Kodak Double-X

35mm Kodak Double-X Film (“Kodak Eastman Double-X 5222”)

Matthew Osborne Photography – August 2018
Kodak Double-XKodak Double-X

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 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 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.

Kodak Eastman Double-X 400ft

I bulk load the 400ft film onto 35mm cassettes to use in my Leica film cameras (and other 35mm film camera).

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)

Hasselblad XPan + BWXX

Hasselblad XPan Panoramic Landscape

XPan City Lights

Hasselblad Xpan

Hasselblad XPan Portrait

Kodak Double-X 5222 Film

Leica M6 + Kodak Eastman Double-X 5222

Leica Elmarit-M 28mm Fashion

Kodak Eastman Double-X 5222

Leica Portrait - Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0

Kodak Double-X Portrait

Hasselblad XPan Portrait

BMA Models

Triple Exposure

Nikon F4 + Kodak Double-X

Leica M4-P Film Camera

Classic Portrait

Double-X 5222 Film

Have you focused yet..? :)

Inside Grand Central Terminal, NYC

Kodak Eastman Double-X 5222

Kodak Double X 5222

London Photography Workshop

Black and White

Leica M6 Wedding

Leica M3 + Leica Summicron 75mm APO

Leica Wedding - Leica M3!

As you can see I use Kodak Double-X 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

Leica M2 Portrait

Kodak TMax 100 B&W

35mm Kodak T-Max 400

Leica M3 Portrait

Leica M3 Film Portrait

Kodak Tri-X 400

Leica M2 Portrait - Tri-X 400@200

Kodak Tri-X Love!

35mm Kodak Plus-X 125

Kodak Plus-X Fashion

Leica Summicron 50mm DR

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!

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Shared: Fstoppers.com – 5 Popular B&W Films Compared

Shared: Fstoppers.com – 5 Popular B&W Films Compared

Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica

December 2017

I read an interesting Fstoppers film photography article a few days before flying out on my last photography trip comparing five popular black and white film stocks.  I think I was searching for a comparison of Ilford Delta 400 vs. Kodak T-Max 400 film as I enjoy using 35mm T-Max 400 but wondered if Delta 400 would be even “better” for me.  I love and really appreciate Ilford Delta 100 film and think it is one of the best films I use in terms of detail and sharpness and to showcase what a camera-lens setup can achieve. Ilford Delta 100 film example image:

Ilford Delta 100 Portrait

The Fstoppers film review however compares five ISO 400 film stocks and illustrates side by side example images of the same subject captured with five of the “best”/ popular black and white films. Each film is compared for tonality, grain and apparent sharpness.

I wont spoil the article if you want to read it in full but overall I was very impressed with the C41 B&W film – Ilford XP2 Super 400. I wont say anymore ahead of the link but if you want to hear my thoughts please see my conclusion below.

Shared Link: https://fstoppers.com/film/what-black-and-white-film…

Conclusion

As hinted above Ilford XP2 Super 400 was the clear winner for me for detail captured (in this test example) but the image consisted of varying shades of greys and lacked interest. The film with the most impact for me and seemed to be the best compromise for all desired traits (for me) was the very popular Kodak Tri-X 400 black and white film with its classic grain structure, good apparent sharpness and thick blacks. I have shot Kodak Tri-X film in the past but found 35mm TriX too grainy for my female portraiture so instead I favour the fine modern grain of Kodak T-Max 400 film. I find 120 Kodak Tri-X 400 film much more useable as the grain is less apparent and I have used it a lot in my Hasselblad 501C /500CM cameras, especially if I need to push film to ISO 800-1600 in low light.  In abundant light I often use the low-cost Fomapan 100 film (35mm and 120 Foma 100) and rate it from 100-400.  That said I must give Kodak Tri-X another try soon!

Ilford XP2 Super 400 film

Fuji GF670 Medium Format Rangefinder

ARAX-CM (Kiev 88) 6x6 Film

120 Kodak Tri-X 400 film

Rollei SL66E Tilt Portrait

Mamiya 645 Extension Tube

Fuji GF670 Folding Camera

35mm Kodak Tri-X 400 film

Leica M2 Portrait - Tri-X 400@200

Kodak Tri-X Love!

 

And for a comparison, the B&W film I maybe use the most – Fomapan 100..

35mm Fomapan 100 film

35mm Portrait

Hungarian Model

120 Fomapan 100 film

Hasselblad Headshot

Fuji GF670 Camera

Thanks
Matt