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08-04-2016, 03:24 AM   #1
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Which film to buy

Hi everyone,

There are different kinds of films to buy. I have used some Superia X-tra, and I'm looking for some new things as X-tra is discontinued (and expensive!). Which one do you recommend?

Thanks a lot.


Last edited by icy; 08-04-2016 at 06:20 AM. Reason: fix typo
08-04-2016, 03:41 AM   #2
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Colour or black-and-white?

Sending to lab or home developing?

Casual fun photography, serious hobbyist, or paid work?

Size? (True, for most people film = 35mm, but there are still quite a few larger-format shooters out there, and many films are available as 120-size rolls.)

All these things make a difference to the recommendations you will get.
08-04-2016, 03:53 AM   #3
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Hi pathdoc,

Thanks a lot. Very great questions.

I'm trying film for fun. That's why the cost is a problem. I see that colour is cheaper. I only have a Pentax P30, so yes it's 35mm that's all I'm thinking of

Edit: I will send films to lab.

Last edited by icy; 08-04-2016 at 06:13 AM.
08-04-2016, 04:15 AM - 1 Like   #4
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If you're trying film for fun, I would suggest getting something like Fujifilm Fujicolor C200 in 36 exposure rolls. It's cheap, and the results are very good. Nice colours, perhaps a little warmer than reality which is usually no bad thing, and skin tones seem to come out nicely. ISO 200 is a good general speed to work with, as you don't need ideal light, but can still use it on sunny days without an ND filter so long as your camera allows a reasonably fast shutter speed.

08-04-2016, 04:39 AM - 1 Like   #5
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C200 is good film for fun. But a more interesting proposition is a ISO 400 film's. For BW look to photography from Trix 400 (Kodak). Color film - really good is a Fuji Press 400 (really is a Superia X-tra 400 for professional use). But now Fuji Press is a good memory from film era. Kodak Ektar 100 and Ilford F Pan 50 have a very small grain. You must remember smaller ISO - smaller grain however you must remember about a longer shutter speed. Remedy for this is a tripod or faster lenses.

Generally film have a specific climate, different colors and higher dynamic range than digital.
08-04-2016, 05:11 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Re: Which film to buy

QuoteOriginally posted by icy Quote
Hi everyone,

There are different kind of films to buy. I have used some Superia X-tra, and I'm looking for some new things as X-tra is discontinued (and expensive!). Which one do you recommend?

Thanks a lot.
Kodak Ektar is good, high-color saturation film. Portra less so, and is perhaps more forgiving. Both run about $5-$6 per roll.
08-04-2016, 05:17 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by icy Quote
I only have a Pentax P30, so yes it's 35mm that's all I'm thinking of
I have a Pentax P30T, so I am exactly in your shoes. Be careful when using old or unusual film that doesn't have DX coding (the metallic strips on the cannister), because the camera will default to ISO/ASA 100 in that case. Now if it's 100 (or 125 is probably close enough) to start with, that's fine, but if it isn't then you will be consistently overexposing or underexposing (depending on what the film is) unless you take special care to adjust shutter speed or aperture to match.

If you're doing it for fun there's no harm in using something ordinary, even humble Kodacolor Gold (or its equivalent, depending on availability in your market). If you come across any of Lomography's colour negative films (the ordinary ones, not the ones with the weird and funky colour casts) and the price is right, my experience has been that they are just fine. Don't sneeze at expired film either, though you'll probably need to overexpose that a bit as it tends to "slow down" (I think the rule of thumb is about one stop per decade expired). I managed to pick up a whole lot of just-expired or just-about-to-expire film going out the door cheap last year, and I shot it without any serious problems (except the standard of my own photography!!).
08-04-2016, 05:51 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by icy Quote
I see that colour is cheaper
Scans from colour neg. film can be easily converted to b+w in post with considerable control over contrast and tonal curves, and can actually be more forgiving, with better exposure latitude than some b+w films.

08-04-2016, 07:45 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by icy Quote
Hi everyone,

There are different kinds of films to buy. I have used some Superia X-tra, and I'm looking for some new things as X-tra is discontinued (and expensive!). Which one do you recommend?

Thanks a lot.
It depends on what is available where you live. Unless you want to order some film from outside your country, I would go down to a local drug store/camera shop/photo lab and see what they sell. Talk to the staff and they can recommend something for you.

Phil.
08-04-2016, 09:00 AM   #10
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If you play with black and white, get at least one roll developed by thedarkroom.com and get a set of silver halide prints made. Then you have "the real thing" to compare with what gets dumped out of a color processor for BW film.
08-04-2016, 09:19 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
I would go down to a local drug store/camera shop/photo lab and see what they sell. Talk to the staff and they can recommend something for you.
Phil, the staff in your stores must be way better qualified than here in the UK
08-04-2016, 09:26 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by narual Quote
get at least one roll developed by thedarkroom.com
Return post to Vietnam? Hello?
08-04-2016, 09:41 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dsmithhfx Quote
Return post to Vietnam? Hello?
Oh, geez. Sorry, I don't make a habit of checking the location of every person who posts to be sure my suggestion is region appropriate.

---------- Post added 08-04-16 at 12:49 PM ----------

I suspect if you checked Ilford's vietnamese language website, if they have one, there's probably somewhere in southeast asia where they have an official printing partner that does those kind of prints. And probably several places right in vietnam,but since I don't speak the language, searching for "silver halide prints" + vietnam just gets a bunch of old war photos.
08-04-2016, 10:01 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Phil, the staff in your stores must be way better qualified than here in the UK
Yeah we are lucky here in Vancouver, as well as Seattle & Portland across the border in the US.

All the Vancouver camera stores carry Pentax and some film, as well as a major drug store chain. You can play with a Pentax camera while you wait for your prescription to be filled and also get your C-41 film processed in their lab. (The camera store staff are good for answering questions as many are older and did shoot film, but the drug store staff are so so...)

The two major independent processing labs in Vancouver also have some film for sale and their staff are very good to chat with. I also have a photo supply store a block away that has a huge selection of film, with knowledgeable staff and a good selection of used Pentax gear!

It's Pentax & film Valhalla here.

Phil.
08-04-2016, 10:07 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Yeah we are lucky here in Vancouver
I was there on holiday last year, and dropped into one of the Kerrisdale cameras outlets (the main one, I think). Had to cut things short because of fractious offspring, but they (Kerrisdale, not the kids, LOL) must have had just about every autofocus Pentax camera there ever made.
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