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Einst_Stein

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

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52 minutes ago, Stuart Richardson said:

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. 

Sorry, Neopan Acros is gone. Apparently you haven't used it for quite a while already. No point to talk about it now.

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43 minutes ago, pico said:

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.

I also like TRi-X's tonality over Tmax 400. I am also convinced that Tmax 400 has visible finer grain than Tri-X.  After my short, simple, and limited tests, I reached my personal conclusion that Tri-X 35mm format has good enough grain characteristics that I can ignore Tmax's fine grain.

But this by no mean is the end, with a lot more practice and refining my skill with Tmax, I might change my thoughts, who knows.

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7 minutes ago, Einst_Stein said:

I also like TRi-X's tonality over Tmax 400. I am also convinced that Tmax 400 has visible finer grain than Tri-X.  After my short, simple, and limited tests, I reached my personal conclusion that Tri-X 35mm format has good enough grain characteristics that I can ignore Tmax's fine grain.

But this by no mean is the end, with a lot more practice and refining my skill with Tmax, I might change my thoughts, who knows.

I have never had a client reject an image due to grain. And to show the most agerious, here is one.

 

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On 2/22/2019 at 8:14 PM, jmahto said:

 

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

I've been using Tmax 400 in Perceptol. The resulting negatives are much easier scanning than TriX. I have quite a bit to get through before I start on Delta films which I hope will also scan well.

Pete

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6 hours ago, Stealth3kpl said:

I've been using Tmax 400 in Perceptol. The resulting negatives are much easier scanning than TriX. I have quite a bit to get through before I start on Delta films which I hope will also scan well.

Pete

What do you mean by “scans well”?

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Some scanners seem to interact strangely with grain, exaggerating it. In part this is probably partly because of the relationship between grain size and scan resolution, and partly because of sharpening in the scanner/software  

For example, I found that the Plustek 8200 exaggerated grain far more than a flat bed or DSLR scan.

The problem, of course, is that there are so many variables: emulsion, exposure, colour contrast filters, processing, the scanner and its software, and the software used to process the final image. Enumerating all possibilities is almost impossible, so the practical strategy is to explore and settle on whatever combination works for you...

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Posted (edited)

Also some developers exaggerate grain such as rodinal and tetenal paranol.

With scanning it's a good idea to avoid all image processing at the scan stage and do it later in full control of the affects. Selective adjustment of sharpening, contrast and clarity can yield good results. Also it's just occurred to me that the radius setting on sharpening tool could help too.

Underexposure also exaggerates grain if you then have to compensate by adding exposure in post processing. Much better with film (not e6) is to over expose by at least one stop to be sure.

Edited by PaulJohn

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10 hours ago, Einst_Stein said:

Sorry, Neopan Acros is gone. Apparently you haven't used it for quite a while already. No point to talk about it now.

I know. I am still using it because I bought a stock when it was discontinued...I only wish I had bought more. I did not realize there was a rigid constraint to only talk about films that were immediately available. In any case, it seems as though you have formed your opinion, so I will just wish you luck with your photographing! 

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6 hours ago, Stuart Richardson said:

I know. I am still using it because I bought a stock when it was discontinued...I only wish I had bought more. I did not realize there was a rigid constraint to only talk about films that were immediately available. In any case, it seems as though you have formed your opinion, so I will just wish you luck with your photographing! 

sorry, there is no restriction, at least not for anything makes sense by all mean. Sorry again if I made such impression. So please give us any comment you have. Thanks a lot.

The Main point is the selection of the available choices, but not limited.

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11 hours ago, Mark II said:

For example, I found that the Plustek 8200 exaggerated grain far more than a flat bed or DSLR scan.

Yep - Bare-LED-illuminated scanners tend to emphasize grain (and other artifacts - dust, scatches) more than flat-bed scanners (which usually have back-lit "glow" panels). It's the same difference as between point-light-source of condenser enlarger heads vs. cold-light heads (effectively, light-boxes). OTOH LED scanners often produce stronger edge effects (apparent resolution, like an unsharp-mask) if the grain is really fine to begin with, relative to image size (e.g. 6x6, view-camera film).

Some more here - from 1949, but the laws of physics don't change. ;) 

http://www.jollinger.com/photo/enlargers/howtwobuy49.html

I agree with pretty much everything posted so far - the tablet-grain (TMax/Delta) films are finer-grained and sharper, but have harsher and "more difficult" tonality, as a rule. This has been true ever since the T-grain films appeared 30+ years ago. With experience and care, they work well.

When I shot 35mm film:

1) I never got pictures rejected due to grain, either - because my pro stuff was always Kchrome or Velvia ;)

2) I tended to prefer Ilford Delta 400 to either TMax or the "old-school" TX/HP5 - it seemed to strike a better balance between sharpness/grain and tonal quality/latitude.

Now that I'm scanning 120 film only (thinner base weight), I use TMax for the practical reason that it stays flatter and is easier to load into the film holders. 400 mostly, because when scale-focusing the SWC for street work, I need all the DoF I can get (1/500th at f/11-16) ;)

But I just got a few rolls of 120 Ilford FP4/Delta 100/Pan F to give them another whirl - FP4 has a lot of latitude.

Below is with TMax 400, Hassy w/80mm T* CF (Contrasty lens!), direct sunlight. Exposed to hold shadow detail in the deep building arcades. Took a lot of work to tame the bright skin tones (and they still look a bit "steely").

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32 minutes ago, adan said:

Yep - Bare-LED-illuminated scanners tend to emphasize grain (and other artifacts - dust, scatches) more than flat-bed scanners (which usually have back-lit "glow" panels). It's the same difference as between point-light-source of condenser enlarger heads vs. cold-light heads (effectively, light-boxes). OTOH LED scanners often produce stronger edge effects (apparent resolution, like an unsharp-mask) if the grain is really fine to begin with, relative to image size (e.g. 6x6, view-camera film).

Some more here - from 1949, but the laws of physics don't change. ;) 

http://www.jollinger.com/photo/enlargers/howtwobuy49.html

I agree with pretty much everything posted so far - the tablet-grain (TMax/Delta) films are finer-grained and sharper, but have harsher and "more difficult" tonality, as a rule. This has been true ever since the T-grain films appeared 30+ years ago. With experience and care, they work well.

When I shot 35mm film:

1) I never got pictures rejected due to grain, either - because my pro stuff was always Kchrome or Velvia ;)

2) I tended to prefer Ilford Delta 400 to either TMax or the "old-school" TX/HP5 - it seemed to strike a better balance between sharpness/grain and tonal quality/latitude.

Now that I'm scanning 120 film only (thinner base weight), I use TMax for the practical reason that it stays flatter and is easier to load into the film holders. 400 mostly, because when scale-focusing the SWC for street work, I need all the DoF I can get (1/500th at f/11-16) ;)

But I just got a few rolls of 120 Ilford FP4/Delta 100/Pan F to give them another whirl - FP4 has a lot of latitude.

Below is with TMax 400, Hassy w/80mm T* CF (Contrasty lens!), direct sunlight. Exposed to hold shadow detail in the deep building arcades. Took a lot of work to tame the bright skin tones (and they still look a bit "steely").

ah, an actual example of a photo, what a bright idea!  Nothing proves a point like sharing a photo. :)

For examples of how various B&W films render on a Leica, of course there are gazillions of web examples but you might stick closer to home and check out the postings on the I Like Film thread by Marc @benqui.  

He shoots a lot of Tmax 400

But also Delta 400

 

ETC

You might also check out the "Favorite Images" tab in the forum as it currently as the above images plus one from another Marc @MT0227 in Tri-X.  The "I Like Film" thread is another treasure trove of example of B&W films on Leicas.  That is really the best way to assess and make your determination.  In my experience, sometimes it is really tough!

Assuming that you are scanning, I think that all of these examples show how each film can make stellar images.  It really takes a close inspection to pick up on the difference in the native characteristics of each film.  There are definitely differences...

The reason why I suggested that it depends on what subject and situation you are shooting is because  - particularly since you can really get great results from any of the major pro B&W film stocks - they are all not necessarily equal in terms of getting a negative that can tolerate shortfalls in perfect exposure.  For example, if you are out and about and are relying on an in camera meter or just your own measurement of light and the light is constantly changing and you have time to get your exposure setting exactly right, the Tri-X ought to help you get more usable images than Tmax 400.  This is just my own experience and not based on anything scientific.  And it is really somewhat marginal as I really rarely fail to get a usable image no matter what (negative) film I am using.

 

 

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@A miller: thank you very much Adam for mention my b/w photos as examples for different types of film. On the one hand there are so many different b/w films on the market on the other hand I do not have the time (which is a polite way to say I don't fancy that) to test all of them. In most cases I use the Tmax 400 because it is very easy to push the film up  to 1600 or more depending on the light. If I have a good light I also like the Delta 400. I develop the films by myself, but I hate scanning. A lab does this job for me. But to tell the truth, I am not able at all to see any difference on my scans or prints on photo paper between the Delta 400 and the Tmax 400. To me they all look the same. In many cases it is not a decision between these films it depends on what I have in my fridge. And when I think that I need more grain, I use the Tmax 3200 with 1000 or 1600. Thats all. I think it is a difficult discussion and especially when you look in the "I like film" thread you see photos with a completely different grain and look, but they were taken with the same film.

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@A miller thanks for the props my friend.   What Adam has said about TriX is why I started there and just haven't swtiched.  TriX is quite forgiving and perfect for outdoor, uncontrolled scenarios....well at least for me.  I do my own developing and scanning.  I push TriX 1 stop in HC-110(b) @20c and find the grain pleasing, producing sharp contrasty images right out of the can.  I tend to use TMAX (100/400) more with my medium format gear, generally under controlled shooting situations for portrait and landscape work.  

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21 hours ago, PaulJohn said:

With scanning it's a good idea to avoid all image processing at the scan stage and do it later in full control of the affects. Selective adjustment of sharpening, contrast and clarity can yield good results

I agree. I have been developing and scanning BW film myself for one year and only now I am able to understand how to switch off all the automated adjustments by scanning software.

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My preference is for FP4+ in slower speeds. A nice amount of grain without being too much. For ISO 400 films I prefer T grains - especially for scanning. I like Delta 400 because in my experience Ilford films tend to lie flatter and curl less than Kodak film. Therefore I get better scans from it. That said the Kodak films are very nice to print optically but I still prefer the grain and tones of the newer films. 

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I like them all, with each emulsion and developer bringing it's own trumpet to the speakeasy. My go-to's tend to be Tri-X and Delta 100, simply because I'm simple.

I have an atrocious tendency to load cameras / magazines / film holders in the expectation of near-future shooting (therefore not needing to note what I have loaded), and finding myself some months down the track with a camera / magazine / film holder loaded with I-know-not-what. Laziness, bounding with the joy / misery of surprise.

The labels on roll film, and the profile cuts on sheet film are my saviour when it comes to developing, but they don't help with the exposing. Still, a couple of stops either way never killed anyone...

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30 minutes ago, EoinC said:

I like them all, with each emulsion and developer bringing it's own trumpet to the speakeasy. My go-to's tend to be Tri-X and Delta 100, simply because I'm simple.

I have an atrocious tendency to load cameras / magazines / film holders in the expectation of near-future shooting (therefore not needing to note what I have loaded), and finding myself some months down the track with a camera / magazine / film holder loaded with I-know-not-what. Laziness, bounding with the joy / misery of surprise.

The labels on roll film, and the profile cuts on sheet film are my saviour when it comes to developing, but they don't help with the exposing. Still, a couple of stops either way never killed anyone...

Since I started shooting film, I have 4 working cameras with loaded film and it is easy for me to forget as well. This is why I keep the record in PhotoExif app.

Even after that I made a mistake once (I noted down wrong film)!

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I’ve been comparing the 400 films of Kodak and Ilford lately to decide what to stock up. In recent years I’ve shot mainly PanF+ (50) as my favorite, for its tonality and fine grain, and easy, economical processing in Rodinal. I’ve been using HP5+ for higher speed, and liked its tonality also, but prefer finer grain.

So I’ve been trying TriX again as I used it a lot decades ago, but it is too curly and hard to handle. I’ve just been shooting both TMax 400 and Delta 400, processing in DD-X. I like both better than modern TriX, but again TMax wants to curl across the width, so it bows in my V700 scanner and you can see the grain (and other detail) isn’t sharp across the frame. Delta, however, lies much flatter and scans easier for me. TMax may have finer grain, but for scanning Delta looks better for me.

Next I’ll compare enlarging, where the Focomat glass holder will keep both flat. But when I last tried enlarger printing with TMax I gave up quickly and went back to conventional grain film.

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