Lots of cheap film or a less expensive film?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by ted_smith, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. ted_smith

    ted_smith TPF Noob!

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    I develop my films with a processing lab called Jessops. They're quite 'main stream' now here in the UK but in the 80's and early 90's they were the bridge between a pro service and that for a serious amateur.

    With every film processed I get a free replacement from Jessops (their own brand). It's not DX coded, and will usually be either ISO200 or ISO400. But my F65 assumes a film is ISO100 if there's no DX encoding. The film is also, I expect, of average quality.

    But I am at the stage in my photographic 'life' where I want to use the best of everything. If I take a great snap with my Jessops film, I think to myself "How might it have looked with Fuji Velvia!?".

    So I am considering taking the tact in future of selling it (on eBay for example) and then with the money I get for, say, a batch of 10, buying 2 or 3 high quality Fuji film (Fuji Velvia ISO100 of ISO50 for example or whatever I need for the purpose) as a replacement.

    However, that will make me less snap happy and may result in me taking less photos!

    So my question is - is it best to take lots of shots with average film saving on the cost of purchase but then with the one brilliant snap you get sit and look at it and think how much better it might have been with quality film. Or is best to get the best film you can afford, and just try to be more careful?

    What do others do? Lots of cheap film, or a little high quality expensive film?

    Ted
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    It's best to get great film and shoot at ton of it :p Photography is expensive.
     
  3. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I'd be very surprised if your F65 doesn't allow you to manually set the ISO - check the manual to see if and how this can be done. As for Jessops film, I doubt you'd get too much on Ebay since pretty much everyone else knows it's nothing special too. You may as well keep it; as you said you can be fairly snap-happy with free film, so the practice and experimentation is good, just keep a better film handy for when you think the situation or the shot requires it. In terms of wanting something better, I've found even cheap films (like Fuji Superia 200 - this can be had for very little money indeed) better than the free ones from Jessop etc. IMO Reala is a very good general-purpose film; I'm sure someone who uses Kodak or other films can suggest an equivalent. Velvia would be good - for specific purposes like you said. As for your ultimate question, I'd be inclined to go somewhere in between - cheap (not free) film for general casual shooting, and when the situation or subject requires it then go for a better film which is more suited to the purpose. You can always buy a whole selection of different films (which can be had much cheaper from various online stores than in high-street shops) and keep them in the fridge. I've been told you can also keep food in the fridge. :confused:
     
  4. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Use the film that satisfies you. If the final prints with the Jessops film are, to your eye, as good as those of another film, use it. If not, don't use it. It's that simple. All the other factors will fall in line.
     
  5. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    i once read somewhere that film was made by only a few manufacturers worldwide.
    if your Jessops branded film was made in Germany, it's Agfa for example.
    The article i read had about 4 countries listed and mentioned a similar number of major manufacturers and the coutries their film was made in. EG japan was Fuji.
    I can't remember all the details or the names and I'm now all digital but if you search the net you may get lucky and find something.
     
  6. cosmonaut

    cosmonaut No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Coming from a long life in the manufactering business, I can tell you there are differences in the quality of a product even if the same business makes it under the same roof. There are different machines, materials and standards in quality control that make the cheaper product. As a worker we used to make fun of the cheaper product because it seemed like almost anything went out the door. You get what you pay for....
    Cosmo
     
  7. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I think it depend on where you are on the learning curve. Are you still on the steep part where it seems like you are learning something new everyday, or are you a bit flatter, where you are still learning things, but have developed a style of your own and are happy with your work (and may be selling some of it)? If the latter, definitely go with the quality stuff. If the former, I'd suggest shooting whatever you can get. The more you shoot, the more you learn; and the shots you make while on the steep curve tend not to seem so great as you get further along.
     
  8. cosmonaut

    cosmonaut No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't know what you pay for film and developing but the best way to go for me is to use Fuji 400 xtra. You can get it a Wal mart. It's not that expensive and it's a very good film, get Kmart to develope the film their cheaper, and tell them CD only and it's four bucks to have it done. Then you can weed out the pictures that don't work. As you get better at photography you will learn to be more selective with your subjects and not waste as much film. I did...
    Cosmo
     
  9. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    It is best to shoot whatever film you want and shoot just those pictures worth shooting. Of course that is just my opinion. If you actually think before you push the shutter you will cut your film consumption at least in half.

    Reminds me of a sign in a chow hall when I was in the military long long ago. Take all you want, but eat all you take....

    Take all the shot you needed but need all the shots you take.... I find cut film works best for me that way. It's so much trouble to use, that you dont waste it.
     
  10. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It might even cut your consumption by 90%. I'm blown away with the number of shots digital photographers take. They all worry about wearing out their shutters. Somebody posted that they had made a trip for a week and had a couple of thousand "keepers" from the shutter fest. I might have a couple of thousand "keepers" from 50 years of photography - maybe.

    In the old days, shutters lasted a lifetime. They still do if you can learn to put your day's work on a single memory card or on a couple rolls of film.

    Engage brain before engaging shutter. Spend your shooting time planning and thinking about what you want from your photographs and how you will make that happen. You won't use much film and the results will be infinitely better. I know because Mystery Scribe says it's so. :)
     
  11. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Just to clarify, I definitely agree with "think before you shoot". I remember being in a position where I had to budget shooting a single roll. In that case, I think shooting on cheap film is better than not shooting at all. But thinking will save you far more.
     
  12. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Rule one: Never agree with me... It will get you in sOOOOOOOo much trouble around here. But thanks...
     

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