Increasing contrast with tri-x and t-max : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Whats a good basic way to increase contrast with Tri-x and T-max 400 fillms? I have been Pulling one stop, exposing at 200ASA and then developing for the normal 400ASA time at 68degrees. Up to now I have only used T-max developer. I would like a little more contrast as I use a diffusion enlarger to print. Thanks!!!

-- Justin Fullmer (, April 24, 2001


Use a paper with harder contrast. ;-)

-- Patric (, April 24, 2001.

Using an increase in paper contrast to control what you can do at the exposure and development stage is sloppy craftsmanship at best. Run a few test rolls with varying development times to see how it works for you. Try constant agitation and it will pop the contrast a bit. If you test a few rolls you should start zeroing in on where you want the negatives to be for how you print.

-- Dan Smith (, April 24, 2001.

I agree with Dan that you have to control the contrast at the film level. I expose at 100 & develop for 800! yes! You will get a washed out look (not with TMAX tho) that canbe realy cool with portraits. Constant agitatio will kill the acutance. Just over expose & over develop!

-- Xosni (, April 24, 2001.

Shoot them at 320 and add 20% to your developing time. Shooting them at 200 is flattening your negs a bit too much. By upping the speed you will get thinner shadow densities and developing the film a little longer will push the highlight densities further up the curve. James

-- james (, April 24, 2001.

The sole control over the contrast of film is development time. Increase the development time and you increase the contrast, decrease the time and you get less contrast. The exposure or ISO rating only affects the amount of shadow detail that's recorded.
Just remember the old adage: "Expose for the shadows, and develop for the highlights."

-- Pete Andrews (, April 25, 2001.

Dan wrote "Using an increase in paper contrast to control what you can do at the exposure and development stage is sloppy craftsmanship at best."

Doesn't he lose values in the highligts if he overdevelop the film too much? I would expose and develop the film for normal contrast and then print on a harder paper if I want hard contrast, but with a nice gray scale.

-- Patric (, April 26, 2001.

Increasing contrast w/tri-x & t-max

Justin, Many years ago a friend told me that if I wished to "Push" b&w film I should add 1 minute, 20 seconds to the developing time, after I have shot the film at the 2x asa. I also found that this increased the contrast. Have used this method many times. Hope this helps. Dave

-- H. David Huffman (, May 01, 2001.

"I should add 1 minute, 20 seconds to the developing time." That would depend on your temperature of development. Adding 1 minute 20 seconds to a processing temp time at 78 degrees will yield allot different results then adding 1 munute 20 seconds of time to a 68 degree temperature time. Just take your proper development time based on temperature time of choice and multiply it by a push PERCENTAGE (%) of choice. The same applies for a pulling. EXAMPLE: (development time)15 minutes * 10% = 1.5 (additional push time)This puts your total development time at 16.5 minutes. You can of course increase or decrease the percentage time based on the results you desire.

-- Mark (, October 25, 2001.

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