Top positive review
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If you shoot b/w, but haven't shot Tri-X, just do it!
on November 5, 2011
Tri-X is a classic among classics. A Kodak rep, in a recent article about their film division sang the praises of the recent new formulation of T-MAX 400 even mentioned that they haven't dared to touch Tri-X because of it's standing as a true classic. When I first got into photography, I immediately felt disdain for Tri-X. I considered it a 'student film,' the mark of a true amateur! Years down the road, I became less snobby and less foolish, and it has entered my top three film choices of all time (Acros and PanF+ are the other two, for the curious...)
So, for those who don't know, here's the skinny on Tri-X. It's a classic grain emulsion. And, that grain will probably show, but it will look smooth and sexy. It's closest competition in the market, Ilford HP5+, has much sharper, in-your-face grain, in my opinion. You can push and pull Tri-X 2 stops in whatever developer you ordinarily use without really batting an eyelash.
You can abuse Tri-X. One doesn't typically encouraging abusing things, but Tri-X takes what you throw at it in stride. I keep it in the camera that stays in my trunk, because situations might not necessarily allow me to get a proper exposure at all times, and I don't have the luxury of picking a film for a specific situation with that camera. I respool Minox with it for the same reason. In fact, it's a go-to film for any camera without a meter, where one has to assess exposure in one's head. With that much room for error (for me, at least... I never said sunny/16 was my forté!), a forgiving film is handy. And Tri-X forgives and forgives...
Tri-X looks good, gives consistent results, and allows the photographer to make mistakes. The only thing it does not do well is age -- please shoot this stuff before it expires. Expired Tri-X tends to get blotchy, like it has the measles.
All in all, a good price for a great film (36 exp in 135 format). You know you want to!