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TRI-X 400(400TX) push processing@6400

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 6:59 pm
by bxlxav
Hi there.
The context is that I had to push my Tri-x to 6400, because I was shooting a concert in very bad lighting conditions.
I'm intending to develop it in microphen, but I can't find exact processing times for 6400. The only leads I've got are the followings: between 30-33 minutes in microphen stock or 1+1. Do you think this makes sense and do you have any other recommendation ?
Many thanks in advance for any relevant advice !

Posted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:00 am
by Digitaltruth
There is no such thing as an exact processing time for the conditions you are describing. Stage lighting produces a set of problems which are different from those used to produce "standard" development times. You will need to pay careful attention to the light levels and the materials you are using in order to render the shadow and highlight detail in the proportions that you prefer.

For a start, if you are pushing to 6400, a lot will depend on where you are taking the light reading from, as these conditions are highly variable and it is often difficult to ascribe a specific film speed to your work.

While Tri-X is a good film for pushing, it does not have the range of TMax 3200/Delta 3200/Neopan 1600 in low light conditions; however, its grain is less obvious than those films.

Microphen is a good developer for push processing, but it also has a limited range and is more suited toward a single stop push than what you are looking to achieve. Of the developers currently on the market, you may find TMax Developer to be more effective for this type of processing.

Either way, you will need to determine your development time by trial and error and can only use the recommended times as starting points. In this case, 30 or so minutes in Microphen would certainly provide a decent starting point, although the exposures themselves are likely to have a greater impact on your results than the development.

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 2:30 pm
by bxlxav
Hi - First of all, thank you Jon for the extensive answer on this specific question.
I'll give it a try with 30 minutes in microphen 1+1 during 30 minutes.
Next time, in such (bad) lighting conditions I'll use a Tmax 3200 (Ilford's 3200 is said to have less grain but is more expensive,well in Belgium at least) and will develop it in Xtol or Microphen. Just one more question, would you recommend a high dilution or 1+1 for these high speed films ?

Regarding the shooting itself, when I'm dealing with a concert situtation, I always proceed to light measurement right on the face of the band member I want to photograph, with "spot" light measurement enabled. I think it's the best way to operate since lighting on stage is always very intense and specificaly focalized on the band, the backgroung staying in the dark.
Anyway, I'll keep you posted on the results with the Tri-x/Microphen.