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01-29-2012, 06:43 PM   #1
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Kodak TMax 400 or Ilford XP 2 Super

I just got into MF with a 645N and am loving the experience. I have a question on BW film:
I am undecided between the TMAX and XP2 Super. I see that the former can be used even at 800 speed, so gets a point for versatility. The Ilford is c 41 processing. My question is do the lab costs run different for these two types of films? Are there labs that cannot handle the TMax? Would appreciate any input.

01-29-2012, 07:06 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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Tmax is traditional B&W film. XP2 is C41 film. Places that do B&W processing are far fewer in number than those that C41 processing. However, home development of B&W film is easier than C41, so it depends on what you want to do. Develop at home? Then shoot traditional B&W. Develop at a lab? Then shoot C41 back&white.

Tmax should be compared to Tri-X, HP5, Neopan (amongst others).

XP2 is similair to Kodak BW400CN.

Note: I'm a film newbie, others here will have a lot more experience.
01-30-2012, 11:07 AM   #3
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Thank you twitch for your response. I think I may go with the XP2 (it looks like that film also has quite some exposure latititude to be used at ISO 800). I have to take it to a lab for developing, so C41 may give me a wider choice of film labs.
01-30-2012, 11:20 AM   #4
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Correct, if you want to rely on lab processing, then C41 is cheaper to develop than traditional B&W. Although (last time I checked) the C41 b&w film is more expensive per roll, paying a lab to develop traditional b&w more than makes up the difference.

01-30-2012, 01:00 PM   #5
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thank you Nesster for your reply. I am going to get familiar with xp2 super for now and have the same lab process it. Hopefully some day I will do my own processing.
01-30-2012, 03:25 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mccarvindh Quote
Thank you twitch for your response. I think I may go with the XP2 (it looks like that film also has quite some exposure latititude to be used at ISO 800). I have to take it to a lab for developing, so C41 may give me a wider choice of film labs.
Wider choice of labs, narrower choice of B&W films. It's a trade off. I wouldn't bother shooting XP2 @ 800 unless you really have to. I've read () that it's best to shoot it at 320 or 400, and same for BW400CN.

I think Portra 400 may be more flexible in exposure and maintain IQ.

Last edited by twitch; 01-30-2012 at 04:01 PM.
01-30-2012, 03:33 PM   #7
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400 to 800 is just 1 stop, so it's not so bad - under exposed the C41 b&w's get very grainy in the scans
01-30-2012, 03:37 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Neither of the films you mentioned do very well at above their rated speed. One of the problems we had with XP-2 is that it scratches very easily and is somewhat prone to fading.
T-Max OTOH, being a silver based image, is stable, and it doesn't scratch as easily.
It can also be processed at home in your kitchen sink.

01-30-2012, 06:15 PM   #9
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Thank you Nesster, twitch and wheatfield, I have now rolled the ISO back to 400. Nesster, it looks like I am not allowed to "like" your post yet (as i have only recently added to your reputation for your detailed info on loading 120 film into 645 cameras!). Thank you all for your input!
02-01-2012, 05:31 PM   #10
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You can shoot 400TMY at EI800 no problem without pushing if you don't want to.
02-01-2012, 10:57 PM   #11
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If you do plan on shooting at EI800 and push development, be advised that most drugstore or commercial photo labs generally don't push/pull development anymore. You would want to take it to a more capable photo lab.
02-02-2012, 09:44 AM   #12
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I must say I prefer the rendering of XP2 and if you want you can keep the colour of the film when scanning...
02-03-2012, 10:46 PM   #13
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If you're ever looking for a slooooow film, I once used 120 Agfa Pan 25 for a semester photo class and loved it. 6x7 negs were grainless!!! Especially beautiful when developed in Rodinol or Acufine.
02-07-2012, 05:36 PM   #14
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Thank you cscurrier, fs999 and FrankC for weighing in.
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