Developing Adventures · film photography · Film Processing · opinion

Developing Adventures – Pushing Kodak Tri-X 400 to 1600

In continuing with my quest to find the right black and white film that suits my style and need for faster speeds for shots taken around my home, I now continue with Kodak Tri-X.

I did a post previously on developing Tri-X 400 using both Kodak HC-110 and Kodak D-76 developers. I liked my results, so I thought I’d test the film out in my quest. I shot it at 1600 in my Canon F1n and then processed it in HC-110 dilution B (1+31) for 16 minutes. I usually agitate Tri-x for 10 seconds every 30 seconds. I didn’t want to agitate too much because I knew pushing it would already add more contrast and grain. I agitated continuously for the first minute and then 10 seconds every minute after that.

Kodak TX 400 @ 1600
Kodak TX 400 @ 1600

I like the grain in the TX more than with HP5 being pushed to 1600. It suits skin tones better in my opinion.

Ilford HP5 400 @ 1600
Left Pic: Ilford HP5 400 @ 1600
Right Pic: Kodak TX 400 @ 1600

I definitely see a difference in the grain with HP5 at 1600 VS TX 400 at 1600. I don’t know if you can see it on here but the two pics above show that HP5 has much more grain. The highlights do equally start to get blown with both films though.

Kodak TX 400 @ 1600
Left Pic: Kodak P3200 @ 1600
Right Pic: Kodak TX 400 @ 1600

When comparing Kodak P3200 at 1600 vs the TX at 1600, you can see the grain visibly in the P3200. Both still have a high amount of contrast though. You can also see that you start to lose information in the shadows at 1600 with both films.

Kodak TX 400 @ 1600
Left Pic: Kodak TX 400 @ 1600
Right Pic: Ilford Delta 3200 @ 1600

When comparing the TX at 1600 VS Ilford Delta 3200 at 1600 I quite like the lower contrast in the Delta. Both films also have a low amount of grain which I also like.

Ilford Delta 3200 @ 1600
Left Pic: Ilford Delta 3200 @ 1600
Right Pic: Kodak TX 400 @ 1600
Kodak TX 400 @ 1600
Kodak TX 400 @ 1600
Kodak TX 400 @ 1600
Kodak TX 400 @ 1600
Kodak TX 400 @ 1600
Kodak TX 400 @ 1600
Kodak TX 400 @ 1600
Kodak TX 400 @ 1600

On a side note, I have also noticed with the high ISO films, and pushing films to higher ISO, that the negatives get very dirty. They always have a ton of lint attracted to them. I have no idea why this is, but I have noticed it a lot when compared to developing HP5 400 or other lower ISO films that are always relatively clean. Does the thinner negative attract lint? Does it have to do with the chemicals? Just a thought. Let me know down in the comments if you’ve ever noticed this. Example below…

Notice the lint?

Final Thoughts

I think Kodak TX 400 at 1600 is a new contender with Ilford Delta 3200 at 1600. The differences in the two being (1) price, TX is $6.95 and Delta 3200 is $11.95 per roll of 35mm film, and (2) contrast. TX has obviously more contrast than Delta 3200. This is going to be a tough decision because I think I fell in love with Delta 3200 at 1600 the first time I tried it. The price just doesn’t really justify everyday family pics.

Kodak TX 400 @ 1600
Kodak TX 400 @ 1600

I think I will continue my quest. I still want to try pushing Ilford Delta 400 as someone recommended on Facebook. I have read that Delta 400 isn’t a great film to do this with, but I like to try things myself. If you have any other recommendations on film to try in my quest, let me know. Stay tuned.

Click the link to catch up on my Developing Adventures.

If you’d like to purchase some Kodak TX 400 to try yourself they do sell it on Amazon.

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Until next time, stay motivated and keep shooting.

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