Kodak T-max-400 to grainy on condensor enlarger.

Discussion in 'Kodak' started by John, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. John

    John Guest

    Hello all.

    Just shot a few films of Kodak T-max 400 (almost as good as the Ilford
    counterpart, but a lot cheaper to get in Germany ;-) ). While printing
    the film on a condensor enlarger, I found that the prints where too
    grainy. ('ve had the same problem with Ilford Delta 400, so I think I
    will be having this problem with all T-grain films with a speed of 400.)

    After googling for a while I read that, for condensor enlargers, the
    developing time should be decreased with 20 to 30 %.

    Ofcource I will try this for the next film, but I'm interrested if this
    will decrease the grain. Has anyone got experience with negatives with
    and without the 20 - 30 % decrease ?

    Used developer : Amaloco AM74, 1+15, 9:36 minutes.
    Normal agitation (first 30 seconds, twice every 30 seconds)

    Thanx.

    John.
     
    John, Sep 28, 2003
    #1
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  2. John

    John Hughes Guest


    You might want to try the T-Max developer. Development time will alter the
    negative contrast. While it is true that longer development (or harsher
    solutions) will increase grain, the amount of change you are talking about
    should not have very much effect.

    All 400 speed films will be grainier than a 100 speed film. The degree to
    which you enlarge the negative will also have an impact on how visible the
    grain is. I seldom enlarge a 35mm negative to a full 8*10, but I will go
    nearly that far without objectionable grain, even with T-Max 400. Others,
    less sensitive to grain than I, think nothing of enlarging all the way to
    11*14. Of course, one tends to view a larger print from a bit further back.
     
    John Hughes, Sep 29, 2003
    #2
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  3. T-Max is pretty fine grain film. Reducing development
    will decrease grain somewhat but will also decrease
    contrast. A condenser enlarger of the conventional type
    increases contrast over a diffusion type by about one paper
    grade. If you are now printing on Grade-1 paper or using a
    Grade-1 filter decreasing development time will result in
    negatives which will print on Grade-2 paper. For T-Max films
    the time reduction is about 25%. T-Max films change contrast
    faster with change in development time than conventional
    films.
    When you decrease development time you must increase
    exposure by about 3/4 stop (for any film) for each grade of
    contrast reduced.

    I am not familiar with Amaloco developer so I don't know
    what its recommended times are based on. Kodak times are
    based on a contrast suitable for contact printing and
    diffusion enlargers. Ilford uses a contrast index midway
    between the two.
    It may also be that you could get somewhat (but not a lot)
    finer grain with some other developer. Xtol gives about the
    best compromise of delivering minimal grain without loss of
    film speed.
    Amaloco has a useless web site. About the only thing I
    could find out from a Google search is that it is evidently
    a compensating developer. If so, it will not deliver the
    best grain.

    I shoot a lot of T-Max 400 in both 35mm and larger sizes.
    The grain is definitely visible in prints from 35mm
    negatives although its not distracting up to 11x14. For
    fineer grain you simply have to use slower film. 35mm is
    right at the limit of what film can do, that's why 35mm
    users have problems with grain and sharpness. Even going to
    6x4.5 cm will make a large difference.
    Because T-Max films have quite thin emulsions there will
    not be the increase in sharpness seen in some older types
    when the overall density of the negative is reduced. This
    comes from minimising the spreading out of the image as the
    light passes through the emulsion. As development time is
    increased the development extends further into the depth of
    the emulsion (for most developers). So increased development
    will develop more of the slight bluring. Thin emulsion films
    do not suffer from this "image spread" much, actually the
    main advantage of the thinner emulsions.
    I doubt if switching films will get you much, Kodak T-Max
    and Ilford Delta films are about as fine grained as you can
    get at their speeds (adding Fuji Acros for ISO-100 film).
    What other developers are available to you?
     
    Richard Knoppow, Sep 29, 2003
    #3

  4. yes, this will defintely decrease the grain. I would not use TMY with
    a condensser enlarger, however.
     
    Michael Scarpitti, Sep 29, 2003
    #4
  5. John

    Mike Marty Guest

    Why not? Its obvious that Mr. Knoppow is one of the more knowledgeable
    sources here and he uses TMY (with a condenser I think)
     
    Mike Marty, Sep 29, 2003
    #5
  6. John

    Frank Pittel Guest

    John,

    What size are you enlarging to?? I get very little grain with Tmax-400.
    Not as good as Tmax-100 but a lot better the Tri-x. The developer I use is
    Tmax for roll film and Tmax-rs for sheet film. I use it at 75 degrees @ 1:9.
    My normal development time is 9:30 minutes.


    : Hello all.

    : Just shot a few films of Kodak T-max 400 (almost as good as the Ilford
    : counterpart, but a lot cheaper to get in Germany ;-) ). While printing
    : the film on a condensor enlarger, I found that the prints where too
    : grainy. ('ve had the same problem with Ilford Delta 400, so I think I
    : will be having this problem with all T-grain films with a speed of 400.)

    : After googling for a while I read that, for condensor enlargers, the
    : developing time should be decreased with 20 to 30 %.

    : Ofcource I will try this for the next film, but I'm interrested if this
    : will decrease the grain. Has anyone got experience with negatives with
    : and without the 20 - 30 % decrease ?

    : Used developer : Amaloco AM74, 1+15, 9:36 minutes.
    : Normal agitation (first 30 seconds, twice every 30 seconds)

    : Thanx.

    : John.




    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
     
    Frank Pittel, Sep 29, 2003
    #6
  7. John

    Frank Pittel Guest

    : >
    : > yes, this will defintely decrease the grain. I would not use TMY with
    : > a condensser enlarger, however.

    : Why not? Its obvious that Mr. Knoppow is one of the more knowledgeable
    : sources here and he uses TMY (with a condenser I think)

    I remember that not that long ago scarpitti was saying that 35mm negatives
    should only ever be printed with a condenser enlarger.


    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
     
    Frank Pittel, Sep 29, 2003
    #7
  8. John

    J Stafford Guest

    What's wrong with using a condenser enlarger? Spotting is like Zen. Y'all
    really ought to be using condensers. And stop cheating by wiping your 35mm
    negatives with nose grease.

    But really, how can using a condenser enlarger hurt prints from T-grain films?
     
    J Stafford, Sep 29, 2003
    #8
  9. John

    Ken Hart Guest

    films?

    Since most condenser enlargers are heavier than diffusion enlargers (of the
    same format size), if the counterbalance spring breaks and the column
    locking mechanism fails, the heavier weight of the condenser enlarger is
    more likely to hurt the print on the easel, T-grain film
    notwithstanding.........

    Ken
     
    Ken Hart, Sep 29, 2003
    #9
  10. John

    Frank Pittel Guest

    : In article <>, Frank Pittel

    : >
    : > : >
    : > : > yes, this will defintely decrease the grain. I would not use TMY with
    : > : > a condensser enlarger, however.
    : >
    : > : Why not? Its obvious that Mr. Knoppow is one of the more knowledgeable
    : > : sources here and he uses TMY (with a condenser I think)
    : >
    : > I remember that not that long ago scarpitti was saying that 35mm negatives
    : > should only ever be printed with a condenser enlarger.

    : What's wrong with using a condenser enlarger? Spotting is like Zen. Y'all
    : really ought to be using condensers. And stop cheating by wiping your 35mm
    : negatives with nose grease.

    Everyone knows that real photographers use sheet film. When I print my 4x5 negs
    at 8x10 or 11x14 there's not a lot of spotting to be done. :)

    : But really, how can using a condenser enlarger hurt prints from T-grain films?

    I don't know. I use a condenser enlarger myself and never noticed a problem with
    either Tmax-400 or Tmax-100.

    : --
    : JJS who has only condenser enlargers because, because - they are paid for.

    That's a good reason.
    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
     
    Frank Pittel, Sep 29, 2003
    #10

  11. I do. For a time I tried an Aristo cold light head on my D2v but
    went back to the oringinal condensers. One reason is that the
    intensity of light for 35mm is greater. While it is sometimes stated
    that condenser enlargers exagerate grain I have not found this to be
    so, at least not to a significant extent.
    I am one of those who doesn't like grain particularly, so I am
    likely to notice when it gets worse.
    Most condenser enlargers are partially diffusing. The light source
    is usually a large, highly diffused, lamp. There are light sources
    which are truely specular, that is, point sources and collimated. They
    are used for special purpose printing where the very maximum
    resolution is necessary. The are usually not very satisfactory for
    routine work. They are much more contrasty than an ordinary condenser
    enlarger and also bring out blemishes on the film to a much greater
    extent.
    To some degree, when the _same_ negative is printed on an ordinary
    condenser enlarger as compared to a diffusion enlarger, the reduced
    paper contrast necessary for the same image contrast will also tend to
    suppress grain and blemishes somewhat to that there is often little
    difference between the two. Where the diffusion enlarger has an
    advantage is where there are blemishes on the support side of the
    film. The diffusion will tend to wash them out where the more
    collimated light of the condenser enlarger will bring them out.
    This is the same principle as the difference in the shadow cast by
    something in "hard" vs: "soft" light. After all, the image from an
    enlarger is just the projected shadow of the film.

    Richard Knoppow
     
    Richard Knoppow, Sep 29, 2003
    #11
  12. Nothing is wrong with using a condenser enlarger. You need simply
    develop normal films about 30% less and T-grain films about 20% less
    (YMMV). If you have a cheap condenser enlarger, the condensers may not
    be quite big enough and the corners of the negatives may not be well
    illuminated. The Beseler 23C-II and the Beseler 45MCRX are barely
    adequate in this respect.

    Ansel Adams had point source, condenser, and diffusion illumination
    systems for his 45MCRX enlargers, and a diffusion setup for his big
    horizontal enlarger (that would take 8x10" and possibly larger
    negatives). Wynn Bullock had a D-2 which was definately a condenser
    enlarger. It would not take 8x10" negatives, but it would take up to 4x5.
     
    Jean-David Beyer, Sep 29, 2003
    #12
  13. TMY does not have much of a shoulder, if any, and in fact has a
    rising-contrast highlight region and a very high maximum density.
    Condensers exaggerate the contrast in the highlight region, so the
    problem becomes one of keeping highlight detail in the print. TMY
    records information that cannot be printed, so it's useless. You're
    better off with a film that simply shoulders off.

    Ilford's Delta 400 is a far better film overall, and I recommend it
    over TMY for outdoor usage. I tried using TMY, over a 10 year span,
    and found it unsatisfactory on a number of levels. I stopped
    frustrating myself.
     
    Michael Scarpitti, Sep 29, 2003
    #13
  14. John

    Mike King Guest

    To get back on topic the condensers in the D-2, 45M, and 23C have no problem
    covering a 35mm negative.
     
    Mike King, Sep 29, 2003
    #14
  15. Yes, developing 20% less will reduce the grain quite a lot. Use the minimum
    development that gives adequate contrast.
    I've never heard of that developer, but the choice of developer is also a
    factor. What is this developer like?
     
    Michael A. Covington, Sep 29, 2003
    #15
  16. John

    John Guest

    I've read the instructions of Kodak today, they are talking about
    reducing development time, but not about increasing the exposure. What
    is the purpose of increasing the exposure ?
    The manual of Amaloco is not talking about an enlarger type, so i assume
    that they use the same approach as Ilford,
    Yep, but a very large, free, newspaper which can be get at any large
    photo store in the Netherlands. And paper is a lot better than a large
    monitor (in the cleanroom ;-) )
    thanx, I did not know that compensating developers had an impact on grain.
    I would like to :)
    Almost all, the photoshop I visit still has a lot of black / white
    developers and papers. (Ilford, Kodak and Amaloco can be get there.)

    Thanx.

    John.
     
    John, Sep 29, 2003
    #16
  17. John

    John Guest

    20 * 25 cm on max (7.8 by 9.8 inches)

    Sounds like i've got to try another developer.
    I'll try Tmax, and when that does not work i'll get a bottle of SPUR HRX.
     
    John, Sep 29, 2003
    #17
  18. John

    John Guest


    Eeehhh, darkroom (I think i've spend too much time in the cleamroom
    today :-| )
     
    John, Sep 29, 2003
    #18
  19. John

    lloyd Guest


    sep2903 from Lloyd Erlick,

    Whenever I hear comments like the above about TMY I think I'm
    listening to someone who set their light meter at 400.

    My feeling about TMY is that it is a superb 200 film that pushes very
    well to 400. But it performs very much better at 200, with the
    development adjusted accordingly. It takes some fiddling in the
    darkroom until it's appropriate. I like it developed in D76 1+1, and
    Xtol 1+2. ("Performance" defined as 'to the liking of a portraitist'.)

    I make a lot of 16x20 prints from 120 format TMY negatives, and I
    don't find the grain a problem.
     
    lloyd, Sep 30, 2003
    #19
  20. John

    John Guest

    Now just which 120 was that ? ;>)

    Regards

    John S. Douglas, Photographer
    http://www.darkroompro.com
     
    John, Sep 30, 2003
    #20
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