Tri-X : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

This seems to the favourite film of many, so what is your favoured EI and developer combination, and why?

Particular and/or comparative comments on PMK Pyro, or other pyro-based developers, Rodinal (1:25?), D-76 1:1 are particularly welcome.

-- fw (, August 10, 2000


For fast films I prefer HP5+. I find that I can push it better than I can Tri-X without getting the grain. HP5+ seems to have a very wide latitude for exposure. I use it in 4x5 and medium format. For a finer grain I like Delta 100 in medium format. This works well for me with portrait work. I use FP4+ in 35mm... for some reason I've had the best luck with it.

I use Ilfosol-S 1:8 dilution. I've tried Rodinal, but the grain was just a bit more than I like. D-76 is good, but I prefer using a "one- shot" developer. If I were developing 15 rolls or more a day, I probably would use D-76. Anyway, I know what to expect with the Ilfosol and in the end, I feel that consistancy is better than never ending experimentation.

Discussions like this are good... and every now and then it is a helpful and healthful thing to re-think our everyday motions. Obsession over these details, however, will serve more as a distraction to creative thinking.


chuck k

-- chuck k (, August 10, 2000.

Oh yea... I have tried PMK pyro. It works very well with the large format and medium format. I couldn't come up with satisfactory results with 35mm. Its a bit of a pain to use, but it does deal with the high values very well. To anyone thinking of giving it a try, I think the Gordon Hutchins book is invaluable. Also, get the liquid form of the stuff from Photographers Formulary. Its just so much easier.

chuck k

-- chuck k (, August 10, 2000.

After trying to coax Tri-X to work for me, I gave up and switched to HP5+. With my developing procedure, I've got finer grain and a longer tonal scale with HP5+ than with Tri-X. I also find working with HP5+ much easier than working with Tri-X.

I expose HP5+ at E.I.200 and develop it in HC-110 diluted 1:60, or expose it at E.I.400 and use HC-110 dil-B or D76 1:1. D76 1:1 does wonders for this film, but I moved to HC-110 simply for convenience, and the results are comparable. HC-110 diluted 1:60 gives me a tiny bit more sharpness and acutance with HP5+, and also acts as a compensating developer. Off late, I've started liking this look.

I once tried Rodinal 1:50 with HP5+, Tri-X and APX400, but, as expected, the grain was huge and distracting.

-- R. Sriram (, August 10, 2000.

What do you use in the way of time/temperature for HC-110 at 1:60 with HP5+? At dilution B times get a little short for HP5+ above 68F.

-- Bob Atkins (, August 10, 2000.

Hi Bob, I don't know if this answers your question exactly but I ran into the same issue with FP4. So I use a dilution of 1:10 from stock (instead of 1:7) and extent the time by about 30%. So where I needed about 5:30 minutes with dilution B (for my enlarger etc etc etc), I end up needing about 8 minutes with 1:10. No nasty surprises in the characteristic curve either. Cheers. DJ

-- N Dhananjay (, August 11, 2000.

Tri-X, shot at 200 and developed in D76 1:1 68 degrees for 9.5 minutes in a small tank is hard to beat. I use a condenser enlarger by the way.


-- Bob Tipton (, August 12, 2000.

TriX 4x5 and Ektapan souped in either Diafine or Divided D76. Doth are compensating, fine grain developers. Diafine is a bit higher acutant which is good sometimes. The great part of the divided or two bath developers is that your highlights will develop out to perfection while keeping your shadows to a great contrast level so the negatives are a joy to print. Cheers

-- Scott Walton (, August 15, 2000.

Tri-X in PMK Pyro @ 21 degrees, 14:00, three very violent shaking agitations every 15 seconds, ISO 400... beautiful. They print on grade 2 (i.e. unfiltered variable contrast) paper with minimal dodging and burning. If anybody has a clue as to how to post a picture here, I'd be glad to put one up.

Try this link.

-- Jim MacKenzie (, August 17, 2000.

My best Tri-x negatives were rated about 200, then pulled development in Xtol 1:2. This gave very good skin-tones and tonality combined with Ilford MG warmtone FB paper, printed on a rather high filter setting. I had equally good (or better?) results on Forte polygrade warmtone. The film was Tri-x 400 in 120 size.

By the way, the pulling was a mistake I did and it happened to work. I have used the procedure since then. I tried with 1:1 dilution as well, but I think I prefer 1:2 (but I'd have to do a comparative test some day to be sure).

I've also had interesting results recently with Tri-x 320, developed in HC-110. Not smooth, but very high accutance.

-- Peter Olsson (, August 18, 2000.

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