There are several kinds of black and white film available. Listed below are a few of the most common.


            T-Max 100
T-Max 400


            FP4 (125)
HP5 (400)


            APX 25
APX 100
            AP 400

  • Kodak and Ilford both make black and white film that is developed using a color process. On the film or the box it will say “Develop C-41” or just “C-41.” This means that you can have it developed at any shop that develops color film. It also means that you can’t develop it in our lab. You are welcome to use the film if you want but be aware of these limitations.

  • These films usually come in rolls of 36, 24 or 12 exposures. I recommend 24 exposures. It takes less time to finish a roll of 24 than 36 and they’re easier to handle when you develop negatives.

  • Black and white film is not always available at every store where film is sold. You can be sure to get it at any FNAC store in the Paris area. The prices are reasonable, the store personnel are friendly and knowledgeable and usually there’s someone who speaks English. Visit their website at to find the address nearest you.

  • The number (25, 100, 125, 400) refers to the ISO rating or “speed” of the film. The higher the ISO the “faster” the film. A film with ISO 100 or 125 is ideal for taking pictures outdoors in daylight (bright sun or overcast). To use this kind of film indoors you would need a flash. Film rated at 400 can be used outdoors and won’t require a flash in most well lit indoor situations. Film with speed 25 should only be used in brightly lit scenes. (It is often used in portraits where the photographer is in complete control of the lighting conditions.)

  • There is also the issue of “graininess.” Generally, the faster the film the larger the grains. This means that when you make very big enlargements the sharpness may suffer. Today’s films (especially T-Max 400) have successfully overcome the graininess problem – especially for the size of enlargements (8 × 10 in) we will make in this course.

These concepts will be discussed further in class.