Tri X film and HC110 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am about to shoot 4x5 Tri X film for my trip. My developer is HC110 dilution B and use rotary processing. I believe this is the combination that Ansel Adams sometimes used. What is the optimum E.I. if I shoot mostly landscapes and want fine grain prints?

-- John Dorio (, July 13, 2000


Hi John,

My EI ends up being 320 after testing several times. This is probably faster than others have found. Not sure why that is, but thats what it is for my water and my technique. My normal developing time in HC-110 is 6.5 minutes at 68 F in a Jobo drum rotated by hand. You really should eventually figure these things out for yourself. You don't need an expensive densitometer to do it either. After going the densitometer path for awhile I found a very practical way of doing these things in Bruce Barbaums book (title escapes me, but he only has two right now and only one on technique). By the way I got the same EI using a densitometer as I did without one. Have fun !

-- Paul Mongillo (, July 13, 2000.

Thats Barnbaum not Barbaum. The title of the book is, The Art of Photography:An Approach to Personal Expression. IMHO, this is the best written on the subject so far (I think I have read most it not all of them in my quest for creating beautiful and moving BW prints). If you are a technical and a testing junkie, this is not the book for you. If you want to get out an shoot and print beautiful BW photographs using common sense and a practical approach this is the book for you.

-- Paul Mongillo (, July 13, 2000.

John, this has been my film and developer of choice for years, although at present I am using a lot of Ilford HP-5. I rate my Tri-X at 160 and develop in HC-110 for 5-1/2 minutes with intermittant agitation. The negs are excellent and make beautiful prints. As you have noticed from the responces, everyone seems to find his or her own working methods with this combination. It depends on what enlarger light source you are using, paper, developer, etc. I like to give a little more exposure to ensure detail in the shadows. This is a forgiving combination of film and developer and is quite easy to use. I don't do any densitometer readings of my negs. I don't think the things were even around when I started shooting LF. If the negative prints good, it is a good negative regardless of what the numbers say. Sometimes the mood of the picture can vary greatly with exposure, so that a thin or thick negative may make the best print. If I were going on a trip using the Tri-X and HC-110 combination for the first time, I would be tempted to use an ASA/ISO rating of 160. You get a little insurance for shadow detail. Be sure to figure in the filter factors.

-- Doug Paramore (, July 13, 2000.

I don't understand why you don't take a halfday and do the film and print test so you will know for yourself what your equipment is going to do. Pat

-- pat krentz (, July 13, 2000.

Tri X in HC110 is a "classic" combination loved by many fine arts photographers, but if you want fine grain it may not be what YOU want! May I suggest Delta 100 in XTOL (or TMX in XTOL for unbelievably fine grain, but more tricky to process)?! Listen to Pat and do your testing BEFORE your trip.

-- Andreas Carl (, July 15, 2000.

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