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Thread: New Tmax 400 (TMY-2) and Xtol

  1. #1

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    New Tmax 400 (TMY-2) and Xtol

    I have been comparing the Kodak times for rotary processing of new and old Tmax 400. The times are very different - for example, for Xtol 1:1 at 68, old 400 is 8.25 minutes and new 400 is 9.25. But at 75, old 400 is 4.75 and new is 7.0 minutes! Looks the new 400 is less sensitive to temperature changes.

    Before I start working out my own times, anyone have experience with how devolping times change for Xtol and the new 400?

    Kodak has also stopped publishing times for Xtol 1:2 and 1:3, saying that these dilutes extend developing time and increase grain. Extending developing time is fine with me - makes it easier when the temperature is high, but I am curious about the increase in grain.

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    Re: New Tmax 400 (TMY-2) and Xtol

    Is the Xtol you're testing with fresh? - I haven't tested TMY2 in Xtol, but in the other developers I have tested it in, development times are close to TMY. As I am sure you know, Xtol dies when you least expect it...

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    Re: New Tmax 400 (TMY-2) and Xtol

    I believe that Kodak stopped publishing dev times for XTOL dilutions above 1:1, after it became apparent that you need to have a minimum of 100ml of XTOL stock solution per 80 sq. in. of film. In the small tanks many people use, high dilutions won't allow that. Like D-76, XTOL was originally meant to be used full-strength anyway- dilutions are just so much gravy. Of course higher dilutions extend development time. Sharpness (acutance) will also increase with dilution- this can easily be seen as "increased grain".
    My tests back in 1999 or so suggested that XTOL 1:1 gave sharper results and a slightly longer tonal scale thn either XTOL straight or D-76 1:1. That was with TMX-120, but I never tested higher dilutions.
    TMY-2 is so new that it's likely no one has tested the combinations you're looking for- yet. I think you've just given yourself an assignment- let us know how it turns out.

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    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: New Tmax 400 (TMY-2) and Xtol

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Richards View Post
    Kodak has also stopped publishing times for Xtol 1:2 and 1:3, saying that these dilutes extend developing time and increase grain. Extending developing time is fine with me - makes it easier when the temperature is high, but I am curious about the increase in grain.
    Many years ago I did some research into what things can cause graininess to increase. One of the sources I used was the Grant Haist two volume masterwork called Modern Photographic Processing. It of course predated XTOL (published in 1979 IIRC) and I don't remember seeing much of anything about T-grain films. Yet the general principles probably do still apply.

    Haist indicated that graininess was first and foremost about the film. Developer choice was a much smaller effect but still noticeable. Processing temperature and developer time produced very minor effects. Processing technique (agitation) was not thought to have an effect IIRC.

    My own (hardly scientific) testing of our modern films and developers have convinced me that time in the developer has such a low effect as to be effectively ignored. When I was testing Tri-X with XTOL at various dilutions I found that graininess was nearly identical between 1:1 and 1:3. There was a bigger, but still hardly noticeable, change in grain structure. This due to the dilution of the sulfite component and subsequent decrease in solvent action. So the 1:3 samples looked sharper and crisper but with arguably the same amount of graininess -- even with the longer development times.

    What I've found is that the next biggest effect after film choice is the image's density. Density is created by the overlapping of metallic silver in the emulsion resulting in what has come to be called grain clumps. It should easily follow that density is formed by increasing metallic silver and increasing size of grain clumps. So that graininess is directly related to density. This is perhaps the primary reason that all the great masters of photography have taught that you want just enough density to make printing easy and never any more is because graininess increases as a function of density. In in a really grainy film like Super XX, this was a real problem.

    I just ordered a box of 5x4 TMY-2 yesterday. I'm going to do XTOL testing when it gets here. I'll try to let you know what I find out.

    Bruce Watson

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    Re: New Tmax 400 (TMY-2) and Xtol

    Processed and scanned my first TMY-2. After studying the new times and the old times, it looked like the new times were very close to the times for Tmax 100. I used my usual Tmax 100 times and the negatives look about right. This is great, because it means I can mix the films and process them together.

    With the 20x loupe the TMY-2 might be a little less sharp and a little more grainy than Tmax 100, but it does not jump out at you. The scans look pretty close as well. No prints yet, that comes later.

    Conclusions at this point - I can mix the films at will, which is great. They are close enough that in situtations where a faster shutter speed will help with sharpness, the TMY-2 wins. I am undecided as to whether I will can just use TMY-2 for everything, but I am going to keep testing for that. The extra speed is really great, esp for longer exposures.

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    Re: New Tmax 400 (TMY-2) and Xtol

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Richards View Post
    I have been comparing the Kodak times for rotary processing of new and old Tmax 400. The times are very different - for example, for Xtol 1:1 at 68, old 400 is 8.25 minutes and new 400 is 9.25. But at 75, old 400 is 4.75 and new is 7.0 minutes! Looks the new 400 is less sensitive to temperature changes.

    Before I start working out my own times, anyone have experience with how developing times change for Xtol and the new 400?
    8.25 minutes at 20C to 7 minutes at 24C sounds about right, one way to be sure is to process a sheet to Kodak`s instructions and see how it turns out.

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