Do you want the ultimate speed? Do you want to shoot without flashl? Do you love grain? If you answered yes to all questions, read on.
There are only a few high speed black and white films (Fuji Neopan 1600, Ilford Delta 3200, etc.). Kodak’s T-Max P3200 is an extension of their T-Max line (which also comes in 100 and 400 ISO). Technically, the film isn’t actually “rated” (the speed given on a film is the optimum speed as denoted by the producers) at 3200 ISO, but 800 ISO. The “P” means it can be “pushed” (exposed and developed as a faster speed film) up to 3200 ISO.
So, technically, T-Max P3200 is an 800 ISO film that can be developed at 800 to 3200 ISO at a 1:1 dilution of D-76 developer. Also, if you use it at the “stock” dilution, you can even get 400 or 6400 ISO out of it. So, T-Max P3200 clearly has a very wide development latitude. When I tested it out, I shot my roll as 1600 ISO and developed it in D-76 developer as such. Therefore, if you want to shoot at any speed between 800 or higher, P3200 is a great choice. Any lab that would develop black and white can develop it at any ISO between 800 – 3200 you shoot it at, just make sure to write something like “@ 1600” on the roll where it says “Notes” and remind them when you drop it off.
I shot my test roll mostly outside, moments before dusk or moments after sunrise with no direct sunlight at 1600 ISO. I also took photos without any flash in my Kodak Retina IIc, using a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second and f/5.6, f/4, or f/2.8. I don’t recommend shooting with this film indoors in a toy camera without a flash unless it’s very bright and you’re shooting it as 3200, but it would probably be an awesome experiment. It would probably be an awesome companion for your LC-A+, LC-Wide, or Horizon Perfekt in “night mode.” Like any faster film, there’s plenty of grain at any ISO you shoot it at, but it’s certainly not excessive. I really like it at 1600 ISO, but feel free to experiment. In fact, I really hope you do!
Note: All of the haze on the photos is from improper development. I didn’t close the development tank properly and even that tiny bit of light messed with my photos. If your tank is plastic and comes with a cylindrical insert, make sure to put it in the hole in the film reel where it belongs. If you don’t, you’ll get pictures like these.