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Thread: I take back every bad word I have said about Kodak...

  1. #11

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    Re: I take back every bad word I have said about Kodak...

    I want to ask our experienced members this: if you shoot mostly portraiture, would you use Tri-X instead of TMY?

  2. #12

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    Re: I take back every bad word I have said about Kodak...

    I use both TMY and TXP. I find the look of Tri-X really good for many subjects especially when I want more mid-tone separation compared to shadows, but still want the luminous soft-shadow look that a long-toe film provides. TMY is pretty straight-line all the way from bottom to top. It's great for lots of things too, but it's difficult to get the open shadows (albeit with less contrast) that you can get with TXP, for me, at least.

    Best,

    Doremus

  3. #13
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: I take back every bad word I have said about Kodak...

    It's that long straight line I love. It lets me get crisp value separation way deep down in the shadows even in high contrast scenes, even at full box speed. With Tri-X, people tend to overexpose the film to get separation well off the toe, essentially creating a "thick" density neg less cooperative in the highlights. TMY is capable of superb midtone expansion if you learn a few tricks; and it can handle far more detail, without the grit of TX, making it realistic in smaller formats too.

  4. #14
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: I take back every bad word I have said about Kodak...

    Hugo - portraiture. For that I prefer TMax 100. It gives the same long straight line as TMY, but is smoother in pyro. If I want stronger edge effect similar to TMY, like for landscape, I have a different dev tweak. This yields me a neg quite suitable for both contact printing or enlargement. You can't enlarge Tri-X much at all without it looking gritty in untextured areas - annoying to smooth complexions. TMax films also favor mixed ethnicity shots much better in my opinion, or wedding portraits where a groom might be in a dark suit, and the bride in high key lacey white. If I wanted a faster film, TMY itself would still come out far better detailed than TX, without the potentially annoying artificial freckles of shotgun grain.

  5. #15

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    Sep 2014
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    Re: I take back every bad word I have said about Kodak...

    No matter how good you find the film to be it does not make up for the way Eastman Kodak has treated customers (and employees) for so long.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  6. #16
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: I take back every bad word I have said about Kodak...

    I only shoot Tmax100, not tried 400 yet. Started with D100 and HP5 (not a super fan) now that I will be trying 8x10, I will start with D100 for practice before I move to Tmax and I will unless fuji were to make Acros again in 4x5 and 8x10.

  7. #17
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: I take back every bad word I have said about Kodak...

    Willie - why punish those remaining for what certain "suits" did before?

  8. #18
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: I take back every bad word I have said about Kodak...

    Steve - TMax100 is effectively at least a full stop faster than Delta 100 because you can trust it to separate the shadows deeper down, that is, if we're talking about high-contrast scenes with the shadow values carefully metered. But both can be developed to a significantly higher gamma than ACROS, which is an advantage in low contrast scenes. TMX400 is analogous, but with its fast true 400 speed being a real advantage in 8x10 with its typically smaller f-stops.

  9. #19

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    Re: I take back every bad word I have said about Kodak...

    I cannot speak to TMY with great authority, but portraits are indeed my interest. When I returned to photography a couple of years ago, I had to simplify for a number of reasons, and pare my budget down where possible. Because I knew HP5+ from long use, primarily in 35mm journalism and some 4x5 studio portraiture, I chose it for my sole film. I had used plenty of TMY in the studio and achieved fine results but now I was going to be in the "wild" world of (mainly) existing light and including potentially very long-range subjects. I also chose D23 as my developer, rather than pyro developers I had never used. Limited time, limited choices.

    HP5 is perhaps minimally "flatter" than Tri-X, though in actual practice, for me, the difference has never been an issue. My concern now, regarding HP5, was mainly grain in medium format for 11x14 prints from cropped negatives. However, I satisfied myself that this was not going to be a problem. So, for both cost and contrast reasons, and still needing an ISO 400 film, I chose to hone my technique with HP5.

    I will add, hoping to head off those who would argue with my grain evaluation, that I am fully aware that for some, my grain, even in an 8x10 from a 4x5, would be migraine. While I love the unique look of a beautiful 8x10 contact print, which can create a shimmer in a light-toned stucco wall on an overcast day that perhaps no enlargement can match, my heroes include W. Eugene Smith, who made beautiful (my judgement again) prints from 35mm emulsions long before the finer-grained emulsion of HP5+, let alone the Deltas and TMaxes, had even germinated. My challenges as a portraitist will neither fail nor be overcome by what, to me, will in some cases be fairly moderate grain.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  10. #20
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: I take back every bad word I have said about Kodak...

    I shoot TMY in all formats from 35mm to 8x10. I need the speed and long tonal scale in 35mm because it's a handheld snapshooting format for me. Same is sometimes applicable to my MF rangefinder work. But more often, I do MF on tripod and with TMX instead to get 16x20 prints worthy of being mixed in the same portfolios as LF shots. But when it comes to LF per se, TMY is so fine-grained that it's the obvious choice. But since I keep 8x10 TMX on hand in the lab for masking and color separation use, I naturally shoot some of it in the field too, esp if funds are tight. Same applies to FP4. I don't do studio-style portraits anymore. But when I did, ordinarily with 8x10 TMAX, I'd have either a Nikon or P67 nearby, also loaded with TMX, and with an analogous perspective lens, just in case someone got figedty about the slower 8x10 operation. But you do have to be a bit careful with light pinkish Caucasian complexions going paste-like with TMax. A light no.11 Wratten or Hoya XO green filter will cure that.

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