TMax 100 Question : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Many years ago I used some TMax 100 and didn't like it. It seemed to produce a "weak" negative. I am talking just after it was first introduced (late 1970's or early 1980's?).

I started using TMax 400 instead, and recently went to Delta 400 and 100.

However, very recently (like last week!) I couldn't get TMax 400 and had to use TMax 100 instead. After I processed it in HC110 I was "floored!" The negative was strong (good density), and the printed image has exceptional resolution and a long tonal scale.

I am going to try to post an html image of one of the shots with the 35mm TMax 100.

I used the TMax 100 in my Canonet GIII for "fun shots" and they are better than my Medium format images on Delta 400.

I recall way back that Kodak was having problems with the TMax 100 emulsion. Am I correct to assume this has been corrected? If so, this is my B/W film from now on. Any thoughts?

-- Todd Frederick (, January 03, 2001


I too have been dabbling with TMX after not using it since the first try years ago.

I found that when developed in a "standard" developer such as D-76 1:1 it just doesn't look very sharp, or iow shows low acutance. Careful examination of the neg shows incredibly fine detail, but prints just don't have any zip.

My solution has been to go to Rodinal 1:100 or TFX-2; those developers give much higher acutance, probably at the expensive of the finest detail. But the prints look sharp!

Overall, with what little I've shot, I like TMX these days for some subjects while I still prefer Delta 100 for others, usually people.

The only problem I've had with TMX is that it's rather sensitive to standing waves in drum processing (sheetfilm), giving a fairly broad line of excess density that isn't seen with Delta 100 or HP5.

Nice shot, btw.

-- John Hicks (, January 04, 2001.

I rashly jumped in with both feet and bought a bulk load of 30metres shortly after TMax100 was introduced, after reading good reports about it. I was won over straight away, and I've used it almost exclusively for 35mm work since. I can't say I've noticed that the first reel was different in any way from subsequent batches.
I agree that it does handle detail in a softer way than most other film, and I also switched to an acutance developer after first trying it in D76 (stock). Unfortunately, Paterson pulled the plug on Acuspecial, which was my developer of choice. After a bit more trial and error I ended up using Ilfosol, which is a bit of a compromise on sharpness, but gives great tonality, and practically non-existent grain.
I haven't used Rodinal in years. I might give it another try, although I never really liked it. It's a bit of a Rotweiller of a developer. If you don't keep it in check, it'll savage your film contrast.

-- Pete Andrews (, January 04, 2001.

In film/developer tests I ran last year, I found TMax100 in Rodinol (1+50) gave the sharpest images of everything, even Tech Pan in Technidol. By comparison, it's a lot more gainy though.

-- Bill Mitchell (, January 04, 2001.

Bill, it's interesting what you say, what was the time - temp. - agitation combination ?? Regards Stavros

-- Stavros V. (, January 04, 2001.

I also found TMX rarely produced a visually sharp print, except in Rodinal. Those results were tonally great and appeared sharp, but quite grainy for a fine grain film. It was a case of "why bother", as there are much better choices. Yours is a really nice shot, and has the contrast and edges to look good with TMX.

-- Conrad Hoffman (, January 04, 2001.

Are we looking at Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz. I go up there a lot. I'm in San Diego area. If you're around that area, let's get together sometime. I frequent Gildas on the pier when I'm there. James

-- james (, January 05, 2001.

I shoot TMX 100 (usually rated at 80 for normal processing) in D-76 1:1 quite a lot in 35mm, 6x6, and 8x10, and I like its smooth tonality and wide latitude.

In 8x10" it's a good match for Azo, and I would imagine it would work well with other long-scale processes like platinum/palladium. In the smaller formats, printing on conventional enlarging papers, it can be tricky to retain the highlight and shadow detail in the print, as in this image, but it's on the neg, so it can be done (the print is better than the scan).

I've also been able to tone TMX successfully in Kodak Rapid Selenium toner (1:3, 8 min., 68 deg. F) for a 1-zone expansion to pump up the highlights on a flat image.

-- David Goldfarb (, January 06, 2001.

You produced a "weak negative". What did the print look like? And, after the first experience it sounds as if you didn't work with it at all to learn its characteristics. Unless you are willing to work with a film or paper and fine tune it you will never find out what it can really do.

-- Dan Smith (, January 07, 2001.

My Tmax100 negs looked thin and flat as well. The prints, however, are bueatiful (2 are hanging on my wall). I rated film at 80EI and developed in XTOL. I did use a 31/2 Polymax filter with my Polymax Fine Art paper (I usually use a 2/12-3) other than tat printing these negs are no more dificult than any other.

-- Robert Orofino (, January 07, 2001.

TMX and Xtol (5-litre package) - perfect match.

if you are wanting high-contrast as in your image, stick with HC110B. TMX and TMY are my normal films, developed in Xtol. lately, I have found that TMY pushed two-stops in Xtol is lovely.

the main problem is Xtol consistency and process times that deviate widely from Kodak's published figures. took a year to hone the process, but I am very pleased with this combination.

-- daniel taylor (, January 08, 2001.

I'm doing TMX in Rodinal 1:50 now, and I'm not totally sure I'm pleased with this combination yet. I will say that the look is different, but speed really seems to be down around EI 64 (or lower). I don't think it's any granier than it is in TMax developer, but...

-- John O'Connell (, January 09, 2001.

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