Improved T-Max 400

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

  1. Jean-David Beyer wrote:
    It must be too early today. I meant:
    etc.
     
    Jean-David Beyer, Oct 15, 2007
    #21
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  2. 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 just highlight contrast. It
    doesn't negate the weakness of this film (TMY).
    When the image contains sky, there is flare from that area because
    it's brighter than the foreground.
     
    UC, Oct 15, 2007
    #22
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  3. UC

    UC Guest

    UC, Oct 15, 2007
    #23
  4. I think these two films are only meant for Hurrell-style
    portraiture where highlight detail is important and shadow
    detail isn't.

    http://www.frankpicturesgallery.com/photography/hurrell/harlow-large.jpg

    They do well on snow scenes.
     
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Oct 15, 2007
    #24
  5. UC

    UC Guest

    Yes, in studio situations such as portraiture TMY can be very good,
    but not outdoors.
     
    UC, Oct 15, 2007
    #25
  6. I think it should be reiterated that the ISO speed of a
    film is the result of a controlled test with a specific
    contrast and developer. If one wants a different speed or
    uses a different deeveloper than was used for speed testing
    the effective speed will be different. Also, the ISO speed
    method traces its requirements back to the Jones minimum
    usable gradient method used by the ASA until 1958, namely
    the _minimum_ exposure that will produce good tone
    rendition. Where the film is shot and processed under
    different conditions than those assumed by the test the tone
    rendition may not be satisfactory.
    Because color films and B&W motion picture films are
    processed using much more standardized contrast and
    development the ISO speeds are much more consonant with
    actual usage.
     
    Richard Knoppow, Oct 16, 2007
    #26
  7. A beautiful picture of Jean Harlow. I think the curve for
    Tri-X 320 and the old Plus-X Pan Professional sheet film was
    more for the sort of portraits Karsh did of male subjects.
    These "all toe" films tend to exagerate textures. Kodak
    always made films with similar curves, that is, upward
    deflected all along their length, for portrait work. Karsh
    appears to have used a long toe orthochromatic film for male
    portraits and pan film for women. I have no idea what Hurrel
    used but, keep in mind, that Hurrel was notorious for the
    amount of retouching he did on negatives.

    I've had some success using the old Plus-X for general
    photography but it does need some increase in exposure. The
    problem is that pushing the exposure up the curve increases
    contrast at all values, not just shadows. The current Plus-X
    roll film and ISO-400 Tri-X are medium-toe films which in my
    experience work well for nearly everything.
    My experience the T-Max 400 is quite different from UC's:
    I find the tone rendition good for both indoor and outdoor
    use and have often shot outdoor portraits with it.
    I've generally found Kodak's published film curves to be
    pretty accurate. Tone rendition from the films tends to
    confirm the curves. T-Max has a quite short toe and a very
    long and quite straight mid portion so its shadow contrast
    should be fairly high. My photos on it tend to show this.
     
    Richard Knoppow, Oct 16, 2007
    #27
  8. UC

    UC Guest

    In recent tests (performed in 2005) the TMY characteristic was clearly
    evident. Highlights had more contrast and shadows less contrast than
    Tri-X, Neopan 400, and HP5 Plus. It was clear as could be. The films
    were exposed and developed to yield similar overall contrast and
    printed on Ilford Multigrade paper with the same filtration.
    Developers were Paterson FX-39 and Acutol. TMY is clearly different
    from other ISO 400 films. Side-by-side comparisons of identical
    subject matter are perhaps the best way to see these differences.

    there is no doubt whatsoever of the results, which were consistent
    with previous experience with these materials.
     
    UC, Oct 16, 2007
    #28
  9. UC

    Dana Myers Guest

    Richard Knoppow wrote:

    Same here, with the following qualification: TMY works best
    under relatively even lighting with just a bit of sparkle.
    Open shade or hazy sunlight. While this is true of outdoor
    portraiture in general, it's especially true of TMY.
    I was fortunate enough to have a stack of H+D curves for
    T-Max films in Xtol sent to me by Kodak way back when. I've
    not seen them in a publication since, though I have not searched
    exhaustively. I was not surprised to find that TMY has a very
    straight curve and medium-length toe ; it jived with me experience
    with the film quite well. TMX has a similar toe but a bit of a
    shoulder, something I'd also noticed.

    Michael is certainly correct that TMY will give dense highlights
    under contrasty light, that's certainly true. I don't know what
    to make of his observation that TMY presents low shadow contrast;
    that's contrary to my experience, but is perhaps due to developer
    choice.

    So, if you're shooting outdoors under unpredictable light where
    you might have to deal with direct sunlight/contrasty light, TMY
    might not be the easiest film to print afterwards.

    Dana
     
    Dana Myers, Oct 17, 2007
    #29
  10. I'm sure you'll just respond with more insults (though you seem to
    have learned your lesson about insulting Richard, which just makes
    you seem particularly foolish and rude) but why don't you simply
    post the curves your original message on this topic said you had?
    It would settle the debate in your favor -- if those curves you claimed
    you measured actually exist.
     
    Thor Lancelot Simon, Oct 17, 2007
    #30
  11. UC

    UC Guest

    In contrasty light that shows texture, the highlight area tend to have
    greater brightness and contrast (think of a white stucco building in
    harsh light). Lens flare (present in every lens) will tend to degrade
    contrast in the shadows (as it makes up a larger portion of the light
    in the shadow area). So, films intended for outdoor use (which means
    high-flare situations) will have less contrast in the highlight areas
    and more in the shadows, as this provides a better (more even)
    contrast from shadows to highlights. The white stucco does not 'need'
    any boost in contrast (and perhaps could use a cut in contrast to keep
    things under control); the shadows could indeed use a little more snap
    because the sky is going to cause some flare in the shadows.

    Kodak used to discuss this in their old film literature when they made
    a larger variety of emulsions for portraiture, commercial, and press
    work. Each of these film types had curves suited to the flare
    conditions and application.

    TMY has relatively less contrast in the shadow areas, and more
    contrast in the highlight areas, that Tri-X Pan (400). It is suited to
    situations of LOW FLARE ONLY, where shadow contrast can be maintained.
    It is a studio film above all. It is NOT well-suited as a general-
    purpose film. Those who use diffusion enlargers and work mostly with
    color negative film will have less problem with highlight contrast.
    Those who use condensers will find Tri-X Pan a better film overall.

    What the NEW TMY will look like is a mystery. I anticipate it will be
    somewhat more like Tri-X, but only slightly so. That is, I predict the
    curve will look more like that of TMX (T-Max 100) than of Tri-X Pan
    (400) or Plus-X Pan (125) for 35mm.
     
    UC, Oct 17, 2007
    #31
  12. UC

    UC Guest

    I have no idea to what you are referring. I don't make curves. Kodak
    and the other firms publishes this information.
    Look on the Kodak web site.

    T-Max 400:
    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/f4016/f002_0507ac.gif

    Tri-X
    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/f4017/f009_0490ac.gif

    The difference between the slopes in the upper regions and the lower
    regions is clear and unmistakable.
     
    UC, Oct 17, 2007
    #32
  13. UC

    UC Guest

    Curve for TMX in D-76:

    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/f4016/f009_0438ac.gif

    Curve for TMY in D-76:

    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/f4016/f002_0509ac.gif

    Curve for Tri-X Pan in D-76:

    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/f4017/f009_0492ac.gif

    Curve for Plus-X Pan in D-76:

    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/f4018/f009_0433ac.gif
     
    UC, Oct 17, 2007
    #33
  14. These two curves are quite interesting. Both films have a
    long straight line portion for the degree of contrast
    normally used. What I find curious is that the Tri-X curve
    indicates its slightly faster than T-Max 400, this may be an
    artifact of the measurement. If the exposures are started at
    equivalent contrast points on the toe the curves are not so
    much different. I am surprized that Tri-X is capable of a
    density of log 3.0, this is very high. T-Max films are known
    for their ability to produce very high densities so that is
    no surprize. This is much higher than is generally used for
    negatives where a density of around 1.2 is about the
    maximum. Both of these films appear to have enormous
    overexposure latitude.
    In fact, the T-Max curve does appear to be slightly
    upward deflected. However, this seems to vary with the
    degree of development. If you lay a transparent straight
    edge on the curves you will see what I mean.
    My experience with T-Max 400 and the newer 400T-Max is
    that it does not seem to have the kind of tone rendition I
    would expect from a very long toe film. I use it both
    indoors and outdoors and largely for portraiture where it
    gives me a kind of "glowing" skin rendition that I happen to
    like very much. It must have reasonable toe contrast because
    I get the same desirable skin rendition on pictures of
    people with black skin. I don't know why you have problems
    with it outdoors but would have to see examples of the work
    to be sure. You might be right but word descriptions of
    images don't tell much and scanned images have to many
    variables involved.
    Its clear from Kodak's literature than the kind of
    developer can have a significant effect on the curve shape
    of film, especially toe contrast. It might be useful to you
    to try 400T-Max in some other developer than you are using.
    I've been using D-76 or D-76 1:1 (to get longer development
    times) with good results.
     
    Richard Knoppow, Oct 17, 2007
    #34
  15. Lots of snipping of a very long thread...

    I suspect that Kodak has taken the opportunity to refine
    the emulsion making process. I suspect it drifted with time
    and performance may have suffered.
    When Tri-X production was moved from the old B&W plant
    to the color film plant a few years ago it changed a bit. I
    think the same thing happened, the emulsion was not changed
    so much as the process was brought back to optimum. At that
    time people began reporting they were getting finer grain
    from ISO-400 Tri-X than from 400T-Max. This should not have
    been the case and suggested to me that the T-Max line had
    drifted. AFAIK, T-Max films have always been made in the
    same plant as color film so I suspect the "new" TMY is
    partly the result of getting the manufacturing process back
    to par. Its likely that the new stuff may be slightly finer
    than Tri-X as it should be. We shall see. Kodak has
    published a developing chart for the new version of the film
    but has not posted any sensitometric data yet.
     
    Richard Knoppow, Oct 17, 2007
    #35
  16. UC

    UC Guest

    I am repeating something I posted before.

    The Kodak plant that made the old B&W films had to be shut down for a
    number of reasons, and the process for manufacturing and coating the
    older materials had to be adapted to the newer equipment. I had a
    source at Kodak who explained all this to me, but he has retired. I
    cannot recall all the details, but it had to do with efficiency and
    consistency. The newer plant was much more efficient, and to keep on
    making these products at lower volumes at the old plant would not be
    acceptable from a profit and consistency perspective.

    He told me the products that were moved to the newer plant would be
    basically the same as they always were, and that included the
    Kodachrome emulsions, I believe.

    As far as the functioning of the products, I saw NO difference
    whatsoever between Tri-X that I bought and tested last year and the
    Tri-X of the last 30 years. It was certainly grainier than TMY, and
    any assertion to the contrary must be based on improper processing. I
    tested all the major films within the last three years. The tests
    showed that Kodak Tri-X, Ilford HP5 Plus, Ilford Delta 400, and Fuji
    Neopan 400 were almost indistinguishable in graininess when developed
    in Paterson Acutol, a non-solvent developer. I saw very poor results
    from AGFA Pan 400. I saw finer grain with TMY, but the same contrast-
    curve differences I saw 20 years ago. Nothing of significance had
    changed.

    I am familiar with the article by the former Kodak employess, but it
    is wrong. TMY is finer-grained than Tri-X and always has been. That is
    why it was developed.

    Kodak has been refining their manufacturing processes all along, just
    as any company does. Differences in production between older and newer
    products lie primarily in consistency and overall quality. The Tri-X
    of today is better than the Tri-X of 30 years ago from a consistency
    standpoint, but the image characteristics have scarcely changed at
    all.
     
    UC, Oct 18, 2007
    #36
  17. UC

    UC Guest


    My question to Kodak:

    No doubt Kodak has been asked this one before: according to rumors
    circulated by various parties of which I am not a member, the 'silver
    content' of various films and papers is supposed to have been
    diminished by deliberate acts of Kodak to achieve greater
    profitability over the past few decades. Specifically, some have
    reported that films such as Tri-X have been changed over the last 20
    or 30 years to contain less silver. I would like Kodak to comment on
    this.


    I am not referring to the new facility.


    Answer from Kodak:

    Regarding Kodak Tri-X products, there are three basic Tri-X products
    that professional photographers might be involved with. I'm not sure
    what other films might be included in your description of "films such
    as Tri-X." A significant change in silver content of traditional B/W
    films would be accompanied by a significant change in other
    characteristics -- tone reproduction, contrast, and granularity, for
    example. Consistency of product has always been a prime goal in the
    manufacture of Tri-X products, and, over the years, comparisons of
    Kodak products with other manufacturers' products have shown Kodak to
    be consistently ahead of other manufacturers in this regard. Any
    "breakthrough" in technology that would allow a significant change in
    the silver content or image structure would be better introduced to
    the public as a new product than as a "secret" change to the Tri-X
    films. In fact, such a breakthrough was introduced with the T-Max
    films. Although some people within the company expected sales of Tri-X
    would tail off following the introduction of the T-Max films and that
    the products would be discontinued due to lack of sales, this has not
    happened.


    The current "best practice" for manufacturing these products is to
    control the characteristics of all the materials going into the
    product, and to control all parts of the manufacturing process so that
    the "standard" product formulation will produce product with
    consistent characteristics every time. This has been found to work
    better than the procedure used in past years, when the film
    formulation engineer had the freedom to "tweak" a component slightly
    to compensate for apparent changes in raw materials in order to make
    the resulting product closer to established aims. So it is probably
    not true to say that a particular Tri-X product has always had the
    exact same silver level for the past 30 or 40 years. But based on my
    experience for the last 20 or so, I doubt that there would be any
    variations greater than 5%, and certainly no permanent, intentional
    level shift.


    If you should have additional questions, please be sure to revisit our
    site as we are continually adding information to enhance our support.


    For immediate answers to commonly asked questions, please visit:
    http://kodak.broaddaylight.com/kodakprofessional/index.html


    For product and technical information, service, support, and
    downloads: http://www.kodak.com/go/professional


    For information on ProPass Magazine: http://www.kodak.com/go/propass


    Regards,


    Peter V. Kodak Information and Technical Support Kodak Professional
    Ph. 800-242-2424 ext. 19
     
    UC, Oct 18, 2007
    #37
  18. UC

    UC Guest

    - Hide quoted text -
    - Show quoted text -
    I wanted to expand my comments:

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In contrasty light that shows texture, the highlight area tend to have
    greater brightness and contrast (think of a white stucco building in
    harsh sunlight). The white stucco that is in the direct sunlight will
    be in harsh light, showing its texture clearly. Every bump will be
    emphasized by the harsh light.

    On the other hand, the stucco that is in the shade will have both less
    illumination and softer illumination, since the light falling on it
    will be diffuse light from the blue sky.

    A film like TMY will tend to exaggerate the contrast of the bright
    areas (which are already contrasty) because its curve shape does not
    shoulder off in the highlight areas the way Tri-X does. At the same
    time, the shadow areas, which are in soft light, will fall on the less
    contrasty part of the film's curve. A film like Tri-X will tend to
    'balance' between the dark areas and light areas, reducing the
    contrast of the brighter areas (which tend to be the contrastiest) and
    increasing the contrast of the shadow areas (which tend to be the
    flattest). In other words, you don't want a straight-line curve for
    outdoor work!

    Lens flare (present in every lens) will tend to degrade contrast in
    the shadows (as it makes up a larger portion of the light in the
    shadow area). So, films intended for outdoor use (which means high-
    flare situations) will have less contrast in the highlight areas and
    more in the shadows, as this provides a better (more even) contrast
    from shadows to highlights. The white stucco does not 'need' any boost
    in contrast (and perhaps could use a cut in contrast to keep things
    under control); the shadows could indeed use a little more snap
    because the sky is going to cause some flare in the shadows.

    Kodak used to discuss this in their old film literature when they made
    a larger variety of emulsions for portraiture, commercial, and press
    work. Each of these film types had curves suited to the flare
    conditions and application.

    TMY has relatively less contrast in the shadow areas, and more
    contrast in the highlight areas, that Tri-X Pan (400). It is suited to
    situations of LOW FLARE ONLY, where shadow contrast can be maintained.
    It is a studio film above all. It is NOT well-suited as a general-
    purpose film. Those who use diffusion enlargers and work mostly with
    color negative film will have less problem with highlight contrast.
    Those who use condensers will find Tri-X Pan a better film overall.

    What the NEW TMY will look like is a mystery. I anticipate it will be
    somewhat more like Tri-X, but only slightly so. That is, I predict the
    curve will look more like that of TMX (T-Max 100) than of Tri-X Pan
    (400) or Plus-X Pan (125) for 35mm.
     
    UC, Oct 18, 2007
    #38
  19. I would not be at all surprised if a newer version of T-Max 100 (TMX-2
    soon follows TMY-2
     
    Keith Tapscott., Oct 23, 2007
    #39
  20. UC

    brownt Guest

     
    brownt, Oct 26, 2007
    #40
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