What Kodak 400 B&W to use...Tri-x , T-max or 400+ ?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

I'm planning to take B&W photos for a friend's band for promotional purposes. I'd like to take primarily group shots indoors with a flash. My thought was to use a 400 speed film but wasn't sure which one will be best for the job. I know Kodak has several varieties, including Tri-X, T-Max and 400+. Or would a different film speed or brand be better? Any suggestions for a rank amateur? Thanks for your help

-- Andy Comstock (Flyingv67@aol.com), June 02, 2000


I've used T-Max 400 for a friend's band and Delta 400 for my son's band. I prefer Delta 400 in XTOL 1:1 it has a more forgiving nature. Don't forget Tri-X in D76 1:1, a little more grain and even more forgiving.

-- Robert Orofino (rorofino@iopener.net), June 02, 2000.

Tri-X is the old standard in high speed (relatively) B&W film. It has a look that people either love or hate. It is more grainy that many newer films, but that is part of its charm. It can be pushed to very high speeds.

T-Max is the newer T-grain emulsion. People either love it or hate it. It seems to be a little more critical of development than Tri-X.

400+, I think you mean B&W Select +, which is a C41 processed B&W. This means the film is processed as if it were color print film, but you end up with a B&W negative. Most mini labs end up giving you prints with color casts, but it can still be printed nicely on B&W paper. Due to the color type film/chemisty you end up with reduced grain but the negatives are made up of dye clouds rather than silver grains, so they are not as archival (may not be a problem). It does not tolerate under exposure at all, but it can be pushed (if you can find a lab that will push process color print film).

I would suggest shooting some with each as a test and see which look you prefer. I would also try Tmax 3200 and Ilford Delta 3200 for low light, no flash shots. THese can also be pushed faster.

-- Terry Carraway (TCarraway@compuserve.com), June 04, 2000.

If you're not developing your own film use 400+ or T400CN. These you can drop off at the one hour lab and they are very forgiving with exposure.

-- Tim Brown (brownt@ase.com), June 04, 2000.

Tri-x 400 shot at 200 and devloped at 200 has great grain and is still gives you the same forgiveness.

-- Peter James (Peter.James@wcom.com), June 15, 2000.

Tri-x is the Gibson Flying V, Tmax400 is the stratocaster and Tcn400 is the Ibanez. :->

-- Roam P. (By90n@Yahoo.com), June 22, 2000.

Tri-X is a 1957 Chevy. (Classic, dependable, beautiful.)

T-Max 400 is a 1986 Taurus. (Catchy new very-hyped design, but only slightly better mileage, and a definitely few bugs to be worked out in future models that aren't immediately obvious.)

Black&White+ is any current smaller SUV. (Superficially appears to be a real heavy-duty truck, but really isn't - reasonably dependable, can definitely be fun and will get you around, but eats more gas than you might think, and it's a totally new model, so you really don't know how it will stand up to the years.)

Personally, I have made zillions of great shots on Tri-X, and was very underwhelmed with T-Max 400 (while SLIGHTLY sharper than Tri-X, I found it equally grainy, with far too much contrast for my taste), and have no personal experience with the chromogenics, 'cause I have a standing darkroom and fresh D-76 I can use whenever I need... But if YOU aren't developing the film yourself (or having a trusted friend or pro lab you absolutely trust do it), Black&White+ may be the best choice for YOU...

There's nothing wrong with new technology, but is anybody going to be holding nationwide conventions for Nissan Pathfinders in 40 years?!?

-- Michael Goldfarb (mgoldfar@mobius-inc.com), June 23, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ