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Developing Adventures – A Roll of Eastman Kodak Double X 5222

Eastman Kodak Double X film is a 1960’s Kodak Motion Picture film that Cinestill has loaded into cartridges and rebranded with their name on the cassette. I had read many great reviews about this film and I love the classic film look of it. If James Bond was shot with this film then I had to try it.

Well, when I first started shooting film again, a nice guy in the community gifted me a box of mostly expired film and it included a few rolls of Double X. I tried a roll right away and sent it out to the lab. When my results came back I was so disappointed. I didn’t know what happened, but the grain was so strong that the photos were basically unusable. This scared me away from trying the other two rolls, to I put them in the fridge and forgot about them.

Fast forward a year and now I develop my own film. I thought maybe since I can now control all aspects of the process, I should try it again. Alex Luyckx recommended I shoot it at ISO 200 and then process it in Kodak D-76 1+2 dilution for 11 minutes. I agitated the first minute and then 10 seconds every minute after that. I was so happy when I pulled that roll out of the developing tank and could see it was exposed perfectly.

Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200
Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200

I shot the roll with my Leica M2, and just took some photos around my yard for this test roll.

Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200
Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200
Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200
Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200
Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200
Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200
Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200
Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200

I use Silverfast with my Epson V800 scanner and there is no profile for this film so I looked up examples and decided to use TMax 100’s profile to scan these and made adjustments accordingly.

Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200
Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200
Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200
Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200

I also tested it indoors. With ISO 200 you won’t get fast shutter speeds, but I figured with my Leica, I could hold it still enough to take a couple shots.

Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200
Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200

This film is surprisingly versatile. It has a nice tonal range and the shadows still hold a lot of information. A lot of times in my experiments I find when I try to lift shadow, I’m left with nothing but black grain. Not so with this roll.

Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200
Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200
Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200
Leica M2 Eastman Kodak XX 200

Final Thoughts

I don’t know why that first experience with this film was so bad. I probably never will know because I never asked the lab, but I am so glad I have tried it again. I have one more roll I will save for a nice occasion. I would really like to shoot some portraits with it.

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Until next time, stay motivated and keep shooting.

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