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Kodak Tri-X 400 at 6400

Page 2

February 2015

These were taken with Kodak Professional Tri-X film.  The intended speed of this film is 400, but here it was pushed to 6400.  Actually it's probably 3200 this time, because I later figured out that the dev time for 6400 was much too short.

Development was in Kodak HC-110 at Dilution B, semi-stand for 26 minutes at 68 to 70 Fahrenheit.  Gentle agitation for first minute, followed by 10 seconds gentle swirl every 5 minutes. 

In this article I explain why the time of 26 minutes is probably incorrect, resulting in an actual push to 3200, not 6400.  So, what you're really seeing here is film shot as EI 6400, but developed only as EI 3200, meaning it's one stop underexposed.  That these were able to produce pictures this good is sort of amazing.

See also How To Develop B&W Film.

Here, as in the first gallery, I left the darkest shadows somewhat elevated.  It would be easy enough to blacken the shadows with some software adjustments, if desired.   I don't get bent out of shape from some shadow blotching;  there are a couple reasons why that happens.  As I've said, too-short development times can be a big reason for this.

Dollar Store

February 2015
Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E
Kodak 400TX @ 6400

I didn't write down the shutter speed or aperture for this one.  I think it might have been f/4 @ 1/60th.  A photo like this is a challenge for metering, because the lights inside the store are so many stops brighter than the street outside.  It's a balance to try keeping some highlight detail and some shadow detail.   Actually I think this might have been a guess, because the SLR meter is not well-suited to a scene like this.


Kodak 400TX @6400

Gas Station

Kodak 400TX @6400
Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E AIS

This one, like many of them, was probably f/4 at a 60th.  I figured most of these scenes were about LV 4 ("floodlit buildings at night");  f/4 at a 60th would be correct when using film at EI 6400. 

Some of the dimmer street scenes were shot at f/2.8 @ 60th; some of those were even still too dark for that (grainy, etc). Some of the scenes I tried to shoot were probably as dim as LV 0, which would have called for f/2.8 @ 1/8th at EI 6400.  The more I contemplate this, the more it makes sense to get one of these and a good lens.  The leaf shutter means you can shoot handheld at 1/8 if you've got a steady hand. If I could budget one of those right now, I'd get one in about two seconds because they're so classic for night photography.  (If you get yours through there, it helps me keep this site going.) 

A Fleeting Dream of Ancient Pyramids

Kodak 400TX @6400
(At the moment, 10-roll pack discounted here.)

This one I metered with center-weighted metering (Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E).  I can't remember the aperture or shutter speed, but I know the meter was sort of working here.   I tried to meter slightly away from the brightest areas here, and I like the result.

I want to say this was f/2.8 @ 60th or f/4 @ 30th, which would be one stop brighter than EV 4 at EI 6400. 

The next one was also shot at 6400,  but it looks almost as good as 400.   Brighter scenes give better results.  This is true with digital cameras also.   You might notice when you look at this scan that the shadows and tone detail are very mellow.  A good scan can avoid the contrasty, blocked-shadow look of the typical film scan.  This book will teach you how to get the best results.

Cold Drinks On A Winter Night

Kodak 400TX @ 1600 or 3200
f/5.6 @ 1/125th

I know this one was either f/5.6 @ 125th or f/8 at 60th; I believe it was f/5.6.  The brightest areas of a well-lit store interior are probably LV 8, but this was shot as if it were LV6.  You can see that it's very bright, probably at least one stop overexposed.  That means this photo was really shot as EI 1600 or 3200;  of all the pictures on the first "6400" rolls, this was one of the best, because I think the time of 26 minutes for 6400 is actually the correct time for 3200.  See this article for more info. 

If this scene is actually LV8, then the film was shot as EI 1600.  If it's LV7, then the film was shot as EI 3200.  Because this looks a good one-stop overexposed to me, and because I now realize the dev time is about right for EI 3200, I'm going to say this scene is LV 8.  Therefore, this page is correct when it says "Interiors with bright fluorescent lights" are LV 8.

So, this particular photo is not really a 6400 push;  it was shot as 1600 and developed as 3200.  You have to realize that all this tech data helps me as much as it (hopefully) helps you.  Everyone else, enjoy the photos!

Yep, I know I've probably said twenty times that pushed Tri-X is the greatest thing since the invention of the wheel, but I just love this stuff.  (Ilford HP5 Plus 400 will get its turn in an article, don't worry...)

I understand now why people get addicted to Kodak Tri-X.

Thanks again for visiting this site!

Gallery:  Kodak Tri-X At 6400, Page 1

How-To:  Pushing Tri-X To 6400 And Beyond

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