Super-Sharp, Ultra-Fine Grain TMAX 400!

TMAX is one of Kodak’s two flagship monochrome films (the other being TRI-X but that’s another story). It comes in 100, 400, and 3200 ISO. For this analysis, we’ll be looking at the 400 speed version. I live in Scotland so 400 is the perfect film speed for general use here.

Credits: slumbrnghok

Kodak boasts this film has the finest grain structure and is the SHARPEST black and white film in the world. Now I really like shooting Ilford films. They’re a British company and I’ve found their black and white chemistry and all the information they provide about their products to be excellent, however; I have to say I absolutly love shooting TMAX. When I think of a film photograph this film has all the key components: ultra-sharp reproduction and a beautiful clearly-visible grain.

There’s definitly a charm about this film. I think I would disagree that the film has particularly fine grain because I think it’s quite visible. Although it doesn’t detract from the images, especially since this is a black and white emulsion, I feel it adds depth to the image.

I would suggest shooting people with TMAX. It’s been very flattering to my subjects. There’s a softness to it that I feel like the Ilford emuslions don’t have (maybe that’s the difference between British and American film). It’s also great for capturing interesting light. So there are maybe some landscape/archetechtural applications as well.

Credits: slumbrnghok

One thing that I noticed and particularly like is the way light leaks burn out this film. It looks really hazy and dreamlike. Here are some shots when I think I opened the back of my Golden Half by mistake:

Credits: slumbrnghok

It is worth noting Kodak say the film can be pushed rather successfuly, although I’ve not tried this myself yet. In development this film is a doddle to deal with. I really liked processing it. I’ve also shot a roll of TMAX 3200 and it was very pleasing too. A lot more solid and a far more substantial grain. Gritty. I don’t really do gig photography but if I did I’d certainly try out both 400 pushed and 3200 as well.

Credits: slumbrnghok

Visit Kodak's TMAX page to learn more about the film!

written by slumbrnghok on 2012-02-23 #gear #black-and-white #monochrome #35mm #review #400 #tmax #kodak-film #lomography #user-review

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