Thursday, January 3, 2013

Kentmere 400 film vs Tri-X in Diafine


I have not recently reviewed any film/developer combinations in this blog. There is a reason for this: film is well known thing, why bother with the reviews anyway? Well, if it is Tri-X of HP5+ then it's true, they have been around for a while, along with Diafine 2-bath developer I'm using here, but Kentmere 400 is all new animal, at least for me. So I bought 100ft roll for $29.95 from Adorama and tried it, along with Tri-X, in the same Leica M2 with 50mm f/2 Planar lens from Zeiss. It is not very scientific comparison per se; I just needed some feeling of it. I exposed Tri-X at E.I.1200-1600 and Kentmere at E.I.640-800, as recommended for Diafine. I looked at the resulting film strips on the light table and scanned them.
Looking at the negatives: Kentmere is drying flat, which is good. My version of Tri-X (Arista Premium 400 from Freestyle Photo) is not. The Kentmere is a bit "flatter" in terms of tonal gradations, compared to Tri-X. The Tri-X grain is bigger but I also like it more, the dense grain of Kentmere has not impressed me much (see the fragments below). On the night shots, Kentmere has denser blacks with less details in them. Ok, here are the shots, face to face --

TRI-X:


TRI-X (fragment):


KENTMERE:


KENTMERE (fragment):


TRI-X:


KENTMERE:


TRI-X (this is 28mm f/1.9 lens made by Cosina):


KENTMERE:


KENTMERE (fragment):


The bottom line: I can use this film when I'm out of Tri-X or HP5+.
I am going to try it in other developers I have, starting from Kodak TMax.

2 comments:

  1. that was interesting.... just recently I've picked up a Nikon film cam and have bought a role of Tri X and a role of Kentmere both 400 ASA films and look forward to comparing the results using Kodak XTOL developer.
    Thanks for posting this...review. It's helped me...particularly in the way you discuss and show what to look for when comparing film photos.
    charlie :)

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  2. Good luck Charlie:) Xtol is great developer!

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