View Full Version : TMY to TMY-2... when?

Mark Sampson
11-Jan-2018, 14:48
People who know my history will laugh at my ignorance. Go ahead; here's my question.
When did Kodak change T-Max 400 to it current formulation?
I tested the original in '87 or so. We occasionally had use for it on the job, but I never used it for personal work. I do remember that it was big news when they improved the emulsion... but wasn't tempted to try it then.
Now someone has given me several boxes of 4x5 TMY, dated 12/2009, emulsion #561.
No one I know from my Kodak days still works there, so I'll put my question to the community; is this film the original version or the new and improved?
I've loaded holders for EI/dev time tests, so will find a working method for this film, but it would be interesting to know the answer.

11-Jan-2018, 14:55
Wikipedia says Oct 2007 is the start of tmy2.. Not sure how long an expiration date they put on film. It's probably a fair guess your 2009 film is tmy2.

If you develop a sheet it will show along the edge on the same edge as the notch code.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7242/7173916945_0a2b4d7dba.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/bVWczc)img316 (https://flic.kr/p/bVWczc) by Jason Philbrook (https://www.flickr.com/photos/13759696@N02/), on Flickr

Richard Wasserman
11-Jan-2018, 14:59
Mark, I believe the improvement came in 2008, so I would think yours is the new and improved version. Does yours say "The World's Sharpest Film" on the box? That's also a clue that it is the current film.

This is my favorite black and white film.

BTW, no laughing here—I appreciate irony...

Richard Wasserman
11-Jan-2018, 15:01
Thanks Jason. I forgot that it is marked TMY-2 on the edge of the film

Mark Sampson
11-Jan-2018, 15:10
Thanks guys, that was quick! I'll have my answer next week sometime, when I see the test negs.

11-Jan-2018, 18:40
Don't forget that before the change Tri-X was finer grained than TMax 400. One big reason for the change.

11-Jan-2018, 19:42
Mark, the film has a very versatile character depending on which developers you use and how you expose it. Except for perhaps consistency in spectral sensitivity there is no single distinct tmax400 look. It has always been responsive to changes in development (easier to screw up might be the devil's dictionary translation of such Kodak newspeak), but if you are consistent and not a slob in the darkroom you can make your own look for the film. I have enjoyed it since the late 80's first with D76 1:1, then later xtol, and now pyrocat hd/hdc.

Mark Sampson
11-Jan-2018, 20:00
It occurs to me that by 2007 we were not shooting much film on the job- Kodak had sold my division to ITT, and most of what I was shooting then was digital. We were still using TMX-100 when we needed b/w, but that was uncommon. So it's no surprise I'd forgotten details of the TMY change; my personal practice then was to use Tri-X and develop in PMK. I have 100 sheets of the TMY to play with; I hope soon to have a printing darkroom set up, so by springtime I should know what I have and how to get the best from it.
Who knows? I may go back to shooting Kodak... do I suffer a bit of guilt for having abandoned my home-town company (that supported me for 30+ professional years)? Not enough to keep me from shooting FP4+ for the last six years or so.

Michael Kadillak
11-Jan-2018, 22:01
Don't forget that before the change Tri-X was finer grained than TMax 400. One big reason for the change.

Have to completely disagree with this ascertain on several levels. T Max 400 has a far greater technical resolution than Tri X, but it all depends upon the variables that go into processing the negative. I have a elderly friend that is having eye focusing issues and he uses a Tri X negative in his enlarger to establish focus because the Tri X it is so course in grain that he can actually get his eyes to focus in a magnification tool on his easel so he can change out his negatives to what he wants to print. Tri X is enormously courser than T Max 400 in every developer I have tried it in by orders of magnitude - exposure and development being consistent and correct with each film. Put it under serious magnification and there is no disputing this conclusion.

I was asked by Kodak to test some 120 rolls of the new T Max 400 and provide Kodak with my comments although they did not completely convey the full scope of what the new film entailed. I found it blazingly sharper than the older T Max 400. Retrospectively, I learned that Kodak was attempting to use technology that was deployed in their color films with improved resolution to assist medium format and small format negatives produce a cleaner sharper print and maybe keep the home fires burning with film. It had nothing whatsoever to do with other films in their product line because folks enjoyed the granularity that Tri X was famous for.