Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

T-MAX vs Neopan

with 29 comments

Just got two rolls of very different black and white films back from the lab. First up is a roll of T-MAX 100. The film’s low speed allows me to shoot at wider apertures on my M3 during the day, and its fine grain makes for some really clean output. It’s an excellent choice for shooting black and white with a high speed lens:

^My cousin Josh, heavily armed.

Ok, on to the Fuji Neopan 400. The Neopan’s punchier contrast seems to suit my shooting style pretty well, and it looks to be a great choice for shooting in dramatically lit environments. Here are a few select frames from that roll:

These will be my last two rolls for a bit while I wait for my camera to come back from repair. She’s getting her rangefinder realigned, which is supposed to take about a week…. A week too long!!!


Leica M3 + 50mm f/1.4 Summilux | Kodak T-MAX 100 / Fuji Neopan 400 | Process + Scan by Light Waves Imaging

Written by Jonathan

November 29, 2012 at 6:16 pm

29 Responses

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  1. Jon, all the images are superb and very carefully composed – luv em’. If I was forced to chose one of the two, I personally prefer the softer feel of the T-Max.


    November 29, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    • Thanks man. I think for most applications, I probably feel the same way about the T-Max. It’s good stuff!


      December 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm

  2. Your photos are amazing! Is that the lexus concept car? I really like the one with the golden gate bridge in the background. Great job!


    November 29, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    • Thank you! Yes, I got a glimpse of that Lexus at the recent international car show in San Francisco.


      December 1, 2012 at 9:21 pm

  3. Good film choice, your results are very smooth.

    Jim Dell

    November 29, 2012 at 6:48 pm

  4. Love the first one. Where did you shoot it?

    Rico de los Santos

    November 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    • Thanks! I shot that photo behind some shops in Glen Park, San Francisco.


      December 1, 2012 at 9:22 pm

  5. Holy epic post of awesomeness, dude! I had a brief love affair with Neopan 400 last winter. Love love LOVE that film and this is a good reminder to shoot more of it.


    November 30, 2012 at 12:37 am

    • Thanks Kim, you should go out and get yourself another roll! I know I will =)


      December 1, 2012 at 10:03 pm

  6. So if your choice was between the Neopan and the Tri-X you shot the other week, which one do you favour most (for your style) and why?

    Niall Taylor

    November 30, 2012 at 2:54 am

    • Hmmmm, that’s a good question. I don’t think I’ve shot enough with either to really call that yet, but I think I may be preferring the Neopan’s tonalities a little more, at least from the scans.


      December 1, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      • At the moment I’m playing with Tri-X, and haven’t shot any Neopan 400 (shot with the 1600 for indoor gig photography, mind). If you continue shooting with either, it’ll be cool to see your results and hear your growing impressions. As always, very nice photos.

        Niall Taylor

        December 2, 2012 at 7:49 am

  7. Don’t you just love th M3/Sumilux combo? Are you metering with the Leitz clip-on meter? Best Wishes, Bob

    Robert Wiemer

    November 30, 2012 at 5:58 am

    • Hey Bob, I do indeed. I use the old selenium-cell external Leicameter that was originally purchased with this camera over 60 years ago. It still works great!


      December 1, 2012 at 9:57 pm

  8. well you just sold me some tmax 100!


    November 30, 2012 at 6:38 am

  9. gorgeous photos, there’s something magic about black & white photography. love the last image


    December 2, 2012 at 2:48 am

  10. I’ve shot both of those before and I really only used them for the cost factor. It was way before I figured out which type I liked to use. Neither one seemed to have enough contrast for my liking so I stopped getting them. Do you think a used m3 off of keh would be a good investment?


    December 4, 2012 at 12:29 am

  11. Tom, no camera bought from a retailer can be considered an “investment” at least in the short term. In the long-term, almost any non-SLR Leica will protect you from loss. Buying privately might give you a cost advantage, but if you buy from a reputable retailer, you’ll get some kind of guarantee, and return privileges. With regard to the M3, prices are well established according to condition. Again, with a reputable retailer, the condition ratings in their ads are usually pretty accurate, which may not be the case with a private individual. In any event, purchase the M3 with your heart. And, if you’re still worried about the economics, bear in mind you’ll never lose much money, if any, on the M3. Best, Bob

    Robert Wiemer

    December 4, 2012 at 8:00 am

    • Hi Tom, I think Bob answered your question really well. KEH is a pretty reputable dealer, but prices do vary based on condition. Depending on how much you pay for one you’d probably need to factor in some cost to service the camera to get it working optimally as well. For me, the M3 is a solid happiness-as-an-artist investment, if not an economic one =)


      December 4, 2012 at 9:17 am

  12. I have to say, I love the look of the T-Max the most. Such beautiful shots! I love the vintage look of the lookout viewer thingy by the bridge. You are so great at B&W photography. I feel like every image is a mysterious, secret story…or like visual poetry!


    December 5, 2012 at 10:04 am

    • Yup! I especially love the way the photos of you and Suki turned out on the T-Max. =)


      December 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm

  13. Personally I hate TMX 100, well you might want to try Fuji Acros 100 too for 100 speed see which one works better for you. TMAX 400 and Neopan 400 are both very nice with D76 1+1.


    December 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    • Thanks for the recommendation. Haven’t used Acros yet, but I’ll add that to my queue of films to run through my camera in the near future.


      December 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm

  14. Love that shot of B being illuminated by her phone. And dang, Suki knows how to pose!


    December 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm

  15. great B&W film comparison


    January 27, 2013 at 11:08 pm

  16. What does your lab charge you to print/scan your film?

    Matt M

    February 11, 2013 at 2:35 pm

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