Jump to content

Any long term users of Tri X Pan here?/ Tri X discussion


Neil Purling
 Share

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Sorry about the long title.

#1 I wanted to know if there are any long-term users of Tri X Pan on here.

By that I mean from mid-eighties to date.

 

#2. Has Kodak Tri X Pan changed significantly in the twenty years to the present day?

As I remember comparative reviews in AP said it had slightly more contrast than HP5.

It was the film of choice for photojournalism because papers didn't print colour then.

 

I have two Computrol loaders: My original plan was to stuff one with Fomapan 100, the other with 400. Not now.

One will receive a charge of Fomapan T200 to be rated at FP4 speed of 125ASA. The other is free for the moment. I wanted to know about the current version of Tri X before I laid out fifty pounds on a 30M can.

 

This ladies & gentlemen is where you & your opinion comes into play.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't say I'm a long term user ('cos I'm not), but today's Tri-X is a lovely film. Probably my favourite, if the light allows.

 

There are a few of us here, who still appreciate the finer things in life...

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/members/andybarton-albums-tri-x-album.html

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/groups/tri-x-users-group.html

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello-

 

I have used Tri X since the mid seventies. Hard to say how different it really is as my equipment has changed as well. I do use it for all my b & w images but I also live stateside.

 

For a long while, I used Ilford HP5+. It's tones were very smooth and I loved it with Rodinal 1:25 for approx 12 minutes @ 68' F (20'C). Sharp and very reasonable grain. Tri X seemed harsher. In the early 90's I could buy 50 rolls of HP5 for $90 (US). A good bit less than TriX as I remember.

 

Then one night when hanging a show of retro images, I looked at some TriX images and there seemed to be a dimensionality that HP5 did not have. I then went back to Tri X and have since.

 

I now use X-Tol for processing as Rodinal is hard to come by here. The tones are smoother.

 

Now, if I had to pay 50 quid for a 100' bulk roll, I'd definitely check out HP5. In the end, it's about the image on the film, not the film the image is on.

 

Best,

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm only a recent user myself, but have some thoughts on this with regard to compensation developement. In "The Negative" Ansel Adams describes how this process works, and he and others (e.g James Ravillious) used this form of development with Tri-X (old, obviously) to good effect. Compensation development must, I should have thought, work better the thicker the emulsion, and I think that one of the differences between the older films and their newer equivalent is that the emulsion layer is considerably thinner now than it was.

Therefore I wonder if it is actually possible to get a decent amount of compensation occurring at all with new Tri-X and other new films?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't use the Zone Method (although in an enforced period at home recently, I did read "The Negative"), but I do over expose all my Tri-X, and then under-develop it.

 

320 ASA in HC110-B for 6 - 6 1/2 minutes at 20C works very well for me. I think anyway.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Tri-X was changed around 2002 - I may be out by a year or so. The film became slightly finer grained and the development times were amended a little - I carried on using Xtol 1:3 at the original times as Kodak didn't publish a time for this dilution, and it seemed to work ok. From memory production moved to a new plant or coating machine at the same time and I think this may have been the cause of the reformulation of the film. One comparison at the time claimed that the new Tri-X was finer grained than Tmax 400.

 

I've used quite a bit of HP5 and always felt that it was a lower contrast film that Tr-X. If I had to choose one or the other, I'd go for Tri-X, but I was happy to use HP5 when I couldn't get hold of Tri-X.

 

My usual films were FP4, Tri-X, Fuji Neopan 1600. Funny how we didn't seem to need noise free ISO 25,000 in those days <grin>.

 

All my Tri-X was developed in Xtol and then scanned, so I can't comment on how wet prints look.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used Tri X for 30 years. The medium format 400 (amateur) has not changed much, neither the sheet film nor the 35mm 400. the 320 medium format (pro) did and I do not like it.

 

For the 400 I expose at 200 and use HC110B. It is lovely and always has been.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've used it quite a lot in the last four years or so and really like it a lot. Great tolerance for exposure situations.

 

Only issue I have is here in LA it's not always the first choice because of the speed and our bright skies. But used it a lot in NYC and Paris and it's great.

 

One annoying thing is that it seems to curl more than Ilford film (laterally), which is a bit of a pain. If have to let it dry really, really slowly in the dark in a slightly humid enviornment -- to avoid it. With Ilford, I don't have that issue. But obviously this is a small thing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've used Tri-X since the mid-80's more than any other B&W film. I love the characteristics; the grain, the base EI and the fact that you can push it readily to EI 1600 or more. It takes well to HC-110, Rodinal and Xtol among others.

 

Though I'm also a fan of much slower films as well since I shoot more static than dynamic subjects (e.g. landscapes).

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I have always shot trix. Like another poster above, I did try hp5+ and even the delta 400 for a time, but now i shoot trix at 400 or 200. The only other films i shoot are pan f+ 50 and adox cms 20. But trix is my main squeeze. Other 400 films will be better in terms of grain, but there is a certain aesthetic quality that is difficult to define, the shadows fading quickly to black, whites go slightly creamy, and the depth that trix offers with rodinal. I will use it until is no longer manufactured.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used its various versions since the 1960's. I used to purchase surplus T-X movie film in 300' lengths and this worked just as well as T-X in a box. An excellent B&W film but with grain.

You really need to tailer your exposure and developement to an individual scene. There is no one ASA rating and development method that will work for all brightness ranges of scenes. T-X can go from sunlight to available light and provide nice images but must be exposed and developed for each individual scene. It was especially useful for film photography in news work during the film age as its grain was not as noticeable on newsprint.

Currently I am using T-Max 400 as I always like finer grain but T-X is still a good film.

In terms of changes over the years, I have not concerned myself with that as it can be subjective even with analysis.-Dick

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been shooting Tri-X (400) since the 1990's, so I've seen one revision that occurred around 2002.

I also have some vintage Tri-X negatives from the 1960's.

 

The 2002 upgrade was an improvement. The grain became tighter, but retained it's characteristic salt and pepper look. Don't ask me how they did it, but the grain pattern looks the same, just noticeably smaller.

Other than that it still looks like the previous version of Tri-X. It may just be my imagination, but somehow the latest version struck me as being a little more forgiving to exposure errors.

 

The 1960's negatives have much coarser grain and I suspect that in 2009 such graininess would not be acceptable for a 400asa film. Contrast appears to also be lower, than the modern incarnation.

 

Over the years I've probably tried most of the 400asa b/w films out there, but never found anything that was as good as Tri-X. It really is the best of the bunch and without a doubt deserves to be called 'the King of Black and White' films.

 

The grain is tight and the film has a huge exposure range, making it incredibly flexible, forgiving and versatile. Tonality is superb and just the way it handles highlights is worth the price of admission.

 

I use Barry Thornton's 2-bath developer for Tri-X up to 400asa. This is a revised version of Stoeklers 2-bath, the old Leitz developer and DD23. Thornton tweaked the formula to work better with modern emulsions, which are thinner. Because of the 2-bath process you get lots of shadow detail and highlights that go on forever. I have some negatives that exceed the range of my Nikon 9000ED scanner and had to be scanned in two bracketed passes. I also shoot Tri-X at 1250 / 1600 and develop in Diafine. This is a perfect combination and I was really surprised by how well Tri-X pushes.

 

The only other alternatives I have found that I like are TMAX 400-2 and the old AGFA APX400.

 

Without a doubt TMAX 400-2 has the finest grain of any 400asa B/W film I have ever seen. It almost looks like grainy 100asa film. The tonality seems more linear (flatter) than Tri-X and the highlights are a little more delicate. A very nice film and I'll shoot it on occasion.

 

AGFA APX 400 is no longer made, but I have fond memories of it. APX400 had a huge silver content and really lush tonal range. The developed negative looked like a miniature etching. Grain wasn't as tight as Tri-X, but it just had a look that was really beautiful. But it's gone, so that's a mute point.

 

 

PS: If you are buying in the UK double check that bulk loading will actually save you any money.

I few months ago I compared the prices for a bulk roll to individual cans and it either came out even or just pennies cheaper, which wasn't worth the trouble. Jessops will give you a price break on a brick (10 pack) and Calumet always seems to have a sale going on. There is also that 7-day shop site on the net, which sells Tri-X cheaper than anyone out there.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really disliked the grainyness of old Tri X. With the new coating, it falls into my acceptable catagory. I would not hesitate to use it as a single film.

 

Expose a few frames at 200 and cut development 20%. 6 frames are 12" of film which you cut off in the dark. This will wow you.

 

But now we have new TMax 400 I would clasify as a killer 400 film. Hard choices.

Link to post
Share on other sites

am also not a long term user but the current Tri X is superb in my opinion.

One of the most flexible and easy to 'get a good result' films going.Scans pretty good too.Smooth and nice.

 

Developed in HC110 I love it....tend to switch between that and Neopan depending on my mood :-)

 

good luck

 

andy

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I used Tri-X quite a lot back in the 1970's then drifted off to using color slide film. Fast forward to 1995 or so, when I then rediscovered B&W. Mostly used Ilford and Efke films up until last fall when, on a whim, I bought several rolls of Tri-X. I love this stuff! So much so that I bought a 30 meter roll and now spool my own. An absolutely great film that now has a semi-permanent home in my MP.

 

Jim B.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I will try to attach a jpeg of an Agfa-Gaevart Tri-X / Rodinal exposure and development chart which I found extremely useful in the 1980s when operating as a two-bob photojournalist for minor magazines, whose owners and readers objected to the use of flashlight. It was, and perhaps still is valid using the Rodinal substitutes.

 

Previously I posted it in the Film Forum as a PDFattachment, but (sob, sob) no-one took any notice. I'll further make a fool of myself by messing up this trial of attaching a jpeg, no doubt. Always the optimist!

 

John.

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...