TX 400 35mm Developer for pleasing grain/ sharpness?

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I am thinking of doing an outdoor landscape/figure study series using Tri-X 400 35mm film. I want to use a developer that will maintain good sharpness /standard film speed, AND provide a "pleasing" mild grain quality that would compliment the figure images. The actual enlargements will be a bit larger that 8 X in size. Does anyone have an opinion about a particular developer(s) and dilution(s) that would give me the qualities that I seek?



-- Dan Stanley (fastcat95@juno.com), July 01, 2001


I've heard it said that Tri-X is the only Kodak film that doesn't respond better in XTOL, that TX seems to do its best in D-76. While I haven't researched all the combinations personally, I do know that D-76 has been a very good fit with Tri-X for decades. Straight, it delivers good sharpness with finer grain; 1:1, it delivers slightly better sharpness with slightly coarser grain.

-- Brian Hinther (brianh@onewest.net), July 01, 2001.

I don't know about TX because I don't use it, but with HP5+ in 35mm format I see a good compromise point at ID-11 2+1 (two parts stock plus one part water) at 20C. Also, with PX I liked ID-11 1+2 (one part stock plus two parts water). I said ID-11 because I prefer it over D-76 (without any significant reason). EKC lists developing time for XTOL for wider range of dilutions but I wonder why people stick with 1+1 and 1+3 with ID-11/D-76 type developers... (maybe the difference is small and people think it's not worth it... right, I'm not claiming that 2+1 will produce dramatic difference compared to 1+1.)

-- Ryuji Suzuki (rsuzuki@rs.cncdsl.com), July 01, 2001.

I'm with Brian, I've never found anything better for Tri-X than good old D-76 1:1. I use Kodak's time: 10 minutes at 68 degrees, agitation at 1-minute intervals. The grain doesn't get distracting in prints from 35mm negs until you get larger than 8x10 or 10x12.

-- Michael Goldfarb (mgoldfar@mobius.com), July 02, 2001.

I got very good results with Tri-X developed in Aculux 2. Overexpose the film stop and develop a minute shorter than recommended.

-- Patric (jenspatric@mail.bip.net), July 02, 2001.

I guess that I am amazed that no one is suggesting HC-110. When I first got into black and white and Tri-X was the film of choice, HC- 110 was considered the developer for this film by most of the big names in black and white.

-- Jeff White (jeff@jeffsphotos.com), July 02, 2001.

I didn't like HP5+ and HC-110 combination in 35mm format, although they are ok in 120 format. If I were shooting 4x5 or larger HC-110 could be very good with HP5+.

I like HC-110 1+11 from stock with HP5+ at 25C for 6 min. However, this is probably still too grainy for grain-conscious person like the original poster. (then why TX? - I don't know)

-- Ryuji Suzuki (rsuzuki@rs.cncdsl.com), July 03, 2001.

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