T-Max 100 is Faster than Tri-X 320 for Long Exposures - Darkroom Underground

September 26, 2015  •  2 Comments

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It may sound a little odd that a 100-speed film is faster than a 400/320-speed film, but that is in fact, true when it comes to Tri-X 400/320 and T-Max 100.  T-Max 100 is a common and awesome choice for landscape photographer's and the better reciprocity failure for T-Max is an added benefit.  I have created very large 50" enlargements from both Tri-X 320 and T-Max 100 4x5 sheet film, and both look great.  

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They are different, but when connected to your creative vision, both can be very compelling choices.  I recently created a 40" x 50" silver gelatin enlargement from one of my Tri-X negatives of some Tulips which I share in the video.  The texture and grain that is inherent in Tri-X really made this print for me.  It gave it a third dimension and texture that I don't think I could have achieved with any other film.  I have similar experiences with T-Max 100 for landscapes where I have bright highlights and delicate shadow details that is central to the print.  

In regards to reciprocity failure, T-Max 100 is much faster than Tri-X starting at about 8 seconds and it becomes drastic at 30 seconds and longer.  

Here are my reciprocity charts that I use for Tri-X and T-Max:

T-Max 100 Reciprocity: 1->1 2->2 4->4.5 8->10 15->21 30->49 60->1:47 80->2:30 100->3:29 120->4:39 160->6:42 200->9:30 240->12:50

Tri-X Reciprocity: 1->1.5 2->3 4->6 8->12 15->29 20->42 25->58 30->1:18 40->1:44 50->2:19 60->3:00 80->3:56 100->5:11 120->6:42 160->9:36 200->13:32 240->18:16


Tim Layton Fine Art
Hi Rolf, thanks for your comment. Keep me posted on what film and developer you settle in on and post some pics. Stay in touch.
Rolf Schmolling(non-registered)
Hi Tim, thanks for the very valuable information, Kodak is not really forthcoming with reciprocity info on their films (compared to Ilford).
I am currently facing a somewhat related problem. I have yet started with 4x5 (Toyo View 45 C, Fujinon W 5.6/150) shot some Fomapan 200 (not so great), some TMX 100 (@50 in HC-110 dil H. 12 Minutes, Mod54/Paterson) and some HP 5 (compliment of the Mod54 seller). I am at the very beginning. Now I have to choose what film to use, I have limited funds, I cannot say invest in TMX 100, TMY 400, Tri-X 320; HP 5, Delta…, FP 4, test eery film in and just choose to my liking. I have acquired a BZTS tube set (and developed the first 4 sheets with it) and I think I will switch to this method in the future. But still, what film to choose. In 135 and 120 film Tri-X 400 is very much my favorite (in SPUR HCD new – HCD-S & HCD 2, speeds between 100 and 3200 with very low penalty for grain and loss of shadow detail; general photography). Prise is an issue here: Tri-X 320 is like 2.10 €/sheet compared to 1.39€ with most Ilford films. I'd like a general purpose film which would allow for landscape/still life/ portraiture (available light)… any advice? Thanks a bunch (first try posting a comment didn't work somehow, btw) Rolf
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