If you’re looking for a high quality B&W film, Kodak TMAX 100 is the perfect choice. If you are a portrait enthusiast or just love the vintage look of B&W photos, you should try at least once, “the world’s finest grained 100 speed black and white film”.
“It’s about time to try a black and white film…”, I thought to myself one morning. So I got up and began searching for some film over the internet. As in my home town, the photo labs don’t have any for sale, the internet was the best choice. I wanted something special and as 120 film was not an option (as I don’t have a film scanner), “the world’s finest grained 100-speed black and white film” caught my attention. A few days later the package arrived and that’s how I got my very own Kodak Professional TMAX 100 B&W film.
I wanted to try it with my Smena 8 so I immediately loaded it in. A week passed by and the film was ready to be developed. I was so anxious to see the results! So I took it to the photo lab that I usually go to. There I got the worst news ever: “We don’t develop B&W film. Nobody in Constanta does.” I could not believe it! So I phoned every photo lab in town and got the same answer…except for one who told me to go to the “Foto Central” Lab as there was the possibility that they had some leftover chemicals. So I did. After about 10 minutes of looking at the film and the box it came in they said they could develop it. I was so relieved!
The 5 day wait was excruciating but totally worth it! The photos came out really great. Most of them were crystal clear and some of them had a very unique, rugged look. All the photos (except for 2 which were taken using the Lomography Ringflash) were taken on sunny days, either at noon, or at dusk. Those taken at noon were very clear. However I didn’t use a tripod for those taken at dusk, hence the rugged look. Here are some examples.
I also realized that, although the photos taken at noon came out better than the ones taken at dusk, if I had used a tripod it would have been the opposite. B&W film is all about the different grey nuances and indoor lighting, shady days and dusk are perfect for that. Sure, in the sun the photos come out great, great clarity, great sharpness, but they are not as artistic as the ones with less light.
Another thing that I realized is that this particular film works really great with portraits. The details that you get are absolutely fabulous! When using a flash at night, be sure to get as close as possible, otherwise you’ll end up with a black photo. I used the Lomography Ringflash and the clarity persisted. However the contrast was not as great as in the daytime photos: the pictures had a grayish look.
All in all, the Kodak TMAX 100 is a must try for every Lomographer who loves portrait photography and giving a vintage look to his or her photos. Also if you can develop your own B&W films, Kodak gives a detailed developing guide on its website.