High-Iso B&W Goodness!!


Whether available light photography or just abysmal lighting conditions, high-speed films are something fantastic to get you out of problematic situations!

I really love available light and low light photography. The problem is, of course, that you need fast glass, fast films or both depending on the circumstances. As the Fuji Natura is expensive and other fast glass (>f/2.8) also not really easy/cheap to come by, sometimes the best bet is to use high-speed films.
I got lucky and found some cheap Kodak TMax p3200, which, along with the Ilford Delta 3200 are among the most sensitive and easily pushable b&w films around.

However, do not be fooled by their denomination, these films are not truly 3200 ISO! They have merely excellent pushing qualities, their true ISO is more around 1000.

Nonetheless, they are excellent for such use, as they produce less grain than other films (such as Ilford HP5) pushed to extremes, thus you can use them in low-light getting awesome results and without thinking, just shooting!

I think this series illustrates this, it is a test shoot I had with a model and since the location I picked (anybody recognize it?) was lit abysmally by neon lights and I also did not want to use flash all the time, I thought I’d use the Kodak TMAX p3200 I had to check it out.

I was blown away by the results.
I keep the remaining rolls reverently in my fridge, waiting for the best opportunity to shoot some high-speed goodness :D

If you need a fast monochrome film, do not hesitate to use this! Happy prowling in the night!

written by cyan-shine on 2011-01-22 #gear #black-and-white #monochrome #review #push #3200 #sensitive #film-photography #user-review


  1. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    For high ISO and smoother grain (only medium), try Fuji Neopan 1600. True 1600 ISO and pushes to 3200 and far beyond easily, too. Too bad the really fast, grainy Kodak recording films are gone.

  2. gvelasco
    gvelasco ·

    It would have been nice to see some shots under different lighting conditions.

  3. sandman
    sandman ·

    in my mind the world stops at ISO 400 ( i'm a Tri-X feticist)

  4. cyan-shine
    cyan-shine ·

    @herbert-4 yeah need to try some before the stocks are gone, since it isn't produced anymore.
    @gvelasco well, there are! Some shots were shot with bounced flash, some without flash at all ;)

  5. therealkraken
    therealkraken ·

    with an usable IE of up to 25,000 you shouldn't need to use a flash with this film. This film has a much smoother grain than you would be lead to believe. I shot 2 rolls of the NYC Big Apple circus with this film, no flash. see the results here: www.lomography.com/homes/therealkraken/albums/1653562-big-a…

    I recommend taking this film to a pro lab or hand processing with kodak XTOL developer. pay close attention to the developing time for the ISO used.

  6. cyan-shine
    cyan-shine ·

    @therealkraken the film WAS processed at a pro lab. However, it was heavily expired. Therefore>flash.

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