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my first roll of film?

Discussion in 'Film Camera Forum' started by krugorg, May 15, 2012.

  1. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    Okay, I am going to do it... have a nice Pentax FA lens just begging to be used full frame, and I have seen decent prices on Pentax LX and MZ-S bodies.

    So... what film should I give a go first?

    I will be using it, at fairly low volume, mostly for my rural decay landscapes (31mm). I am also interested in trying it a bit for portraiture, but that is a lower priority. I want something that would work well in a hybrid workflow... my plan have a good shop process and scan, and then I would be able to PP in LR and Nik. It would seem like this means I want something with low/fine grain?

    Portra? Ektar? Any suggestions would be appreciated! You can even tell me to stop, while there is still time, and stick with digital. :biggrin:
     
  2. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    For me there is only Tri-X.

    When I shoot film, which is rare, I have it processed and printed, then I scan the prints. Not as flexible, but I like the fact that with film I get what I get and I don't get upset.
     
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  3. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    I am shooting a lot of Tri-X and some others.
    I process myself and am starting to print again.

    Your safe with Tri-X but be careful choosing a lab. Most will want to use either HC110 or D76. Both are uh...uh... Liquid garbage. Very low accutance which is bad for scanning.
    FG7 or Rodinal is best.
     
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  4. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    My suggestion is to check on Flickr for various different films and the results they produce bearing in mind that others like you might be post processing too. You can generally tell when seeing a large scale of photos though. Once you decide how you want your images to look, try a roll or two of that film. That is what I do. You really can't tell results by word of mouth, it's a seeing thing. As far as processing, if you don't develop yourself, make sure whatever you choose can be processed in your area.
     
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  5. Crsnydertx

    Crsnydertx SC Top Veteran

    758
    Jan 21, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Kyle, will you be having the lab scan the negatives? I guess that's what is implied.
     
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  6. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    At this point I am using mostly Ektar for color negative and BW400CN for B&W. Both are C41 process films, so I get them developed in my neighborhood Walgreens and scan the negatives myself. I have 10 rolls of Tri X in the freezer, and a development tank and chemicals, but have not had the time to experiment with developing my own. Hope to do so soon, though.

    Ektar is IMO a fantastic film. Very fine grained. Beautiful colors, but quite saturated. Not sure if it would be the right choice for portraits, though. Scans nicely also. BW400CN is also very easy to scan and produces nice tones. I have also used Ilford XP2 Super, but like BW400CN better.

    I also bought several rolls of Portra 400 but have not had a chance to try them out yet. I have a friend who shoots Portra frequently and gets fantastic results.

    I have posted samples with all three films in the Fun with Film Cameras thread. Recent shots were scanned with a Plustek 7600i and older shots with an Epson V500.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
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  7. Crsnydertx

    Crsnydertx SC Top Veteran

    758
    Jan 21, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Antonio, are they specialized film scanners?
     
  8. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    The Plustek is a 35mm film scanner. Not too expensive and the performance is terrific. The Epson V500 is a fairly inexpensive flatbed.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
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  9. Crsnydertx

    Crsnydertx SC Top Veteran

    758
    Jan 21, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Thanks for the info!

    By the way, your street photos are always among my favorites. You capture the passions of people so very well!
     
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  10. Grant

    Grant SC Veteran

    249
    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    If you are going with BW I have always liked the results of Ilford the blacks are supper black. Ilford HP5 Pro ISO 400 is the choice of Photojournalists . Ilford PAN F Plus ISO 50 your choice if you way most detail and virtually no grain.

    If Kodak is still around by the time you get to the store Kodak TX ISO 400 and Kodak TMX ISO 100 are good choices.

    If you are going with colour then stay away from slide film unless you really like little latitude. For prints I use to use Kodak Portra 160 VC as it is awesome but some like the extra light gathering of Portra 400.

    I have friends that swear by Fuji but I have never used it so can't offer an opinion.

    All that being said if you are going to do mainly rural decay I would go with Ilford Pan F and develop your own film. Assuming you have a scanner then all you only need a couple of jugs for chemicals (developer, fixer, and an anti spotting since if you are really crazy) and a measuring cup. Then you will need a reel tank, with a reel, a thermometer, a can opener, a timer, scissors, and a couple of cloths pins to hang you film, oh and a squeegee is a cool thing for taking off excess water but not necessary. I would suggest you use Ilford chemicals for the best result. The process is so very simple, just follow the instructions that come with the chemicals and pay very careful attention to time and temperature. Finally remember cleanliness is next to godliness.

    Here is a link to a PDF that tells you how to do it.
     
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  11. arachide

    arachide SC Regular

    36
    Feb 15, 2012
    Another vote for HP5+. I initially didn't care much for the film but the more I shoot it the more I love it. While I am still undecided what camera to bring with me on vacation, I do know I will be bringing along some HP5+. Freestyle recently had in on sale at $10 for a 3 roll pack.
     
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  12. pictogramax

    pictogramax SC Top Veteran

    978
    Aug 18, 2011
    Belgrade, Serbia
    I only shot several rolls and all were BW.

    I started with the mentioned HP5+ and as it was my first time with film, I didn't know what to expect and was satisfied with results. The magic of having the images on roll in hands and troubles with scanning them added to the final result. But when I switched to Kodak's TMAX, I liked the results better, they were more contrasty and more "gloomy" if I can say so. And I say it as I shoot a lot of decay too, as you know, so TMAX gave me stronger atmosphere... HP5+ in comparison seemed a bit "milder" in character.

    But these "characters" of films (in the modern digitally scanned era) depend much on ways of scanning and later processing that might just be irrelevant or solely a product of my inexperienced imagination. With later rolls I was more handy with my scanner so maybe that's all that there is.

    I wouldn't base my decision on the absence of noise in film, that's what digital is for:) Seriously, the film grain is so pleasing and organically textured, it is a strong part of using it.

    And I hope more serious film shooters will chime in, but I would suggest ISO 400 for start - it will allow you shooting in more different light scenarios and eventually give you more keepers on that first role.