Kodak Tri-X Film

Kodak Tri-X Film

Matthew Osborne Photography

Kodak Tri-X - The Film of Champions! :)

For anyone who has followed my work for a while will know, for black and white film photography I normally use Kodak T-Max 100, especially for 35mm film.  I have tried various black and white films and will continue to experiment but I am finding I am now completely hooked on Kodak Tri-X 400 film.  The modern T grain T-Max films have very little visible grain so can look a little too much like my Leica M9 black and white JPEGs which have a slight filmic look despite being digital.  I was an easy convert to medium format 120 Tri-X as grain is less apparent with the larger negative size.  For 35mm Tri-X I was a little worried the the classic grain structure might result in too much visible grain for my film wedding photography and portraiture.  I shot a roll of 35mm Tri-X when I was out in Florida covering a wedding and was pleasantly surprised. Samples below.

What do I like about Tri-X and what is it that made me convert?

Broad lattitude – I can (and do) shoot Tri-X at anything from ISo 200 (-1 stop) to ISO 1600 (+2 stops).  It can do it all and will even go to ISo 3200 and beyond (not yet tried this but others have with success).  This means that for available light photography it is perfect for my needs.

Contrasty – Other than the grain structure, the biggest difference I notice when comparing Tri-X to T-Max is the beautifully contrasty mid tones.  The deep shadows are rich blacks, the highlights retain their detail and the mid tones are what makes it for me.

Price – I am now starting to use quite a lot of film, both 35mm film in my Leica cameras (M3 and M2) and 120 Tri-X in my medium format Mamiya 645 Super, Rolleiflex SL66E and in my 6×7 Horseman 120 roll film back for my 4×5 large format cameras.  I need a film that I enjoy using yet is also affordable.  120 Kodak Tri-X 400 5 packs can be bought in the UK for £20 a box if you shop around. £4 a roll is competitive at today’s film prices. Calumet are currently offering 120 Tri-X 400 for £20 a box and free postage so I stocked up!

Calumet UK, Film – http://www.calphoto.co.uk/category/film-darkroom/film/

Developing – I develop my own black and white film at home and favour the R09 Rodinal stand developing  / semi-stand developing method.  I am still fine tuning my times and temperatures to develop Tri-X at box speed but also pulled 1 stop to ISO 200 and pushed 1 stop or 2 stops to ISO 800 and ISO 1600.  Depending on the lighting conditions I shot in I can then adjust my times accordingly.

Sample Images (various)

Kodak Tri-X 400@200 (135 & 120)

Kodak Tri-X Fashion

Happy New Year Everyone! :)

4x5 Speed Graphic + Aero Ektar Portrait

Leica M2 + 35mm Kodak Tri-X

Leica M2 Portrait - Tri-X 400@200

Leica M2 + Tri-X 400@200

Mamiya Sekor 80mm f1.9 C

Kodak Tri-X Love!

Leica M2 + Zeiss ZM Biogon

Saint Augustine Fort - Tri-X

American Trucks - Tri-X

The Lightner Museum Saint Augustine

Kodak Tri-X 400@200 - American Truck

Kodak Tri-X 400@200

Kodak Tri-X 400@400 (120)

Retro! Luna's Converse

Kodak Tri-X 400@800 (120)

Home developed 120 Tri-X - 400@800

My Bro

Leia with ARAX/ Sonnar -Self developed

Old John, Bradgate Park, Leicestershire

Kodak Tri-X 400@1600 (120)

Rollei SL66E = Smiles Allround

Rollei SL66E Tilt Portrait

Rollei SL66e Tri-X Portrait

Rolleiflex SL66E Tilt + Tri-X 400@1600

The Darker Side of Modelling

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About matthewosbornephotography

Coventry, UK studio based Model and Wedding Photographer offering both Medium Format Film and Digital Images. 1-2-1 Photography and Lighting Tuition also available.
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9 Responses to Kodak Tri-X Film

  1. iamamro says:

    Really great photos – you are a true master of the art.

  2. Dave Green says:

    Tri-X is a true classic…graet shots as ever Matt.

  3. Peter Elgar ABIPP< ARPS says:

    When you do a shoot on Film why do you worry that the clients might think there is ‘too much grain’ or some-thing ? When I DID get any work for Weddings years ago – never get any NOW ! — they didn’t ever question whether I used Kodacolor X or the Ektacolor Professional or Agfa XXRS 200 and never knew the difference between a Rollei 2.8F and a Hasselblad !

    • Hi Peter, why do give them a choice? I have many different example wedding photos using different equipment and I want to ensure what I capture is as they expect. Nobody likes unwelcome surprises. I tend to shoot as I know ‘best’ and to my own taste but it is good to get the ‘OK’ from clients first so everyone is happy. I agree 99.99% of customers don’t know or care about what cameras/lenses/film I use they only care about the results. I am getting a go ahead on the resulting images not the name of the camera I will use. 😉 Cheers

  4. Pingback: Ilford Pan F 50 Film | MrLeica.com – Matthew Osborne Photography

  5. Pingback: MrLeica.com – BLOG | MrLeica.com – Matthew Osborne Photography

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