Well, this summer kind of got away from me and so did my “Film of the Week” project. No excuses! Anyway, I’m back and this time I shot with Kodak TMax 400 film. TMax is like the staple film of most high school photography courses. Why? Mainly because it’s a very forgiving film, easy to develop and the end results are pretty good.
A little about TMax 400. It’s a T-grain film. What is T-grain, you ask? It’s a tabular structure. Here is what Wikipedia says–
In panchromatic emulsions, the sensitivity of the silver halide crystal is enhanced by sensitizing dyes that adsorb on the crystal surface. Therefore, sensitivity can be increased by absorbing more sensitizing dye. This requires increasing the surface area of the crystal, and also improving the dye molecules to form a dense assembly. Tabular grain emulsion solves the first part of this problem.
Tabular crystals tend to lie along the film’s surface when coated and dried. This reduces scattering of light and increases resolution.
In a nutshell, T-grain helps a lot with grain in the film. This is a 400 speed film just like Tri-X but not much noticeable grain at all. What’s kind of funny is that when using VSCO film and also the Nik Silver Efex software, the TMax 400 presets show a bunch of grain. Hmm. I actually liked this film. I developed it in Ilford DDX, again because that’s what I had. I thought about buying the developer for TMax but opted not too since I really don’t want to shoot a lot of it. Development time was 8 minutes at 68 degrees, stop bath for 30 seconds and fix for 5 minutes. I’ve gotten into using Photo-flo after washing and it really helps with the film drying. I also use the salad spinner before taking the film off of the reel. If you want to use the TMax developer, here is Kodak’s pdf for developing the film.
So, kind of short and sweet but even though I kind of liked the film, it definitely isn’t going to be my “go to” film at all. Especially the 400 speed. I will also be doing a post on TMax 100 soon. I prefer shooting the slower speed films because I shoot mainly outside. Anyway, below are a few of the images from the film. Enjoy!