All About Kodak T-MAX P3200 Film

A Bracket Test Neg using Kodak P3200

Who doesn't love a good comeback story? Especially when it involves a beloved film stock making a triumphant return!

That's why we, at Richard Photo Lab, were over the moon when Kodak revealed they were bringing back their T-MAX P3200 film—a favorite that was previously discontinued in the early 2000s.

Being passionate about all things film, we couldn't resist trying out a few rolls ourselves. Curious about how it performed? We've got the results right here!

Kodak T-MAX P3200 film stock

The Film

T-MAX P3200 is a multi-speed, black & white negative film. According to Kodak, its versatility makes it perfect for different situations, including low-light and fast-action scenarios.

The “P” in P3200 actually stands for “push”—that’s right, this stock was intended to be pushed in film processing (ie, developed longer) when shot at 3200, because its nominal ISO is 800. However, for the sake of simplicity in our test, we rated and developed at 3200 so that the only variable you need to think about in our brackets below is exposure.

Currently, Kodak’s revived T-MAX P3200 is available only in 35mm format. But here's hoping we'll see it in 120 format soon!

Remember: If you send this film to Richard Photo Lab, we will process it as 3200 unless you indicate to push or pull your rolls.

The Test

In this test, we used a Nikon FM2 camera with a 50mm Nikkor lens and a Pentax digital spot meter. To ensure the most accurate light meter reading, we included an 18% gray card.

Below, you'll find our full-resolution scans and negatives from the bracketed test. We've highlighted exposures at 3200, 1600, and 800, as these are likely the ratings most of you will use. And naturally, we're also providing a look at the negatives for a complete overview.

Kodak T-MAX P3200 Negative Density Test and Film Scans

Richard's Recommendation

Richard thinks that the ideal density for this film stock is between normal and +1 when rated at 3200.

Extreme close-ups ahead!

T-Max P3200 Grain Example

Film Grain

Because grain is such a prominent characteristic in black & white film images let's talk about film grain when shooting a high-speed film.

We all know as film photographers that, when in doubt, overexposing can be your friend. However, as with any high-speed black & white film, overexposing too much can cause a ton of grain.

And too much grain can be a problem when scanning your film, because the scanning machine will output an image that displays a weird, grid-like pattern.

Richard thinks this pattern could be another form of “The Staircase Effect”, in which very overexposed negatives can result in your scanned order being returned with banding across the frame.

Example of Banding across a scanned image

Think this film might be for you? Try it out and tell us what you think!

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