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07-19-2010, 12:00 PM   #1
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Film recommendations?

I've not shot on film for a few years, but will hopefully be doing so a bit on my upcoming vacation. We're going to Walt Disney World, so I'd imagine most of my shooting will be outdoors, or at least the film shooting (I'll have my K2000 for any indoor, flash-required stuff). What would be a good brand and speed film for this? Back in the old days (before I knew any better), I pretty much always got either 200 or 400, and whatever name brand was cheapest. I'm not above paying more for a better brand, but I just don't know what's considered a "better" brand these days.

Also, as kind of a side tangent, what do you all see as the future of film? By that, I mean do you see film production decreasing to the point that it will become prohibitively expensive? Or, like the end of VHS, might all of the manufacturers just call it quits? I know it's not a direct comparison since the quality of VHS compared to other mediums was horrifically bad and film cameras can produce products of the same quality as digital. I'm just curious what you guys/gals think.

-Chad

07-19-2010, 01:44 PM   #2
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I will go for budget film, like Walgre*n's branded Fuji. They occasionally go on sale and coming in four rolls box.

You might want to consider to bring two SLRs to WDW's activities. You might want to enjoy the rides as well as photography. If you really want to shoot film and digital, I'd suggest you to bring a SLR and a compact. My choice would be a SuperProgram/MX with 28/2.8 or 24/2.0 and a good compact/smaller digital camera, like G9/G11 or LX2/LX3. Both of them will be small enough to be snugged in cargo pants pockets.
07-19-2010, 02:24 PM   #3
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Thanks for the recommendation. I was not planning to carry both SLRs all week, understanding the physics of how heavy and bulky things can be. I'd probably just take the film SLR (a Super Program) out for a day or two. My wife also has a very compact Fuji p&s (a J11) which we'll have on hand as well. I'd kind of like to take the SP to Animal Kingdom since I think most of the shooting there will be outdoors and it'll be my best chance to play "Nat Geo photo journalist" for the day.
07-19-2010, 02:57 PM   #4
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Since you hardly ever shoot film and you're on vacation, there is no need to count your pennies to save on it. Fuji Superia Reala 100 and Kodak Ektar Pro 100 come to mind as choices for daylight negative film.

Consolidation and variety of available films has been decreasing. The harder it becomes to get film developed, the faster its demise will be I suspect. BW film has the potential to out live color film because you can easily develop it yourself and people may like playing with it for some time to come. But who knows.

07-19-2010, 04:41 PM   #5
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Yes for outdoor shooting 100ASA is plenty fast. Ektar is a good choice for negative and for slide film Fuji Velvia 100 or one of the Kodak Ektachromes are recomended.

Phil.
07-20-2010, 03:29 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Since you hardly ever shoot film and you're on vacation, there is no need to count your pennies to save on it. Fuji Superia Reala 100 and Kodak Ektar Pro 100 come to mind as choices for daylight negative film.
I agree that there is no point in cheaping out, especially for a place like Disney World where color saturation will be important. I like Ektar 100 or Portra 400VC for negatives and Ektachrome 100VS for slides.
07-20-2010, 04:14 AM   #7
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Film choices

I would go with Kodak Ektar 100 or Portra 160NC. Color neg film, in general, has a lot more exposure latitude than reversal films and it gives you one less thing to worry about. If reversal film is your thing, though, I'd go with Provia. Velvia is certainly saturated, but it's not a great choice for shots with people unless those people are wearing lobster suits.
07-20-2010, 06:57 AM   #8
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I like Ektar 100 for sunny outside stuff. It has a nice fine grain and looks good.

But I personally prefer Portra 160VC for shooting people. Portra comes in VC and NC, where VC has more vibrant colors and NC has neutral colors. Put another way, VC has colors less true to the original.

But in my opinion, the VC makes skin tones look nicer. I think it looks great for people. Just something to think about.


---edit---

I did a quick google to see if anyone else out there feels the same about the VC film and found a review by Tim Schwerdt on this page:
http://www.photographyreview.com/mfr/kodak/print-film/PRD_83281_3120crx.aspx

He notes that Portra 160VC works for "Chinese people". Lol. I'm not chinese, but my family's skin tone is similar and I agree: it works for us. YMMV.

07-20-2010, 07:29 AM   #9
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Just go on B&H or Adorama and see what they have for film.

Grab a bunch of Kodak Gold 100 36exp. Should be great for the colors at Disney.
Maybe grab some of that Kodak BW400cn film for B&W that you can have developed
at a local store along with your color film.
07-20-2010, 07:46 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Valder Quote
Just go on B&H or Adorama and see what they have for film.

Grab a bunch of Kodak Gold 100 36exp. Should be great for the colors at Disney.
Maybe grab some of that Kodak BW400cn film for B&W that you can have developed
at a local store along with your color film.
Probably the best advice yet. If this thread goes on, every film made will have been recommended by someone. My personal favorites right now are Fuji 160s and Ektar 100. However, grab some Gold 100 or 200, and I doubt you will be disappointed. The colors of these films will be more like the saturated digital snap to which most people have gotten accustomed. I ran out of Fuji on my recent trip, and bought the Gold. For buildings and colorful surroundings, it was loads of fun.

Color print film has improved so much that grain is hardly a factor for normal prints now until you get to ISO 400 and cheapo rebranded Fuji 800 looks about like good 400 20 years ago.
07-20-2010, 07:58 AM   #11
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I was just a the camera store getting some film yesterday. They had two pages attached to the refrigerated glass doors of discontinued films with a cross reference of an option. Fuji chromes dominated the list but I thought I saw Gold on that list too. I didn't look at the cross reference but maybe someone can confirm that. I just about lost it when I saw 100 Acros in 120 on that list! But when I looked at the cross reference it said it was no longer available in single rolls but will come in a "pro pack". Whew, that was close.
07-20-2010, 09:16 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buffy Quote
I would go with Kodak Ektar 100 or Portra 160NC. Color neg film, in general, has a lot more exposure latitude than reversal films and it gives you one less thing to worry about. If reversal film is your thing, though, I'd go with Provia. Velvia is certainly saturated, but it's not a great choice for shots with people unless those people are wearing lobster suits.
OK, gonna sound like a total noob here, but what do you mean by "neg film" and "reversal film"? While you're at it, can you explain what "slide film" is? I mean, I know it's film designed for creating slides as opposed to prints, but what are the advantages/disadvantages?
07-20-2010, 09:43 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by wedge Quote
OK, gonna sound like a total noob here, but what do you mean by "neg film" and "reversal film"? While you're at it, can you explain what "slide film" is? I mean, I know it's film designed for creating slides as opposed to prints, but what are the advantages/disadvantages?
Yep...you be a total noob...

Negative film produces a photographic negative when processed. To get a viewable image, that negative must be printed to photographic paper or scanned and reversed to a positive with software.

Reversal (Slide) film produces a positive transparent image when processed. Photos taken with slide film were originally intended for optical projection to a viewing screen.

Conventional wisdom has been that negative film is more forgiving and slide film is more demanding of appropriate exposure. Slide film also has the reputation of having higher contrast and higher color saturation. These generalizations have become somewhat less true with current films. All current moderate speed (ISO 100-200) films, both negative and reversal, have fine grain.

For film noobs, I would recommend Kodak Gold 200 for those first couple of color film outings. It is forgiving, has reasonably fine grain, and good color. Portra 160VC would also be good. I personally shoot Ektar 100, but it is sort of picky about exposure. Slide film is expensive to process and more difficult to scan. Unless you need its "special" characteristics, I would avoid Velvia and other slide films.

Steve
07-20-2010, 11:44 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote

For film noobs, I would recommend Kodak Gold 200 for those first couple of color film outings. It is forgiving, has reasonably fine grain, and good color. Portra 160VC would also be good. I personally shoot Ektar 100, but it is sort of picky about exposure. Slide film is expensive to process and more difficult to scan. Unless you need its "special" characteristics, I would avoid Velvia and other slide films.

Steve
Good call. Last year, I put color neg film in a camera for the first time in about 20 years, and it was Kodak Gold 200. I was amazed at how far the consumer grade film had come since my film days when B&W and slides were my staples. The OP should have no qualms about introducing himself back into film with this product.

It will be a shame to see more signs like the one reported by Tuco. I am having a ball re-exploring this film technology.
07-20-2010, 12:03 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Good call. Last year, I put color neg film in a camera for the first time in about 20 years, and it was Kodak Gold 200. I was amazed at how far the consumer grade film had come since my film days when B&W and slides were my staples. The OP should have no qualms about introducing himself back into film with this product.

It will be a shame to see more signs like the one reported by Tuco. I am having a ball re-exploring this film technology.
Pentax Forum's local astrophotographer, Nightfly, has been testing Gold 200 in shooting the cosmos. And he posted an earth-bound pugly shot with it and I too was amazed of what it's looking like these days.
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