T Max 100, how does it compare to Tri X, Hp5?

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I have been using Tri X and Forte and the range of tones are very good, Idevelope them in T max developer, I am ambvalent about using T Max 100 in the 8x10 and I am worried about tonality especially in a sunny day landscape situation. I am asking because when I consider the cost of a box of 50 and the time and cost of developing I would rather hear from someone with experience. I understand John Sexton is shooting T Max 100 in 4x5 but I wonder about tis in 8x10 ? How will it differ from tri x and where will those differences show up?

-- Edward Burlew (zeke@idirect.com), September 16, 2001


I shoot Tmax in 8x10, 4x5, 120,and 35mm and I like it better than TriX. I have not tried HP5+ or Forte in 8x10 though but in 4x5 and 120. I have tried Arista in 8x10 but it doesn't compare to Tmax either. I like Tmax because of the beautiful tonal range. And for long exposures out to a minute or more I use no exposure compensation. But you have to calibrate it. That is imperative. Be precise in every aspect. It takes + and - development very well where TriX doesn't do as well and HP5+ does it worse. Try it. James

-- james (james_mickelson@hotmail.com), September 16, 2001.

IMHO, stick with the TriXP. I have tested the Tmax and just don't like the tonal range as good at TX. HP5+ is nice also but it has a slightly different look. My suggestion is to do a test with a different developer. I LOVE Diafine rated at 400. it is a very fine grain, very much a compensating developer that is extremely easy and forgiving. It is a 2 bath developer and will NOT block up your highlights but give you great shadow detail also. It has been around for years and has stood the test of time over and over! Cheers

-- Scott Walton (scotlynn@shore.net), September 19, 2001.

When I moved from 35mm to LF, I stuck with TMax, but for what now appear to be the wrong reasons. That tabular fine grain is great for enlarging from 35mm to 5x7, but unneeded for 5x7 and 8x10 contact prints. Besides, I've had problems developing it since many of my 8x10s (but not, for some reason, the 5x7's) have bands of irregular density that render them unprintable. Perhaps a light leak of some kind, but I suspect the real culprit is uneven agitation. Several posters on the archives have complained about problems with development of TMax sheets. I decided not to pursue the matter further and am now perfectly happy with Plus-X,Tri-X, FHP4+, and HP5+. Good light. Nick.

-- Nick Jones (nfjones@pitt.edu), September 22, 2001.

The difference in films isn't as big as the difference in personal preferences as a photographer. TMax will be finer grained, not so big a consideration in LF. It will push & pull with less time in the developers which may or may not matter to you. If you develop by time/temp Tmax is more sensitive to agitation (liking much more agitation than TriX/HP5+), small temperature variations and inconsistencies in your processing line or technique. It really needs to be controlled every step of the way like a color film if you are going to get the best out of it...one reason JOBO processors and TMax films go together so well. You will have less film base/fog density with Tmax than TriX and definately less than HP5+. You will probably pay more for Tmax. As far as tonality & tonal range, highlight blocking, shadow separation and the rest. If you work with TMax films & get experienced & hone your technique to fit the film you won't be disappointed. But you won't be disappointed with TriX either. A lot of excellent photographers use combinations others would throw away even if we got them for free and they get great results with them. Unless what you are using now relly needs to be replaced for a specific reason, don't change. Or, if you still feel the need to experiment, try some TMax. But, if you can not see an improvement on your prints, an honest improvement you can actually see, don't change. Use what you have & finesse it so your results are as good as they can be. If that means changing to TMax then do so, but don't change just for the sake of change.

-- Dan Smith (shooter@brigham.net), September 22, 2001.

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