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09-10-2012, 09:07 PM   #1
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Film Buyer's Guide?

So I'm pretty disheartened by today's announcements of the "new" flagship DLSR, and I'll probably be leavig the brand soon. It seems a shame to sell all my gear, particularly the film lenses. In the event that one day a 35mm Pentax DLSR does materialize, I'd like to at least be able to check it out.

So I've decided to take a break from digital. Woohoo! Only problem is I've been out of the film game for so long, I have no idea what my options are in 135. I think as far as modern professional films go I've only used Ektar, TMax, and a few rolls of Fuji Reala (don't even know if that's still around)

Is there a book or website that gives a rundown of modern films? I read reviews on B&H and other sites, but it's hard to get a coherent picture of which film is best (I understand of course that depends on the application). It would be great if there were some reliable, consistent, objective source for information on film. That's probably asking for too much, but anyone know of anything that remotely resembles what I'm describing?

Thanks in advance!

09-10-2012, 09:29 PM   #2
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For color negatives, it seems pretty common advice for Kodak Portra (160, 400, 800) to be named as "the best". Beyond that you are on your own
09-10-2012, 09:35 PM   #3
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All films work well. I use whatever comes my way. If you have a narrow or professional need, that is a different matter. Why not have fun trying it all yourself? Film is fun. I have 30 film cameras and two digital: a K5 and P&S Sony. Get a nice solid piece of manual metal, and enjoy buffing it up while you watch TV.
P.S. My watches are mechanical as well.
09-10-2012, 11:23 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
I use whatever comes my way. Why not have fun trying it all yourself? Film is fun.
I agree with Arnold here (apologies for the paraphrasing)

Half the fun of film, to me anyway, is to discover the different characters of each one.

I tend to use either Fuji Superia 200asa, and Kodak Max 400asa (depending on what light levels I intend to shoot in)

Of the two I prefer the Fuji, it has a nicer colour rendition than the Kodak (granted, I've only used the Kodak in my ME, and the Fuji in the SP1000)

The main reason I use those two though is as simple as the fact that I can buy either of them easily within 10mins of home (anything else I need to wait for a day off and head to one of the specialised photography stores)

09-11-2012, 05:03 AM   #5
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if you are in the usa, walgreens' house brand is re-branded fuji. good stuff.
09-11-2012, 05:08 AM   #6
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if you are west of the mississippi, visit a 99cents only store. buy every roll of memories 200 you can ($1 a roll). it is said to be made on the former konica machinery. it is superb c-41 film. as for BW DIY, arista premium 400 from freestyle. it is rebranded tri-x. c-41 bw, there is only ilford xp2, unless you can find some kodak bw400cn on a dusty shelf somewhere ...
09-11-2012, 05:12 AM   #7
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Sounds like you need to experience some Fuji Velvia (ISO 50) or Fuji Provia (ISO 100 or 400).
09-11-2012, 01:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
For color negatives, it seems pretty common advice for Kodak Portra (160, 400, 800) to be named as "the best". Beyond that you are on your own
Unless, of course, you like Ektar 100.


Steve

09-11-2012, 04:38 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Unless, of course, you like Ektar 100.


Steve
Yes very true, I like Ektar a lot too. I like Portra for people shots and Ektar for just about everything else where ISO100 is enough.
09-11-2012, 04:54 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
So I'm pretty disheartened by today's announcements of the "new" flagship DLSR, and I'll probably be leavig the brand soon. It seems a shame to sell all my gear, particularly the film lenses. In the event that one day a 35mm Pentax DLSR does materialize, I'd like to at least be able to check it out.

So I've decided to take a break from digital. Woohoo! Only problem is I've been out of the film game for so long, I have no idea what my options are in 135. I think as far as modern professional films go I've only used Ektar, TMax, and a few rolls of Fuji Reala (don't even know if that's still around)

Is there a book or website that gives a rundown of modern films? I read reviews on B&H and other sites, but it's hard to get a coherent picture of which film is best (I understand of course that depends on the application). It would be great if there were some reliable, consistent, objective source for information on film. That's probably asking for too much, but anyone know of anything that remotely resembles what I'm describing?

Thanks in advance!
Freestyle Photo has one of the best selections of film for sale and they have a very good description of each film with a link to the manufactures technical data sheet.

It's a good place to start by reading up on each film you may be interested in, so you can try out a few and see what you like.

Freestyle Photographic Supplies

Phil.
09-11-2012, 05:08 PM   #11
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30 years ago the number of films available was huge compared to today.
IIRC Modern Photography published a comprehensive film guide annually.

Too bad there are no popular film photography magazines today...

Chris
10-09-2012, 07:49 AM   #12
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I'm in the same boat. I left the film world for almost 10 years. Picked it up for a trip to the Caribbean when I wanted something more than a P&S would handle, and then put it back down.

Ordered a K-5 and am very pleased with it and my film camera just sort of sat there neglected. My inlaws handed me their ME Super kit over the weekend and it's suddenly revitalized my interest in film.

I've been away from film so long, that I really don't know where to begin. I had a roll of Kodak B&W laying around that I hadn't shot yet and threw that in the ME Super, but I'd like to get a few rolls of something as I relearn film and enjoy this camera that we think was purchased to take baby pictures of my wife when she was born.
10-09-2012, 09:10 AM   #13
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I try to buy as much Kodak as possible. I just like to give them the business, maybe help keep them going.

So, I buy TMax and TriX for B&W. I also like the BW400CN film, pretty nice stuff.

I rarely do color neg film, but I usually try to buy Ektar when I do.

Sadly, Kodak stopped making color slide film, and when I shoot color I almost always shoot slide film.

So in those cases I usually buy Fuji Velvia 100.
10-09-2012, 09:30 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SCADjacket Quote
I try to buy as much Kodak as possible. I just like to give them the business, maybe help keep them going.

So, I buy TMax and TriX for B&W. I also like the BW400CN film, pretty nice stuff.

I rarely do color neg film, but I usually try to buy Ektar when I do.

Sadly, Kodak stopped making color slide film, and when I shoot color I almost always shoot slide film.

So in those cases I usually buy Fuji Velvia 100.
Just called a camera shop in Lancaster about my options for local work. No one does true B&W stuff in the county. It's all shipped out and they wait to ship until they get a minimum of 10 rolls for processing. They do the C-41 work in house and they're pleased with the results from the BW400CN, and to process and do medium to high res scans are about $7.50-$10.50 I believe, but I think they also do "bulk" discounts on 5 or more rolls.

The convenience of digital and the ability to shoot ridiculous numbers of shots without having to pay to see your results is certainly a plus, but there's something appealing about shooting film on these old bodies and lenses though.
10-09-2012, 01:24 PM   #15
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Check all the local Wallgreens in your area, I think they are going to stop carrying the BW400CN so they've discounted what they have. Last I checked they had 3 roll packs for 7 bucks. So far I've bought $70 worth for $30.
Looks like Kodak is still making it the time being, so you can still order it. I was impressed about how nice it turned out. But I have several local places that will process it.

If you want to go with TriX or TMax you can always send it out yourself. I can highly recommend E-Six Lab here in Atlanta
E-Six Lab of Atlanta - professional film processing, E6, C41, digital
E-6 Lab of Atlanta Inc - Westside / Home Park - Atlanta, GA



QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
Just called a camera shop in Lancaster about my options for local work. No one does true B&W stuff in the county. It's all shipped out and they wait to ship until they get a minimum of 10 rolls for processing. They do the C-41 work in house and they're pleased with the results from the BW400CN, and to process and do medium to high res scans are about $7.50-$10.50 I believe, but I think they also do "bulk" discounts on 5 or more rolls.

The convenience of digital and the ability to shoot ridiculous numbers of shots without having to pay to see your results is certainly a plus, but there's something appealing about shooting film on these old bodies and lenses though.
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