Developer to enhance the grain in Tri-X : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Usually the goal is to supress graininess, but in this instance I'd like to emphasize it, without pushing the speed. Any recommendations? (I like the "shape" of Tri-X grain.) TIA, Bill

-- Bill Mitchell (, May 15, 2002


Rodinal 1:25 or stronger.

-- John Hicks (, May 15, 2002.

Diafine and TXP works great. It is a high acutance developer and rating your film at 400, the results are superb. No need to worry about blocked highlights, it is a compensating developer. I have used it for years and love it's easy 3 minutes in Bath A, 3 minutes Bath B and right to fix speed. Try it, you'll be a convert!

-- Scott Walton (, May 16, 2002.

I second the rodinal recommendation and if you really want more grain (and contrast) try overexposing and overdeveloping. You get fairly dense negatives but if you extend printing time you can pull the detail from them.

see: 27qn&photo_id=677601&photo_sel_index=0

for an experiment using this technique

-- Rob (, May 16, 2002.

The following formula may be of interest, although I haven't fully explored it or directly compared it to Rodinal. Not having any Pinacrytol Yellow, I tried Pinacryptol Green, which resulted in a severe speed loss, and then rather than substitue potassium bromide I omitted a restrainer altogether, which gave a brown stained image.

Geoffrey Crawley’s FX-16 (Grain texture developer for high speed films)

This developer has been specially designed by Geoffrey Crawley to produce an obtrusive grain structure on films of ISO 400 and over, whilst retaining excellent contour sharpness. This retention of sharpness assists in preventing the loss of image quality often found where grain texture has been utilized to give a special effect. The formula is related to the FX-2 acutance developer for slow and medium speed films, but is not recommended for these films as there is no gain over FX-2 and contrast difficulties may occur. FX-16 gives a 50% or half-stop speed increase.

Working solution Metol ............................. 0.5g Glycin ............................. 0.5g Sodium sulphite, anhydrous........... 4.0g Sodium carbonate, anhydrous ......... 50.0g Pinacryptol Yellow 0.05% solution ... 250ml Water to make ...................... 1000ml

Making up Dissolve the solids in half the total quantity of water at around 30degreesC, 90degreesF. Add the dye and water to the final volume. Make up when required. Use within 6 hours, adding dye just before use. Use once and discard. Pinacryptol Yellow dissolves readily in hot, not quite boiling water. The 0.05 solution - 1:2000 - (also used in FX-2) keeps indefinitely in a brown bottle away from the light. After two years, however, reject as an increase in activity may occur thereafter.

Modifications For Kodak Royal-X Pan, use 350ml Pinacryptol Yellow/1000 ml. [Note: This film is no longer manufactured, but similar adjustments may be appropriate for other films]. If Pinacryptol Yellow is unavailable, 0.5g/litre potassium bromide must be substituted to balance the formula, at some sharpness loss but with fluffier grain. If the carbonate is replaced by 50g/litre sodium metaborate or 'Kodalk' a fluffier grain texture is produced. Development times remain the same or slightly shorter.

Development times Kodak Royal-X Pan 20 min. Kodak Tri-X (RF or MF) 12 min. Ilford HP-5 (RF) 12 min. Ilford HP-5 (MF) 10 min All at 20degreesC (68degreesF) with thorough agitation, 10sec/min either rotation or inversion.

General notes The grain pattern texture produced by FX-16 disturbs the resolution of fine detail but sharpness of contours and medium detail is enhanced markedly, hence print impact is excellent. FX-16 is primarily intended as a developer for operators wishing to experiment with grain structure for special effects, but it can also be used with advantage as an 'acutance' developer for fast films when big enlargements are not required. Texture obtrusiveness can be adjusted by varying the negative area used for enlarging, or using different focal length lenses from the same camera position.

Reference This formula was first published in the British Journal of Photography, May 17, 1963 and was reprinted in the British Journal of Photography Annual from 1965 to at least 1987.

-- Philip Jackson (, May 17, 2002.

Try TEC. you will need to test for development time to gain the level of contrast that you need.

-- ann clancy (, May 30, 2002.

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