Kodak Professional T-Max 400 - Black & white print film 120 (6 cm) ISO 5 rolls #TMY120I5 Reviews

Kodak Professional T-Max 400 - Black & white print film 120 (6 cm) ISO 5 rolls #TMY120I5

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Kodak Should Name this Film Surreala

May 21, 2001 (Updated May 21, 2001)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Shoot in black and white, C-41 process. Very fine grain.

Cons:Printing quality may vary depending on your local color lab.

The Bottom Line: Kodak Black and White 400+ is an excellent C-41 process black and white film with a very fine grain.

Is it black and white, or is it color? Tell you the truth, this film can really confuse the hell out of someone who doesn’t know the difference – not me of course. The packaging says “Black & White”, so it’s black and white, so what? Then there is the “+”, which means that it is premium black and white. Well, no… It means its color process. Whoa! Color process? Why not call it “Surreala”?

Don’t get me wrong; this film is great, and I think black and white photography is great. I learned to see and shoot black and white a long time ago, and I am still learning. Black and white is generally less expensive to tinker with than color. That is if you have a darkroom to do your development and printing; not many people do, or are affiliated with school or work with an accessible photo lab. So to the corner photo lab they go.

Most labs one sees nowadays are those 1 hour color labs. They promise to develop and print your film in an hour; break the promise, and well, you just wait a little longer until they finish. These labs are fine, most do a great job, it’s just too bad the 1 hour service does not extend to black and white. When you do go in with some black and white film, they have no choice but to farm it out to a larger lab equipped to handle it. This, of course, adds to the cost making black and white more expensive to shoot in than color. And when you have no darkroom to print the way you like it, it is not worth it.

It is no surprise that I found saw this film at B+H photo and had to research it. I discovered that it is a black and white film that develops in color. More importantly, people had excellent results with this film. So I brought a roll.

Now normally, black and white requires black and white chemicals to develop and black and white paper to print out. Not this film. It uses C-41 color process and printing. The negatives come out with the brownish color cast that is typical of a color negative.

This film shoots as iso 400. It is a daylight film, but I guess one can shoot under florescent without much problem. I shot this film under bright sunny conditions and at 400asa.

The negatives came out excellent. The grain of the film is like T-max -- VERY fine, almost unnoticeable. The negatives exhibited a full tonal range of blacks and whites. The film is a bit high contrast under sunny conditions, but otherwise excellent under normal. I could not find any information about pushing it +1, +2 time, so I didn’t test out these conditions. If someone tried this, tell me about it.

Printing was done on Agfa paper. Print results were fair, the pictures were a bit washed out. It was a black and white overall, but the blacks were slightly greenish – color paper never gives you a good black anyway. Perhaps printing on Kodak would work? I don’t know.

If you are looking to shoot black and white, or would like to learn about black and white but have some misgivings, this film can dispel your fears. It cost no more than a roll of color to process.

Recommend this product? Yes

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