T-MAX vs Neopan

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

29 thoughts on “T-MAX vs Neopan

  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.

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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

    1. 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 =)

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

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