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Einst_Stein

Tmax 400 more preferred than TRi-X among Leica Users?

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TRi-X is claimed the most popular B&W film for its tonality. It is more grainy than Tmax and Delta but people find it's pleasing.

Do you find Tmax 400 more preferable than Tri-X with your Leica?  

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Very timely post. I have been shooting Tri-X (casual) along with TMax100 (for landscapes) and wondering whether I should switch to Tmax400. I had done test shot once and I liked it. 

I scan the negatives and although my friends have commented positively on the tonality from my TriX pictures, somehow I don’t see a huge difference (my reference is one test roll). In fact scanning technique had more impact. 

I would also love to hear what others have to say. 

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I like T-Max and Ilford Delta which are quite similar. The develop plays a big part too. ID11 is my current choice.

 

I found grain too much on TriX for 35mm. TriX on medium format as simply gorgeous though.

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I'm with PaulJohn here, used the all original Tri-X when it was all you could get, but lately and especially in 35mm I find Delta 100 nicer.

R09 developer though, if that makes a difference.

But as stated above, Tr-X on 6x6 is quite nice.

Gary

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Delta 400 here. A while ago I tried some Tri-X, and the results were more similar than different (the Kodak having a slightly more grain and a bit more exposure latitude, which which becomes increasingly apparent as you push more). I would be happy shooting either upto EI1600 or maybe EI3200 for Tri-X - but here the Delta is cheaper 😉 ). I use DD-X or ID-11 to develop, which are both roughly equivant to Kodak D76.

FWIW, I started out shooting HP5+, but despite its nice tonality and seeming immunity to exposure errors, I found it too grainy for my taste.

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Like others above, I shot lots of Tri-X in the 1960s when doing more reportage work in available light - often at EI 1200 developed in Acufine. I also did indoor sports with 2475 recording film. Yet I never liked heavy grain - so when possible I used Panatomic-X (ASA 64).

In the 10 years since retiring and shooting film again, I've found I prefer the Ilford films, using PanF+ the most. I've had good tonality results with HP5+, but again prefer finer grain. Having tried TMax and Ilford Delta films, I prefer Delta, particularly for the handling when processing and drying. So I've ditched my remaining bulk of Tri-X and started loading Delta.

On the other hand, I do like the results of HP5+ in 120 size, where the grain isn't an issue. I guess I should 120 Tri-X again. Still have a soft spot for Kodak, and will be doing more Ektachrome for color. Looking forward to 120 size in that also.

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They all have their place, I think. Tri-x for its contrasty mood, Tmax for its clarity, and HP5 for something in-between.

Edited by plaidshirts

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I see zero reason to pay for overpriced Kodak bw emulsion.

Switched to Ilford/Kentmere after Kodak first gauging.

On exApug one member did dr prints from diffrent emulsions. No diffrence.

Grain talks comes with scans. But to me scans are not final product.

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23 hours ago, Ko.Fe. said:

I see zero reason to pay for overpriced Kodak bw emulsion.

Switched to Ilford/Kentmere after Kodak first gauging.

On exApug one member did dr prints from diffrent emulsions. No diffrence.

Grain talks comes with scans. But to me scans are not final product.

With the film-less digital camera, the film price is last thing to consider for me.  

I am looking for the effects I miss that I liked back in medium format B&W films & wet prints, particularly the TRI-X and Verichrome, but I want to use Leica, so 35mm format. I was wondering whether Tmax or Delta would be the better choice, for the sake of grain characteristics. My judge would be based on sampling flickr, photo.net, and other popular photo sites etc. I assume my skill would not be much better than the sampled posters.

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29 minutes ago, Einst_Stein said:

My judge would be based on sampling flickr, photo.net, and other popular photo sites etc.

In my experience it is impossible to judge even earlier 35mm Tri-X images online. I have a photo that cannot show the Tri-X quality except in a conventional darkroom print.

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32 minutes ago, pico said:

In my experience it is impossible to judge even earlier 35mm Tri-X images online. I have a photo that cannot show the Tri-X quality except in a conventional darkroom print.

Maybe we have different criteria and standard. High photo capable electronic display is my final viewing media in most situations. I believe when they are close, it may take much better display and much better viewing capability to tel the difference. But if even I can see clear differences, the difference is more than real.

But my focus on this exercise is the grain pattern. The real issue is the lack of grain difference across films and developer. The surprise is I see clearly much more coarse grain pattern on some films that are claimed to have much fine grain.

Edited by Einst_Stein

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2 hours ago, Einst_Stein said:

With the film-less digital camera, the film price is last thing to consider for me.  

I am looking for the effects I miss that I liked back in medium format B&W films & wet prints, particularly the TRI-X and Verichrome, but I want to use Leica, so 35mm format. I was wondering whether Tmax or Delta would be the better choice, for the sake of grain characteristics. My judge would be based on sampling flickr, photo.net, and other popular photo sites etc. I assume my skill would not be much better than the sampled posters.

Tmax and Delta are kind of grain less emulsions. If you like retro grain here is Ilford HP5+.

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I hate T-grain film. Look at its log response to exposure. T-grain was some kind of stupidly we should expect from a bean-counter.

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I hate to say this but for me I think it depends.  I find that Tmax 400 is cleaner though it is less tolerant to over exposure.  Trix is more malleable though not as clean - but still plenty clean in most situations.  I would try both and decide which you like better based on what kind of shooting you do.  

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42 minutes ago, 01af said:

I prefer Ilford HP5+.

In the ISO 400 range, yes, me too. Very rarely use Tri-X or TMax 400. I use TMax 100 on the other hand often with my large format camera on 4x5" sheets. Still upset about the sticky purple dye which is being used in the TMax films ...... for 35 mm film, I shoot now mostly Ilford films for B&W. 

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There is not much question that Tmax 400 is technically superior to Tri-X in many measurable ways -- grain, dynamic range, sensitivity, reciprocity...Whether or not you like it is taste. For example, I completely disagree with Pico. I absolutely love it, and prefer T-grain emulsions to traditional emulsions, though I preferred Fuji's Acros to Tmax 100. Especially with smaller film, I find that the finer grain (RMS 10 for Tmax 400 versus RMS 17 for Tri-X 400) makes a huge difference. I also do a lot of night and long exposure work, and the Tmax films are much more sensitive for longer exposures which means that I do not have to wait around as long, and in truly dark situations they give more shadow detail. 

If you want you strong grain and a more classic look, Tri-X is an option. I understand why people use it, it's just not for me. 

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2 hours ago, Stuart Richardson said:

There is not much question that Tmax 400 is technically superior to Tri-X in many measurable ways -- grain, dynamic range, sensitivity, reciprocity...Whether or not you like it is taste. For example, I completely disagree with Pico. I absolutely love it, and prefer T-grain emulsions to traditional emulsions, though I preferred Fuji's Acros to Tmax 100. Especially with smaller film, I find that the finer grain (RMS 10 for Tmax 400 versus RMS 17 for Tri-X 400) makes a huge difference. I also do a lot of night and long exposure work, and the Tmax films are much more sensitive for longer exposures which means that I do not have to wait around as long, and in truly dark situations they give more shadow detail. 

If you want you strong grain and a more classic look, Tri-X is an option. I understand why people use it, it's just not for me. 

I purposely try to avoid generalized to question to "T-grain vs. Cubic Grain for Leica", as that will be totally nonsense to me. 

You are absolutely right, there is no such thing as film A is "better" than B, and I doubt anyone would really "hate" a film or a camera or , you name it.  That should belong to the political forums. So I tried to formulate the question to "preferred", in the hope that people realize it is subjective, relative, and statistical.

I also purposely limit to the "Leica users", assuming Leica users are generally 35mm format shooters, have the tendency to shoot with larger apertures, (right or wrong), that the grain characteristics might be more pronounced (compare to medium format or small aperture style).

My point is, I believe with larger format, the tonal appearance over rules the grain business and resolution business. This is where Tri-X (or HP5+) really shines according to the sales volume. This is also where I have no questions. Personally I would not bother to see how other people think about Tmax or Delta. For 35mm format, there could be more incentive to consider Tmax or Delta. For me, this has to do purely for the grain and resolution. Bear in mind I am a photo lover but with average skill, therefore I am focusing on the published photo galleries and comparing the grain appearances. 

What surprised me, and that triggers this topic, is the sampled observations of the Tri-X and Delta 400. I found there is no indication, statistically, that Tri-x is inferior in the grain business and to me I can only use "horrible" to describe Delta 400, complete controversial to the public opinions.

But my "horrible" may be a wrong word, maybe I should use "much coarse". After all, different grain patterns may have different visual appealling.      

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Einst_Stein

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I am not quite sure what you want to know here...if you do indeed want the finest grained 400 speed film, then it is Tmax 400, followed by Delta 400. If grain is more important than acutance, try a solvent developer. If you want the best combination of acutance and low grain with film speed, try something like Xtol 1+1 or DDX. If you want prominent salt and pepper grain with high acutance and nice tonality, you could try Tri-X in Rodinal 1+50 with moderate agitation. If you want the most standard film....in some ways the hardest to go wrong with, try Tri-X or HP5 rated at 320 in D76 or ID11. 

I don't think Delta 400 is a horrible film. I would encourage you to try it yourself rather than rely on pictures...as others have said, there are any number of areas where people can go wrong. I think it is probably pretty difficult to get the feel for a film without trying it yourself...there are so many variables.  

Personally, for a Leica, I would use Tmax 400 if I needed the speed, otherwise Tmax 100 or Neopan Acros. But those are also what I would use for large format, so to each their own. 

Edited by Stuart Richardson

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My impressions are that T-grain films have unfortunate contrast which makes wet darkroom printing problematic. Those who scan and digitally modify might have a different experience My other point concerns how grain can enhance accutance. Citation available. Let us keep in mind that monitor presentations are, at this time, rather inferior.

Edited by pico

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