Help with film choice

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by clarinetJWD, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. clarinetJWD

    clarinetJWD The Naked Spammer Staff Member

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    I just received a Nikon 2020 film body, thanks to MommyOf4Boys, and was looking at film. There's just so much, I need some recommendations...

    I was looking mainly at Ilford, but don't know anything about their different lines of film. If anyone had B&W film recommendations, I'm open! I'm looking for a couple rolls of very sharp, clean film, and a couple for some good old fashioned grain.

    Thanks in advance! :D
     
  2. Unimaxium

    Unimaxium TPF Noob!

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    Here are my favs for slide, neg, and B&W
    Slide: Velvia 50
    Neg: Reala 100
    B&W: Neopan 400
    Grainy B&W: Neopan 1600

    You can see I'm a bit of a Fuji fan ;-)

    Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP5+ 400 are also very nice B&W films
     
  3. ThomThomsk

    ThomThomsk TPF Noob!

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    I only use Ilford for b&w. HP5+ is good, gives you 400 ISO if you use the box speed and depending on what you do with it shows little obvious grain.

    Lowest possible grain probably means Delta 100 [edit: there is Pan F, which is supposed to have really low grain, but it is slow at 50 ISO, and if you are going to hand hold an SLR I'd suggest you need more speed]. I've got a roll of Delta 3200 that I haven't tried yet, and I'm thinking I might expose it at 6400 and push process to get grain like golfballs.

    I'd spare a thought for XP2 Super. It is a C41 process, which means that any mini lab can process it for you so it's very convenient, and from what I've seen the results are excellent - sharp, low grain, and 400 speed too.

    Thomsk
     
  4. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you're going to be shooting a lot of 35mm B&W, do consider picking up bulk film, a Watson loader and some plastic reloadable cassettes. Do the math -- you'll pay out the cost before the end of the roll.

    I've used Plus-X and Tri-X [Microdol developer] for many, many years. They're available [gray market] for about $US30/100'. Whatever film(s) you choose, rigorously standardize your effective ASA and development. Learn the film thoroughly before trying something else.
     
  5. binglemybongle

    binglemybongle TPF Noob!

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    I would recomment PAN F for portraits and anything that doesn't move and is in bright light!

    HP5 is a good all rounder and produces nice results, the grain shows slightly more obviously when enlarging a print.

    Also try FP4 (ISO 125) is more than suitable for clean crisp shots. Best for outdoors i reckon.
     
  6. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    My two cents:

    Ilford PanF is my b&w film of choice for portrait shots. It picks up amazing skin detail, has some great shadowy nuances, and IMO about the perfect amount of contrast.

    Fuji Neopan Acros (pref. ISO 50 or 100) takes a close second. It's very, very contrasty, and I think is wonderful for shots with lots of interesting lights and shadows.

    Ilford Delta 100 probably takes third for b&w. It's a great all purpose b&w film with relatively low grain.

    I don't think Kodak can touch the grain quality of PanF or Acros.

    My top choice for slide film would definitely be Velvia 50. Kodak EG takes second.

    I really don't like "portrait" print film at all. I prefer to use slide film for what few color portrait shots I do, like Provia or Astia.
     
  7. Unimaxium

    Unimaxium TPF Noob!

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    That's a good thing, considering that Ilford only makes B&W. ;-) :lol:
     
  8. clarinetJWD

    clarinetJWD The Naked Spammer Staff Member

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    OK...so I've decided to pick up a couple rolls of Pan F for portraits, Neopan 100 and 400, and maybe some Velvia or HIE. Woohoo!!!

    It's too early to pick up bulk film and a loader, as I habe no idea how much film I'll be shooting, but I'll certainly keep that in mind when I have some extra cash lying around :)

    Thanks guys, some good choices here, and I'll make sure to try out all your favorites sooner or later!
     
  9. Unimaxium

    Unimaxium TPF Noob!

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    So now that you're shooting film, how about sending me that D70? ;-)
     
  10. clarinetJWD

    clarinetJWD The Naked Spammer Staff Member

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    Uhhh....no. But I do have to keep the cameras separated, they must never find out about each other... :greenpbl:

    I'm a bit scared my lenses will start gossiping, though...
     
  11. ThomThomsk

    ThomThomsk TPF Noob!

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    Oh really? Gosh, I had no idea. No wonder those Christmas shots looked a bit flat...

    Thomsk
     
  12. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    The key to success with film isn't which brand or label you choose, but to choose one or two and stick with them until you really know them. I'd suggest something common and cheap. That way you can always find it and afford it.
     

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