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Author Topic: 120/220 Film Choices  (Read 3252 times)
Mike Sellers
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« on: September 27, 2011, 02:25:27 PM »
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I am gearing up with Contax 645 equipment and I would like to know what films are currently available that would produce the sharpest big prints in both transparency and negative films. I have been away from film for a few years and haven`t kept up. Is Konica Impressa stil available?
Mike
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Fine_Art
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2011, 03:11:18 PM »
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From the horse's mouth

http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/products/films/filmsIndex.jhtml?pq-path=13319

http://www.fujifilm.com/products/films/index.html

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fotometria gr
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2011, 03:14:34 PM »
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I am gearing up with Contax 645 equipment and I would like to know what films are currently available that would produce the sharpest big prints in both transparency and negative films. I have been away from film for a few years and haven`t kept up. Is Konica Impressa stil available?
Mike
I'm using film along with MFDB on my Contax Mike, I've found that all Fuji go superbly with the colors of the Zeiss glass. I wouldn't worry much about sharpness, not with THIS GLASS anyway! Personally i'm a DR hunter when I use film so I haven't use any slides (or plan to) for the last 4 years, when I did it was again Fuji now I only use the DB than slides! My favorite negative is the 160s pro and the B&W Ilfords PanF+ and HP125+ (I push the later to 200). Regards, Theodoros. www.fotometria.gr
P.S. Be careful with your choice of scanner, it should be of more than D-max 4.5 and be able to scan at 4000 dpi! I use a Nikon 9000ed and if its used in multiscan 8x (or even 16x) its very sharp! Its consuming a lot of time (more than 20mins for 8x) but the 60mpx result is awesome! 
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feppe
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2011, 04:20:49 PM »
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Fuji Velvia and especially Provia are highly regarded, and I use the latter in MF and LF cameras for landscape work. Velvia is reputedly hard to scan well, which I've run into myself. Provia (and Astia for human subjects) behave well in the scanner.
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Mike Sellers
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2011, 07:58:19 AM »
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Thanks for the info. Has anyone tried Kodak Ektar 100? Looks like it might be good for landscapes. My outfit will be the 45,80 and 140 lenses. Would like to have the 45-90 someday. I can`t afford a digital back right now so will have to wait until next year to go digital.
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fotometria gr
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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2011, 09:26:42 AM »
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Thanks for the info. Has anyone tried Kodak Ektar 100? Looks like it might be good for landscapes. My outfit will be the 45,80 and 140 lenses. Would like to have the 45-90 someday. I can`t afford a digital back right now so will have to wait until next year to go digital.
It's a superb film, but I have only used it in 35mm, I think that the SUPER glass of Contax goes better with Fuji, this has nothing to do with Fuji being better than Kodak, its just the opinion of somebody that is a fanatic of the system and that has as much experience as it can be with it. I really think that you have invested for the best performance system in the photographic history! I own 3xbodies, grip, flash, 5xbacks, 7xinserts (2 are 220 suction), all rings, screens, viewfinders and all (8)of the dedicated lenses but the 350. I also use another four with adapters fitted permanently on them (CZJ 65, 180 & 300 + Arsat 30 f/e + Hartblei 2x TC), in my site you can see 6 images (the last in the "studio" section) where the camera is used tethered in 16x microstep mode along with my Imacon 528c DB for reproduction of paintings. If you aim for the 45-90 I would strongly suggest to look for the 35 instead of the 45, but you can surely replace it easily in the future (with little or no money loss) if you decide different, the 35 and the 120m may be the best lenses ever made in lens industry, the rest are simply awesome! Regards, Theodoros. www.fotometria.gr
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AlBowers
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2011, 09:45:11 AM »
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Mike,
I was a big fan of Kodachrome 120 (started out on Ektachrome Pro back in the '70s). Since the demise of Kodachrome, I've gone back to Ektachrome and I find it works very well (the current E6 formulations are a huge improvement over the old E4 stuff, and even over the early E6 emulsions). I've currently developed an affinity for E100VS, the palate is close to the old Kodachrome.
I've noticed that the subject matter seems to drive the results as to which film works well (the bias seems to be for Fuji in tropical or temperate areas, and towards Kodak in arid and alpine areas)...
Al  ...V-system dinosaur...
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KevinA
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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2011, 10:17:40 AM »
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I am gearing up with Contax 645 equipment and I would like to know what films are currently available that would produce the sharpest big prints in both transparency and negative films. I have been away from film for a few years and haven`t kept up. Is Konica Impressa stil available?
Mike
I would not bother with transparency anymore, I think digital does that job better. If you want lush colour and DR that goes way beyond anything digital into the highlights go with colour neg, Portra will hold highlight detail many stops over, digital holds very little and goes very ugly when it lets go. I use Portra and Ektar.
Viewed on screen for resolution film will not touch digital, digital does great edges. Film does the stuff  between the edges much nicer. I now spend a lot of time scanning and taming the reds. Grain is not a real issue with these films, if it bothers you a sprinkling of Ninja or Topaz will shift the croma grain nicely.
Everyone should try Portra at least once and have decent scans made.

Kevin.
www.treewithoutabird.com
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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2011, 12:49:56 PM »
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New Portra 160 neg
Kodak E100G general purpose slide
Fujifilm Velvia 50 for not-too-contrast scenes slide
Fujifilm Provia 400X for high-speed and push-processing slide

Ektar unforunately has difficult to remove color distortions, but very-very impressive dynamic range (lie HDR in digital)
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c_soars
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« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2011, 04:54:04 PM »
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I shoot Kodak as I love the colour pallette, and have trouble scanning Fuji as neutrals and reds veer towards magenta.

Warning: image-heavy post.

Like previous posters said, the Dynamic range/tonality is the film advantage.  In the pre-scan stage, I set the black point with the film rebate, and then adjust the white point to tame the highlights if needed.   Once the 48 bit .tiff is saved, it edits very well in Lightroom or something similar.  Hopefully the following are useful to get a feel for Kodak's offerings.

These shots feature Portra 400 & Ektar 100, although the lighting conditions vary.  Ektar is very easy to scan with correct exposure, and while skin tones aren't as nice as Portra, I really like the soft vibrant blues.




Skintones: Portra



Skintones & Blues: Ektar



Landscapes: Portra





Landscape Ektar:


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Wseaton
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« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2011, 01:29:13 PM »
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Although I'm entirely digital based now I have several thousand hours experience on drum scanners and dealing with LF film reproduction. Not to mention I can do things with E-6 and C-41 lines that would blow your mind. While we could hopefully have a 'friendly and opinionated' debate on the merits of MF/LF -vs- high end backs I'm going to draw line in the sand when it comes to trannies -vs- print (neg) film.

I'm sorry, but if you want compressed and muddy colors at the expense of holding detail in a wedding dress then use print (color neg) film. If you want vibrant colors in landscape with the most color detail available then for god's sake use transparency film. Prior to digital taking over 99.999% of *published* landscape photogs use tranny film - not print film, which in a professional aspect was only used for weddings and portraiture and nothing has changed. While I was certainly a Velvia hater because of it's fake colors and radioactive greens there are better emulsions out there. Provia is perhaps the best over-all landscape film because it retains Velvia's sharpness and 'bite' whilst having more lattitude and much better color accuracy, especially greens and yellows. However, Provia isn't as well known as Velvia because 35mm shooters needed a 'crutch' and Velvia's carnival palette hid it's faults. If you need more color saturation then use Provia / Photoshop. If it's a sunny day and you want maximum lattitude then switch to Astia. If you need more lattitude than Astia for landscape work you need to learn how to expose properly.

If you're shooting a senior portrait then use color neg film.

Color neg  films have to make huge sacrifices in order to get all their dynamic range, and the sacrifice is density range. That's why strong colors on print film look muddy and it's impossible to get any of the MF/LF 'glow' you see from popular LF film shooters in your own color neg work.

Highly dependant on this is your own workflow, so you should experiment accordingly. If your'e doing your own scanning Astia is the easiest to scan followed by Kodak's Professional-100 series followed by Provia. In terms of color neg  films you need to fight through that stupid orange mask which means it all depends on what profile you are using or scanning software.
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c_soars
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« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2011, 02:06:26 PM »
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Color neg  films have to make huge sacrifices in order to get all their dynamic range, and the sacrifice is density range. That's why strong colors on print film look muddy and it's impossible to get any of the MF/LF 'glow' you see from popular LF film shooters in your own color neg work.

Highly dependant on this is your own workflow, so you should experiment accordingly. If your'e doing your own scanning Astia is the easiest to scan followed by Kodak's Professional-100 series followed by Provia. In terms of color neg  films you need to fight through that stupid orange mask which means it all depends on what profile you are using or scanning software.

And this is what it boils down to, workflow and style.  The density of slide film and fine grain structure surpass my scanner's ability to capture the needed detail.   I often got results that were hazy at 100% with difficult colour casts, that no amount of WB tweaking or USM wrangling would make satisfactory.   Colour neg film has the grain structure to create apparent sharpness through accutance, and enough latitude to compensate for field conditions: handheld, on the move, no time to be attaching filters or setting up tripods.  I've done an 18x24" from a 645 frame that is satisfactory enough, but my shooting attitude is more laissez-faire and people centric than the focus of this site.

If I had the $3000-10000 to buy a dedicated 120 film scanner (an unsupported nikon coolscan or an imacon), then slide film would be more appealing.  But currently I get better and more consistent results from colour neg.

I think for MF colour film, the market better supports C41; in innovation, availability, and cost.  It's taken me 3 years to develop my scanning process to improve my C41 results, but colour neg can produce great work if you appreciate its aesthetic...  see Bruce Percy's Nepal, India and Morocco portfolios for some great examples http://www.brucepercy.co.uk/pages/Portfolios/portfolioindex.html.

However, if you have access to high end scanners and want pure colour fidelity and maximum resolution, then Wseaton's response holds true.  I just can't afford that route, and dig the C41 tonality over slides.  I shot 35mm B&W for almost 3 years straight, so maybe it's biased me.
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fotometria gr
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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2011, 04:14:03 PM »
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And this is what it boils down to, workflow and style.  The density of slide film and fine grain structure surpass my scanner's ability to capture the needed detail.   I often got results that were hazy at 100% with difficult colour casts, that no amount of WB tweaking or USM wrangling would make satisfactory.   Colour neg film has the grain structure to create apparent sharpness through accutance, and enough latitude to compensate for field conditions: handheld, on the move, no time to be attaching filters or setting up tripods.  I've done an 18x24" from a 645 frame that is satisfactory enough, but my shooting attitude is more laissez-faire and people centric than the focus of this site.

If I had the $3000-10000 to buy a dedicated 120 film scanner (an unsupported nikon coolscan or an imacon), then slide film would be more appealing.  But currently I get better and more consistent results from colour neg.

I think for MF colour film, the market better supports C41; in innovation, availability, and cost.  It's taken me 3 years to develop my scanning process to improve my C41 results, but colour neg can produce great work if you appreciate its aesthetic...  see Bruce Percy's Nepal, India and Morocco portfolios for some great examples http://www.brucepercy.co.uk/pages/Portfolios/portfolioindex.html.

However, if you have access to high end scanners and want pure colour fidelity and maximum resolution, then Wseaton's response holds true.  I just can't afford that route, and dig the C41 tonality over slides.  I shot 35mm B&W for almost 3 years straight, so maybe it's biased me.
I think you said it all...., but mind you.... the over 4.5 D-Max scanner I suggested earlier, it will give to the user the opportunity to scan his old film as well! It will also give him the ability to overcome the use of a really expensive DB and perhaps he can purchase a S/H scanner for less than 1500.... and maybe the save will be really huge if he will (inevitably?) in the future go for a S/H MFDB of 22mpx that in my opinion will do whatever a "super duper" multi mpx, multi billion or zillion cost 60mpx back will do and cover the occasional need of more resolution ....by using ....film! Thus saving 10ths of thousands after all..., don't forget he is sharp enough to have invested in Contax for Christ shake.... little money for the best thing and glass a photographer can use.... Regards, Theodoros. www.fotometria.gr
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revaaron
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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2011, 09:13:51 PM »
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Did I write this foru,? After over 2 year, I'm still unable to get consistently good scans from my nikon cool scan 9000 ed.  The reason is 100% keeping film flat and/or newton rings. secondary issue being dust. ugh!

Anyhow, this is my freezer:

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fotometria gr
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« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2011, 08:55:24 AM »
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Did I write this foru,? After over 2 year, I'm still unable to get consistently good scans from my nikon cool scan 9000 ed.  The reason is 100% keeping film flat and/or newton rings. secondary issue being dust. ugh!

Anyhow, this is my freezer:


Why is this? I may be able to help here. Dust shouldn't be a problem of the scanner but rather a film storage problem. 35mm flatness shouldn't be a problem either, its only 120/220 that needs mastering, I feel that glass should be avoided (hence no Newton rings or particles on glass) and the whole process can be much easier if you add some patience into it! I don't mean patience with the scanning process but rather with film maintenance (this is where psychology comes in since we are all anxious to see the results), I've found that letting the MF film to dry completely, then cut it and put it in the sleeve, then put the sleeve in a heavy book and ...wait (if you can) for 48hrs   Huh Smiley  Cheesy  Grin Solves the problem!!! Its a painful process  Cry, but I love it !!!  Grin Regards, Theodoros. www.fotometria.gr
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