Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Tasma NK-2 Film Review

Over the past few years I have been able to sample the interesting films from the Film Photography Project store.  The Svema films such as the FN64 and Svema 400 are really nice films in my opinion, and I have been using them rather frequently.  One film that I have not tried until now is the Tasma NK-2 100 ISO b&w film.  I am not sure why I hadn't tried it earlier, but after shooting two rolls of it in the past week, I feel that I can offer a quick review.

First of all, the Tasma film originates from Russia, and is described as a b&w motion picture film.  The Russian site says that the factory dates from 1933, so Tasma has a long history. The film is on a PET base, not acetate, and consequently is extremely tough and will not tear like an acetate-based film.  It's also thinner than typical 35mm films, much like the Svema stocks that I have used, but seems not as flimsy as the Svema.  The Tasma NK-2 film is fresh stuff, according to the FPP site, and has a sort of cult-status. 

The Tasma NK-2 rolls are in 24-exposure cassettes from the FPP, and are DX-coded.  I would prefer 36-exposure rolls, but then again, with these limited-availability films, the shorter rolls are a good idea, especially for testing.  The film loaded easily onto the take-up spool in the Nikon F3HP and the Yashica FX-7 cameras that I used.  I set the ISO on the cameras to the box speed of 100. 


I checked the Massive Development Chart, and the information on the Tasma NK-2 seemed rather odd, so I consulted the FPP pages on Flickr, and found two developers that I use: D-76 and XTOL.  Leslie Lazenby's recommendation was XTOL stock at 7.25 minutes.  Another photographer (Tom Napier) recommended D-76 straight for 7 minutes.   I find the MDC listing a bit odd, as I have only seen examples with people shooting it at box speed.

Other developers and times that I have found (all at 20°C):
HC-110 B for 10 min
D76 Stock for 10 min
Diafine - 4 min each in A & B

I developed in D-76 for 10 minutes, and did a water stop, followed by 7 minutes in fixer.  I washed in water and used Permawash to remove any fixer followed by a good rinse.  Both rolls came out beautifully. The film dries perfectly flat, and scans beautifully on my Espon V700.

Nikon F3HP with 19mm Vivitar lens:

Yashica FX-7 Super with 50mm f/2 lens.

Overall, the Tasma NK-2 is a very easy film to work with, especially now that I have a developer or two that I can use to get satisfactory results.  The tonality is certainly acceptable, and it is fine-grained.  I can see no reason why anyone would not want to try some.  The fact that it scans so well should be a key point in using it.  I think a bulk roll of it from the FPP store is next on my list.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hello Mark!
After reading your blog post about NK-2, I decided to purchase a few rolls. But I have encountered a bit of an issue with this film: there is some kind of light contamination in the first 6-10 frames of each roll. Sometimes its only the sprocket holes that are fogged, but often the first few frames have fogging across them. Have you had this experience with the Tasma NK-2 as well? Here is a sample of one such roll:

Thank you for your great blog and information!