T-Max P3200 vs Delta 3200, and which developer?
Old 08-20-2018   #1
Jake06
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T-Max P3200 vs Delta 3200, and which developer?

I am heading for a wee break in the south of France next month and I am in film buying mode for it. I have my daylight films sorted but I can't decide what to take for evenings and those famous medieval narrow (darker) streets. I'm not used to shooting ultra high-speed films and I have very little experience with either emulsion.

Obviously the P3200 is still new and people are still getting to know it. Delta has been around for ages. There are conflicting reports on which one is the grainier one and which is more contrasty, and how to expose either one. I know the box speeds are not the actual speeds of the films, but I'm still confused as to what the best EI to shoot at is for either one.

I only have HC-110 at the moment, and I was wondering how necessary it would be to switch to a finer grain developer for these films. Kodak recommend TMAX developer for P3200 but do give a time for HC-110 as well. Ilford recommend DD-X but do also kindly provide times for the Kodak devlopers.

What do?
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Old 08-20-2018   #2
Deardorff38
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I've had really good results with Ilford 3200 exposed at 1600 & developed in Xtol.
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Old 08-20-2018   #3
Chriscrawfordphoto
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HC-110 is not a good developer for either film. They need a modern pushing developer. Kodak Tmax Developer and Ilford DDX are the only developers that have ever given me good tonality and shadow detail with either film. Xtol is said to be very good, too, but I haven't tried it.
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Old 08-20-2018   #4
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XTOL does seem like an inconvenience to me. Sounds like a pain to mix and a pain to store.

Some people hate the TMAX developer, but nobody ever seems to say why... From what I've seen it looks ok to me. Results seem to be a little flat on traditional emulsion films but from the little that I've seen on TMAX film, I think it looks nice.

It's quite tricky to judge though as people do tend to adjust their scans in post.

I normally mix my HC-110 as 1:63 and use it as a one-and-done developer. How many rolls can you get out of a batch of TMAX at the recommended dilution?
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Old 08-20-2018   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake06 View Post
XTOL does seem like an inconvenience to me. Sounds like a pain to mix and a pain to store.

Some people hate the TMAX developer, but nobody ever seems to say why... From what I've seen it looks ok to me. Results seem to be a little flat on traditional emulsion films but from the little that I've seen on TMAX film, I think it looks nice.

It's quite tricky to judge though as people do tend to adjust their scans in post.

I normally mix my HC-110 as 1:63 and use it as a one-and-done developer. How many rolls can you get out of a batch of TMAX at the recommended dilution?
I like Tmax Developer, and I usually recommend it as a general purpose developer for people who don't want to mess with powders like D-76 or Xtol.

The bottle they sell makes a gallon at the standard 1+4 dilution. How many rolls depends on how much chemistry your developing tanks require. With Steel tanks, you should get 16 rolls.

You can dilute it 1+7 also. Gives great results, and thats my usual dilution. To get the 1+7 times for any film, just take the time given for the standard dilution and multiply the time by 1.5. So, if the standard time is 6 minutes, you would do 6x1.5=9 to get the time for the 1+7 dilution. That'll lower the cost of using it a bit. I think one of the main reasons so many don't like it is the cost. Tmax Developer is expensive, but I think its worth the money ESPECIALLY for the 3200 films, which really don't look good in other developers at all.
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Old 08-20-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
I like Tmax Developer, and I usually recommend it as a general purpose developer for people who don't want to mess with powders like D-76 or Xtol.

The bottle they sell makes a gallon at the standard 1+4 dilution. How many rolls depends on how much chemistry your developing tanks require. With Steel tanks, you should get 16 rolls.

You can dilute it 1+7 also. Gives great results, and thats my usual dilution. To get the 1+7 times for any film, just take the time given for the standard dilution and multiply the time by 1.5. So, if the standard time is 6 minutes, you would do 6x1.5=9 to get the time for the 1+7 dilution. That'll lower the cost of using it a bit. I think one of the main reasons so many don't like it is the cost. Tmax Developer is expensive, but I think its worth the money ESPECIALLY for the 3200 films, which really don't look good in other developers at all.
Alright, I'm sold. I'm gonna try it. I use the Paterson system tanks, and I worked it out to be 16 rolls too (using it the same way as I do the HC-110). So I guess that's a no to reusing the same working solution for more than one film.
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Old 08-20-2018   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake06 View Post
Alright, I'm sold. I'm gonna try it. I use the Paterson system tanks, and I worked it out to be 16 rolls too (using it the same way as I do the HC-110). So I guess that's a no to reusing the same working solution for more than one film.
No, don't reuse Tmax Developer. Kodak used to sell a version called Tmax RD that was designed to be reused and replenished, but it was really aimed at photo labs rather than home users.

Kodak's instructions say that normal Tmax Developer can be reused to a certain number of rolls, with added developing time for each roll. I would not do that for three reasons:

1) Push processing, which is the norm for the 3200 films, exhausts developer faster, so this cannot be used with those films.

2) Any reused developer will suffer loss of film speed and tonal quality.

3) It only works with the standard dilution. By using the 1+7 dilution, you get about the same capacity without the image quality tradeoff.
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