Because of the public-holiday tomorrow, this wednesday felt like a virtually friday and so I had time to scan some film.
This time I started with a roll of KODAK Professional Tri-X 400 which I shot on the street last thursday. I’ve heard a lot of great stories about this film and even a photojournalist I met a few months ago, told me that Tri-X was his best-buddy for more than twenty years. With the right development techniques, he was able to achieve some printable results of shots he thought he had completely messed up due to the strange lighting situations in some of frankfurts 1970’s bank-buildings.
That made me curious…
I was aware of some visible grain since the Tri-X emulsion hasn’t got the upgrade on KODAKs “t-grain” technology and it’s even a film intended for press photography. Actually there IS the amount of grain I awaited but I have to admit that it really suits the overall look of the film regarding contrast and tonal range. It just looks “more analog” than its TMAX-siblings, what definitely can be an advantage when shooting old-school street or other subjects you want to look “classic”. Also the dynamic range of the Tri-X seems to be a good stop bigger, at least it handles shadows very well!
But I’m a child of the digital era and although I love shooting film and I even do so with old cameras like my Olympus OM-4 Ti or the Leica M4, I’m still somewhat online (yes, thats the reason you’re reading this blog) and so I will have to scan my negatives at given time to showcase them in this world. Thats the point where a decent grain and my desire for a nice raw b/w-look clash and produce a slight lack of optical sharpness when compared directly to a TMAX-frame. Not for nothing KODAK labels the TMAX400 as “the worlds sharpest ISO400 b/w film”, scanning this stuff is a dream!
In the end I’ll keep using the TMAX-family (100, 400 & P3200) as my standard films for now (again), although I know there’ll be days I’d love to have the crunchy grain, like there sometimes comes the ravenous appetite for salty chips at night 🙂
Will keep at least 2 rolls of Tri-X in the fridge as backup for those “grainy days” or even when newspaper-styled optical prints are planned.
My wife asked me, not to upload this one because she always starts crying when she sees a bearded derelict. Sorry Dani, love you!