Super slow films

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by earthmanbuck, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. earthmanbuck

    earthmanbuck No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Has anyone here ever tried shooting a "super slow" film with an ISO rating of under 50? I just learned such things exist and am intrigued—some of the examples I've seen look pretty cool. I've never shot anything below 100 myself, but would love to hear about anyone's experiences with them.


     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Panatomic X...ASA then ISO was 32...very fine-grained 35mm with traditional grain structure...T-Max 100 is similar in granularity, but with newer emulsion technology. Ehhhh.... I didn't like it, shot only a few rolls of it.

    I shot a fair number of Kodachrome 25 color slide rolls...immensely disliked it...crappy shots due to BLURRED motion on all types of shots, due to the pathetically low film speed of ASA/ISO 25...wind-motion, subject motion, HUGE problems with a film speed of 25.

    Kodachrome 64 on the other hand, I shot a ton of, and yes, the ASA/ISO of 64 was not the best...I typically rated it at an Exposure Index (also called E.I.) of 80, and shot it for multiple years, from 1981-1991.

    Slow-speed films of 25 to 64 are marginal for any kind of action, except in very bright lighting and with fast-aperture lenses. But they are REALLY handy for classic, pro-level studio flash type shooting, where the low film speed pairs up absolutely splendidly with high-powered flash units like the Speedotron 1,600 Watt-second and 2,400 Watt-second power supplies and two or three or four or even five flash units attached to the power supply, and large amounts of flash power being divided among the connected flash units.

    A 2,400 Watt-second Black Line pack with six flash heads can easily allow you to channel 400 "real", not-inflated-like-Alien-Bee, Watt-seconds of power through each flash head, so using a low-speed film of 25 or 64 ASA/ISO was pretty commonly a "good thing" back in the day. We're seeing the same thing now in high-end Nikon cameras that offer lower and lower native ISO levels to their sensors, as well as "Minus ISO" setting capability...at times it's actually advantageous to have the lowest possible film/sensor speed possible.

    Long exposures are perfect for slow-speed films! Wanna' shoot some 10-second exposures? Low-speed film can be helpful!
     
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  3. OldManJim

    OldManJim No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've shot a fair amount of Velvia 50. While not "super slow", it does give nice images IF you have a ton of light (think bright sunshine), well lit scenes, and don't try to use shutter speeds of 500 or more. The big advantage of Velvia in my opinion is the color saturation. It makes E-6 images that can be stunning - if I do my part. View attachment 152060 Shot with Velvia 50. Not the best image


    I agree with Derrel's comments; I tried the T-Max films and got OK results, but I need to learn how to work with that better.
     

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  4. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have shot Adox CMS (CHS?) 25 film for architecture. Supposed to give much finer grain than their 50 ISO version but I didn't really see a difference.

    As Derrel said, it would be good for long exposure shots.
     
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  5. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    I've never used any, but I can see the advantage. I just wish modern digital cameras were capable of similar low speeds.

    I shot god-only-knows how many rolls of K25 back in the day with few issues. But I wasn't shooting sports either. But I rarely had problems even shooting down to 1/2 sec hand-held, either.
     
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  6. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Like Derrel, I played around with Panatomic X and Kodachrome 25. I like the Kodachrome for landscapes and cityscapes. Sorta sucked for non-scrapes. I never liked what I got from the Panatomic X. I never put in the time to figure out an good/optimum exposure to development equation. But if I remember correctly was quite grainless, not as sharp as mhy standard (Tri-X), but not a lot of zones. Most likely that was more me than the film. If I wanted to go long exposure, I preferred filters to Panatomic X.
     
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  7. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I really liked Kodachrome 25; never much of a fan of Panatomic X. My 'go to' was always Ilford Pan F; at ASA 50, it was a 'fast' landscape film, but I loved the results. Wayyyyyy back in highschool, we h ad a box of single-digit ASA sheets, either 6 or 8, don't recall that I played around with in the 4x5 camera... I don't recall being overly impressed.
     
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  8. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    I routinely shoot Ilford Delta 100 at both 50 and 25 (N-1 and N-2) and pull process. I really like the results. Especially with 4x5.
     
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  9. webestang64

    webestang64 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I really liked Konica 50 color print back in the day. Pan-X 32 was the bomb! And if you really wanted low speed the inter-neg film I used to make negs from slides or prints was 8 ASA!
     
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  10. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  11. earthmanbuck

    earthmanbuck No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the replies, all. Most of my shooting is of the walking around in the city type, but it seems like a neat thing to try on a nature hike someday with a tripod.

    This was all spurred on by looking for film deals on eBay and finding some stuff apparently rated at ISO 3. I was just curious how low you folks had gone and what you thought—I certainly don't think my eyes are discerning enough to make going that low worth it.
     
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  12. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Things to consider with something like that are (1) it's possibly very, very old; or (2) it's very, very specialized and would require a unique development process and/or chemicals.
     
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