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Tri-X as a negative

Jarin Blaschke

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Hi Samuel,


Thanks for liking that shot.

500T (5219) rated at 400.

I have a vintage set of 6x6 Supa Frost filters. The person who sold them to me, someone on the forum, told me I would probably like them based on some of my still photography he saw...hard frontal beauty lighting thing.


I like to imagine they where named "Supa" inspired by Geoffrey Unsworth and the original 1978 Super Man, (regardless of filters, there is a scene early on with Lois and Clark on the sidewalk with brilliant late afternoon shafts of light that is so beautiful, I'm imagining large carbon arcs, Mole Skypans or something?? ) But for sure a similar filter was used on Millennium, 1989 with Cheryl Ladd that I randomly saw on Netflix... I was recognizing filter nuances similar to my Supa Frosts. And that 70's scene from "In the Mood for Love" has a similar look but perhaps that was a stronger fog filter?) Leaving behind my random conjectures LOL I also used an:


80mm lens (Hasselblad medium format w/ PL adapter).

And it was lit with a 2k fresnel up and behind the camera with a violet gel covering the wide open barn doors.

ND on camera down to F4.


Here is the full test, it starts off clean then progressively stronger filters.




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The plastic Wilson SupaFrosts more or less were copied to make more durable glass Tiffen ProMists, though they aren't exactly the same -- I think SupaFrosts to me look a bit like a ProMist combined with a Soft-FX. But the designs are similar. SupaFrosts were used well on "The Natural".

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We have no problem running Tri-X as negative, we can run it in the same Allen machine we ran the now infamous Louis CK film which we developed 200,000ft of 35mm 5222 in.


I personally used Tri-X for a shot in a film I made which was a mix of 7222 and 7231 with some slow motion shots with Tri-X double perf and I edited on a steenbeck and cut my negaitve and made a print. I liked the look of Tri-X as negative allot and it cut well with the Plus-X 7231 negative stock.


Le me know if you want to do some tests.


And again we have TWO B&W film processors, one for Reversal and one for Negative/Print so actually a total of three developer possibilities.

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Hi Robert:


Do you also advise exposing Tri-X at ei 100/125 if developed as a negative? Is the latitude really still as limited as reversal? Can't one develop to whatever gamma they want and thus avoid that problem?


I am actually living in Los Angeles now and it looks like we will shoot in Nova Scotia in April and May. Nonetheless, I am looking for a good lab that might be open to changes to the film developer, and if a suitable lab cannot be found in Canada, perhaps there is enough of a cost savings in sending to Rhode Island instead of Burbank.


If you write me at jarin@jarinblaschke.com, I can tell you what I have in mind. I am in the early stages of testing candidate developers by hand, keeping in mind a replenishment scheme, the need for constant agitation and the eventual soup of 700 liters at one time.



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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi - an update:


For the test I shot 7222, exposed at 160 and developed "normal" and 7266, warned about high-contrast, exposed at 80 and developed "-1."


The Tri-X results were superior in sharpness, highlight tonality and grain. Contrast was actually normal and comparable between the two. I saw the results both as prints and in a 4k DI suite at Fotokem. It's unclear how much the results were improved by the stock being Tri-X, and how much from the more moderate development. The "normal" developed double X footage showed signs of overdevelopment (especially poor highlight separation) that the 35mm Double-X did not.


I can share the results after the resulting film is finished!



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  • 3 years later...
31 minutes ago, Michael Carter said:

Tri-X neg is made to be contact printed onto film. That gets rid of the mush. I have done it onto sound film. 

Do you mean you contact printed Tri-X as a negative onto positive sound stock or Tri-X as reversal onto sound negative stock?

And what sound film did you print onto?



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