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09-17-2010, 04:16 AM   #1
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ISO 400 film. Thoughts for a bit of a nOOb....

Wondering about this seeing as the British winter is coming in and I'd like to try some photography in more overcast conditions as there is a much different feel to the light. Plus I probably won't get much choice in the matter!! 400 ASA may also be useful for dusk/night shooting?

I currently have my Nikon F70 and one Spotmatic loaded with new rolls of Reala 100, which I tried some shots in overcast conditions with the Nikon and was struggling a bit with low shutter speeds and the lightmeter. Another story but the lens doesn't seem to want to register at F3.5 on the LCD screen, just F4.2...... Odd. I tried applying sunny 16 but really could come out anyway. Anyway I digress!

I use 400 asa BW film (Kodak BW400CN) but have only used 200 or 100 ASA colour films. I like to try and get a retro style feel to complement my K200D, and I have developed my film camera collection (very cheaply I may add!!!) to use as well.

09-17-2010, 04:36 AM   #2
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I am not a film expert! But my experience with ASA 400 is that it was perfect for all-around shooting when one could not expect a bright sunny day. I would not class it as enough for night shooting. Dusk... well that would depend on how well lit your subject was and how steady your hands are! IIRC I used to prefer 1600 for that and just live with the grain.
09-17-2010, 04:50 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Are you looking for a C-41 process alternative to BW400CN, or are you looking for a silver based film? If the former, I can't help with a recommendation. If the latter, then you can't get much more classic than Kodak Tri-X. IMO, if you develop the film yourself, you'll find the whole process more rewarding. I've just got back into film myself, and based on information from some other sites, I ordered a bunch of Arista Premium 400, which by all accounts is re-branded Tri-X. A lot of different B&W films and chemistry can be ordered at good prices from Freestyle Photographic Supplies - Traditional Black & White Film, Paper, Chemicals, Holgas and ULF.
09-17-2010, 05:06 AM   #4
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I'm partial to Ilford HP5+ personally. 400 ASA b/w films have a certain magic to them when exposed properly. 400 should hold up very well in overcast situations, but not so sure closer to dusk.

Never personally tried 800, but 1600 and 3200 have a character all their own at night.

09-17-2010, 05:10 AM   #5
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I'm happy enough with the BW400CN for B+W at the moment, I do intend when I have some more space to have a go at home processing. But, I feel I'm getting some interesting results from it so far.......

I was more wondering about colour film in this case. May order some Fuji/Kodak 400 ASA and run it through a Spotmatic, see how it goes. Just seeing how people feel about and are using this speed of film!
09-17-2010, 05:41 AM   #6
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If you want to shoot color, go Provia 400X. I don't have experience with the 35mm version, but on medium format, it is just superb. You can push it two stops to ISO1600 and still very little grain to speak of. Wonderful colors, too, of course.
09-17-2010, 08:39 AM   #7
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Yes Fuji Provia 400X would also be my choice for low light colour slide film. For faster colour negative film try Kodak Portra 400NC.

Phil.
09-17-2010, 08:28 PM   #8
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what are you shooting, I ask because with slower film say 100asa plus cable release and tripod with incident meter you can get some wonderful urban lanscape images. There is also 800asa press film for colour if you don't want to pay extra for pushing film.

09-18-2010, 08:42 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RawheaD Quote
If you want to shoot color, go Provia 400X. I don't have experience with the 35mm version, but on medium format, it is just superb. You can push it two stops to ISO1600 and still very little grain to speak of. Wonderful colors, too, of course.
Provia is a good film, but it was my understanding that Medium Format is always less grainy, due to the larger negative size. Because of this, I don't think I would try pushing Provia 35mm for the first time with a REALLY IMPORTANT roll. Definitely worth a try, though. Just use a test roll.
09-18-2010, 09:32 PM   #10
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For inexpensive fun, hunt up some Ferrania 400, a C-41 color film. Ferrania no longer is making it, but stocks of it are available. It has just enough grit to it for a bit of a retro look.
09-19-2010, 12:57 AM   #11
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I seldom shoot slides any more because of the cost. For color negs at ISO 400, I'm partial to Fuji 400h. I shot 5 rolls of it on an XA2 along with my digital kit, and the percentage of keepers for the film was several times that for the digital. It has a great color rendition and the grain is there just enough to remind you it is film, though definitely more prominent than Reala.
09-19-2010, 11:32 AM   #12
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I'll second Fuji Pro400H, but am starting to use Kodak Portra 400VC more, as I like the colors a little better. For my everyday use I shoot either of these films. Modern 400 speed films don't have the grain issues they became derided for years ago. Nine months out of the year it is gray and wet in western Oregon, much as it is in your part of the world. I think you'll enjoy these films.

Pete
02-21-2011, 12:13 AM   #13
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Ilford 400 I have pushed to 1600 for evening shooting with success... I used 1:2 D-76 for 60 mins at about 75 degree and a 30-40 bath in borax, no rinse between, to really workout those details...

C-41 B&W I love kodak 400, when i am in the mood to let the lab have all the fun...

MF I shoot cheap Chinese film... well it was a lot of film from HK....
02-21-2011, 02:05 AM   #14
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Films are like clothes. They make the photographer ("man"), and to each their own.
02-21-2011, 10:06 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by asaru Quote
Films are like clothes. They make the photographer ("man"), and to each their own.
I like that...
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