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03-30-2008, 08:04 PM   #1
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favorite film? newbie question

I was wondering what film if any is prefered by people? I am looking for both color and B&w film and I should tell you that I will not be developing my own film. I just got into film so am unsure as to the best ISO to get for general pictures,outdoors not looking to take pictures that require high speed (action shots). any suggestions or recommendations are greatly appreciated

03-30-2008, 08:21 PM   #2
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Ok, BW Film....

There is Kodak Tri-X. Then there is other film whose silver particles weren't lucky enough to become Tri-X, that dream of getting pulled from the fixer by a silver reclamation service and then being turned into Tri-X the next time round.

Oh, you're exaggerating, Lithos!

I ain't much. That's the thing. It's 400 ISO, it's an old-fashioned cubic-grained film, meaning it has up to a stop latitude (as opposed to the modern T-Grain films, where it's more like a half-stop,) great crisp tones - and, for some reason, with all its avid fans, is still cheaper than any other Big 3 BW film (ie, from Kodak, Ilford and Fuji.)

Tri-X costs me seven bucks a roll, whereas Kodak TMAX 400 (a film I never really liked - the tones look muddy as hell) costs about eleven.

The next BW I'd go for is probably Ilford Delta 400, then either Fuji Neopan 400 or 1600 - Neopan 400 and 1600 have the same dev times, so it's no big thing for me. Low speed, because I'm the kinda guy who considers 100 ISO low speed, I really like Neopan ACROS.

Colour film, C41, as I haven't much experience with chromes, Kodak's Portra series really is king of the hill. But I hold a special place for Fuji Superia Reala. Fuji's Press series is quite good - it's their standard consumer film, but with better quality control and handling by the factory (gets refrigerated all through its production.)
03-30-2008, 11:07 PM   #3
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I'm partial to FUJI films in color, the PRO line is awesome, but the consumer films are also very very good. Sensia/Provia for slides and Superia for negatives.

In BW it is a matter of individual taste, since you will not be developing yourself I'd say that Ilford XP2 Super is the safer bet for ya. That is a BW film that can be run in the 1=hour minilabs and scans beautifully.
If you want to try real BW film, but still do not want to develop yourself, go for TriX, Ilford HP5 or Fuji neopan400.
Choose a lab for development and then take a roll of test picutres (non-important) exposing the film at 200, 400, 800 and see which ones you like best. After that expose the film using the ISO setting that you liked and you'll get consistent resutls as long as you stick to the same lab.

Next.... learn to develop yourself

Last edited by titrisol; 03-31-2008 at 03:53 AM.
03-31-2008, 02:51 AM   #4
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I don't shoot much color film, but when I do it's Velvia 50. Definitely not a portrait film, but tough to beat for landscapes.

For B&W, I still have a large stock of Agfa APX 100 and 400 in the freezer. I do like Ilford Pan F, and have used Fuji Neopan 1600. I am not crazy about Kodak T-Max.

03-31-2008, 03:27 AM   #5
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Don't know about availability where you are, but I love DNP Centuria 200 for color negative. Very affordable, good quality, and it plays nicely with my older cameras which have a limited range of shutter speeds.

Flickr Set shot with Centuria 200

For black and white I primarily use either Fuji Acros 100 or Fuji Presto 400. No particular reason other than that they are affordable, readily available here in Japan, and I get them back from the developer several days faster than films by Kodak. If I ever get into doing my own b/w developing I'll probably buy Arista EDU in bulk and load my own.
03-31-2008, 03:34 AM   #6
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not sure what it's like in America, but here in Australia the number of labs able to deal with "real" (non-c41 based) B &W film are rapidly declining, and it costs quite a bit to get them developed. i've used Fuji Acros 100 and Ilford 50. the costs and inconvenience will make me look at home developing if i continue to use B&W. otherwise, look at the C41 based films - they can be processed on your local labs colour machines.

for colour work, my favourite all-round film is Fuji Superia 400. it's just so versatile, and honestly the grain in iso400 films these days is barely noticeable.
03-31-2008, 04:00 AM   #7
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Heh, saladin, a new Kodak Pro Lab just opened on Queen Street here. Great guy. Scottish aerial photographer runs it.

I'm not sure if it's dip-and-dunk E6, but my slides didn't come back scratched at all. BW processing, but it's with TMAX chems, soooo. Eh, I do my own.

This one's called Pure Digital. The other big labs are Allchromes, famous for their work with chromes, of course, and Prolab, as well as Streets, who do excellent prints - and Kodak Supra Metallic every Friday.
03-31-2008, 05:17 AM   #8

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I use almost exclusively ILFORD as I shoot almost exclusively B&W usually using HP5 Plus 400, for colour I have ten rolls of AGFA ULTRA 100 that I don't want to use =) but I normally use Fuji Superia Reala 100.

03-31-2008, 06:45 PM   #9
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For C-41, the way most labs are set up it really doesn't matter color-wise which film you use, as most will either hand-"correct" the color or the computer does it automatically. If you want garaunteed accurate color, shoot slides.
Fuji Velvia 50/100 (not 100F!) gives amazingly rich colors, but like buffy said, it is not a portrait film. If you're going to shoot portraiture Fuji's Astia 100F does a great job. Provia is somewhere in the middle of those two (saturated colors but better than velvia for skin tones) and Sensia is like low-grade Provia. I love the look of velvia and only shoot digital because of the convenience
04-06-2008, 06:29 PM   #10
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thanks for all the recommendations. I knew I could come to you guys for good advice as usual
04-07-2008, 06:51 AM   #11
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Favourite C41 colour: Kodak Portra 160NC and 400NC - amazing skin tones, soft and subtle landscapes.

Favourite E6: Kodak E100VS - great detail, fantastic colour with amazing pop, especially blues and yellows. I like it better than the revered Fuji Velvia 50, and it's a stop faster.

Favourite black and white: still experimenting. I always like the look of AGFA Silvertone 400, and it's cheap. Has a pleasant grain and good lattitude that is not unlike Tri-X. Ilford Delta 100 is punchy and low-grain. I am trying out some Ilford Pan-F (50) and Delta 3200, to experience the extremes of sensitivity.
04-12-2008, 10:06 PM   #12
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I need to work outdoors, hence use kodak ultramax iso 400 film...
for testing out lenses n camera (before buying them), i use kodak ISO 100...
sometimes use fujicolour c200
04-13-2008, 03:52 AM   #13
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*lithos thinks of a joke he should've put in his first post*




My favourite "box fast" film has gotta be Fuji Neopan 1600 - the Neopans are all great films. I'd rather push Neopan or Ilford Delta 400 or Tri-X before I'd lower myself to use TMAX 3200 or fork out for Ilford Delta 3200:

Good contrast, the grain's not too bad, and there's a nice range of grey.

I prefer Kodak Portra over Fuji Pro C-41 films - the extra green layer makes the Fuji seem a bit cooler than I'd like. Unfortunately, Portra's also more expensive 'round here.
04-13-2008, 02:05 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
*lithos thinks of a joke he should've put in his first post*


I somehow doubt that Casablanca was shot with Tri-X.
04-13-2008, 04:56 PM   #15
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Velvia 50. I love the saturated colors.

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