Did I underexpose, underdevelop, and have a dirty tank? TXP + PMK

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I just bought a LOT of TXP, thinking it was going to be the cat's meow based on what I've heard and seen from others (first mistake...). I shot 2 rolls, developed, and printed them. Hate it. It is very 'unsharp' compared to my dialed-in combo of TMY and PMK--compared to anything I've shot it seems. I most certainly have done something wrong, or most people are blind, or I am blind.

I shot the way I always do before testing a film (albeit without a densitometer, which usually doesn't seem to matter with my ISO tests); i.e., I shot 1/3 stop under manufacturer's rating. I developed in PMK for 9:30 min at 80deg. with my normal agitation. As noted in an earlier post, since I have been shooting EF I have been getting great density, and this much stayed true with TXP.

I shot between f11 and f22.

In every shot I printed today, where a change in value occurs in the negative no filtration could get me a sharp delineation between values--even 151cc's of yellow + magenta.

It was very frustrating especially since I had also printed some sharp (acute) TMY negs just beforehand.

Any suggestions? After Tech Pan and TMax, I thought TXP would be a joke...(second mistake).


-- shawn gibson (SeeInsideForever@yahoo.com), January 19, 2000


Shawn, are we talking tonal quality here, or sharpness? After rereading your post, I'm not sure what the problem is!

-- Conrad Hoffman (choffman@rpa.net), January 19, 2000.

Sorry Conrad, I have full range from lows to highs, no blocking; 'tonality' is not the problem.

How should I say this: If there is a white shirt and a dark area of background directly beside it, the 'transition' between them is very soft, and it's prevalent like that in all areas where one value meets another, throughout the whole tonal range of the film. Does that help? I hope so I have a shoot on Friday and I'd like to figure this out so I can use the film I've already bought.

I never had this problem with regular 35mm Tri-X, so I am hoping I have done something wrong. Do you think I would get better results with doubling the amount of stock PMK? Or maybe changing the time for some reason? Or could it be my developing temp (80deg. which Hutchings says is fine for this emulsion and has been fine for all my other stuff)?

Thanks for your help.


-- shawn gibson (SeeInsideForever@yahoo.com), January 19, 2000.

Hi Shawn, I'm not a pyro guy, so can't comment on that, but only two things come to mind. Either you're not putting a sharp edge on the film to begin with (focus/other optical problem) or there is something going on with the development. Since your other results are sharp, I doubt it's optical (didn't recently lose your glasses, did you? :-))I'd try a roll in some more ordinary soup at 68 degrees and see if you get normal results. Then you can either fine tune the pyro or start blameing the film. Good luck!

-- Conrad Hoffman (choffman@rpa.net), January 19, 2000.

Thanks again Conrad. Maybe shooting a roll and souping it in something else might be the plan for Friday. It's not a focusing thing I think.


-- shawn gibson (SeeInsideForever@yahoo.com), January 20, 2000.

Remember that TXP and TX are different emulsions (or so I keep reading, I've never used TXP), so your 35mm TX results may not be truly comparable...

Perhaps Pryo isn't good with TXP? I'd try something that's known to work well with TXP, something from Kodak like D-76, and see if it's any sharper.

-- Michael Goldfarb (mgoldfar@mobius-inc.com), January 20, 2000.

Thanks Michael. I knew they were different emulsions; but until I can experiment a little more with pyro here, I'm going to use John Hick's modified D-76H from another post...seems a smarter idea.


-- shawn gibson (SeeInsideForever@yahoo.com), January 21, 2000.

The answer might be in the different thickness of the Tri-X emulsion compared with T-Max or Tech.Pan. The stain from pyro developers is caused by oxidation by-products which migrate through the gelatin of the emulsion; that's how it masks grain to such an extent. With a thin emulsion the stain can't spread very far, but with a thicker coating such as Tri-X's, it may spread enough to give a soft-edged image.

Knock the PMK on the head for Tri-X and stick to good ol' D76.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), January 24, 2000.

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