Kodak Tmax 100 – Film Review

In the range of available medium speed black and white films Kodak Tmax 100 has to be among one of the best. It’s been around for a long time getting a reboot back in 2002, mostly with changes to packaging and processing times.

This tabular grained film has a little higher contrast than say Tri-x or Ilfrod HP5+ however it features creamy midtones and rich inky blacks. It truly is a professional film.

I choose Tmax 100 when I know I’ll be taking my time and what a very high quality negative that I can print from, The below photo shows an example of the tonality achievable.

Due to the contrast of the film you’ll need to be careful metering high contrast scenes, the film has a very rich dynamic range so you’ll still be able to capture detail in the shadows and the highlights although you may have to take this into account when scanning or printing from these negatives.

High contrast scene on Tmax 100 – Mamiya RB67 ProSD

It performs exceedingly well in 35mm and even better in medium and large format sizes. It may lack the character that a more grainy film has and lacks the speed of it’s faster brother TMY (Tmax 400) but for very high resolution, very fine grain photography you can’t pass it up.

Check out the tech sheet here

4 thoughts on “Kodak Tmax 100 – Film Review

  1. Charlie Miller

    Hi, I’m new to shooting film but this is the ‘look’ that I hope to get in B/W.
    Your photos look great!
    Nice, rich, deep dark blacks.
    While learning about what’s what when it comes to film by looking at web examples of tonality and what not… the question of how much of the end result is because of the film’s character and how much because of usage.
    Anyway thanks for your examples here…. they are motivating.

    1. neal Post author

      Hi Charlie,

      Thanks for your kind words.
      Much of what you see is from the film itself, but thats only one very small part of the story. How it’s developed, what developer is used, what agitation method during development etc, all play a role in how the final image will look, If you are scanning film on a computer or printing in the darkroom you will also get slightly varying results but thats what makes it so great, its up to the artist (you) to interpret a scene and direct your process to give you the results you wish to achieve.

      Happy shooting 🙂

        1. neal Post author

          As a rule you can stand develop any b&w films, of course some of them respond better than others.
          I haven’t had a lot of experience with stand development myself. however I would suggest you do some testing and report back!

          Thanks for the comment.


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