School me on 35mm film you guys..

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i see so many different films outthere that i dont even know what to look into. I already used the search engine and didnt really find such thread. maybe we can make it a sticky for rookies. Thanks!
 
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both really..
 

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Beginners black and white films: Ilford Delta, Kodak Tmax
Contrasty b&w: Ilford PanF, Fuji Acros, Fomapan, Plus-x & Tri-x, Agfapan
Saturated color film (slide): Fuji Velvia, Kodak E-series
Natural color slide film: Fuji Provia and Astia, Kodak NC (stands for "natural color")
Saturated color print film: Kodak VC ("vivid color"), I can't remember what the fuji equivalent is.
Natural color print film: mostly portait films, like Fuji NPH and Kodak Portra

Best high speed b&w film: Ilford Delta series
Best slow speed b&w film: Hard to find: Tech Pan, Easy to find: Maco UP25
 

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I would have put the Tri-X as a beginner B&W

Ilford Delta does not have a whole lot of exposure latitude
Same with TMax
 
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MaxBloom said:
Beginners black and white films: Ilford Delta, Kodak Tmax
Contrasty b&w: Ilford PanF, Fuji Acros, Fomapan, Plus-x & Tri-x, Agfapan
Saturated color film (slide): Fuji Velvia, Kodak E-series
Natural color slide film: Fuji Provia and Astia, Kodak NC (stands for "natural color")
Saturated color print film: Kodak VC ("vivid color"), I can't remember what the fuji equivalent is.
Natural color print film: mostly portait films, like Fuji NPH and Kodak Portra

Best high speed b&w film: Ilford Delta series
Best slow speed b&w film: Hard to find: Tech Pan, Easy to find: Maco UP25

What are contrasty b/w films? And what are saturated color films or slide? i always used the regular film so i dont really know much..bare with me..
 
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and whassup with the speed?
 

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Higher contrast will give you deeper blacks and whiter whites. Not as much gray in between.

Saturation refers to the boldness of the color rendition.

The speed refers to the sensitivity of light. Higher iso number means it is more sensitive. You can shoot in lower light, or higher shutter speeds.
 

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There are four basic types of film which are commonly used. They are black and white, chromogenic black and white, color negative, and color slide.

Color negative and chromogenic black and white films are essentially the same thing, except that the black and white film doesn't record color information. What this means to you is that they can both be processed at just about any one-hour photo procesor in the world (it's called process C-41).

Regular black and white film requires different chemicals, and is much easier to process yourself at home. It can be done at room temperature in a hand-held "daylight tank." As far as I know, there's no specific process name. There are lots of different developers you can use, however, and each produces a somewhat different result in the final image.

Color slide film does not produce a negative. It produces a positive image ready for viewing (with a slide projector, or a light table and a magnifier). It requires yet another chemical process (called E-6).

I'm really only familiar with Kodak films, which I use almost all the time. Each type of film has a different set of characteristics, making it suitable for different situations. Someone else will have to put up some information about Fuji and other brands of film... I just don't know enough about them to comment.

Some regular black and white films:
TMax 100, TMax 400, TMax P3200, Tri-X, Plus-X (the most commonly used Kodak varieties). Each has it's own grain and contrast characteristics, and some people swear by one or another. If you're just starting out, they're all pretty much similar, although the contrast varies a bit. If you're printing your own, using graded or variable-contrast paper allows you to control the final print contrast. TMaxP3200 is a very high-speed film with lots of very visible grain.

Chromogenic BW film:
BW400CN. I think it's the only one currently in production, but I could be wrong. I don't use chromogenic BW film much, and this is the only one I ever see, so it's the only one I use. In any case, you can always tell a roll of this type of film apart from regular BW by the notice on the package (and usually the roll): "Process C-41 Only" or something similar.

Color Negative film:
The entire Portra family of films. The Portra NC films have natural-looking colors, while the VC films have boosted color saturation, meaning that the colors are very vivid (this is sometimes considered bad for portrature, because it can make flesh look ruddy or flushed).
100UC and 400UC, both of which are high-saturation films (and my personal favorites for what little color work I do).
The family of yellow-box "consumer" films, which come in 100, 200, 400, and 800 speed. They're kinda bland, but pretty cheap.
High Definition film. I'm not sure about this one, I've never used it, but I've seen it around. I believe it comes in 200 and 400 speeds, but I only ever see the 400 version.

Color Slide film:
Anything with "chrome" in the name. Ektachrome, Kodachrome, Elite Chrome, etc. I've only ever shot one roll of slide film, so I can't tell you much about them other than the exposure is fairly critical to getting a good image. You can get prints made with slide film, but the basic developing package typically only gets you mounted slides.

In general, the faster the film speed, the more grainy the image will be, which is important when making enlargements beyond 4X6. Grain is kind of like the resolution of a computer monitor... it limits the amount of detail recorded in the image, and affects the sharpness.

If you're like me, you'll probably wind up with just a couple films you use most of the time. For me, it's TMax 100 & 400, and 100UC & 400UC for color. For low-light, I use Kodak's 800 yellow-box film (very rare) or push-process TMax400 (a subject entirely unto itself, but much more common for me). Truth is, unless you really get into it, you probably won't notice many huge differences across brands and varieties within a brand. They're there, and to the very observent, they're quite apparent... but to the casual observer, they usually aren't, unless you hold the same scene shot with two different films at the same time.

If you're one of the observant types, this is a subject that could go on for days... but I think that this covers most of the basics. I'm sure someone will fill any holes I've left, and correct anything I've said which isn't quite right (or is dead wrong). Also, like I said, i can't really comment on non-kodak brands, simply because I don't use them (although I've got a box of Fuji 800 sitting here to try).

Probably the best way to tell what the differences are is to buy a roll of each film and try it. That's what I did, and what I'm still doing today.

Hope that helps :)
 

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I do not separate films into 'beginner' and 'expert' categories. I have no idea of the criteria which might apply nor their applicability.

I use Pan F and Tri X in 35mm and Plus X and Tri X in 120. They have proven satisfactory for many years.
 

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