Improved T-Max 400

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by UC, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. UC

    UC Guest

    UC, Oct 10, 2007
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  2. UC

    Draco Guest

    Draco, Oct 10, 2007
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  3. UC

    UC Guest

    I never cared for it. I'll try this improved version to see what it
    can do, as soon as it becomes available.
    UC, Oct 10, 2007
  4. UC

    UC Guest

    I never cared for it. I'll try this improved version to see what it
    can do, as soon as it becomes available.
    UC, Oct 10, 2007
  5. T-Max 400 varies with the developer somewhat, you may
    find that changing developers will give you more
    satisfactory results. I like T-Max 400 for portrait work
    because it gives me a kind of skin rendition I like, smooth
    and "glowing". I mostly develop it in D-76 diluted 1:1. I
    will try the new stuff pretty soon, probaby in 120 because I
    still have a lot of bulk film for 35mm.
    I just looked at the Kodak site. There is not yet a data
    sheet for the new version but there is a development chart.
    The curious thing is that the FAQ sheet there for the new
    film indicates the use of diluted developer but only full
    strength developer is shown on the new development chart.
    Also, some posts at the time Tri-X production was moved
    to the color film plant, where Kodak now makes all its B&W
    films, indicated the users found the new film finer grained
    than 400T-Max. The tabular grain film should have been finer
    grained. It looks like Kodak has finally caught up with
    whatever was wrong.
    Richard Knoppow, Oct 12, 2007
  6. UC

    Dana Myers Guest

    While I prefer Xtol 1:1 for TMY, D-76 1:1 is also good.
    I love the smooth, glowing and pleasantly sharp tonality,
    particularly under even light with just a bit of snap -
    think sunny, open shade or summer haze.

    I look forward to testing TMY-2.

    Dana Myers, Oct 12, 2007
  7. UC

    UC Guest

    I did extensive testing of B&W films two years ago and found that Tri-
    X had not changed one whit. It and Neopan 400 were very close in
    sharpness and grain, with the Fuji product having a slightly better
    grain pattern and tonal rendition on Ilford Multigrade. It has a bit
    more highlight contrast than Tri-X but less than TMY. I suspect that
    the reason Kodak improved TMY is that it does not sell as well as Tri-
    X. I think they want to kill off Tri-X or at least boost the sales of
    TMY-2. It is embarassing that 'old technology' Tri-X outsells TMY. TMY
    was a failure from day one, in my opinion. I worked with it for quite
    some time before giving up on it in disgust. The problem is that the
    highlights are contrastier than the shadows, the reverse of Tri-X and
    most general-purpose films.

    In my testing I used Paterson Acutol* which clearly shows differences
    in graininess and sharpness. TMY was the finest-grained of the 400
    speed films but it had the least desirable tonality. Shadows always
    look weak and flat, and highlight always look too harsh. When
    development is adjusted to compensate for the excessive contrast in
    the highlights, the shadows look even worse. (*as well as Paterson

    HP5 Plus and Delta 400 were very similar in graininess, with better
    latitude to be had in the HP5 Plus. I don't see any purpose for Delta
    400. Neither was better than Neopan 400, which has a better green
    response. Neopan 100 Acros, like Neopan 400, has better green
    response. As a line of films, The Fuji films are clearly best all
    around, pending trials of the new TMY. I am interested to see whether
    the improved film will have a different curve. I don't really know
    what to expect.

    For what it's worth, Neopan Acros 100 is almost as fine-grained as
    Ilford Pan-F with far better latitude and longer developing times,
    making for much easier development.

    The films as I see them:

    Fine-grain films:


    1) Ilford Pan-F (speed 40) Finest-grained by a whisker
    1) Fuji Neopan 100 Acros (speed 64) Almost as fine-grained as Pan-F,
    but 1/2 stop faster, better green sensitivity

    2) Ilford Delta 100 (speed 80) Almost as fine-grained as Neopan Acros
    3) Ilford FP-4 (speed 125) Almost as fine-grained as Delta 100
    4) Kodak Plus-X Pan (speed 125?) Not tested

    ????Kodak T-Max 100 (not tested) Reputed to be as fine-grained as
    Ilford Delta 100 and Fuji Neopan 100 Acros

    Fast films:

    1) Fuji Neopan 400 (speed 320) Better grain pattern than Tri-X, better
    highlight contrast
    2) Kodak Tri-X Pan (speed 320)

    3) Ilford Delta 400 (speed 250-320) Grain similar to HP5, inferior to
    Fuji, poorer green sensitivity, poorer latitude than other ISO-400
    films, including HP5 Plus. I see no point to this film at all.
    3) Ilford HP5 Plus (speed 320) Grain similar to Tri-X, inferior to
    Fuji, poorer green sensitivity
    4) Kodak T-Max 400 (speed 250-320) Finest-grained of all ISO 400
    films, but useless outdoors because of bizarre H&D curve, in which
    shadows are too flat and highlights too contrasty. A terrible film
    overall for outdoor work.

    Very fast films:
    1) Fuji Neopan 1600 (speed 500-650) Grain slightly larger than Tri-X,
    about 1 stop faster than ISO 400 films
    2) Kodak T-Max 3200 (speed 650-800) Significantly grainier than Fuji
    Neopan 1600, 1/2 stop more speed
    3) Ilford Delta 3200 (speed 800-1200) Significantly grainier than
    Kodak T-Max 3200, 1/2 stop more speed; ugly 'popcorn' grain. I see no
    use for this material.

    So, my gadget bag is filled with Neopan 400, some Neopan 1600, and
    some Neopan 100 Acros. I occasionally use HP5 Plus. I'm sick of the
    look of Tri-X Pan after 40 years, and I can't stand TMY, so no Kodak
    film for me.

    If you really want some nice B&W images, especially when there are
    large areas of foliage, get out and try some of the Neopans. The
    foliage is rendered noticeably lighter by the Fuji films.
    UC, Oct 13, 2007
  8. UC

    Pieter Guest

    I have been using Tmax developer with both TMX and TMY (100 and 400) films.
    I have been diluting 1:9 at 75 degrees for the recommended times - I believe
    13.5 for TMX and 15 minutes for TMY. Produces goog results.
    Pieter, Oct 13, 2007
  9. UC

    UC Guest

    T-Max 400 is not good outdoors.
    UC, Oct 13, 2007
  10. Yes, that's your opinion (backed up by periodic references to some
    mythical characteristic curve you never post). You're certainly entitled
    to your opinion.

    But, you know, it would be nice if, once in a while, you'd keep in mind
    that that's all it is.
    Thor Lancelot Simon, Oct 13, 2007
  11. UC

    Pieter Guest

    I don't recall saying I used it outdoors. But I do......
    Pieter, Oct 14, 2007
  12. I do not understand how you could get such different results. I like TMX
    film when speed permits, but otherwise I like old TMY (I have not tested the
    new). The old TMY, in Xtol developer 1+1 with water, developed in a Jobo
    CPE-2 processor gives the straightest line D:H curve I have ever seen right
    down below Zone I. Tri-X 4164 has such a long toe that it has very low
    shadow contrast, requiring sufficient exposure to get things off the toe.
    The amateur Tri-X in 35mm format has a very different curve. Was that what
    you tested?
    Jean-David Beyer, Oct 14, 2007
  13. UC

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    On Sun, 14 Oct 2007 01:42:21 GMT, Jean-David


    October 14, 2007, from Lloyd Erlick,

    TMY confounded me for a while, too, when I
    first started using it. The highlights indeed
    are quite capable of becoming much too dense.

    But I found that dilute D-76 (I like 1+1) or
    Xtol (1+2) did a very nice job on it. And it
    is especially important to rate the EI of TMY
    as 200 or 250, not the advertising claim
    printed on the box. In any case, for my
    portraitistical purposes, a low EI yields
    beautiful shadow detail and gorgeous skin

    I did not like TMY very much at first,
    either, but it's a very, very good and useful
    tool. I hope Tri-X never disappears, because
    it too is a beautiful tool, and significantly
    different from TMY. Altogether a good pair of
    films. The vast majority of my portraits have
    been done on TMY for the last ten years or

    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    telephone: 416-686-0326
    Lloyd Erlick, Oct 14, 2007
  14. The difugalties may be due to differences in format --
    what's good in MF or LF can be Gawd-awful in 35mm.

    And then there are all the other differences: subject
    matter, exposure preference, development, printing
    contrast ...

    Amazing any two people can agree about a film at all.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Oct 14, 2007
  15. UC

    UC Guest

    It is clear you have never critical done testing of materials. I do a
    lot of it.
    UC, Oct 14, 2007
  16. UC

    UC Guest

    You don't want a straight curve for outdoor work. You want an S-shaped
    curve, such as that of Tri-X or HP5 or Neopan 400.
    Yes. 35mm Tri-X Pan.
    UC, Oct 14, 2007
  17. OK, that is one reason for our different results: I do want a straight line
    curve for all my work. If I do not want detail in the shadows (rare), I can
    reduce exposure and it will essentially drop off altogether.
    That is the second reason for our different results. For 35mm work, Tri-X
    has an acceptable curve shape. But 4164 Tri-X is so different that it should
    not even have the same name as the 35mm stuff.
    Jean-David Beyer, Oct 14, 2007
  18. UC

    UC Guest

    Why? What kind of work do you do? If you do outdoor work with lots of
    sky and clouds, you're better off with a film like Tri-X pan, which
    has softer highlights and contrastier shadows. It helps offset flare
    int he shadows and helps keep the sky from going too light.
    UC, Oct 15, 2007
  19. Because for 4x5, the 4164 Tri-X has the poorest shadow detail I have ever
    seen (although the all-toe 4147 PlusX is somewhat similar) unless I expose
    it a couple of stops more than I should (as measured by testing the exposure
    to get net density of 0.1 for Zone I exposures) to get the lower zones of
    the extremely long toe of the film. Shooting Tri-X at EI 80 to 100 just does
    not make sense. With the short toe of TMY, I get much more shadow contrast
    unless I accidentally overexpose.

    As far as highlight contrast is concerned, a slight reduction in development
    time usually handles it (although, more often I either burn them in or use a
    lower grade for the paper).

    I do not get all that much flare in the shadows because when there is risk
    of flare, I shade the lens with either a lens shade, or the darkslide from
    the film holder. My Wisner Convertible Plasmat lens set has optically coated
    elements and has reasonably low flare (not measured). I get more flare with
    my uncoated Meyer Gorlitz, which I seldom use anymore. The Schneider
    SuperAngulon 90mm f/8
    Jean-David Beyer, Oct 15, 2007
  20. UC

    UC Guest

    That film was made for studio work. If you work outdoors (you still
    have not said) you would be better off with a 'press' type film, such
    as Royal Pan (unfortunately discontinued) or HP5 Plus or perhaps Fuji
    Neopan 400. There is no reason the name 'Tri-X' should be applied to
    such completely different materials.
    But that lowers overall contrast, not highlight contrast. It doesn't
    When the image contains sky, there is flare from that area because
    it's brighter than the foreground.
    UC, Oct 15, 2007
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