View Full Version : Problem negs with Tri-X TXP

Ben Calwell
19-Oct-2006, 05:21
Without testing, but eager to shoot some new 8x10 Tri-X, I shot a few scenes last weekend using my old, tested ISO of 200 that I used with the old Tri-X.
I developed them in HC110 at 1:15 (from stock) for my normal (based on old Tri-X) of 9 min. at 68 degrees.
When I pulled them out of the developer, they looked close to what I expected. I did them one at a time in a tray.
But when I did a minimum time for maximum black (contact printing), I came up with 30 secs. on Azo developed in LPD. 25-watt bulb about three feet above the paper.
When I printed the scene at that exposure time, what I thought was going to be a Zone VII print value was more like Zone IV!.
Without testing, I thought ISO 200 would at least put me in the ballpark for a decent neg. I've been looking at large format negs. for more than 25 years, and these look to me like they should print close to what I visualized, but, man, they print horribly.
It's way, way off.
Either my Pentax analog meter (more than 20years old) is way off, or maybe my paper developer is shot. Or may the HC110 is bad.
Or maybe I've just lost my ability to judge negatives.
I shot duplicate negs, so tonight, I'm going to try HC110 at 1:7 and see what happens.
To my eye, there's adequate shadow detail, so I can't believe I underexposed them that badly.
The LPD is about eight months old and brown looking, but I used it a few weeks ago, and it produced Ok prints. Could this be a paper developer problem?
I'm flummoxed. Comments?

19-Oct-2006, 05:57
FWIW, I've recently shot Tri-X and processed it just as I did Tri-X 20 years ago - ISO200 and HC-110 B (1:32). I don't remember the time, but it was something like 7 or 8 minutes at 75F. So, unless Kodak's quality control has gone to hell, I'd look for a problem somewhere other than film and exposure. It would sound as though you didn't develop long enough, but at your dilution and time, I would think you did.

Good luck.

19-Oct-2006, 06:42
Is your paper fresh? I recently tried to print some large prints on Ilford MGFB and could not get adequate contrast no matter what I did. Tried some newer paper and everything was fine.

Mark Sampson
19-Oct-2006, 07:23
Your print developer is eight months old and brown-looking? It couldn't possibly have oxidized, or been used past capacity, could it? That said, dead print developer usually produces muddy grays, no contrast, no d-max. If your prints are just too dark, re-check your printing method. In my experience, Tri-X hasn't changed, and I doubt that your ability to judge negatives has gone away.