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08-03-2013, 08:36 PM   #1
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Choosing films for street and cityscapes

Hi,

I've recently picked up a number of fast(ish) manual primes (K/M and M42) and I'm planing on mostly shooting film for a while.
Until now I've mostly been using Kodak BW400CN (because of its huge exposure latitute) and cheap rebranded color film but I'd like to built up a small inventory for different uses now.

I'll be using a Pentax Super A (and I'm looking for a good deal on a MX) and these lenses:
Tokina SL-17 17mm f/3.5 (P/K)
Kiron 24mm f/2 MC (P/K)
Vivitar Series 1 28mm f/1.9 VMC (M42)
Revuenon/Tomioka 55mm f/1.2 (M42)
Vivitar Series 1 135mm f/2.3 (M42)
Soligor C/D 135mm f/2 (M42)

My DA40 and DA70 might see some use as well but I suspect I'll mostly use the 17, 24 and 55.

I might start sending my films to one of the better labs in Hamburg but for now I'll drop them off at a local lab.
They use JOBO rotation processing and a Tetenal developer for black&white and a mini-lab for C-41, I'll be getting 6MP scans (16 bit TIFFs) at a decent price.

I'll mostly do street shots and cityscapes and I'd like to do both in color and B&W, I'm thinking of stocking up on these films:
Ektar 100 (If I want colors an don't care about skin tones, I might add a roll of Velvia 50 or two)
T-Max 100 (for b&w portraits and architecture, I might also try some Tri-X)
Portra 160 (for color portraits and street shots)
BW400CN (if I want latitude, would Ilford XP2 be better?)

I'm open for suggestions and since I can't change the developer, maybe a different choice would be better for b&w.
I'm could also use slow b&w film to shoot at f/1.2 during the day, I've shot half a roll of BW400CN at ISO 50 but I don't know how that'll turn out.

My current stock:
5x BW400CN
10x Ektar 100
4x cheap Kodak 200 (rebranded)


I could use some input:
Are there other b&w films that would work better with tenetal?
What other color films should I consider?

For a start I'll probably order 10-20 rolls online so I could easily try any suggestions you might have.


regards
Jan

08-03-2013, 10:23 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Ilford SFX 200 is fun to play with, I like it best with a red/dark red filter for cityscapes. (Skip the IR filter)

Welcome to ILFORD PHOTO



For a bit faster film for street shooting, Ilford HP5 Plus is also very good. If you want colour Fuji Provia 400X is great.

Welcome to ILFORD PHOTO

http://www.fujifilm.com/products/professional_films/color_reversalfilms/provia_400x/


Phil.
08-03-2013, 10:50 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Ilford SFX 200 is fun to play with, I like it best with a red/dark red filter for cityscapes. (Skip the IR filter)
Welcome to ILFORD PHOTO
That sounds quite interesting, the only red filter I currently have is one that screws into the back of my Zenitar Fisheye (which I'm selling) but will definitely get a roll to try it.

QuoteQuote:
For a bit faster film for street shooting, Ilford HP5 Plus is also very good. If you want colour Fuji Provia 400X is great.

Welcome to ILFORD PHOTO

FUJICHROME PROVIA 400X | Fujifilm Global
HP5 vs Tri-X seems to be a matter of taste, I guess I'll have to try both, the Provia 400x would compete with Portra 400, right?
I'm going to have to try the colors but exposure latitude and scanability are probably quite different, right.

With 55/1.2, 70/2.4 and 135/2 at my disposal, I'd rather prefer a slower film for portraits.

I should probably start keeping a list:
- Provia 400x vs Portra 400
- Portra 160 vs ???
- T-Max 100 vs ??? (Delta 100, Pan F+ ?)
- Tri-X vs HP5
- Ektar 100 vs ??? (maybe Velvia 50 for special occasions)
- BW400CN vs XP2 Super

Things to try:
- Ilford SFX 200 + red filter


regards
Jan
08-03-2013, 11:15 PM   #4
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Of course Provia is a transparency film, whereas Portra is negative film. But I think Portra 400 and 800 are both worth considering. Perhaps T-Max 400 as well.

Naturally Velvia, being a slide film, isn't directly comparable to Ektar either, but it's a good option. When I tried Ektar 100 I didn't really like it, but do you find it nice?


I think you may want to do a bit of matching the film to the lens as well (e.g. colors and rendering). I think the DA70 may be a particularly interesting option (I don't recall if it vignettes much on 35mm - I had/have the FA77/FA*85, so this wasn't a concern for me).

08-04-2013, 04:30 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Of course Provia is a transparency film, whereas Portra is negative film. But I think Portra 400 and 800 are both worth considering. Perhaps T-Max 400 as well.
Provia is quite expensive round these parts (400: >11/$14 ; 100: >9/$12), Portra is a lot cheaper (160: 5,40/$7,10 ; 400: 6,60/$8,70 ; 800: 8,90/$11,70) so Portra it is.

QuoteQuote:
Naturally Velvia, being a slide film, isn't directly comparable to Ektar either, but it's a good option. When I tried Ektar 100 I didn't really like it, but do you find it nice?
Ektar is a mixed bag for me, the colors seem very sensitive to over- and underexposure. I'd probably need to be more consistent with my exposures (same goes for Velvia, I guess) but Ektar can look great under natural light, colors under artificial light can be quite horrible though.
I've got 10 rolls of Ektar (4,50/$5,90 a pop), I'll use those to develop some exposure consistency which I'd need for transparencies anyway.

QuoteQuote:
I think you may want to do a bit of matching the film to the lens as well (e.g. colors and rendering). I think the DA70 may be a particularly interesting option (I don't recall if it vignettes much on 35mm - I had/have the FA77/FA*85, so this wasn't a concern for me).
I've been thinking about that, I could use some high contrast film for low contrast lenses (17, 24, 55 and 135 at large apertures), BW400CN is great because you can change contrast on the fly by using it with different ISOs on the same roll. I've been using it between 50 and 400.


regards
Jan
08-04-2013, 07:26 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Boris_Akunin Quote
Ektar is a mixed bag for me, the colors seem very sensitive to over- and underexposure. I'd probably need to be more consistent with my exposures (same goes for Velvia, I guess) but Ektar can look great under natural light, colors under artificial light can be quite horrible though.
regards
Jan
I like Kodak Ektar 100 for mixed lights as shown in the examples below.

It has very good latitude.




Hoover Dam late at night. Taken with Pentax LX + M28mm f2.8, aperture priority of >35 minutes.





Welcome to Las Vegas sign taken on Kodak Ektar 100 sometime ago with the Pentax ME Super about 1 or 2 second exposure.





D Gates at McCarran airport. 9 frame stitch using MS ICE Microsoft Research Image Composite Editor (ICE) using Pentax LX M28 f2.8.



I am certain I have quite a few more mixed lighting results from Kodak Ektar 100 as it is one of my favorite films. It scans uneventfully using the Coolscan + Nikonscan.
08-04-2013, 07:47 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
I think it's that shift in color between EV 0 and EV +1 that bothered me. It's fine if you know how to use it and how to avoid it, I'll have to remember that.
Thanks!

The Vegas sign looks great!


regards
Jan
08-04-2013, 08:00 AM   #8
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[quote=Boris_Akunin;2469967]
QuoteOriginally posted by Boris_Akunin Quote
I think it's that shift in color between EV 0 and EV +1 that bothered me. It's fine if you know how to use it and how to avoid it, I'll have to remember that.
Thanks!

The Vegas sign looks great!

regards
Jan
The latitude shot is a straight up uncorrected scan with no pre or post. It would be very easy to correct a nature scene and a little bit of effort for a controlled scene.

Thanks. I took advantage of Kodak Ektar's latitude on a very contrasty scene and using one frame, scanned + and - 1 EV along with the a normal scan and combined mildly as HDR.

08-04-2013, 08:47 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Portra 160 is very good, I have shot 160VC, NC and the latest formulation. But you should consider Portra 400's extra speed and excellent grain characteristics. Here are some examples of Portra 400 and I have included links to the full res 4000dpi scans so you can evaluate grain. Keep in mind that due to JPEG compression artifacts (squarish patterns) may be visible past 100% view.

Link to larger -> http://www.fototime.com/365707A1F83E31F/orig.jpg


Larger -> http://www.fototime.com/DCE615918D77901/orig.jpg


Larger -> http://www.fototime.com/1BCD96C83328B68/orig.jpg


Larger -> http://www.fototime.com/0C47DFA07C701DB/orig.jpg
08-04-2013, 10:04 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
Portra 160 is very good, I have shot 160VC, NC and the latest formulation. But you should consider Portra 400's extra speed and excellent grain characteristics. Here are some examples of Portra 400 and I have included links to the full res 4000dpi scans so you can evaluate grain. Keep in mind that due to JPEG compression artifacts (squarish patterns) may be visible past 100% view.

Link to larger -> http://www.fototime.com/365707A1F83E31F/orig.jpg


Larger -> http://www.fototime.com/DCE615918D77901/orig.jpg


Larger -> http://www.fototime.com/1BCD96C83328B68/orig.jpg


Larger -> http://www.fototime.com/0C47DFA07C701DB/orig.jpg
Thanks!
I like those colors and a was looking at Portra as a general color film with good skin tones, I think it'll do nicely.
Are Portra 160, 400 and 800 similar in color? I think I'll try a few rolls of 160 and if I like it I'll get 400's for indoors as well.

I think I have a good place to start from now:

My current inventory:
10x Ektar 100
5x BW400CN
5x Kodak C-41 ISO400 (rebranded)

My first buy:
5x Portra 160
1x T-Max 100
1x Delta 100
1x T-Max 400
1x Delta 400
1x Tri-X
1x HP5+
1x Velvia 50
1x SFX 200

Any more suggestions?


regards
Jan
08-04-2013, 10:21 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Boris_Akunin Quote
Any more suggestions?

regards
Jan
How about Fuji Fortia - ISO50 slide film.




Fuji Natura - ISO1600 C41

Link to larger http://www.fototime.com/22E55310B690D7B/orig.jpg



Fuji Press 1600

Link to larger -> http://www.fototime.com/96DFC2A35FE7DA6/orig.jpg


Fuji Provia 400




Fuji Superia 400

08-04-2013, 10:40 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
How about Fuji Fortia - ISO50 slide film.




Fuji Natura - ISO1600 C41

Link to larger http://www.fototime.com/22E55310B690D7B/orig.jpg



Fuji Press 1600

Link to larger -> http://www.fototime.com/96DFC2A35FE7DA6/orig.jpg


Fuji Provia 400




Fuji Superia 400
I can't find Fortia, Natura and Press anywhere and Provia is quite expensive where I live (but I might still add a roll to try it).
Superia and Superia X-Tra are cheap and quite nice, I used Superia X-Tra 400 for a while before I started concentrating on b&w (BW400CN).
I shot a roll last week, here's a sample:

Last edited by Boris_Akunin; 08-04-2013 at 11:12 AM.
08-04-2013, 11:15 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Fortia and Natura seem to only be available in Japan or via mail order from Japan. You're likely good enough to shoot Velvia (RVP50) instead of Fortia and Superia 1600 instead of Natura.

This is TMAX 400

Link to larger -> http://www.fototime.com/7012BF5D9DD62F6/orig.jpg




Kodak TRI-X 400

Link to larger -> http://www.fototime.com/0C196BB299F029A/orig.jpg


Kodak TMAX P3200

Link to larger -> http://www.fototime.com/84393112BA54328/orig.jpg
08-04-2013, 11:19 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Boris_Akunin Quote
Ektar is a mixed bag for me, the colors seem very sensitive to over- and underexposure.
Ektar can produce some unusual colors (e.g. the infamous crayola red), but over all I have had good luck with skin tones. Not as good as Portra, but hardly bad. The main exposure issue is with contrast control and lack of head room on the highlights. I have shot Ektar with the meterless Pentax SV and a vintage selenium meter with quite acceptable results. Here is an example with light-skinned Caucasian in harsh light.


Pentax SV, LZOS MC Jupiter-9 85/2, ancient Sekonic light meter


Steve
08-04-2013, 11:24 AM   #15
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If you want a real treat and don’t mind a bit of extra work, Fomapan R100 is my favorite of any B&W films that I have used.

It’s a true reversal B&W film that can only be self developed or sent to a lab in the US called “dr5Chrome”. For me it’s worth the hassle and I love the results. However a batch of this film from last year had black spots, so it looks like Foma have a new box/batch out now according to their web site.

FOMAPAN R 100

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/57018-fomapan-...rsal-film.html

Phil.
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