5 frames with...

5 Frames With EOS 3 and Kodak P3200 TMAX – By Matthew Harry

August 15, 2019

So, after reading Hamish’s post about his trials with P3200, I thought I would write about my recent experience with the film. I selected my EOS 3 for the test bed as it’s no different from a modern DSLR and lets me use my current favorite focal length, 40mm. It also has a system called Eye Control built into the viewfinder. This tracks your eye and will focus to where you’re looking. The system is a bit temperamental and in dark conditions it struggles to pick out where you’re looking. I think that’s down to the expansion of your pupil, though I could be wrong. For my lens choice I went with my Canon 40mm f/2.8. I really like this lens as its as sharp as you’ll ever need for film this grainy and is small enough to not upset the weight distribution.

The Film

I expect to the shock of many on here, I have never shot a Kodak B&W film before. Shot plenty of colour, however for some reason I’ve never tried their single layer offerings. Given that P3200 was relatively new and me needing a fast film for an upcoming model show I was shooting at, I though I would be a good opportunity to give it a go.

It was relatively easy to shoot the film. Shooting at EI 3200 gave me decent shutter speeds of around 1/250 at f5.6. However, I feel that I should have paid more attention to the lighting. As after developing, I noticed that some of the negatives were a bit thin. I chalk that up to my fault and not the film. The idea was to use Xtol at 20°c, however due to the cold water being hotter than I anticipated, instead I developed it at 24°c for 9 ½ minutes. Scanning was done on a Flextight X1

Overall I enjoyed using the film. I think I will use it again, though I’ll try and refine my shooting hopefully produce better results next time.

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Thanks for reading!

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  • Reply
    Gabriel F Bacca
    August 15, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    beautiful grain… it almost look like lith printing… too bad is so expensive…

    • Reply
      Matthew Harry
      August 15, 2019 at 11:05 pm

      Thank you, Gabriel F Bacca! I have printed a few of these from the scans and you definitely get that lithograph feeling from them. Shame on the cost, but if it keeps the film in production then it’s fine with me – just not my bank balance!

    • Reply
      Matthew Harry
      August 15, 2019 at 11:22 pm

      Thanks for this Roberto. I’ll have to get Google translate to works its magic on this one.

  • Reply
    August 15, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    Like so many these photographs.
    The lens is very sharp and this is a tiny lens (so good to carry all day). The camera seems to meter like very good Nikon, and there is no fault on metering. The grain is visible but not so much for a 3200 iso. I like this film I have mostly used with my Nikon 28TI, and results are very sharp too.

    • Reply
      Matthew Harry
      August 15, 2019 at 11:20 pm

      Thank you Eric! The 40mm is a really nice lens and totally viable as a one lens set-up for a day. Because of the small front element, I like to think that it’s somewhat less intimidating for subjects (though I don’t know exactly how a model train can be intimidated!). I think I was being a bit to harsh on myself for the metering, though looking back on the day I really with my hit rate was better. The grain is really good I thought. The reason I went for the developer I did was that I knew Xtol wouldn’t over emphasise it like older style developers.

  • Reply
    August 15, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    Great shots! “A bit thin” is common when shooting this film at 3200, I’ve found, partly due to one getting a bit too comfortable with exposure, having that high an ISO.

    • Reply
      Matthew Harry
      August 15, 2019 at 11:10 pm

      Thank you Alvaro! I think your right with that comment. I’m so used to carefully planning an exposure with 160 film that film at this speed gives me the change to be a bit more gung-ho with my metering.

  • Reply
    August 16, 2019 at 8:38 am

    Lovely article, and that 40mm is my absolute favourite too. In fact it’s a stunning lens which I happily use on both film and digital SLRs. Those scans have really captured the film grain well!

    • Reply
      Matthew Harry
      August 16, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      Thank you Tim! It’s a really good lens and well worth shooting on both mediums. It may well take awhile, by the flextight definitely does deliver when it comes to it. I did penitentially have flat bed scans for the article, however they just didn’t look right.

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