The Kodak Mystery Solved

Well, I wasn’t going to do Kodak T-Max P3200

today, but since my Twitter feed has been abuzz for a week with Kodak “clues” of a new film, and all the other blogs and Facebook Groups are lit up like chipmunks on meth, I guess I’ll succumb. While I don’t personally use T-Max films, I know it’s a big deal to some. But I thought from the clues, Ektachrome was finally being released. Alas,…not.


Kodak T-Max P3200
Original Box of T-Max 3200


Kodak T-Max P3200 – A True Milestone?

The only reason I’m scratching my head at all the excitement,…and, trust me, some people are very excited,…emojis and all,…is we already have Ilford Delta 3200 readily available. Yeah, ok, it’s not exactly the same. But close. The Delta is really a 1000 speed film made for ‘pushing’ to 3200. The Kodak is really a 800 ISO film that is made for pushing to 3200. And, they do look different. However, it may just be me, but I don’t think the difference is enough to get my panties in a wad.


Kodak T-Max P3200
Ilford Delta 3200


That said, let it be known, I am in the minority. People are happy. So, I’m happy. Especially when I can see that the film community, as a whole, is so supportive and moving in the right direction. More film and processors is always a good thing. And there have been times I’ve needed a good 3200 film. Being married to TRI-X, (like I am), can get a bit mundane. And maybe this 3200 would be a good mistress to have. Even if it’s just a fling.


Kodak Tri-X
Tri-X pushed to 800


More B&W Is Good

In essence, according to Kodak, P3200 is a multi-speed panchromatic black-and-white negative film. The nominal film speed is ISO 800, but it was designed to be push processed to EI 3200,… or higher. It is ideally suited for handheld street scene photography, night work, and dimly lit venues where you can’t use flash. The “P” stands for Push. It needs to be push processed 2 stops to achieve EI 3200 speed.


Will the New be Better? Close-Up of old T-Max P3200 Image © Thomas Halfmann


Kodak states you can expose Kodak T-Max P3200 at EI 3200 or 6400 with very good results. Beyond EI 6400, they advise you test to determine if the results are appropriate for your needs. The DX coding is set to 3200. At 3200, it has more of the granularity of a classic TRI-X. More so than the other speed T-Max films. Why T-Max 3200? They felt with the unprecedented comeback of the darkroom, this was the time to extend the Kodak B&W film portfolio. And sales are clearly on a positive trajectory. At launch, only single roll packs of 135-36x format are available. But, the demand will decide the fate of 120 format. I am actually excited to try it myself. (release in March 2018) Not to the extent of the chipmunks,…more like “looking forward to”. 🙂 Cover Image of Johnny Guitar Watson © Thomas Halfmann


The Kodak Tech Pub





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