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Kodak Tri-X at EI 12800

Gallery, Page One

  2016 May 12    Galleries   Film


Most of the pictures that were originally on this page were actually shot at EI 6400, not 12800.  Those are now here.  There's also this page, so you can see what happens with incorrect metering, incorrect development, and probably some fluorescent-light flicker.

Now that I've figured out correct dev times for Tri-X at 12800, and now that I've metered some of the scenes more carefully with a better meter, here are some better results.

See also Grit, Grain, & Contrast and How To Develop B&W Film





Convenience Store

May 2016
6x6 cm
Cropped to 8x10 aspect ratio
Kodak Tri-X 400 at EI 12800
Yashica MAT 124G
f/8
1/125th sec.

Developed in Kodak HC-110 Dilution B, 68 F, 2 hrs 20 minutes


The scene metered LV 6 at the sidewalk, so I chose f/8 and 1/125th.  That would be EV 6 for EI 12800.  Therefore, this is a true 12800, and the development was long enough (2+ hrs) that I don't think there's much to be had by extending it.

Considering how much of a push this is (N+5), the results are amazing.  You're not even supposed to be able to push Tri-X past 3200.  There are some people who would claim that you cannot push film at all.  If they were right, that would mean extended dev times would have no effect at all.  That's easily disproven.  In fact, I saw a huge difference by increasing the dev time. 





Ice Machine

May 2016
6x6 cm
Kodak Tri-X 400 at EI 12800
Yashica MAT 124G
f/5.6
1/60th sec.

Developed in Kodak HC-110 Dilution B, 68 F, 2 hrs 20 minutes


The ice machine front metered at LV 5, but the shaded side metered at LV 2.6.  I decided to shoot this scene at EV 4, which was f/5.6 at a 60th for EI 12800.  Doing this kept the shaded side of the ice machine from being totally dark. 

In real life, this scene looked darker than you see here;  this is about a stop overexposed.  Had this scene been shot at the metered EV5 rather than EV4, a correct setting would have been f/8 at 1/60th.  That's another way I know this was really developed for 12800, not 6400 as happened with another roll.  f/5.6 and 1/60th would not have made the image look this bright at 6400. 

"Everyone" says don't bother with EI 6400 and definitely not 12800.  They would have you think the shadows would be so blocked-up that they'll solidify, fall out of your computer monitor, and stub your toes. 

Well, with results like I'm seeing here, I think I won't listen to them.  This looks almost as good as Kodak Tri-X at 400!  How is this even possible?  It took me a while to work out the dev times, but it was worth it.

I'm not saying that every photo at 12800 will be stellar.  Slight metering errors tend to be amplified at 6400 and above.  Overexposure is not so much a problem, but slight underexposure gets magnified.  There were one or two photos on the roll where I think that happened, but even those are salvageable.





Corner Store

May 2016
6x6 cm
Kodak Tri-X 400 at EI 12800
Yashica MAT 124G
f/5.6
1/125th sec.

Developed in Kodak HC-110 Dilution B, 68 F, 2 hrs 20 minutes


With the light meter held near the pavement in the foreground, I read LV 4.5 to 5;  scene was photographed as EV 5 at 12800. 

This is a high-contrast lighting situation, yet the extremely-pushed Tri-X somehow retains a lot of its nice, mellow tonality.  Even with some increased grain and a narrower histogram, this still looks like Kodak Tri-X.





Summer, $6.98

May 2016
6x6 cm
Cropped to 8x10 aspect ratio
Kodak Tri-X 400 at EI 12800
Yashica MAT 124G
f/16
1/60th sec.

Developed in Kodak HC-110 Dilution B, 68 F, 2 hrs 20 minutes.  Uncropped image here, just to show you the great tonality of the whole scene. 


Even at 12800, Kodak Tri-X radiates so much awesome that silicon wafers can't even stand in the glare.

Alright, some digital B&W looks cool, but Tri-X is amazing.

This one metered as LV 7.4 or 7.5 in the middle of the brightest-lit areas.  I photographed it as EV 7 for 12800. 

Can you believe this is Tri-X at 12800?  It even shows the different shades of almost-black in the "$6.98" sign, which according to conventional wisdom should be flatly impossible.  (Highly-pushed films are not supposed to be able to record any shadow values other than pure black.)  I think these results are significant.  They are to me, at least.

Once you get the metering correct, a successful result is all about the developing process and a good scan. 

If you don't have one, get yourself one of these light meters straightaway.  It is the current-production version of the excellent but discontinued Minolta Autometer IV F.  Either one will save you from wasting a lot of film;  I should have had one of these many years ago, instead of bumbling my way to better photographs. 





Shine

May 2016
6x6 cm
Kodak Tri-X 400 at EI 12800
Yashica MAT 124G
f/22
about 1/375th sec.

Developed in Kodak HC-110 Dilution B, 68 F, 2 hrs 20 minutes


This scene metered as LV 10.5.  Actually, it was LV 10 nearest the ground. 

This should probably have been f/22 at 1/250th (EV 10), but I went with the EV 10.5 reading.  The shutter speed was halfway between 250 and 500 at f/22.  Or, for EV 10.5 I could have used a shutter speed of 500 and an aperture of f/19, which is halfway between f/16 and f/22.

This negative was a bit thin, so it might not print well traditionally;  but you can see the results of a good scan with the right kinds of adjustment.

This kind of tonality at 12800 should not even be possible.  It's far less contrasty than a lot of Tri-X that I've seen developed as 1600.




Now that I've figured out a good developing process for 12800, the results are much better than before.  . 

There have been other people who've pushed film to 12800 and had OK results, but from what I'd seen the pictures were still overly contrasty.  Some people were able to use much shorter develop times, but you'll probably find that they had to increase the agitation considerably.  That will tend to increase grain and decrease dynamic range.

I was looking for a way that didn't make super-grainy photos.  It also had to use only one developer that was readily-available.  My procedure at 12800 yields more tonality than some people are getting at 1600.  Scanning is an important part of it, though, because at 12800 you're probably not going to achieve the negative density that's possible at 400 or 800.

Obviously if you use 35mm, the photos would be more grainy than you see here, but they'd probably still be acceptable.  I'll try that next time.


Thanks for visiting this website.  I hope you've enjoyed this article and found it helpful.  I've tried to provide knowledge that you'd be hard pressed to find, even in a book. If this helps you out in any way, please help keep my website on-line by shopping for your stuff through the links on here.  (Get yourself an excellent light meter through this link.) Your support is greatly appreciated. Thank you again,







You might also like...

Gallery:  Kodak Tri-X At 6400

Grit, Grain, & Contrast:  Night Photography On Film

Pushing Tri-X To 6400 And Beyond with updated dev times, as I used for this gallery.




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