Kodak TMax P3200 is Kodak’s latest film offering; and apparently there is a fair amount of confusion about the film emulsion. Share images from it in various groups and you’ll hear people say “But isn’t is an ISO 3200 film?” The answer: No, it isn’t.
We reached out to TJ Mooney from Kodak for a more official statement. After referring us to the various places where Kodak has posted information about the film, he finally gave us this quote:
Straight out of the box, Kodak T-Max P3200 film is nominally 800 speed, but it is intended to be pushed beyond EI 800 — that’s what the “P” stands for. You can expose this film at EI 800, 1600, 3200 or 6400 with good results. P3200 is designed to yield better shadow detail and highlight separation at EI 3200 or 6400 than you can obtain with other 400-speed films pushed by 3 stops.
For more info, I highly recommend having a look at the P3200 Tech Pub (F-4001) and FAQ’s that are posted on our web page:http://imaging.kodakalaris.com/professional-photographers/photographers/professional-films
So indeed, Kodak T-Max P3200 isn’t an ISO 3200 film. Instead, it’s an ISO 800 film meant to be pushed. If you’re still confused, then consider the fact that Ilford does the same thing. Ilford Delta 3200 is meant to be shot at ISO 1600 and pushed to ISO 3200. Crazy, right? You wouldn’t necessarily think so. In the long run, I think that Kodak’s decision here is more logical as it means that you can expose the film to ISO 800 but you can have a fair amount of confidence when wanting to push it. In fact, the images here in this post are from our upcoming Kodak TMax P3200 film review. It’s a gorgeous film that solidifies my belief that Kodak TMax was the right choice here. The T grain structure is often finer, though some photographers may not want that.
However, do note that this film is DX coded to be 3200 ISO according to Kodak.