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Author Topic: 35mm Film choice  (Read 5703 times)
MartF
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« on: October 05, 2009, 07:27:43 AM »
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<Newbie alert>

Hi all,

I have recently come into possession of an EOS 5 in great condition that I am enjoying putting all my EF lenses on and shooting on film. I've been using Tri-x 400 (B&W) and Kodak Portra NC 160 and have shot two rolls so far - yet to develop. (I was recommended these two film options by a photographer friend)

Question is now, what other film should I try? I hear about Velvia and things like that but have no experience of them only really getting into photography in the digital age. I shoot mainly portraits and landscapes preferring to avoid flash where possible.

Any advice or suggestions much appreciated.

Cheers.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2009, 10:10:56 AM »
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Well, Kodachrome 25 was my film of choice for decades, but it's R.I.P.  For colour I usually shoot Provia nowadays.  I find Velvia too oversaturated for my tastes.  For B&W, try Ilford XP2-400.  It's a B&W film, but it uses chromogenic dyes, so the processing is different.  More here: http://www.ilfordphoto.com/products/product.asp?n=11#

Mike.

P.S.  Welcome to the list!
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k bennett
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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2009, 03:47:46 PM »
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Quote from: MartF
Question is now, what other film should I try? I hear about Velvia and things like that but have no experience of them only really getting into photography in the digital age. I shoot mainly portraits and landscapes preferring to avoid flash where possible.


Well, you should definitely try some slide (transparency) film. Velvia and Provia 100 to start, for landscapes, and maybe some Astia for portraits (was my favorite slide film -- do they even still make it?) Shoot some photos and figure out what you like.

I would second the recommendation for a C-41 process B+W film, though I prefer the Kodak version BW400CN. Very smooth long tonal range, and easy to get developed at your nearest drugstore.

If you are going to shoot Tri-X, then you'll want to develop your own negatives. Nothing much to it if you can follow a recipe. You'll need some basic gear like a tank, reels, chemistry, and some mixing supplies. A good basic b+w darkroom primer should be on the list, too.

Are you making prints yourself? Scanning the negs, or in a darkroom? If you let the local druggist print for you, you'll miss half the fun and all the quality, especially with the black and white. Scanning and printing is fun, though tedious, and of course you'll need a digital photo printer.
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Plekto
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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2009, 08:38:16 PM »
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I used to use Kodak for black and white, but the fact is that Ilford is now much better.  When I shoot black and white film, it's Pan F 50.  Stunning results, considering it's not slide film.  I like the Fuji as well, though the Astia is usually what I end up using for 35mm scenery and trips(looks more like I remember it than a painting effect with Velvia).

http://www.timparkin.co.uk/system/assets/1319
Here are four of the main versions together.  

Pro160 is notable as it is nearly perfectly color matched to how our eyes see things.  Yes, it's that dull and washed out, but high contrast as well.  But that's how our poor eyes actually see things most of the time.  I'd not recommend it for scenery, though, since most people are used to ultra-high saturation pictures thanks to decades of contrasty film.(the sky isn't ever really bright lapis blue, for instance)

But it is good for city and dawn/dusk type work(IMO) where you want the colors to look a bit more stark and under-saturated or exactly like our eyes tend to see things in that sort of situation.   I find it too muted, though, for trips, so I usually use the Astia.  

Provia kind of doesn't really do anything for me for some reason - it looks OK, nothing more.

I guess I'm a bit sick of the Velvia Christmas Tree green and red look, especially since 90% of what I shoot in color is in the evening or early morning.   You can plainly see how over-saturated Velvia is for the time of day.  Almost like instant in-camera HDR.  But you can see why it's a favorite of scenery and similar work or anything that is intended to go in a magazine or on a poster.  Because it looks bigger and brighter than life.  Almost like a lithograph or painting.

http://www.maremmaphoto.it/filmtest.eng.html
Here is a comparison to the older Kodak films for reference.
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MartF
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2009, 10:44:09 AM »
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Hi guys,

Thanks all very much for your replies. I've realised doing some research today that I've put the B&W Tri-x into a High St shop without checking whether they only process C41. I did ask "Do you still develop black and white film." and the guy did say "Yes, but it will take a day longer than colour." so I'm hopeful that maybe they will know the film and process it accordingly. If not I fear my shots on the Tri-x will be lost  

Slide film has been mentioned a few times, and again excuse my ignorance but won't I need some special development process for slide-film? It's not something I've ever seen 'in the flesh' as it were, and I'm concerned I've bitten off more than I can chew with film that requires special development already.

I'm yet to venture into developing my own images but if it's reasonably straight forward and I can get my hands on the gear I'll certainly be giving it a go. A mate who I spoke to at the weekend actually reckoned I'd be better off having a go myself considering processing availablity and the repeated costs.

I think outside of me getting more educated in all matters film related and the possibility of getting my own process equipment I might be loading KODAK BW400 CN Black & White (C41) for a while, which seems to be designed around amateurs and professionals alike who want the convenience of C41 processing, which until I've researched more may be what I'm limited to.

My main concern right now is whether or not my roll of 36 with a mountain walk and my new family member will come out at all with the shop I've put them into for developing.....

Thanks again,

Mart
« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 10:45:41 AM by MartF » Logged
k bennett
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2009, 07:22:16 PM »
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The shop most likely sends out "real" b+w (i.e., not C-41 process), which is why it takes an extra day. I wouldn't worry too much about it -- the technician should be able to identify the film type.
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MartF
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2009, 03:48:26 AM »
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Thanks, yes they all came out. Pretty pleased with them for the most part actually. A relief, and at least it means I know I can trust that particular shop to develop more prints for me. Printed on Kodak Royal Digital Paper however, but it'll do for starters.
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Thomas Krüger
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2009, 05:00:13 AM »
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If you like BW buy film in rolls and develope it at home. It's not difficult, it's fun and also cheaper.

for example: http://www.freestylephoto.biz/sc_search.php?rfnc=402
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Ed Blagden
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2009, 06:48:34 AM »
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Quote from: MartF
Slide film has been mentioned a few times, and again excuse my ignorance but won't I need some special development process for slide-film? It's not something I've ever seen 'in the flesh' as it were, and I'm concerned I've bitten off more than I can chew with film that requires special development already.

Provided the slide film is E-6 process you will have no trouble finding somewhere nearby to process it.  Fuji Velvia, Astia and Provia (my favourite) plus all the various Kodak "Ektachrome" varieties are all E-6.  

Do try slide film; I switched to Digital a couple of years back for workflow reasons, but in my view nothing - nothing - beats a well exposed slide viewed through a loupe on a light table.  It makes you think you are the world's greatest photographer.  Exposure technique on slides is quite similar to digital; avoid blowing the highlights and all will be well.

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MartF
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2009, 07:06:47 AM »
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Quote from: Ed B
Provided the slide film is E-6 process you will have no trouble finding somewhere nearby to process it.  Fuji Velvia, Astia and Provia (my favourite) plus all the various Kodak "Ektachrome" varieties are all E-6.  

Do try slide film; I switched to Digital a couple of years back for workflow reasons, but in my view nothing - nothing - beats a well exposed slide viewed through a loupe on a light table.  It makes you think you are the world's greatest photographer.  Exposure technique on slides is quite similar to digital; avoid blowing the highlights and all will be well.

Hi,

Thanks for the post, and the vote of confidence in terms of slide film, as well as the film recommendation. My film equipment is basically an EOS 5 back and a couple of Rangefinders at the moment but I assume they'll all take 35mm slide film? Also is 'slide film' the same as 'transparency film'.

Thanks.
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Ed Blagden
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2009, 07:44:17 AM »
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Quote from: MartF
Hi,

Thanks for the post, and the vote of confidence in terms of slide film, as well as the film recommendation. My film equipment is basically an EOS 5 back and a couple of Rangefinders at the moment but I assume they'll all take 35mm slide film? Also is 'slide film' the same as 'transparency film'.

Thanks.

Hi

Yes, your EOS5 will take 35mm slide film.  Assuming your rangefinders take 35mm negative film (ie are not medium format or some other form factor), they will also take 35mm slide film.  The EOS5 is a lovely camera BTW.  I shot 100's of rolls of slides with one.

"Slide" film goes by a number of aliases: transparencies, positives, diapositiv, chromes, I'm sure there are others.  My advice is to walk into a photo store and ask for a roll of Fuji Provia 100F 35mm... get started with that, see if you like it (you will) and then move on.  It is E-6 process, so you will have no trouble finding someone to develop it.

I'm feeling all nostalgic!

Ed
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MartF
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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2009, 08:01:17 AM »
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Quote from: Ed B
Hi

Yes, your EOS5 will take 35mm slide film.  Assuming your rangefinders take 35mm negative film (ie are not medium format or some other form factor), they will also take 35mm slide film.  The EOS5 is a lovely camera BTW.  I shot 100's of rolls of slides with one.

"Slide" film goes by a number of aliases: transparencies, positives, diapositiv, chromes, I'm sure there are others.  My advice is to walk into a photo store and ask for a roll of Fuji Provia 100F 35mm... get started with that, see if you like it (you will) and then move on.  It is E-6 process, so you will have no trouble finding someone to develop it.

I'm feeling all nostalgic!

Ed

Cheers Ed,

I'll aim for a few rolls of Fuiji Provia to start then and see how I get on. As an aside I've really enjoyed the EOS 5 so far, good handling, quick and quiet too. Doesn't seem so old-fashioned at all when using it.

Thanks.

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MartF
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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2009, 09:08:18 AM »
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[quote name='wolfnowl' date='Oct 5 2009, 04:10 PM' post='315051']
Well, Kodachrome 25 was my film of choice for decades, but it's R.I.P.  

I've just stumbled across this, a possibility for a bit of nostalgia?

http://www.7dayshop.com/catalog/product_in...roducts_id=6175

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wolfnowl
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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2009, 05:50:48 PM »
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Thanks, but sometimes you just have to know when to move on...  There used to be one place left in the US that would process Kodachrome (there are none left in Canada), but I'm not sure if they still do it.

Mike.
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Plekto
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2009, 02:21:51 PM »
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They still do, but it's very expensive.  Since there is a Fuji equivalent, or close to it, now(Astia), it's silly to not just use that instead.
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Gordon Buck
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« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2009, 02:55:39 PM »
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My plans for my last two rolls of Kodachrome:  http://lightdescription.blogspot.com/2009/...chrome-rip.html

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Ananth
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« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2009, 06:08:28 AM »
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Quote from: gordonsbuck
My plans for my last two rolls of Kodachrome:  http://lightdescription.blogspot.com/2009/...chrome-rip.html


Hi Gordon, think I have a roll or two of Kodachrome somewhere in the basement as well!  Shall have to hunt them out, and I am quite sure they probably expired years ago!  May be an interesting exercise to load them and shoot, though being as old as they are, and then not really being sure if I can have them processed in this part of the world, I am not sure what the results will turn out to be.  Just for old time's sake, anyway.

Would love to see your end results.

Ananth
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