Today I’m developing a roll of Kodak Tri-X 400 shot at 6400 ISO.
I’ve been wanting to try this little experience for a while now. Some films are known for handling push processing very well and Kodak TX400 is one of them. Lots of photographers I know are even shooting by default at 1600 ISO but I wanted to push its limits 2 stops further.
For this little experimentation, I was accompanied by my trusted Leica M6 and a recently acquired Voigtlander 35mm Nokton f1.4 and shot the roll between Nice and Paris in different lighting situation.
To process the roll, I used the ILFORD DD-X developer and followed the instructions found on the Massive Dev Chart.
Let me break down for you all the steps I took and then we’ll look at the results:
Step 1 – Prepare the developer
If you are using the Ilford DD-X, like I did, your developing solution must be diluted for 1 + 4. This means that you will need 60ml of DD-X for 240ml of water.
In total, you will get 300ml of solution, which is the minimum for developing a roll of 35mm film using a Patterson tank.
Step 2 – Time and agitation
Set your timer for 25 minutes, start with one minute of agitation at the beginning and 4 inversions every minute. I’ve always followed this sequence of agitation and it gave me good results so far.
Don’t forget to tap the tank a few times after every agitation to remove the air bubbles from the film surface.
Step 3 – Stop, fix, wash and wetting agent
From here there nothing much to say about. It’s the classic sequence of Stop Bath, 3 minutes Fix, a good wash with clean water and the optional (but highly recommended) Wetting Agent that will help to avoid marks on the film surface while drying. The Kodak Photo-Flo is one of the most popular one.
Now let’s look at some examples of Kodak Tri-X 400 Pushed to 6400
I hope you enjoyed this little experimentation. You’ll make you’re own opinion of the results but I think we have push this poor Kodak TX a little too far. Picture still look good to me but we have a lost a lot of shadow details along the way. Let me know what you think in the comment and if you had better results with other developers, I’d love to hear about it!
About the Author
Vincent Moschetti is a photographer from France. He has been into photography since 2013 and worked exclusively with digital equipment until recently. While looking for new ways to challenge himself, he got hooked by the beauty of shooting with film cameras. From this discovery, he has decided to sell all his digital cameras and get committed to analog photography for at least one year.