color negative film

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by omalley, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. omalley

    omalley TPF Noob!

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    Does anyone have experiences with Portra 800 or Fujicolor Pro 800? Any experiences or comparisons would be great, particularly in portraiture applications. Also has anyone purchased either in bulk roll form? I can't seem to find any. Thanks!
     
  2. santino

    santino TPF Noob!

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    I haven't ever shot on Portra 800 but 400 and 100. I prefer Kodak over Fuji (yes, I even prefer Ektachrome over Velvia ;)). I'd try the Kodak film, and maybe try out the Portra 400 unless you need that high ISO (cause you said you will use in portraiture applications).
     
  3. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    800 ISO film will be rubbish for portraits. Anything over 400 will show some serious grain and those particular films are IMO nasty anyway!

    Generally speaking you don't tend to see the high ISO films in bulk rolls (esp these days), as they're so sensitive that the whole thing becomes a difficult enterprise in making sure everything is perfectly light tight.

    For portraits, you'll be looking at keeping the shutter speed ideally above 1/30th, but this should be easily achievable with 100 ISO film, which will be MUCH sharper and more accurate than 800.

    Just my opinion!

    Rob
     
  4. santino

    santino TPF Noob!

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    IMHO those films aren't nasty at all, what do you mean by saying "nasty" ? we still don't know what kind of portraits omalley is going to shoot. 800 and 400 films aren't necessary if you are going to use flash in a studio, but what about portraits outside without flash in bad lighting? (I know, you shouldn't take portraits at ugly light but sometimes graing is good, I often want to reach that).

    omalley: what kind of portraits are you going to take?
     
  5. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    I see what you're saying, you're quite right about not knowing what omalley wants to do and it is indeed quite possible that a grainy finish is the desired results. I went out on a limb and generalised, which was too much opinion really. My point was that the results are probably not what you'd want to see in "normal" portrait work.

    I have seen a wedding shot entirely on Fujipro 800Z before, and the results were IMO god-awful. I have shot one roll myself in "normal" lighting situations. I hated the look of it. Just opinion though!

    I can't really find any decent results to back me up here, but this is one site I found:
    http://www.astro.ex.ac.uk/people/mbate/comet.html
    I know this has got nothing to do with portraits, but you see the multi-coloured noise?

    Maybe I have been unlucky, and maybe the wedding photographer I mentioned was too, but you use 800 because the light is low or tough and in the darker portions of the image, I've always experienced unpleasant colour noise. The overall image looks, to me, to be like a clumsy use of the PS grain function.

    Rob
     
  6. PlasticSpanner

    PlasticSpanner TPF Noob!

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    On these shot's it's not actually multicoloured noise you can see. The different coloured "dots" are still stars. They're just different types of stars at different ages. (red,red dwarfs-blue,super giants)

    You don't really get "noise" on film like digital, just grain and to be honest I don't use more than 400 iso even for astro shots. Even if grain is what you want 800 iso in colour will be really bad like Rob said. Grain in B&W usually looks quite good though.
     
  7. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    I'm not going to get away with anything today am I???? :lmao:

    Right, look at this picture:

    http://konicaminolta.com/products/consumer/digital_camera/dimage/dimagescan-elite5400-2/img/gem.jpg

    The top one... That looks like the effect I'm talking about. I know it's a completely irrelevant image as it's digital... however. Honestly, colour aberrational noise in the darker regions. I know that picture is a bad example! I know it's not really noise per se, but it looks kinda like noise, grainy nastiness.

    Rob
     
  8. PlasticSpanner

    PlasticSpanner TPF Noob!

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    Sorry mate! :lol:

    I think 800 iso would look even worse than that top photo!

    Am I also correct in thinking that the higher iso number then the lower reciprocity (sp?) failure tolerance too?
     
  9. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Don't be sorry! I must be having an off day. It's not necessarily directly proportional to the ISO I understand as different films have different tolerances. However, there is certainly persuasive evidence that low ISO films expose "better" when pushed over the 1s mark.

    Artistically the 800 could be a good film for a certain effect, but for astro and modelling I'd go with my old trusty Fuji Reala 100 matched with the F3, which have not let me down. It depends an awful lot on what matters to you in an image. I like my portraits (formal) to be sharp and clear and bright - at least you can photoshop them later if you want to tone things down. I also love film grain, but it has to look absolutely deliberate or else it (to me) looks like film failure.

    This is all just opinion, the only thing to do is try it.

    Rob
     
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  10. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I've used Portra 800, and I don't think it compares too well with the 400 speed Portra films. I'd use it if I really needed that extra stop, but I'd almost rather take the risk of a slower shutter speed. I only ended up trying a roll or two.

    I used Fuji Press 800, a predecessor or Pro I believe, for a bit before I realized that the grain was getting in the way of enlargements . When I was doing everything 4x6 is was great, but the grain really is there.

    Here's a resized shot:

    [​IMG]

    Looks decent, but here's a full-scale crop:

    [​IMG]

    You can see how bad the grain is in the distant trees and the water. I liked using it as it allowed me to stop using the tripod and hand-hold everything without worry, but it got in the way later on when I actually wanted to use the images.
     
  11. omalley

    omalley TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, guys. Here's why I'm wondering about 800 iso film stocks. I'll be using the film for studio portraiture. I've just been doing black and whites, using smaller lights (100 watt peppers) and I wanted to match film speed so I don't have to change the lights around and use something hot and uncomfortable. I've been using an 80a filter which takes away two stops, leaving the 400 speed film not fast enough anymore. I've been using Portra 400 NC which I think has a beautiful color palette.
    So...if the 800 is really not up to par I suppose I will just have to switch to larger lights. I was hoping to avoid buying new lights but perhaps it's inevitable.
     

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