35mm Kodak Double-X Film (“Kodak Eastman Double-X 5222”)
Kodak Double-X Film – Bulk Roll
I think it was a couple of years ago when I purchased a 400ft bulk roll of 35mm Kodak Double-X 5222 film. Fresh stock in a Kodak factory sealed tin as shown above. Kodak Double X or “Kodak XX” is black and white negative film produced primarily for the movie industry “Kodak Motion Picture” film. (*The colour Kodak Motion Picture film is called Kodak Vision3 film stock which I also use and will cover in a later blog post).
Movies Shot on Kodak Double X
Movies such as James Bond -“Casino Royale” had scenes shot on the classic Kodak Double X B&W film which I believe is unchanged from the 1960s. Unlike the modern T-grain Kodak T-Max black and white film stocks that have a much finer grain structure and more modern look, Kodak Double-X has a classic grain and more vintage appearance.
Kodak Eastman Double X – Film Latitude
Kodak recommend rating Double-X at ISO 200 in daylight but I have shot it at anything from ISO 100-1600 (I think) and still received great results. I feel it is much better in low light than Kodak Tri-X 400 film or Kodak T-Max 400 film and believe it should have a native ISO closer to ISO 640.
I bulk load the 400ft film onto 35mm cassettes to use in my Leica film cameras (and other 35mm film camera).
Kodak Eastman 5222 Photos
Below are some sample images of me shooting Kodak Double-X in my various film cameras. All film was home developed and scanned with a flatbed Epson V800 scanner. (*Some film negatives have scratches on from a cheap bulk loader I used).
Kodak Double X Flickr Photos
(Click any image to see the camera used and what I rated the film at)
Kodak Film Comparison – Double X vs TMax vs TriX
As you can see I use Kodak Eastman Double X 5222 film quite often. You can find more examples images in my various model photography overseas photoshoots – Poland, Hungary and Paris (especially). I have used Double-X during multiple Leica photography workshops in London and also for one of the Leica workshops I ran in New York (using the Hasselblad XPan). For my Leica wedding photography and bridal shoots I find Kodak Double X great for low light photography or varied lighting conditions. I guess in summary I like the film a lot!
Some different Kodak B&W film stock photos as a very rough comparison
35mm Kodak T-Max 100
35mm Kodak T-Max 400
Kodak Tri-X 400
35mm Kodak Plus-X 125
I have opinions on all the film stocks listed above but in summary I find 35mm Kodak Tri-X too grainy for my taste so I have used it the least. The sharpness and fine grain of 35mm Kodak T-Max 400 always impresses me and I use it a lot. Discontinued Kodak Plus-X is a fantastic film but sadly I got into film photography too late and Kodak had already ended production in 2011 (I understand). Kodak Double-X gives the best classic look of the listed Kodak films, to my eyes.
35mm Cinestill BwXX film
If you would like to avoid the hassle of bulk loading your own 35mm film or you don’t think you shoot enough film to use up a 400ft roll then there is another option. The Brother’s Wright, aka founders of Cinestill film, sell a rebranded version of Kodak Double-X simply called BwXX which can be bought in individual 35mm cassettes.
I will review more film stocks when I get chance and add them to the Film Photography tab at the top of this site where a list of film stock links already exists. Coming soon!
Some more Double X related posts
- New York Model Photography Workshop (2nd trip)
- B&W Film Wedding Photography: Harriett & Ash
- Cinestill Website – BwXX
You might like
24 thoughts on “Kodak Eastman Double X 5222 35mm (Film Review – Portraits)”
Pingback: MrLeica.com - BLOG - MrLeica.com - Matthew Osborne Photography
I heard of double X first on the FPP (film photography podcast) many years ago. It was something I wanted to try but the shipping and import charges made it prohibitively expensive. Looking at your images I see why it is special. Mind you, I also like the pictures shot on other Kodak films you showed here. I tend to agree with the idea that if the first thing someone comment on is the grain, then there’s something more than that which is wrong with the picture. Keep shooting Matt
Thank you Jezza! Good to hear from you. Sorry for the lack of posts this year. I plan to catchup on my todo list for film stocks / lens / cameras. More soon! Thanks for your support. Matt
Beautiful shots! Double-X is one of my favorites. I’ve got it from FPP and Cinestill, FPP is hand rolled and you’ll get a light burn on the end of your roll…
Thanks Joe, good to hear from you! I’m glad to hear you enjoy Double-X too. 🙂
I bought some Double-X from FPP a few years ago and really liked it. For whatever reason, I haven’t returned to it since then. Your post here is inspiring me to do so. Looks like I need to make some more room in the freezer…
Ha thanks Rick! I’m happy I could inspire. Yes I think Double-X is great film, especially for low light shooting such as the UK in the winter months. Enjoy! 🙂
you listed the iso range you use but how do you develope? which iso do you target for your times? can you tell i have never developed before?
Hi Scott, no problem. I develop the same as Foma 100@100 or Tmax 400@400.. any film at it’s box speed I develop at the same time in the same chemicals so this includes XX at say 100-800.. I might give it a bit extra time for higher ISOs but it may not be required.
Hi Matt, I’ve just discovered this film, having been shooting Tri-x and developing in Xtol. What would be your advice/recipe for developing when pushing the film to 800 or 1600? Great article!
Hi Jim, thanks! The best bet is check my Flickr feed / double click any photo on the blog (most of them are linked) and it will be detailed under each photo. I’ve not shot the film for a while so I forget!
This is my absolutely favorite b&w film. I get a rebranded version off Ebay and have had excellent results.
Thanks JR, with the dark winter days now upon us I need to get the bulk loader out and spool of some XX for my winter European shoots! It will be great using it again after a break.
I’ve just developed my first roll using your timings for 1:3 Xtol Matt, thanks for posting them, really helpful! And I do love the look of the film. Will be grabbing a bulk roll very soon
Great to hear Jim! I need to develop my Foma 100 from my trip last week. I think 1:4 Xtol gives even better results than 1:3 so will use that and see how I get on.
Wow! 1:4, would love to know how that turns out. 1:3 is really great with double-x.
Thanks Jim, I plan to use this setup in December so stay tuned! 🙂
Good morning, great review on Kodak’s 5222 xx.
I bought some labeled as Cinestill BW XX. You mentioned that you’ve used it at speeds 100-1600.
When you use it past it’s box speed (200) do you push it in processing? And when you use it below are you pulling it? I am using Ilfosol 3 at 1:9.
Hi Frank, thanks! I’m maybe not the best to answer this as I develop by feel and have a very relaxed approach. Maybe class 400 as box speed then do less time for 100-200 and longer for 800-1600
If tri X 400 film is more grainy then T max 400, then why doesn’t it show in the photos? And when you shoot with double X film, can you rate it at any speed? The normal speed is 200 or is it 250? And when you develope the XX film, would you use D-76? And you are push processing the developement….correct? Because it’s rated at 200, So there must be some chart as to the developement times for pushing the developement when you rate it at a higher speed. Tri X 400 developed with D 76 1:1 dulution at 68 degrees goes for 10 minutes. But when you push tri X to 800 or 1600 then you must of course increse the developement time. And when you push any film, doesn’t it become more contrasty and grainy? Please explain.
Hi Barry, yes Tri-X is ALOT more grainy than T-Max (35mm film especially as can see the grain easier). It is comparing a classic grain film to a modern T-grain film. XX is closer to Tri-X. I develop in Xtol+Rodinal so dont follow normally dev charts. I just learnt over the years what works for me. (Click any photo on Flickr and below you see dev info). I’m very relaxed with it all but if say I expose at ISO 1000 I will give it 2mins longers (approx), if 100-400 ISO I dev as normal. (and if it was Tri-X/HP5 I would add a minute if @800 if I remember, when developing. See my articles on each film stock for example photos.
Barry, yes as a rule as you push film you get more grain and contrast, correct.
How to get 35mm film off 400 foot spool into bulk loader safely
Hi Bill, I just use a dark room with no windows (my landing), and spool of “arm lengths” of film. Not exact but works great.