Alvin’s Film Follies (Part V – The First T-Max Encounter…)

Union Station and L Condominiums

Union Station and L Condominiums – Curves adjusted in post.

I find it funny that I’m still hunting for my favourite everyday black and white film, but I shouldn’t be surprised – there is so much variety in terms of brands, product lines and film speed to choose from.  As you know, I’ve limited my choices to 100 speed film.  When I discussed some of my findings with Jon he popped me a question: Why I haven’t tried the Kodak T-Max yet?  To be honest, the thought never really crossed my mind.

As you learned in my last post, my favourite colour film that I have used since I was a kid was Fujifilm branded.  My father always preferred Kodak.  I’ve used Kodak consumer colour films and have generally gotten good results, but there was something in the prints I received back that got me believing that Fujifilm made better film.  So I guess I have a bias to films made by Fujifilm.  Anyways, after some prodding from Jon, I loaded my first roll of Kodak’s T-Max into “Nikki” (my Nikon F90x) and the 50/1.8 and off we went to “chew it up”. After a few days to use up the roll and send off for developing, I got the jpeg scans back from good folks at DC. I was delightfully surprised – Kodak may just have me changing my tune with their T-Max.

I think it may have had to do with the few weeks of practice I have had with the other rolls of films. Perhaps I had gotten used to the meter of the camera and learned to compensate already for over or under exposure?  Or maybe this was simply just a fluke?

The End of the Platform...

The End of the Platform…resized and marked for web.

I liked the results from this film – I really do!  The tones were great compared to the Fujifilm Acros, and I liked how the transitions from the highlights to the shadows were handled by this film, which was almost like the Ilford Delta.  If I nailed my exposures, and if the lab at DC did an equally great job with the developing and scanning of my film (as they have consistently done), I would be able to pull out some clouds from a muddy gray sky (if there were any that I could remember when I had taken the photo) with a bit of adjustment in post (similar to what you see in my first photo, above) – again, almost like the Delta!

My Brother's Dog - a

This is my brother’s other dog – a “Golden Doodle.”  Unfortunately too large to stay at his condo, so she stays with me.  Other than resize and mark for web, no adjustments.  Yes, the patio needs a major cleanup…any suggestions on what I can use to get the vegetation out of the cracks?

Then I went on and examined the photos I took of the dogs above and below.  Both dogs have fur that are different shades of white.  I liked how the camera (and the film) were able to capture the textures from the fur of the dogs without overexposing.

One of my dogs. She's a Schnauzer and Bichon Cross.

One of my dogs. She’s a Schnauzer and Bichon Cross.  The room was getting darker, so I needed to use a wider aperture – as a result, only her head (and not the entire body) is in focus.  Other than the watermark and resize, no adjustments.

There are plenty more shots made available for you to peruse and enjoy.  When I looked at the pricing of all the films in DC, the Kodak was slotted right in between the slightly lower priced Fujifilm Acros and the more expensive Ilford Delta.  So based on price, I am seeing the result (in my eyes) are in line with what I am paying.  What I mean is, the more I pay, the more “forgiving” the roll of film is when I over or under expose.  I still have to go through a roll of Kentmere before I give my final thoughts.  Feel free to leave any comments below.

The Union Station Train Platforms

The Union Station Train Platforms.  I like using Union Station for my standard test shots. Resized and marked for web. No other adjustments.

Roy Thomson Hall and Metro Hall after a storm.

Roy Thomson Hall and Metro Hall after a storm.  Gotta love how rain adds contrast in a black and white shot (or makes colours more vibrant in a colour shot!)  No adjustments made, other than resize and watermark for web.

A GO Commuter Bus Entering the Union Bus Terminal

A GO Commuter Bus Entering the Union Bus Terminal, curves adjusted for a bit more contrast.

25 The Esplanade - a flatiron styled building

25 The Esplanade – a flatiron styled building built in 1988. This photo was cropped in post.

Telus Canada's Downtown Toronto Offices

Telus Canada’s downtown Toronto office tower.  Curves adjusted in post.

Toronto's Royal Bank Plaza (South Tower) as seen from the Union Station Bus Terminal.

Toronto’s Royal Bank Plaza (South Tower) as seen from the Union Station Bus Terminal. This photo was resized and watermarked. Otherwise, no adjustment were made.

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