5 Frames… With Kodak Tri-X 400 (EI 400 / 35mm format / Canon AT-1) – by Joe Nelley

Last July I had my parents staying and we went for a bush walk at Mount Bruce with my two boys. I took along two rolls of film; T-MAX 400 and Tri-X 400, along with my 35mm Canon AT-1 and my Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 lens. I used the in-camera match-needle meter for metering light.

Due to the time of day, the sun was high, however, under the canopy of the bush there wasn’t much light, so I decided to shoot underexposed by one stop and push the film +1 in development. I also found myself often having to shoot at a wide aperture which made it difficult when I had my subjects apart.

I sent the film to a lab (WPS) to be developed and scanned so I had no control over the processing and images that resulted. I use Kodak D76 developer at home and have had good results, but I believe the lab uses something else.

I have used Tri-X before and knew roughly what to expect however even with being pushed one stop I was surprised just how heavy the contrast was in the results. There appears to be lost detail in both the blacks and the highlights and the transition between both is short, however, the lighting has a lot to do with that. Unless I scan the negatives myself it’s difficult to know how much of this is my shooting and how much may be processing by the lab.

It was an enjoyable walk and not too far for the boys, who did well. There was a good view from the top towards the snow-capped Tararua Range.

Let me know your thoughts on the photographs and the results.

~ Joe

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