Trying Kodak T-MAX 400 For The First Time - Here Is The First Roll
The only Kodak black and white film that I've shot is Tri-X. And I really like that film. Sadly it's more expensive than HP5 so I tend to use Ilford HP5+ more. Kodak is just too expensive these days...unless you find expired film on Ebay! Whole 30.5 meters of it!
Yeah, so I got 30.5 meters ( or 100 feet - depends on your feet size though ) of a film that I've never shot - Kodak T-MAX 400. All I know is that it's a more modern film. More similar to Ilford Delta because of the grain structure.
Is it crazy to bulk buy film that I've never shot? Maybe...but not for me. I like all film. If I can find love for Svema Foto 250 then I can definitely find love for this film. I like Ilford Delta. And who doesn't like cheap film ( relatively - you could also get Fomapan 400 in bulk for the same price that I paid for this but T-MAX should be better right? ).
Only way it can go wrong is if the film has gone very wrong because of expiry date ( which is 08/2006 ) but it was noted on the Ebay listing that it was stored in a consistent temperature so my hopes are high!
Nothing left to do but to roll the first test film. It might be smarter to roll 24 or less frames to get an idea of the correct EI because of expiry date but I say "Go big or go home" ( although I'm already home ) so I rolled the full 36 frames. In used Ilford Delta 400 cartridge. Seemed fitting.
Although it can likely handle ISO 400 as it was meant to do - I decided to rate it for ISO 200. Overexposure hasn't really killed any film right?
For development my choice for unknown films is Rodinal 1:100 semi-stand development for 1 hour. 10 inversions at start and 4 at the 30 minute mark. Can't go wrong with this. It might grow more grain this way but for the first test it should be fine.
Camera of choice was the usual ( for my film consumption ) Leica M3 with Summicron-M 90mm f2 pre-asph. And a surprise lens at the end ( might find the answer for it if you read all the captions! ).
The occasion? I had to spend about an hour with my < 1 year old son in the local city whilst my wife and daughter were busy with something else. It was a nice day. Some clouds but also sun came out from time to time. I decided to focus on just city documenting - houses and stuff as I was sure that they would be there and it's difficult to do pure street photography with a < 1 year old.
Here's more than half of the first roll. Why not all? Well there were some duplicates and some pictures that were just of nothing really so I didn't include them here.
I'm pleased with the results. Both that I was able to shoot something interesting ( for me at least ) in an hour and also of what the film can deliver.
I'm pretty sure that film can easily handle ISO 400 so that's what I'll use next time as some shots were a bit too overexposed because of my EI200.
Grain can probably be reduced if I use a different developer which I'll also do next time.
Sharpness and dynamic range are both great as well.
I prefer the "special something" of Tri-X personally for now but it might change. This is an easy film to like - similar to Ilford Delta.
I have since rolled about 10 canisters of this film with 36 frames each and have got more film in "the tank" ( or bulk loader if you will ). Why not more? I don't have any more free canisters. So the rest goes in the freezer ( together with rolled canisters ).
I also got another film together with this one. Also bulk. But it will be some time until I have the chance to use it as I have only one bulk loader. That day will come though! And when it does - you shall learn what this film is as well! ( it's nothing exotic )