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Thread: TMY, XTOL, and a Scanner...

  1. #1

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    TMY, XTOL, and a Scanner...

    Dear Group,

    I had a few moments this past summer to do some incremental film development experimentation, since I could not find any oil and gas contracts and, or the assigned contracts I secured in the Spring were trampled by the economy and subsequently cancelled, so I decided to take these new found moments in time to review my TMY and XTOL development procedure. I decided that my main objective would be to conduct a developer dilution and development time review, to see whether I could find a refined negative highlight density, that allowed me to scan a TMY negative developed in XTOL more effectively.

    I wanted to find a development procedure that allowed me to control and dampen the TMY's highlights more effectively, and to determine whether I could introduce a compensating development procedure to TMY and XTOL. So, I spent the summer reviewing my process, and reviewing the results, where I believe I now have a refined development process that accommodates my flatbed scanner, and a refined process that makes my drum scanner operator smile.

    To set the stage, I have a TMY and XTOL development procedure for the darkroom, but I periodically discovered that my darkroom negatives were too thick for the scanner, and although I could scan the TMY XTOL negative on a drum scanner, my flatbed scanner would take it upon itself to introduce annoying artifacts within the near saturated highlights for obvious reasons. My zone system procedure worked properly in the darkroom while using silver paper, but now my negatives continue to rest upon a totally different device, and the device subsequently choked on the input data. I am pleased with the results, and I welcome you to try my development times and new XTOL dilutions. I was not successful with Divided Development during this exercise, but I will review that specific process thoroughly during the winter months.

    I discovered that TMY is very linear with XTOL, and I also discovered that my new method to reduce the film's highlights meant that my shadow details sank deeper into Zones that only a mother could love. This leads me to believe that I should change my TMY ISO rating for each reduction in processing time, which is not what I want to do manually now, so I shall save that review for a winter exercise. The dilutions and the times suit me well currently. As a side note, I also noticed that TMY has an unbelievable and extraordinary ability to retain detail within the weakest shadows that I could capture on a negative. Absolutely amazing…

    Lastly, and for your convenience, I attached a PDF file containing my revised development times, and my revised dilutions regarding TMY and XTOL. I hope the PDF explains the development procedure well enough for everyone.

    Please note that the development times have different dilutions…

    Have fun if you decide to experiment with saturated highlights while using TMY and XTOL.

    jim k

  2. #2

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    Re: TMY, XTOL, and a Scanner...

    Thanks Jim for sharing your results, especially since TMY/Xtol is my preferred combination, using the Jobo and scanning.

    Did you ever try two solution compensating development, ie. one or so minutes in Xtol 1:0 to improve shadow detail, then drain and replace with dilute developer?

  3. #3

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    Re: TMY, XTOL, and a Scanner...

    this will be a great thread for us to discuss such things!

    Thanks for sharing, Jim!

    Andrew

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    Re: TMY, XTOL, and a Scanner...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Marshall View Post
    Did you ever try two solution compensating development, ie. one or so minutes in Xtol 1:0 to improve shadow detail, then drain and replace with dilute developer?
    Dear Ron,

    Yes I did, and I found that I needed to do more research...

    However, I found that I could do a 1:1 and, or a 1:0 solution for one minute, and then 1:9 solution for various development times, allowing for fifteen second drain times between solution exchanges. I did this to see whether there was any advantage to building the shadow detail quickly, and the allowing it to rest while the highlights were subdued within the 1:9 dilution. I could not abruptly change the shape of the curve as it approached Zone 3, maintaining the development curve as in Normal Development, and then have the curve taper off to a lower value Zone 5 out near Zone 8, acting as a compensating developer. I think redirecting TMY's curve could be tough to do, knowing TMY's linearity.

    I was limited by my belief that I had to maintain 100 ml for each 8X10 sheet of film, so I limited my tests to one 8X10 at a time, but that could change in my next session of experimentation.

    I think it will work, where I must find the correct dilution, and the break point time for the first developer, then find the best second dilution would be key.

    jim k

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    Re: TMY, XTOL, and a Scanner...

    Hi Jim,

    So far I have only tried semi-stand two solution compensating dev. But your data has inspired me to do a comparison between semi-stand and continuous agitation compensating. I'll post scans if there is any signifigant difference.

  6. #6

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    Re: TMY, XTOL, and a Scanner...

    Dear Ron,

    Two heads are better than one...

    That would be great.

    I thought about stand development too as the second half of the development process, but I wanted to include that in my next session. I just need to find a container big enough to hold the required developer volume, so I could fill the JOBO J3005 Drum top to bottom, once the first stage of development is complete.

    jim k

  7. #7
    Virtually Grey Steve Gledhill's Avatar
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    Re: TMY, XTOL, and a Scanner...

    Jim,
    Thanks for sharing your results with us and for all the work you must have put in to get this data set. I'm a TMY/XTOL/Scanner user myself and have been for several years (well it was TMX until it was no longer available in Readyloads so I took the advantage of the new TMY and upspeeded (upsped?)) - and by trial and error I arrived at a very similar conclusion to you, at least as far as N goes, though I do rate mine at 400. So very similar - i.e. much shorter than for the darkroom. My N time is 9 minutes instead of your 8.5 but otherwise the same 1:2, continuous, 24C. But where we differ is that I find that I no longer need take any notice of + or - development for any of the work that I do. I have all of the shadow detail that I could ever need and even with high high highlights I get sufficient separation for my scanner (V700). It's a real boon not to have to separately process for each N. The scanner is where I stretch or compress rather than in the development. I arrived at my 9 minutes by progressively reducing from 12 minutes where I started and finding that each reduction gave me even better negatives for scanning. After seeing your results I may try a batch at less than 9 minutes to see if I can get even better.

  8. #8

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    Re: TMY, XTOL, and a Scanner...

    Jim,

    That is incredibly generous of you to share the results of what is clearly, a very time consuming and expensive experiment to gather and perfect this info.
    Given the amazing results of your work that you have posted here, I am sure this will be an inspiration to many!

  9. #9

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    Re: TMY, XTOL, and a Scanner...

    Gentlemen,

    Thank you, it is my pleasure, but there happens to be a bit of fine tuning left to do...

    That said, Steve, I did this exercise to assist my scanning knowledge and to minimize the inherent artifacts that can surface in the highlights, and I wanted to see whether any reduction in highlight density would be beneficial. The heavier densities present in Zone 9, 10, 11, 12, and beyond are the Zones I want to control, so much so, that I knew I may be fighting with TMY's great linearity. XTOL happens to be my choice because it is locally abundantly on a continuous basis, and I do like this film developer combination. So, if you decide to review your development, please note that I changed the dilution rates when I approached the compensation development times. Your scanning approach is interesting and an approach I never considered, but many may do this inherently as a drum scan operator might, with curves prior to scanning.

    Frequently I am in a situation, as I would guess that many of you are, where I want to capture the entire dynamic range in the scene, and I knew that I had not explored XTOL's full capability, acting as a two solution developer, not a divided developer, so I decided to see how far I could push XTOL and TMY before it broke with experimentation.

    TMY set at 400 is great too, but I always tend to open the film just a touch more, to get my baseline Zone 1 to be about 0.15 above film base fog. Setting the ISO at 250 just happens to work with my equipment, my lenses, my light meter, and my development process. Setting the ISO at 400 would underexpose my negative by a mere 0.70 f-stop, and an ISO setting at 320 would underexpose the negative by a mere 0.4 f-stop. I do believe you may be hard pressed to see the difference visually in the highlights, especially whether you scan an image or not, but I do believe the low level shadows may be less forgiving. Once you have lost the shadow detail, it is gone. Though I open the film up by 0.7 f-stops, I still know where my Zone 3 happens to be, yet I expose my Zone 3 as a zone 4 and develop the film; accordingly, allowing when me to print the Zone 4 down to Zone 3. If I go too dark, guess what, I still have detail in the shadows that I can open up as required, keeping the shadow area as dark as I like.

    TMY holds so much detail in the shadows it is spooky, and if I could control the highlights more than I have earlier, I may be able to get that feeling I once had with FP4 and HC-110, while using HC-110 as an extreme dilute, no agitation compensating developer. Currently, I am not a fan of TMY and HC-110, but I could be if I returned to printing in the darkroom.

    As a side note, I play with FP4+ periodically, and I will use these identical times and dilutions with my other favourite developer Perceptol.

    I realize there are many other means to achieve this goal with great developers and film combinations, and I would never discount them for a moment, but I just wanted to see what this film TMY and this developer XTOL combination could do for me, and I have a few more iterations to do before I am totally satisfied with the results. I do not want to test this to death, but I surely want to know what my boundaries happen to be.

    As for my submitted notes to this group, I feel that I owe the group a debt of gratitude on several fronts, because there happens to be a wealth of knowledge within the group's data base, whether it is buried deep within the archives or current updates from experienced individuals around the world. I tend to cruise through the archives while I have a coffee or two in the morning.

    We are a global forum and a more importantly a community.

    For years I hoarded my information, and although I am still a wee bit protective of my scan to Photoshop to print process, I learned many years ago from folks like Bruce Barnbaum et al that the individual with the information really has nothing to fear, because the person you hand the information over to, could not know how you intend to use this information, nor could they ever interpret your thought process correctly. Someone once said that you can give a cookbook to anyone, but that does not make them a Chef.

    So, I decided to assist when I could, compared to not...

    Merci, for the comments, too...

    jim k

  10. #10
    Virtually Grey Steve Gledhill's Avatar
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    Re: TMY, XTOL, and a Scanner...

    Quote Originally Posted by jim kitchen View Post
    ...
    TMY set at 400 is great too, but I always tend to open the film just a touch more, to get my baseline Zone 1 to be about 0.15 above film base fog. Setting the ISO at 250 just happens to work with my equipment, my lenses, my light meter, and my development process. Setting the ISO at 400 would underexpose my negative by a mere 0.70 f-stop, and an ISO setting at 320 would underexpose the negative by a mere 0.4 f-stop. I do believe you may be hard pressed to see the difference visually in the highlights, especially whether you scan an image or not, but I do believe the low level shadows may be less forgiving. Once you have lost the shadow detail, it is gone. Though I open the film up by 0.7 f-stops, I still know where my Zone 3 happens to be, yet I expose my Zone 3 as a zone 4 and develop the film; accordingly, allowing when me to print the Zone 4 down to Zone 3. If I go too dark, guess what, I still have detail in the shadows that I can open up as required, keeping the shadow area as dark as I like.
    ...
    jim k
    Interesting topic here Jim. I'm convinced that when you ask a group of photographers to meter the same scene they will come up with different results - even if they all use the self same meter. What I meter and place on Zone III will almost certainly be different to yours and the other photographers in my 'thought experiment' - or at least there will be a range of metering practices amongst us which effectively means we will never accurately agree on what to meter for Zone III, or IV, and could easily be a stop or more different in our exposures of the same scene. So, a set of readings, equipment and processing practices always have to be taken together as a set for the person and their equipment which makes accurate comparison a little tricky. So in this discussion the difference between you rating film at ISO250 and me at ISO 400 could be explained by different metering practices.

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