Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/09/04

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Subject: [Leica] TMZ3200
From: Erwin Puts <>
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 1998 23:32:04 +0200

At EI3200 the TMZ is heavily underexposed and the TMax developer,while
good at extracting the minutest trace of density from an emulsion, is not
the first choice for fine grain or gradation.
When you are exposing at 3200 the assessment of subject brightness range,
the placement of the highlights on the characteristic curve and the
subsequent development of the film must be very finely adjusted to get good
Experimenting is necessary. Do realise that exposure technique is all. When
spotmetering on a highlight scene, remember to OVERexposure for a least one
full stop. When usin EI 3200 expect to get no shadow detail at all.
Intelligent assessment of the scene, craftmanship in exposure control
(spotmetering!!!!) and good development technique are necessary. These
relationships are quite delicate and need a workshop to explain.
I am sorry. There is no easy trick. You are working at the bleeding edge of
emulsion/exposure technique and there is no substitute  for experience and
knowledge of technique.
The advice about the absolute level of temperature has nothing to with
quality results. The point is not to deviate from whatever temperature you
choose. I never saw any diffence between films developed at 18 or 24
degrees centigrade. But NEVER deviate from the choosen starting temperature
for more than one degree for the whole process including washing.
The time to fix depends on the fixer used (leave a strip of film in the
fixer and note the time for the film to clear, and be aware that Tmax still
will be a bit pinkish, and multiply by two). Washing is the Ilford
technique: fill your development tank with fresh water: turn around for
five times, throw away and fill again: turn for 10 times, fill with fresh
water and turn for 20 times. Dry.
XTOL as developer is an excellent choice.
There is no secret mantra here. Deveopment times will vary by as much as
30% depending on your style of exposure/development/printing/technique.
Generally the Kodak literature can be trusted but will deliver thin
negatives at least for the shadow parts. Overexposure by 1/3 of a stop will
counter this.