5 Frames… On “Secret Santa” Kodak TMAX P3200 (35mm Format / EI 3200 / Praktica MTL5 + Carl Zeiss 50mm f/1.8 Ultron) – by Mark J. Wyatt

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Christmas 2019 a discreet messenger informed me I was to receive a “Secret Santa” gift, and asked what I might suggest. I was curious to try Kodak TMAX P3200, so I suggested this as a gift. Two rolls did arrive, and I shot one of them in late December through January (still have the other).

I decided to just shoot the film around town, and capture some shots handheld that may otherwise have required a tripod. I wanted to push this to EI 3200, see how the grain responds and how the tonality looks. I took a picture of an orange tree in the fading light as dusk rapidly approached. I used a medium-yellow filter to lighten the oranges and create some contrast with the dark green leaves. Overall the tonality was nice, and the grain, though quite noticeable, was pleasant and added to the mood of the scene.


One night I needed to run to a local pharmacy, and while waiting for the prescription at dusk, walked over to a local coffee shop for a macchiato (the real type, not Starbuck’s version). I asked if anyone minded me shooting as they worked, so grabbed some barista shots- my favorite here.

I needed to drive over to Riverside, California, late afternoon one day and remembered the old drive-in, so stopped to shoot it for memories sake. This was pretty much at dusk. Finally, I took a few shots around home- one of our dog Taffy on the patio under a spotlight, and the other by ambient light in the kitchen (Santa).

I developed the film at home in HC-110 B, then scanned it on a Durst slide copier with my Fujifilm XT-2 and 75mm enlarging lens, then inverted in ON1. Overall I was pleased with the results. Watching for shadows is critical, but if there is a reasonable amount of light on the subject the tonality and the mood created by the grain is quite pleasant. The extra three stops over Tri-X or HP5 at box speeds is also helpful. I look forward to shooting the second roll soon.

~ Mark

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I am a photographer since the 1970s (with some slow periods). I enjoy shooting classic film cameras as well as new digital ones. My photography hobby has become reinvigorated in the last few years, and it is becoming an important aspect of my life. I live in Southern California with my wife and two daughters.

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