Dateline 1940: “The fastest film in the world is the new Tri-X, with
twice the speed of Super-XX.” If you want the numbers, the British
Journal of Photography Almanac for 1940 (actually written in 1939)
reckoned it was 7000 H&D.
Sometimes I am contemplating if any other film than Tri-X is needed?
The classic which was introduced as early as 1939-40 as sheet film,
and 1954 as roll film 135 and 120 formats. The most recent version
packs a few years and it is my impression that the grain has become
even more appealing, and that tonality has improved. Tri-X is fantastic.
It stretches the tonal curve in shadows like no other film.
Tri-X and D-76 is a well proven combination of film/developer, but now I have
begun using X-tol which works equally well, and in addition is less hazardous
to the environment. If however you want the smallest grain and maximum
resolution, it can be a good idea to make your own D76, and in this case
replace the metolen with fenidon, with the strength of 0,3 g/liter.
This will give you Ilfords late ID11 plus, which has been discontinued.
D76 and ID11 are known to be basically the same developers, only Ilford
made a special version named ID11 plus. More expensive, but by what I can
see from my Tri-X negatives from this time, it renders a clearly finer grain
and a delightful tone/resloution of detail. With this developer the following
question is brought to life:
Is there any need for more than Tri-X?
Pictures and text by Nils Bergqvist who kindly translated his article to English.
See the original text (in Swedish) here. -urbano