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04-26-2016, 09:26 AM   #1
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what kind of film should I get?

With all this talk about K-1 I decided to pull my very own full-frame camera out of the closet. The problem is that the last time I used film was a good decade ago, and I don't really know what to get now. Just before Agfa stopped making film I realized I liked it, and those were the last rolls of film I shot. Now, some 10 years later, I still see Agfa film on Ebay, and that sort of makes me wonder... Even if it is not expired, it can't be very good anymore, can it? Agfa aside, I see Kodak film as well, even though they are out of business... Any advice on what kind of film I should get? I prefer fast film, both colour and black and white. I am planning to do mostly portraits. Kids stuff, you know... Before they grow up and refuse to pose for pictures.

04-26-2016, 09:43 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
With all this talk about K-1 I decided to pull my very own full-frame camera out of the closet. The problem is that the last time I used film was a good decade ago, and I don't really know what to get now. Just before Agfa stopped making film I realized I liked it, and those were the last rolls of film I shot. Now, some 10 years later, I still see Agfa film on Ebay, and that sort of makes me wonder... Even if it is not expired, it can't be very good anymore, can it? Agfa aside, I see Kodak film as well, even though they are out of business... Any advice on what kind of film I should get? I prefer fast film, both colour and black and white. I am planning to do mostly portraits. Kids stuff, you know... Before they grow up and refuse to pose for pictures.
Have you checked whats available in the Ottawa area? You can try anything you can find as a start, most films available these days are pretty good.

Also check what film processing you have in your area, that will determine whats easiest to start with. C41 colour negative would be the easiest to find and process.

Phil.
04-26-2016, 09:53 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
With all this talk about K-1 I decided to pull my very own full-frame camera out of the closet. The problem is that the last time I used film was a good decade ago, and I don't really know what to get now. Just before Agfa stopped making film I realized I liked it, and those were the last rolls of film I shot. Now, some 10 years later, I still see Agfa film on Ebay, and that sort of makes me wonder... Even if it is not expired, it can't be very good anymore, can it? Agfa aside, I see Kodak film as well, even though they are out of business... Any advice on what kind of film I should get? I prefer fast film, both colour and black and white. I am planning to do mostly portraits. Kids stuff, you know... Before they grow up and refuse to pose for pictures.
Agfa Leverkausen out of business but badge reengineered film is still available.
Kodak are still coating film for cine and still!
Ilford ok
Adox ok about to start in house coating
Forma ok
Rolli market
Fuji still selling
Etc.
04-26-2016, 10:13 AM   #4
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Kodak Gold 200 and 400 I see in every Walmart I enter. Fuji in chemist shops (pharmacy/drugstore). That's colour. Good place to get restarted.

OP I see from your profile that you're in Canada. Henry's sells a fair range of black and white film if that's what you want to try. Finding someplace to develop it properly would be a challenge unless you wanted to try doing it yourself. Alternatively try Amazon, or even the Lomography crowd (but many Lomography films are inexpensive on Amazon; more costly per roll than Kodak or Fuji sometimes, but Lomo colour film rolls are 36 shots and may be cheaper per frame).

Shoppers Drug Mart offers a competent, though not brilliant, processing service with cutting to CD as part of it. I think they send it to a lab in Quebec, which means that turnaround time should be a lot better for you than it is for me in Newfoundland!!

04-26-2016, 11:02 AM   #5
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The state of film 2016 (Emphasis on 35mm colour negative, C41) | Wallace Koopmans Artlog

I did a recent post about availible colour films, it may help. As for Agfa currently its been suggested that its rebadged Fuji but when looking at both emulsions I dont believe thats the case.
04-26-2016, 12:11 PM   #6
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Thank you for all your responses. Never thought I'd be trying to figure out the difference between Ektar and Portra, but there you go. Henry's has Fuji Superia, Kodak Ektar and Portra. I prefer warmer rendition, and I just read that Ektar makes white people look pink (Kodak Ektar 100 review, by Lewis Collard!). Would you suggest going for Portra or Superia?

---------- Post added 04-26-16 at 12:12 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Painter Quote
The state of film 2016 (Emphasis on 35mm colour negative, C41) | Wallace Koopmans Artlog

I did a recent post about availible colour films, it may help. As for Agfa currently its been suggested that its rebadged Fuji but when looking at both emulsions I dont believe thats the case.
Thank you very much! That's a great article.
04-26-2016, 12:41 PM   #7
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Im going to make an assumption here that you are going to scan your film in which case you have a lot of control over the final look. If that is the case then its more about grain and scannability and ektar is the king in my opinion. I also love the beautiful creamy skins you get with Portra plus its a faster film. Cant really go wrong with either Superia is my cost saving dont care this camera might not even work film.

---------- Post added 04-26-2016 at 12:50 PM ----------

http://wkoopmans.ca/notebook/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ContaxG1_June2015_011.jpg

That ones Portra
http://wkoopmans.ca/notebook/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Oct_2013_Pentaxz1p_Superia_012.jpg

And thats Superia which is a good general film but never impresses me as much as Portra. Sorry I didnt have two similar images at hand but that shows the sort of usage ive settled on for the two of them.
04-26-2016, 02:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
Thank you for all your responses. Never thought I'd be trying to figure out the difference between Ektar and Portra, but there you go. Henry's has Fuji Superia, Kodak Ektar and Portra. I prefer warmer rendition, and I just read that Ektar makes white people look pink (Kodak Ektar 100 review, by Lewis Collard!). Would you suggest going for Portra or Superia?

---------- Post added 04-26-16 at 12:12 PM ----------



Thank you very much! That's a great article.
If you're interested in portraits, then portra. If you want to shoot landscapes, ektar. Those two are the films I use most often these days (ektar colour saturation is quite high, much like slide film, so great for plants, skies, etc; less useful for people). If you've not used portra before, you won't be disappointed.

---------- Post added 04-26-16 at 10:38 PM ----------

Ektar: https://flic.kr/p/njTK41
Portra: https://flic.kr/p/rWGfMu

04-26-2016, 03:42 PM   #9
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if your just doing family shots. Go for either fuji Superia (400 or 800) or Kodak ultramax. I use both a lot and they are good for everything and dont cost $10 or so a roll.

But if you must have "pro" colors than go for portra and ektar or fuji pro filme
04-26-2016, 08:13 PM   #10
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Thanks for all your feedback. I know Henry's has Ektar, Porta, and Superia, so I will check these out. Back to the future!
04-27-2016, 03:44 AM   #11
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Ektar and Portra. Having said that, CineStill 800 is in my LX right now. It comes in two speeds - hella fast and hella slow. I'm a big fan. It's replacing Portra more and more.
04-27-2016, 08:16 AM   #12
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I must admit when I was shooting film it was not so much a creative process, and more point and shoot. Back then (10 years ago), I would usually shoot fast film, ISO 100 or 200, 400 if I must. I am not sure if that came from experience with Soviet film which was pretty grainy, but that's what I used to do. Yesterday, when I looked up some film reviews online for the first time ever, I saw people using 400 and 800, and one guy talking about 1600 iso film. One guy was talking about how one particular type of film (I think Kodak T max?) has more grain than some other film, and that it's better. It seems to be hard to find 100 ISO film. I think 160 is what you get at Henry's. Is high ISO film now not what it used to be back in the 20th century? Please go easy on me, I am trying to come back from digital to film
04-27-2016, 08:30 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
Is high ISO film now not what it used to be back in the 20th century?
The goalposts have shifted. When I was a kid (70's-80's), 100ASA was the gold standard for everyday colour film. By the time I was taking pictures with an SLR myself (1992), 400ASA film had improved to the point where the picture quality wasn't that far behind for your average 6x4 glossy photo album print, and Kodak in Australia had their Royal Gold (equiv. Ektar) 1000 colour film available (at a premium price). Once or twice I tried a roll of Gold 1600, and that was sort of where 400 had been in the late 70's; not all that great, really, at least as I shot it.

I've used Lomography's 800ASA colour film with reasonable results for 6x4 prints. They also make a 100ASA colour print film which is excellent for when the light is bright and you want to shoot wide open. I currently have a three-roll pack of their Earl Grey black and white negative film en route, and I will be developing that at home myself.

If I want anything other than Kodak or Fuji 400 I have to order it in rather than buying it locally. Here and there I see the occasional roll of Kodak Gold 200. I sort of miss being able to go into a store and buy slower films - I'd have liked to try Kodak Royal Gold (Ektar) 25, but it seems they don't make that any more.
04-27-2016, 08:37 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
I must admit when I was shooting film it was not so much a creative process, and more point and shoot. Back then (10 years ago), I would usually shoot fast film, ISO 100 or 200, 400 if I must. I am not sure if that came from experience with Soviet film which was pretty grainy, but that's what I used to do. Yesterday, when I looked up some film reviews online for the first time ever, I saw people using 400 and 800, and one guy talking about 1600 iso film. One guy was talking about how one particular type of film (I think Kodak T max?) has more grain than some other film, and that it's better. It seems to be hard to find 100 ISO film. I think 160 is what you get at Henry's. Is high ISO film now not what it used to be back in the 20th century? Please go easy on me, I am trying to come back from digital to film
Portra is available in 160, 400, and 800. Personally, I'd steer clear of films above ISO 400 if you're shooting 35mm (too grainy for my liking), for medium format however it's perfectly acceptable. AFAIK, the ISO 3200 Illford delta B&W film is the fastest you can get; however I've tried that on 35mm and the results were in a word, terrible. It might be ok with a 645 or 6x7, but I've not been brave enough to try! Generally speaking, if a bricks and mortar store stock film, it will tend to be in the 100 -> 400 ISO range. For the more esoteric films, you normally need to order them online.
04-27-2016, 09:31 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Painter Quote
The state of film 2016 (Emphasis on 35mm colour negative, C41) | Wallace Koopmans Artlog

I did a recent post about availible colour films, it may help. As for Agfa currently its been suggested that its rebadged Fuji but when looking at both emulsions I dont believe thats the case.
The U.K. packages of Agfa Vista say 'made in Ja'.
I'm advised the DX code on the cassette is even more compromising.

But I agree with you in that eg my processed film needs more filters for a white balance than Fuji has done in past.
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