TRI-X and D76 might be thought of as standard bearers in the black and white world. If a film doesn’t develop well in D76, its chances of being accepted are reduced. Likewise, if a developer doesn’t work well with TRI-X, it generally ends up being marketed as having some other feature (good with zone system, ultra fine grain, high acutance, etc.). The developers that sell best are those that emulate D76 (HC 110, XTOL, and ID11).
Recently, I’ve been using an obscure developer named Prescysol. Previous blog entries have praised its performance with Fuji Neopan Acros, Bergger 200, and Agfa APX400. The acid test would ultimately boil down to how it worked with TRI-X.
I developed this roll of TRI-X exactly like I have developed everything in Prescysol. No matter what film you are using, it seems to work best at the film’s nominal ISO rating, and developed at 75F for 10.5 minutes with only three periods of agitation. The subject (photographer Bill Nelsch) was photographed with a 75/1.4 Summilux wide open in a restaurant. As I expected, the grain was well controlled, the grays are all there, and the areas in focus are as sharp as one is going to get with TRI-X. An enlargement of Bill’s eye shows the subdued characteristics of the grain with this developer.
Labels: Prescysol, TRI-X