Kodak introduced T-Max black-and-white negative film back in 1986, and they dubbed it “the finest-grained black-and-white film in the world.” While it certainly has fine-grain, particularly the low-ISO version, I don’t know how accurate Kodak’s proclamation was. It’s available in ISO 100, 400 and 3200 variants. This film simulation recipe is intended to resemble the ISO 400 version.
T-Max 400 is a popular B&W film. I’ve used it, although it has been many, many years. Kodak updated the film in 2007 to be sharper and have finer grain; it’s the old version that I have personal experience with. With any film, but perhaps especially with black-and-white negative film, so much can be altered in the darkroom to customize the aesthetic, and one film can produce many different looks, so creating a recipe can be controversial because it might not look exactly like what someone thinks it should. Still, I hope that you will recognize this as T-Max-esque.
You might find that this recipe looks familiar. Actually, it began as Kodak Tri-X 400. Fuji X Weekly readers Thomas Schwab (who has helped with several recipes) and Anders Linborg (who invented the Tri-X recipe) worked together to modify that recipe into this one. I added a couple of small revisions, and now we have Kodak T-Max 400! It really was a group effort, but mostly Thomas and Anders. Thanks, guys!
This Kodak T-Max 400 film simulation recipe is intended for the Fujifilm X100V, X-Pro3 and X-T4 cameras; however, with a couple small modifications, it can be used on any X-Trans III or IV camera. First, if your camera doesn’t have Clarity, consider using +1 Highlight and +4 Shadow instead, although you can certainly keep those settings as they are in the recipe below. If your camera doesn’t have the option for Grain size (only strength), set it to Strong. I used Toning on this recipe, which is completely optional, but on the X-T3 and X-T30, which has a different Toning menu, consider using +1 (warm). Back when I shot film I would often give my prints a quick Sepia bath, both for warmth and archival reasons, and the Toning option on your X-Trans IV camera does a good job of mimicking that.
One difference that you might notice between this recipe and Tri-X is ISO. On that recipe I suggest using ISO 1600 to 12800. I think for this recipe the best results are found between ISO 1600 and 3200, but anything from ISO 320 to 6400 looks good. I feel like ISO 12800 is a bit too much, but feel free to try it and see what you think.
Monochrome (+Y, +R, +G)
Dynamic Range: DR200
Noise Reduction: -4
Toning: WC +2, MG 0
Grain Effect: Strong, Small
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Off
White Balance: Daylight,+9 Red & -9 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +1 (typically)
Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Kodak T-Max 400 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:
See also: Film Simulation Recipes
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