Nikon F4 x Kodak TMAX 400

The first post of 2023 and the first film photography post in almost 6 months! It has been far too long but alas I am making the time again to sit down and start writing about my photographic adventures or mis-adventures as they sometime become.

So we are going to get things rolling again with a roll of film that I shot in the fall of 2021. My excitement for photography was running high at that time. I was working part time through the pandemic and found myself pouring my extra time back into photography. I had time to play around which is key to growing as a photographer. I made it a mandatory thing that I would go out at least once a week and spend the day immersing myself in the photographic arts or something like that. In short I would go on photo missions. Some of them were planned out in advance and others would be more spontaneous and I would hop in my car and see where the road would take me and photograph anything that I found interesting along the way which is how I found myself on the way to Smiths Falls in the fall of 2021. But before that trip…

The first few images were taken in the west end of Ottawa on Richmond Road. This building with it’s big painted letters, peeling paint and almost abandoned parking lot has always drawn me in and I find it’s a good spot to test out a new camera or lens or film stock. I will probably keep shooting here until it is gone. Rough, ragged, dirty and sketchy.

The rest of these images were taken on the trip to Smiths Falls, a small town just outside of Ottawa. Once a boomtown of sorts with a massive Hershey Chocolate Factory that I’m sure employed a large portion of the residents. Over the years the factory shut down and the town had hit hard times. More recently however one of the large Canadian cannabis companies has set up shop in Smiths Falls turning the once chocolate factory into their headquarters for the booming weed business that is happening in Canada at this time..

Along the way I stopped at this Ontario Pork Producers building that I had always wanted to photograph but somehow never had done so until this trip. This was not planned it just so happened that the sun was shinning and I had the time. The rest of the images are a few street scenes and buildings from around that town.

Ok so with that little into this is where we get into the (slightly) technical side of this little written piece. All of these images were taken with my Nikon F4 and Kodak TMAX 400 film. This is hands down one of my favourite black and white films to use. I love the look and feel of this film. The grain is superb and the detail is always amazing. If I had to choose one film to use exclusively this would be the one. The F4 is a solid camera to use. It is built like a tank, solid and all of the components are machined to perfection and everything works super smoothly. The controls are laid out as they should to make taking photos a breeze. If I had one negative thing to say about the Nikon F4 is that it is big and heavy, which in part is why it is so solid. It is/was Nikon’s flagship professional 35mm film camera and built to take abuse and last! The autofocus is quick and spot on every time. 

All in all I am happy with these images. There is enough detail and the contrast is good enough to make me happy as I didn’t have to adjust it too much, maybe on a couple of images. I do believe that I shot this film at 250 ISO instead of the 400 box speed which I am sure helped push up the contrast and (probably) lost a little bit of detail in some areas. That is it for now.

Take care and keep shooting film!

Jeremy Shane Reid

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