Contrast with New TRI-X

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by ATIPPETT, Mar 3, 2004.


    ATIPPETT Guest

    All of my exposures are to contrasty with the new Professional TRI-X. I have
    tried to over come this by rating the 320 film at 400 and reducing the
    development time, I use D76 (undiluted).

    Am I going about the right direction to reduce the contrast or am I making it
    worse? The negative density is fine. At least I am happy with it.

    What approach should I take to reduce the contrast?

    Thank Alan Tippett
    ATIPPETT, Mar 3, 2004
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    Jorge Omar Guest

    i would not uprate exposure (could even downrate) and reduce dev time
    even more.


    (ATIPPETT) wrote in
    Jorge Omar, Mar 4, 2004
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    ATIPPETT Guest

    i would not uprate exposure (could even downrate) and reduce dev time
    Thanks for the response. I guess I didn't finish my question completely.

    I should have also included in my question that I have reduced the developmnet
    time between 1 and 1.5 minutes.

    Would rating the film at a slower ISO reduce the contrast?

    ATIPPETT, Mar 4, 2004

    Jorge Omar Guest

    Yes, it would, since shadows would be denser (say, closer to highlights)
    and the speed loss that will come with less dev time will be taken care


    (ATIPPETT) wrote in
    Jorge Omar, Mar 4, 2004
  5. Actually it depends totally on the shape of the film curve. With Tri-X
    the highlights get compressed (shoulder) as you increase exposure and
    this will reduce contrast. But with Tmax the highlights might actually
    gain density faster than shadows so the opposite happens. And also the
    way you print affects this: if you print so that the film base is just
    barely black, then the total contrast will increase if you increase film
    exposure - no matter what film curve. This is because the highlights get
    more density but the clear film base does not, of course. But in
    general, altering the exposure does not change contrast much, only
    shadow detail. If you want constantly less contrast, then decrease
    development (or use lower contrast filters).

    Severi Salminen, Mar 4, 2004

    Dan Quinn Guest

    RE: (ATIPPETT) wrote

    All things being equall, reduceing development will reduce contrast.
    It will also reduce the ISO a little. The ISO or EI is determind by
    the shadow densities. You have heard of "expose for the shadows
    develop for the highlights?
    I think some would recommend that developer at a 1:1 dilution. Dan
    Dan Quinn, Mar 4, 2004

    Jorge Omar Guest

    reduce development -> reduce contrast and ISO -> expose more to


    (Dan Quinn) wrote in
    Jorge Omar, Mar 4, 2004
  8. Reducing the exposure will reduce shadow detail increasing the apparent
    contrast. I would cut the developing time by 20% for starters if you are
    using a condenser enlarger this is equal to about paper grade (i.e. going
    from a 3 to a 2). If you don't have enough shadow detail then increase the
    exposure. Kodak development time are for diffusion enlargers. You can first
    try using a lower grade paper to see if that gives the results you wants
    then adjust the time so you can print normally on a grade 2 or 3 paper. I
    would also use D76 1:1 with Tri X. Its little grainier but much sharper with
    better tonality.

    Sheldon Strauss
    Sheldon Strauss, Mar 5, 2004
  9. This is the right direction. See my answer to your other
    post. Try varying the development time by about 10% steps
    from 10% to about 40%. You will find that you must increase
    exposure by about one stop at 40%. That should reduce the
    contrast by more than a paper grade.
    The rule of thumb is to reduce time by 33% and increase
    exposure by about 3/4 stop for a one paper grade lowering of
    contrast for conventional film.
    Because the development time may become too short try
    diluting the developer 1:1, that will increase development
    time about 1.4X for the same contrast. For D-76 there is no
    significant change in grain or film speed with this
    Richard Knoppow, Mar 5, 2004
  10. I don't think Tri-X sheet film has much of a shoulder, at
    least not until very great overexposure. Rather, it tends to
    expand highlights due to its upward curving characteristic.
    Compare Tri-X Professional Sheet film to T-Max 400, which is
    relatively straight line. The very long toe characteristic
    of Tri-X will tend to lower shadow contrast and raise
    highlight contrast with a consequent depression of mid-gray
    values where the same shadow and highlight points are
    printed. This characteristic is capable of producing quite
    dramatic renditions of some types of scenes and some types
    of portraits. The shape of the curve is affected to some
    extent by the developer but is mostly a property of the
    emulsion itself.
    Note that Tri-X roll and 35mm film (ISO-400) is a
    completely different emulsion with a medium toe and fairly
    straight mid section. It also has very great overexposure
    latitude. Very few modern films have a true shoulder at any
    normally encountered exposure. However, they are capable of
    great densities which can look like highlight blocking
    simply because they exceed the range of the printing paper
    to accept them. The detail is still there if you burn in
    Richard Knoppow, Mar 5, 2004
  11. I don't think Tri-X sheet film has much of a shoulder, at
    You are correct, my mistake. I didn't notice it was the TRI-X
    Professional we were talking about :( But the point remains: curve shape
    does affect (slightly but still) overall and local contrast.

    Severi S.
    Severi Salminen, Mar 5, 2004
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