>

    Dean
     
  2. I'm guess they differ in HD curve shape (pick a toe, any toe) and
    spectral sensitivity. These are things you can't make up for in
    exposure and development. It's OK, just use what looks best to you,
    we won't tell anyone...
     
  3. Try the same experiment using Diafine. Shoot the negs at the same time
    and process them in the same batch and then make the decision...
    Scott
     
  4. In 4x5, the shape of the H&D curve is different (4x5 Tri-X is TXP,
    not TX), so the films do produce different results. HP5+ is actually
    closer to regular medium format and 35mm Tri-X (TX) as opposed to Tri-
    X Pro (TXP).

    <p>

    Part of the confusion is that there are two very different films
    called "Tri-X." This dates back to before WWII when the original Tri-
    X was a sheet film, and smaller formats used Double-X as their
    highest speed film. When Kodak discontinued 35mm Double-X in the
    early 1950's, they called its replacement "Tri-X" but it wan't the
    same film as the sheet film version.

    <p>

    TXP (the sheet film version) is formulated for studio portrait use
    with hot lights. This is one reason why there is so much nostalgia
    among zone system types for the old double-X sheet film, which had a
    long straight line section of the H&D curve.

    <p>

    IMHO (as a TX user since the late 1950's), HP5+ is much better suited
    for landscape use than TXP. Of course, that's just another way of
    saying it behaves more like TX :)
     
  5. Life was simpler when I thought speed was the only choice. Scott, I
    was waiting to decide on one film BEFORE I tried a new developer, but
    maybe I'll just go all out, try the Diafine, and heck, maybe DDX too
    then I'll make all my decisions at once from six possible outcomes.
    And then I'll stop experimenting for at least 3 years. And it makes
    life doubly dificult if Tri-x is so many differnt films -- I thought
    that I would standardize on sheet and roll too. Thanks for your help.
    Dean
     
  6. Dean, if you want a simpler life, being a serious photographer is NOT
    the answer! I get much better results with Ilford films than any
    other. Tri-X is the only Kodak film that I would use for personal
    work. Using my color densitometer, I have determined that HP-5+ has
    an EI of 200 (same as Tri-X) when developed in PMK. Xtol may get
    anywhere from 1/3 to 2/3 stop more 'speed' from most films, but it
    has a little more fog. You may want to try PMK (Pyro-Metol-Kodalk)
    developer. You can dramatically reduce the time it takes to make fine
    prints from negatives developed in this developer.
     
  7. Michael, PMK is on my goal sheet for 2 or 3 years from now. OK, I'm
    paranoid, but I will wait until I have a semi-dedicated darkroom,
    properly ventilated as I heard it is deadly poison. I don't want life
    REAL simple; I just don't want to make it harder than it has to be.
    Thanks, Dean
     
  8. Dean, I'm continually amazed at how many people are frightened of
    pyro! There are MUCH more toxic chemicals used in household cleaning.
    If you follow the safety precautions outlined in the instructions
    (mix outdoors or under a 'ventilator'i.e. a range hood) and don't
    drink the 'A' solution, and don't soak your hands in the developer,
    you will be quite safe. Whatever you do, though, DO NOT mix amonia
    and bleach! The fumes will kill you in less than 30 seconds! There's
    no warning labels on either of those chemicals, is there?
     
  9. Oh, I know I'm irrational about the whole PMK thing, and I think the
    images I've seen using the stuff are amazing -- those 'wow, I'd like
    to do that' as opposed to an 'oh yea, that's nice' kind of photo. But
    I'm not quite there yet. I tried DDX this week, and I'll try the
    suggested Diafine next week (payday -- man is that stuff pricey).
    Though it is encouraging to know that PMK isn't as bad as it is
    rumored to be.
    Thanks for your ideas as I try to take the next developmental (get
    it?) step.

    <p>

    Dean
     
  10. Dean, you can buy PMK pre-mixed from Photographer's Formulary
    (http://www.photoformulary.com). I just got some. I'll use rubber
    gloves while I use it but aside from that I see no reason for
    precautions. The most dangerous thing about PMK is pyrogallol dust;
    using a liquid concentrate minimizes the risk of exposure.
     

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