Home > for fun, Reviews > Tri-x chronicles: volume IV

Tri-x chronicles: volume IV


We know that the internet generation has a short attention span so without further ado we present volume IV of the Tri-x odyssey.  After volume III there seemed to be a lot of questions regarding the development process.  The sample images were criticized for being grainy, my camera choice was challenged and people were generally pissed off.  Volume IV is not as much about the quality of  Tri-x but what I have been doing with it up until this point.  Read on cuz here’s the shit.

Back when I decided to take on this project I somehow sold myself on the idea of stand development.  It’s a technique I have no previous experience and that made me want to try it even more.  If you’re not familiar with the process I’ll simplify the concept for you.  Instead of agitating your film during development you just let it sit there in the soup.  They should really call it sit developing but what the fuck do I know?  Extended tonal range and lush mid-tones are just a couple of the stated benefits.   There are volumes written on this topic so if you want more info try Bing.  The two developers best suited for the stand process are Kodak HC110 and Agfa Rodinal.  I chose HC110 because it’s readily available at the place I like to shop.  HC110 also has a long shelf life so you don’t have to worry about your developer going bad after a month.  The general idea is to use a very diluted mixture so rather than mix an intermediate solution I’m working straight from syrup.  The ratio I’ve been using is 1+119 at about 70F.  Times are a bit of a guessing game but one hour seems to be the consensus for the starting point.  When rating Tri-x at box speed negs come out overdeveloped at 60 minutes.  Overdeveloping with  and Tri-x creates extreme grain.  I reduced my time to 45 minutes with much better results.  Grain was under control and tonality was excellent.  Some of the initial samples displayed here were overdeveloped.  Here’s what box speed, stand developed correctly looks like.  This image is squished into the column so it’s somewhat distorted but it shows larger and I wanted you to be able to see the grain.

Much nicer in my opinion.  I gathered some information from long time users like kingqueenknave and it seems nobody shoots this stuff at box speed.  320 or 200 iso seem to be popular choices on the low-end.  1600 and 3200 on the high-end.  I hurried a roll through my Fuji GS645s rated at 200 iso to see what it could do.  Previously I pushed a roll to 1600 but don’t really feel like sharing those images today cuz they are lamer than my usual tree bullshit.  I was confident if i reduced my development time to 30 minutes I could achieve good results.  For a change I was right.

Low grain and good tonality again.  Handled properly I’m starting to see why Tri-x is loved by so many.  I hope to shoot the next couple of rolls at 1600 and 3200 and report on the results.  Until then I’ll leave you with one more image.  Full disclosure:  I really hammered the blacks on this one in Lightroom so not SOOC.  If you don’t like it you can suck it.  By the way, shooting a Holga is never the wrong decision, Dan!  P.S. I never proof read these things so sorry.

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Categories: for fun, Reviews Tags: , ,
  1. March 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Nice work with the HC-110 stand, Rodinal has been my choice for stand development but HC-110 has been a go to developer for regular times (Dilution B + H).

    As nice combo is Neopan & HC-110 … push the Neopan to 1600 for night shots and soup in HC-110 … Schwing !

    BTW … your portfolio of tree shots reminds me of a song from one of my fave bands … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZiDME3bajU

    • March 18, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      thanks les. i would like to try some rodinal but i can get hc110 at the local camera shop which is easier for me. i will be trying a different developer for the next article. just haven’t decided which one.

  2. April 5, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Glad you are warming up to Tri-X. It’s probably my favorite B&W film, but I don’t like it in some developers like Rodinal. I’ve stared using Xtol and I love it.

    This pic will give you and idea of what it looks like in Xtol:

    Schwinn Racer, East Village

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