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Thread: Is Tri-X in 8x10 less popular?

  1. #1

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    Is Tri-X in 8x10 less popular?

    It seems to me (and I will be the first to admit that this is based on purely anecdotal evidence/appearances) that Tri-X is not as popular in LF and 8x10 specifically as it is in MF and 35mm. Does that seem to be the case to anyone else and, if so, why is that? I know that Tri-X in sheet film format is a little more expensive - is that the cause?

    Basically, it seems to me that an overwhelming number of people seem to shoot with FP-4 (again, far from a scientific observation). I shoot FP-4 in MF and love it, but was hoping to move back to my other love (Tri-X) for LF. It just seems rare that you hear about someone shooting Tri-X and developing in D76 in LF and I wonder why.

    Would love to see samples of work done in LF with Tri-X.

    -Matt

  2. #2
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    Re: Is Tri-X in 8x10 less popular?

    Tri-X sheet film (TXP, previously TXT) is a completely different film from Tri-X roll film (TX) - it has a quite different characteristic curve (tonal scale). TX is my favorite roll film, but I prefer HP5 Plus to TXP for sheet film.

    But there are plenty of people who like TXP too. Unfortunately, in recent years, like other Kodak sheet films, it has become far more expensive than Ilford sheet films; that has certainly scared off some potential users and induced some former users to switch.

  3. #3

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    Re: Is Tri-X in 8x10 less popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    ...Unfortunately, in recent years, like other Kodak sheet films, it has become far more expensive than Ilford sheet films...
    But significantly less expensive than 8x10 TMAX 400.

  4. #4

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    Re: Is Tri-X in 8x10 less popular?

    I used TXP-4164 in 4x5 and occasionally 8x10 from 1981 (more or less) until 2011 or so. Of course I was born and raised in Rochester, and worked for Kodak as an industrial/technical photographer from '84-2010. After ITT (EK's successor) threw me out in '10, I ran some tests, and Ilford FP4+ developed in Pyrocat gave me great results. So I switched. There's nothing wrong at all with TXP beyond Kodak's post-bankruptcy prices. Shoot your exposure/development tests on FP4+ and TXP, and make your choice based on results.
    -Why would you ever give thought to what 'everybody' is doing? I think of Yogi Berra:
    "Hey Yogi! You going' to "21 Club" after the game?"
    "Nah, nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

  5. #5

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    Re: Is Tri-X in 8x10 less popular?

    I started with Tri-X sheet film when I got my first 4x5 in 1979. Moved up to 8x10 in the early 80's and, of course, continued on with Tri-X. I dabbled briefly with Super-XX, but loved my Tri-X! Been shooting it continuously for nearly 40 years and still like it. Sure...I wish it was still about 50 bucks for a 50 sheet box, but I'm glad I can still shoot it today. I do use a couple other films, but those are mostly for Pyrocat development.

  6. #6

    Re: Is Tri-X in 8x10 less popular?

    Tri-X in 8x10" sheets cost $8.00 per sheet.
    HP5+ in 8x10" sheets costs $$4.36 per sheet.

    Tri-X sheet film is not sufficiently unique to warrant such an outrageous price difference, so people rarely (if ever) choose it over other 400 speed films.

  7. #7

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    Re: Is Tri-X in 8x10 less popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulbarden View Post
    Tri-X in 8x10" sheets cost $8.00 per sheet...
    8x10 sheets of 320TXP can be had for $7.12 each:


    Quote Originally Posted by paulbarden View Post
    ...Tri-X sheet film is not sufficiently unique to warrant such an outrageous price difference...
    Any lack of uniqueness is your opinion. The difference is outrageous to you.

    320TXP's retouching backcoating affords multiple benefits compared to any other 8x10 sheet film:

    • It lays very flat when loaded in film holders, during processing and when being printed/scanned
    • Its base side is not glossy, so Newton's rings are never a problem when printing or scanning.

    To anyone who values those things, especially if film prices are evaluated in terms of all other costs incurred when making photography trips, the price difference isn't just not outrageous, it's insignificant.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulbarden View Post
    ...people rarely (if ever) choose it over other 400 speed films.
    320TXP isn't an ISO 400 film. It's rated at 320. In actual use, even processed in a speed-increasing developer like XTOL, I shoot it at EI 250. Despite Zone System testing that resulted in a 0.1 over fb-f result of EI 500. Stay off the toe's shallowest area and enjoy.

  8. #8

    Re: Is Tri-X in 8x10 less popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura View Post
    8x10 sheets of 320TXP can be had for $7.12 each:

    Any lack of uniqueness is your opinion. The difference is outrageous to you.
    Only my opinion, of course, but $7.12 per sheet is still nearly twice the price of HP5+ and for me, there is no reason to choose Tri-X over HP5+
    And yes, of course - it is only MY opinion that Tri-X in 8X10 is not sufficiently unique to justify the price. Your opinion is just as valid as mine, and vice versa. What troubles me about this forum is so many people are quick to squash the opinions of others, when in fact we are all entitled to an opinion. I stated my thoughts on the matter, and so did you. Neither of us is wrong, neither is right, we simply have expressed what we think about the subject.

    I would imagine most photographers shoot any of these fast emulsion films at 250ASA or less, so Tri-X is not unique in that regard.

  9. #9

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    Re: Is Tri-X in 8x10 less popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulbarden View Post
    I would imagine most photographers shoot any of these fast emulsion films at 250ASA or less, so Tri-X is not unique in that regard.
    Funny, my testing of TXP320 of late has put my personal EI at 320; about 0.12 over fb+f. I will down-rate it a bit to 250, depending on the scene. I'm sure there have been many "discussions" about Tri-X vs HP-5+ but, for me personally, I never warmed up to HP-5+. That said, I love FP-4+ developed in Pyrocat-HD!

    Cost is relative... Have you ever shot 8x10 Velvia 50? Think 20 bucks per sheet is too much? Perhaps for many photographers that's just too high a price to pay. For me, some scenes just SCREAM for LF Velvia and there is nothing else that will do IMO. I don't shoot a lot of it, but when I come across something that I know will fit Velvia's palette perfectly I'll reach for it every time. I'm just glad we all still have the tools and materials we choose to use.

    My 2 cents, anyway.

  10. #10

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    Re: Is Tri-X in 8x10 less popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulbarden View Post
    ...What troubles me about this forum is so many people are quick to squash the opinions of others, when in fact we are all entitled to an opinion...
    Your post #6 presented costs, lack of uniqueness and rarity of being chosen as facts, not opinions:

    Quote Originally Posted by paulbarden View Post
    Tri-X in 8x10" sheets cost $8.00 per sheet.
    HP5+ in 8x10" sheets costs $$4.36 per sheet.

    Tri-X sheet film is not sufficiently unique to warrant such an outrageous price difference, so people rarely (if ever) choose it over other 400 speed films.
    That's why I pointed out your conclusions were opinions, not facts.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulbarden View Post
    ...I would imagine most photographers shoot any of these fast emulsion films at 250ASA or less, so Tri-X is not unique in that regard.
    TMY-2 is an even more expensive 8x10 black and white film that many, including myself, shoot at EI 400 when developed in XTOL 1+1. Curve shape and ability to maintain highlight separation with increased exposure play into most photographers' decisions about the EIs they use, whether they consciously realize that or not.

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