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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Schwark

Shooting 35mm Kodak Eastman XX Film Stock - Takeaways

Let me preface this by saying I am, by all metrics, a total amateur when it comes to film. The photos here are by and large a good reflection of that. But for folks getting into film or thinking about giving this classic film stock a whirl, then may this prove useful.

Eastman Kodak Double X is a cinema film (available only in tins from Kodak) that was brought to market in the 50's after a couple of development cycles and is still in use today. James Bond Casino Royal, The Lighthouse, Cinderella Man, Kill Bill and a ton of older films have all been captured on this iconic film stock.

Nowadays the vastly popular Tri-X is the film of choice for most photographers (so I've been told), do to its more forgiving qualities and better results when pushing or pulling. And...I'm guessing that I would probably gravitate towards that if it was an option available to me.

Perhaps the biggest draw to this film will be the price, which is pretty cheap, especially if you are repacking canisters yourself (I don't, but it was still cheaper than Tri-X by far). Granted I live in Buenos Aires where anything film related, both analogue and digital, is way more expensive than elsewhere.

On to the results.

Grain is lovely, but can quickly get out of hand if you don't expose properly. For myself I think I did alright in getting exposure right most of the time, with the exception being at night (see images nearer the bottom). Resolution seems great and I would assume even better if I wasn't using an older lens. Caveat here: the two rolls I've gone through have both been pushed by either 1 or 2 stops and I can't say how this looks shot at box speed of 200 - 250 ASA. Most of the metering was done via phone app which I've had great results with overall.

Images above: Kodak Eastman Double-X pushed 1 stop

As it is, all of these images were captured using Soviet era Zenit-11 with an Auto Revuenon 55mm f1.7 lens in good condition.

The images render quite nicely and yeah, you get that vintage film look for sure. The amount of keepers based on exposure though was a little different. Something else to keep in mind is that this film doesn't seem to do too hot with backlighting. Here are some that couldn't be recovered and what you can expect if under/overexposing:

At night this film can really sell the "noir" look. The contrast will be intense, but the results are wonderful (entirely subjective).

Overall I find myself really liking how this looks. With some simple edits post scan, you can really walk away with some wonderful results. At it's current price point it certainly seems like a fun alternative to Tri-X. Cheers!


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