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I’ve never been a big fan or user of Tri-X film but was thinking about giving it another go for my black and white work, I like the contrast with it but not too keen on its grain so was wondering what others use for developing this film, chemicals, times etc. Maybe you can convert me from being a Ilford user. 

Geoff

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If we look to Tri-X 400 images before 1974 or so, be assured you will never achieve the same look again because Kodak, with no notice, changed the film for better or worse. Today it has less apparent grain. (BTW TMX is not Tri-x.)

If you wish to have less grain then look to developers mixed with your own Sodium Sulfite additive. 9% is good. What it does is to dissolve grain cluster edges, make them fuzzy. It also tends to reduce contrast. IMHO, doing such diminishes acutance - not good.

Good luck!

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Pico nailed the basics.

Grain has been a headache for "miniature camera" users ever since Leica started making them, and that was with ISOs far below 400 (!)

The magazines from the 1930s through the 1970s (at least) used to review and advertise all kinds of ways to fight grain - sometimes contradictory. Surface developers (that could not penetrate into the gelatin, but only developed the silver touching the surface); additives like sulfite; pulling the film (overexposing by metering for 100 or 200, and cutting the developing time substantially); aiming for minimal exposure to avoid dense (and thus grainy) highlights.

Ilford still makes a dedicated "extra-fine-grain" developer - Perceptol - that has the grain solvent built right in. 100g of Sodium Sulfite per liter of final liquid. Kodak used to make the similar Microdol-X, but dropped it around 2010 - however Ilford gives times for Tri-X in Perceptol. See page 6...

https://www.ilfordphoto.com/amfile/file/download/file/1829/product/551/

NB: since a high-solvent extra-fine-grain developer is by definition literally eating away at the exposed silver grains, the effective film speed usually drops about 1 stop: you have to replaced the dissolved silver with more light (i.e. more grains exposed, each reduced in size by the developer, to get a normal overall density). ;)

Tri-X in Microdol-X, back in a 1970s Modern Photography, got rave reviews - exposed at 200. That's also what Ilford recommends with Perceptol.

I don't know that I can persuade you to use TX over HP5, though - back in the day, I used them interchangeably (whichever was cheapest).

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It's 15 years or so since I've developed Tri-X, but I always exposed it at ISO 400 and developed it in Xtol diluted 1:3.

It's a lovely film IMHO. I preferred it to HP5 as I thought it had a little more contrast, but after saying that I was happy to use the Ilford product if I couldn't get the Kodak.

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Being an Ilford user for decades, after acquiring a Leica M-A (my first film Leica, yay!) I decided to give Kodak Tri-X a try. Bought a pack of ten 135-36 and shot six rolls—one given to me by a friend, one that came with the M-A, and four from the pack.

After that, I ruefully returned to good old Ilford HP5 Plus as my to-go high-speed B/W film. Now what am I gonna do with those six remaining Tri-X rolls ...?

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I use Tri-X for most of my BW. Developed in Ilford-HC or Kodak HC-110 in my Jobo ATL (4:45 at 24degrees for my typical exposure profile) it produces results I love when put through an enlarger in the darkroom.

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I used Tri-X a lot back in the 1960s for available light work, but mainly Panatomic-X for good light as I don't care for high grain.

Since getting back to B&W after retirement, I also mainly scan negatives, and found the Kodak films dry with a lot of bow across the roll, and so don't scan well on an Epson V700 as they won't stay flat. (Unless flattened for a few days under weight.)  So I've mainly switched to Ilford films: Pan-F for good light and HP5 for available indoors. I really like Pan-F developed in Rodinal.

Recently I've experimented with Fomopan (Arista in the US from Freestyle photo) 400 & 100 and have been quite impressed. These films lay totally flat as soon as they are dry and scan very well. The 400 does better exposed at 250 or so, and has nice tonality and contrast. I got it mainly for price, as I do a lot of camera testing with short rolls, but I now use it for general use as well.

I did recently try Tri-X developed in DD-X and except for the film curl was very pleased with the images. I added some AN-glass film carriers for scanning which helps hold it flat.

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6 hours ago, oldwino said:

Kentmere 400 looks more like the old Tri-X than the new Tri-X does. 

Who makes Kentmere, and what makes you say that? (I am curious not challenging your view)

 

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Kentmere is an Ilford/Harman product line - the brand-name comes from a British photo-paper manufacturer Harman bought out about 10 years ago.

https://www.ilfordphoto.com/kentmere400-135

A no-frills brand - only made in 35mm, ISOs 100 and 400, aimed at students and film newbies - about 30% less than branded Ilford films.

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Here's a web page that addresses stand development of Tri-X in HC-110 with some examples.  I know you can't tell much from looking at an image on a screen vs. looking at a print or a negative, but the examples shown look pretty good IMHO.

https://parallaxphotographic.coop/kodak-tri-x-400-stand-development-film-review/

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On 5/15/2019 at 10:55 PM, TomB_tx said:

....

Since getting back to B&W after retirement, I also mainly scan negatives, and found the Kodak films dry with a lot of bow across the roll, and so don't scan well on an Epson V700 as they won't stay flat. (Unless flattened for a few days under weight.)  So I've mainly switched to Ilford films: Pan-F for good light and HP5 for available indoors. I really like Pan-F developed in Rodinal.

...

I did recently try Tri-X developed in DD-X and except for the film curl was very pleased with the images. I added some AN-glass film carriers for scanning which helps hold it flat.

Temperature when drying makes a big difference to film curl. I live in a cool/cold climate so use a gently heated drying cabinet, I get flat Tri-X negatives...

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26 minutes ago, 105012 said:

Temperature when drying makes a big difference to film curl. I live in a cool/cold climate so use a gently heated drying cabinet, I get flat Tri-X negatives...

Google Senrac Film Dryer and be happy. It has warm or cool modes. For intake air I used a long foam filter intended for room humidifiers. Awesome results for forty years, 35mm or 120.

The various roll-film dryers could feed a thousand articles regarding stupid designs. Senrac works.

Note that the unit is mounted vertically and not flat as many stupid pictures show.

Edited by pico

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