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03-28-2009, 10:32 AM   #1
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Recommendation for 35mm color film?

I will be going on a school trip to Paris in three weeks time, for 3 days and 2 nights. We have an assignment during these three days and I'll be taking my ME Super along to fulfill this assignment. However I want to shoot color film, and have little experience with color film as opposed to B&W. I won't be processing nor printing this myself, since I only have the darkroom capabilities to print B&W.

Now my question to all of you is, which color films will be suitable for my needs? To further illustrate those needs, I will shortly explain the assignment: it is to capture 24 hours of our stay there. So I will be needing a few different ISOs: I was thinking two or three rolls 50/100-ish for the day-time, two rolls 200/400-ish for some indoor and evening shooting, and two rolls 1600 for nightshots (I will be taking my light travel tripod though). I would like to have highly saturated colors and good overal sharpness as well.
Edit: I almost forgot to mention: I will be taking some architecture photos, but probably about 80% will be portraits or at least involve people. Thus skin tone is also of considerable importance.

Any suggestions?


Last edited by alex.r; 03-28-2009 at 10:41 AM.
03-28-2009, 11:52 AM   #2
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I can't tell you which color film to use, but if you're trying to show a 24-hour time period...and I think you probably mean the final shots show dawn to night...don't you want to use the same film stock for everything?

I would think that you would want a consistent emulsion throughout all of the shots, not different emulsions or ISOs.
03-28-2009, 12:23 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
I would think that you would want a consistent emulsion throughout all of the shots, not different emulsions or ISOs.
Perhaps you are right. I suppose ISO 400 would be a good average in that aspect? Besides ISO range, I have absolutely no clue what brand/product line I should be looking at to achieve proper saturation/sharpness and decent skin tones. Suggestions on those aspects would be very much welcomed.
I am used to shooting B&W, mostly Kodak TMAX 400.
03-28-2009, 12:26 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
I can't tell you which color film to use, but if you're trying to show a 24-hour time period...and I think you probably mean the final shots show dawn to night...don't you want to use the same film stock for everything?
Perhaps to clarify the needs further: I will be taking many shots during those 24 hours, of various actions and places. We will be visiting many things around the city, indoors as well as outdoors, so there will be quite some variety when it comes to lighting conditions as well as subject.

03-28-2009, 02:50 PM   #5
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how saturated do you like? if you want all purpose, Superia 400 is usually fairly reliable.
i use Fuji PRO 400H, it gives more neutral colours and very flexible w/ over or underexposure.
03-28-2009, 03:08 PM   #6
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Consider also processing. C41 is processed in most places
03-28-2009, 03:09 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
how saturated do you like? if you want all purpose, Superia 400 is usually fairly reliable.
i use Fuji PRO 400H, it gives more neutral colours and very flexible w/ over or underexposure.
I was thinking about that Fuji PRO 400H, seemed like a decent choice. I don't want oversaturated colors, just well-balanced and natural skin tones.
What do you mean by 'being flexible with over/underexposure'?
03-28-2009, 03:32 PM   #8
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it's very tolerant of overexposure (get's more saturated), if i can, i usually give it an extra stop of light and it works well. if you ridiculously overexpose 400H and process as normal, you get a very nice pastel look, good for weddings.

i've also tested underexposing a stop and seeing the results, and it looked very good to me.

some discussion here https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/51426-fujicolo...nal-400-a.html

03-28-2009, 03:33 PM   #9
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C-41 proces colour neg film has good exposure latitude which will help you get usable photos in a wide range of situations. I think you should stick to one film speed and emulsion. Maybe a 400 ISO for allround usefulness. Use your tripod for the night work and you should be able to handhold the rest.
Something like Fuji Superia Xtra 400 or Kodak Royal Gold 400 should suit.
03-28-2009, 03:52 PM   #10
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Thanks for your suggestions so far. How many exposures are these films typically, by the way?
I might just pick a roll of both (Fuji Pro 400H and Kodak Royal Gold 400) and see which I like best.
03-28-2009, 03:54 PM   #11
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I apologize on beforehand for the perhaps rookie-question, but see no need to open a new thread for this: What exactly is the C-41 processing? I've wiki'ed it, but hard for a relative novice like me to understand. What are other alternatives, instead of C-41 film? What are the differences?
03-28-2009, 04:09 PM   #12
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I was going to say 400 because it will handle all of your situations. They come in 24 and 36 exposures.

C-41 is the basic, all-around chemistry to develop most color negative films, whereas Ektachrome transparencies use an E-6 process.

I'm now using this Kodak b&w negative film, BW400CN, which ALSO processes throughC-41. They developed it because every drug store in the world that does film processing, every Wal-Mart...their main business is in color negative/print film, and C-41 is the standard.

If I walked in with any Professional labeled b&w neg film , they couldn't process it, because it uses different chemicals.
03-28-2009, 04:28 PM   #13
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Thanks for clarification, Ira
In other words, I might have to wait longer for E-6 film photos (in comparison with C-41) when I bring them in for processing/printing, because it will need to be sent to a professional lab? This is not a huge issue for me, as I'm pretty much used to having my B&W film processed by labs other than my local photo store, and have to wait a week for those as well.
I have no idea if this makes any difference, but I will probably be asking for digital scan prints. I had them done for another school assignment I did a few years ago in Barcelona, and quite liked the outcome of them. Is this because there is some kind of PP involved or ...?
03-28-2009, 05:03 PM   #14
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Also, I was wondering if depending on the lens I use, the saturation/colors may change? Or will this hardly be noticable? I am planning on taking my M35/2.8 and M50/1.4 primes, and have the feeling the 50 is slightly sharper and renders colors a little better (comparing them when on my dSLR).
03-28-2009, 05:27 PM   #15
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Actually, If u have not seen it, check out this thread. https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/53503-cool-let...ilm-shots.html
Many folks that have posted pictures have also posted the film and speed used.
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