Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/04/08

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Tri-X
From: Johnny Deadman <>
Date: Sun, 08 Apr 2001 15:00:32 -0400

on 4/8/01 1:41 PM, Douglas Cooper at wrote:

> Just as a matter of interest:  how do most people here rate Tri-X?  I've
> been shooting it at EI 200 (processing normally), with good results, but I'm
> beginning to think I should start experimenting at 320 and 400.

I used to habitually expose @ 200 or 320 but when I moved over to Xtol I did
some really detailed tests and my results were that in Xtol 1:1 it was 400
and in Xtol 1:3 about 600. And I am pernickety about shadow detail. So I
rate it at 400, since I only use Xtol these days. HOWEVER I don't think
Tri-X and Xtol is a particularly good mix as the grain is, I can only think
of one word, smushy. You never really feel like everything is crackling in
focus the way you do with Tri-X in D76 1:1 or APX400 in Xtol. And I find
myself using Tri-X rather infrequently now since I like APX so much, or
Delta 400 when I'm looking for fine grain, or Neopan 1600 for hi speed.

So how this helps you I have no idea.

However I really do recommend running your own tests. You find out all sorts
of things. My basic method is to expose at various EIs, placing Zone III
very carefully, and develop at the recommended time, then look to find the
highest speed where I get full detail in Zone III. Then tweak the
development time for Zone VII if it needs it. Xtol is the first developer
where, with the exception of Tmax films, I find the times on the packet work
as-is. With Tmax, however, all bets are off and for me they usually need
20-25% more time than Kodak tell you.

The reason this is instructive is, for example, if you are scanning film a
lot, you can pull more detail out of a thinner neg than if you are printing.
Don't ask me why, but you can. This may even account for my Tri-X speed of
600 asa above. 
- --
John Brownlow