A while back I did blog about my first film, a Fujifilm superia X-TRA 400 and how it turned out to be amazing. After shooting with it, having had encouraging results, I wanted to try a black and white film. I did try a fair few, as I love the feeling that they give you. Among all the films I shot though I find myself turning back to the Kodak Tri-X 400 more often.
Shooting with the Tri-X feels almost like a cheat. I really don’t need to do any post processing. In actual fact I feel it’s blasphemy to post process a film like that. It has its own unique feeling. An identity.
The contrast of the film is amazing. It has set the benchmark for me whenever I’m editing a digital image to black and white. It has a unique feeling and a balance that I find captivating. Also the grain of the film is equally balanced as the contrast. It’s there, visible, but not distracting.
If you push the film one stop then everything gets a bit more amplified. The contrast is more bumped up, the grain is more visible and the overall feeling of the film is a bit more gritty. I love that for when I shoot street photography.
And while street photography is the obvious choice for this film, you shouldn’t stop there. I’ve used Tri-X to many other occasions. For portraits it gives an amazing moody feeling. It makes your subject look a lot more dramatic, especially if you shoot it in the right environment.
One thing that surprised me with this film is how landscapes looked. I took my film camera and a couple of rolls of film with me on my vacation to Corfu, Greece last year and one of those was the Tri-X. I pulled it one stop, as it was very bright in Greece, and I shot a few landscapes. The monochrome feeling that I got out of it gave the pictures a really artsy, flat feeling that I personally love.
This is certainly one of the most versatile films I had the pleasure to work with. I always have a few in my fridge and I’m always looking forward to go out and shoot a roll or two. It makes me see the world in a different more dramatic perspective. It amplifies all the little nook and crannies of the world around me and reminds me of the beauty that is around us. Sometimes it even makes me feel as if I am a spectator in a film noir. Maybe even the narrator. Yes, I like that.
This is the best black and white film I’ve shot with. It sets the standard in terms of feeling of a picture and you should get one now!
Overall this is an amazing film. If you are shooting film and you haven’t tried the Kodak Tri-X 400 you are missing out. You can find it on Amazon for anything from 6.5£ to 8£ per roll. I normally prefer to buy the 5 roll package as it turns out cheaper, plus I love the film. It’s a bit pricy but trust me, you won’t regret it. It’s awesome.