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02-25-2012, 10:34 PM   #1
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Getting started with film... let's talk about the film film!

Hey Everyone,

So I recently got into shooting with my K1000 which I got to complement my new LBA'd manual lenses. I've been going through a few rolls of expired that were left over from pre-digital days. Now that those rolls are counting down, I'm looking to purchasing some more film. The expired film look is definitely interesting but I want to see what normal film would look like.

So my question is what are some examples of decent films (both colour and b&w) and how much I should be expecting to pay for them? That's for the film itself + developing at a lab. I understand ISO numbers but what is the difference between negatives and slide film?

I've been trying to self-learn film photography so any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks =)

02-26-2012, 03:01 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by KeithM2 Quote
Hey Everyone,

So I recently got into shooting with my K1000 which I got to complement my new LBA'd manual lenses. I've been going through a few rolls of expired that were left over from pre-digital days. Now that those rolls are counting down, I'm looking to purchasing some more film. The expired film look is definitely interesting but I want to see what normal film would look like.

So my question is what are some examples of decent films (both colour and b&w) and how much I should be expecting to pay for them? That's for the film itself + developing at a lab. I understand ISO numbers but what is the difference between negatives and slide film?

I've been trying to self-learn film photography so any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks =)
Slide film is sometimes known as colour reversal film, that is to say is a positive image rather than negative. The slide is used in a projector to display the image rather than printed on photographic paper.

Most colour negative films are "C-41" process and most places developing film use this. There are a couple of B&W C-41 films available like Ilford XP-2 and Kodak BW400CN which can be developed almost anywhere.

But where its at, at least in my opinion, is non C-41 B&W film. You either have to find a specialist lab or develop it yourself. This is not as difficult as it sounds and you don't need a darkroom. You just need a lightproof changing bag, a small developing tank and a few chemicals which are safe and fairly easy to buy. You can then scan the negatives or go the extra step and set up your own darkroom to produce proper photographic prints (which is great fun)

Then you are into the wonderful world of Kodak Tri-x, Fuji Neopan 400, Ilford Delta 100, Kodak Tmax, Neopan Acros and more. Each film has its own look and different developers also affect the final look. Its great fun and I recommend it.
02-26-2012, 05:52 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by KeithM2 Quote
but I want to see what normal film would look like.
If you want some good example of what film look like, go to this thread : https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/53503-cool-let...ilm-shots.html.


QuoteOriginally posted by KeithM2 Quote
how much I should be expecting to pay for them?
For film only : i pay between 3€ and 8€ depending on the film. Maybe be the same amount in $ for you i guess.
For me, B&W is the cheapest, then color, then slide. The higher iso you want the more expensive it is.

However, you can buy some 400 iso film, underexpose it for 2 stops, and ask for processing like a 1600 iso film (if the lab allow it, of course.)

processing only cost me around 4€, and process + print is 10€ per roll.

personnaly i prefer process only, then i scan them. I shoot sports in burst from time to time, so i want only one pics or two to be printed out of 5 or 10.

QuoteOriginally posted by KeithM2 Quote
what are some examples of decent films
Well, nowadays, almost all film are good for day to day (except the Kodak Gold color film : cheap, with some random result. but really cheap ).

For B&W : Ilford HP5 or Delta 400, Kodak Tmax or Tri-X, Fuji Neopan, etc ... they are all really good. They all have their own "personality" some are grainier, some are finest, some render beautiful dark, some render perfectly the highlights, etc ...
The best thing to do is grab a roll of each, and try

For Color, i'm still discovering it i tried Fuji Superia 200 and the result is very grainy sometimes, and sometimes they are so silky, i don't get why. The color are so saturated : sky are blue. A blue you only see in hot summer day usually.




For the rest : remember low iso : less grain, better rendering in colors, higher dynamic range. Expose for shadow (you can almost always recover some highlights, but it's harder to get anything if you didn't expose enought dark area.)

Last edited by aurele; 02-26-2012 at 06:09 AM.
02-26-2012, 06:12 AM   #4
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The ISO 50 Fuji Velvia (RVP50) is particularly spectacular in terms of color, sharpness and resolution.



Link to 4000dpi scan -> http://www.fototime.com/6CA7C7F232A7D18/orig.jpg



Link to 4000dpi scan -> http://www.fototime.com/1D7B8B1DA9126D7/orig.jpg

02-26-2012, 06:18 AM   #5
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At the opposite of the spectrum is Fuji Press 1600 - with and without grain reduction in post.



Link to 4000dpi scan -> http://www.fototime.com/96DFC2A35FE7DA6/orig.jpg
02-26-2012, 06:21 AM   #6
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Here is a 100% crop reference of scanned Fuji Sensia 400 film compared to 24MP Sony A900 at ISO400.



Link to 4000dpi scan -> http://www.fototime.com/E107CA46E2774A1/orig.jpg
02-26-2012, 06:24 AM   #7
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B&W and most C41 latitude is quite wide. Here is a a relative comparison of this characteristic.



Link to larger vesion -> http://www.fototime.com/3EDD4D13204247B/orig.jpg
02-26-2012, 06:28 AM   #8
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I recently tried Kodak Portra 160.



Link to 4000dpi scan -> http://www.fototime.com/1C579885CBDE4F3/orig.jpg

Here is one of Kodak Portra 400



Link to 4000dpi scan -> http://www.fototime.com/0C47DFA07C701DB/orig.jpg

02-26-2012, 07:14 AM   #9
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Never tried it, but apparently Arista Premium 400 Black and White film is rebranded Tri-X....and costs half as much. Arista 100 is also Plus-X.
02-26-2012, 08:24 AM   #10
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All B&W films from Ilford, Kodak and Fuji are recomended. And they each have their own charasteristics. So it is up to you whuich one you will like. And do not forget some of the Eastern european B&W films, many of them high contrast and grainy. Which can be super nice
02-26-2012, 09:18 AM   #11
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Lots of suggestions here, whatever film interests you will probably have a group dedicated to it on Flickr. You can browse through people's images and see if you like the style of that film. For example this one for Fuji Provia slide film

I'm fairly new to film but the other advice I've been given is try to stick to one or two types of film, as there are differences and you'll want to know your particular film well.
02-26-2012, 10:40 AM   #12
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Thanks for the great responses everyone! I'll definitely look into the films mentioned above. Just as a note, my local camera store doesn't really have as many varieties of film as I'd like. I've seen a few rolls of Velvia and maybe some sort of Ilford but that's about it. Are there any recommended online stores for buying film?
02-26-2012, 10:50 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by adelorenzo Quote
Lots of suggestions here, whatever film interests you will probably have a group dedicated to it on Flickr. You can browse through people's images and see if you like the style of that film. For example this one for Fuji Provia slide film

I'm fairly new to film but the other advice I've been given is try to stick to one or two types of film, as there are differences and you'll want to know your particular film well.
An excellent suggestion. I tag all my film shots posted to Flickr with the film used and generally post them to a dedicated group, it one exists. I frequently get hits on my photos from a search on a particular film type. For example, if you are interested in Rollei Retro 80s (one of my favorites), simply enter:

"Rollei Retro 80s"
...in the search box. Usually the search will return examples of the best and worst that the film is capable of. For RR 80s, a lot show the films infrared capabilities when used with appropriate filters.


Steve
02-26-2012, 11:36 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by KeithM2 Quote
Are there any recommended online stores for buying film?
On your side of the planet, i guess B&H, adorama (if you buy there, you can have some advantage here as far as i remember. See the marketplace about this.), Amazon, etc ...
Some huge web shop will have every kind of film you can be looking for. i bought a stock of 20 different film from amazon, it was among the cheapest.

Just browse a bit online, you may find your happiness. Check at local store too they can have some good price too.
02-26-2012, 12:26 PM   #15
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I take most of my photos on film, mostly black and white. I use colour film too, but I'm rarely happy with the results, maybe because of the cheap film or poor scanner. It just seems easier to use digital, when I need colourful photos. With black and white it's completely another story, though. It has a whole different philosophy and I can actually process the film myself. I don't actually see any point in shooting film if you don't process it youself. It's fun and gives so many possibilities to manipulate with the results.

So, as for starting with film I'd suggest to get some black and white film and start looking for the equipment that will allow you to develop it youself. Just pick whatever is cheapest and what you're happy with. For instance, I spend €1,19 for a roll of film and then about €0,5 and 30 minutes for developing it.
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