What Film to use?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by dak1b, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. dak1b

    dak1b TPF Noob!

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    Hello All!

    I just recently bought myself my first film camera: Canon AE-1 Program:mrgreen:. I really wanted to experiment with film. What film would you suggest? fun experimental film? also is expired film good to use? what film could I use to make it look old? b&w?

    any tips for a beginner film photographer? thanks!:thumbup:

    Film is not dead.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I like Kodak Ektar as far as negative films go. I have a roll of portra 160 that I plan on experimenting with too pretty soon when it stops raining.
     
  3. PJL

    PJL TPF Noob!

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    If you want a lot of grain, go with a fast B&W - Ilford Delta 3200 pushed to 3200 ISO is great (it's usual ISO is 1250, despite the label), or 400 pushed to 800 or even 1600. Kodak has a T-Max 3200, but good luck finding it for a reasonable price. Different color filters with B&W will also add different tonalities to your pictures.

    Check out this article regarding filters:

    Using coloured filters with black & white film

    Expired film is fine, although the results aren't guaranteed; you could get prints that look completely normal or ones that are washed out, have uneven grain, etc. You can also take regular film and leave it in a warm place (car interior in direct sunlight for a couple days, for example) for a while if you want to get some unpredictable results. But again, your results may vary. For guaranteed trippy results, you can always use infrared film or a red-emphasizing film.

    With regular film, though, if you want to keep it in good shape for a long period of time, keep it refrigerated. This includes rolls that you've taken pictures on and aren't getting developed immediately.

    Have fun with it. There are a lot of films out there. Personally, for B&W I go with either Ilford or Kodak T-Max, and I tend to stick with 400+ speed because I enjoy grain in my B&W shots. For landscape shooting, I prefer Fujifilm Superia 100 or Pro 160. I've done some prints in 11x14 from the Pro 160 with a pretty good amount of cropping from the original with really, really nice results. For indoors with good lighting, I go with either Kodak or Fuji 400 or 800 (I can't really tell the difference in the results). Soon I'm going to be experimenting with Portra VC, which is their vivid color version of that film. But, like with pizza toppings, every film photographer has their favorite films, and no answer is really "right" or "wrong."
     
  4. guitstik

    guitstik TPF Noob!

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    The best way to learn film is to choose a film medium (B&W or color), start with one speed film like 400 which is a good all around speed and stick with that for some time. If you start with Ilford, fuji or Kodak, stick with it, the reason being is that you don't want to jump around with manufacturers, speeds and mediums before you know what one will do over the other. If you pick Fujicolor superia color film in x-tra 400ASA, stick with that and play around with settings, lighting, lenses while getting to know what it will do. When you get comfortable with that film try something else but learn one before moving on. Jumping from one to another will just make it harder for you to figure out what is going on with you and your camera making your learning time that much longer.
     
  5. dak1b

    dak1b TPF Noob!

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    ok cool. What film would you recommend if I want to shoot B&W that gives a old mysterious look?

    kind of like this:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. white

    white TPF Noob!

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    Most of the fun comes from developing and printing your own b&w. If you want that old 'mysterious' look, just buy a solid 400 speed film (like hp5 or tri-x/t-max) and abuse the hell out of the negative. Rub it on the ground, scratch it, etc.

    By the way, that's just dust and water spots in the photo. I guarantee if you start processing your own film, the time will come when you do not look forward to that stuff. And it will still happen. Again, and again, and again, and again ...
     
  7. dak1b

    dak1b TPF Noob!

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    ok cool thanks. i also want to experiment with expired film.
     
  8. dak1b

    dak1b TPF Noob!

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  9. PJL

    PJL TPF Noob!

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    Those are all good films. You may or may not get really crazy results with expired films; I recently took a roll of Ilford HP-5 400 ISO that's about 15 years expired and the pictures came out as if the roll was brand new. Either way, you'll get some really nice grain with that Tri-X 400.
     
  10. dak1b

    dak1b TPF Noob!

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    very cool I'm excited to see the results. I'll post. :thumbup:
     
  11. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I've always been partial to Fuji films. Color and B&W.

    I don't think I've ever shot anything they make that I wouldn't use again.
     
  12. Sbuxo

    Sbuxo TPF Noob!

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    Kodak Tri-X 400 is a nice 'indoor' film, but I suggest pulling it to 200 because the contrast can be overbearing, unless that's what you like. I suggest to try it. [:
     

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