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120 film - which one?

Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
4 Oct 2011 5:28PM
Ok so my understanding of film is mostly none-existent aside from the fact that you put film in the camera and pictures appear at some point later

So with that in mind I enter the sea of film on the market and I've no idea what kind of film I really want to be aiming for. At the moment I'm certain that I want to work with colour and not black and white (might do black and white one day but for now sticking to colour). Chances are that I'll also be scanning the negatives rather than working the negatives to print directly (if that makes any difference in preferable film selection).

So now there are two sides to this - first the ASA/ISO of the film and then the actual type of film itself (for which there seem to be many types and brands). With regard to type is there any site/reference I can read which would give me some grounding as to the different effects and qualities out there as I really have no basis to say what I want from a film as such save for clean clear colour and details.

On the ASA/ISO front I know a big part of that will be determined by what and how I shoot and that experience is going to be a big part in that, however for macro with supported flash lighting what would suitable ASA/ISO powers be - should I follow the "lowest is the best" maxim or should I aim for something a little faster for grainy effect?

Lastly reliability (and I know this is going to be a tricky point) not so much just in the film itself, but in its viability on the market. I'll certainly hear about rarer/limited stock films, but something that is more mainstream would be better suited (esp in the early days as I know I'll make 1001 mistakes getting there so I don't want to really be shifting between film types whilst learning my way with the camera).

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Daffy1 9 360 Ireland
4 Oct 2011 5:37PM
What type of camera have you got ? As a general rule with film the higher the ISO the bigger the "grain" ("noise") Damian
franken Plus
15 4.3k 4 United Kingdom
4 Oct 2011 5:42PM
I would start off with colour negative film as it's more forgiving for slight over/under exposure than slide film. It tends to scan better in my opinion. Probably best to start with 100/200 ISo. You can then play about with higher/or lower sensitivities when you get the hang of it.

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franken Plus
15 4.3k 4 United Kingdom
4 Oct 2011 5:50PM
I forgot to say that if you are going to scan the negs any slight differences in brands may not be that obvious. When film ruled I found the Fuji range of colour films to be my favourite. Others found Kodak, it's simply a matter of what works for you.

wawatson 14 76
4 Oct 2011 6:19PM
I treated myself to a Bronica ETRSi recently and face a similar issue on film selection.

I opted for Fuji Velvia 100 (transparency). This is a bit less contrasty than the standard Velvia 50, and is a little easier to expose for. I've since shot a couple of rolls and had an E6 develop and Archive scan to CD (final image about 3500 x 2500). The big advantage is that there's no default colour present in the scanned image (orange-brown in the case of a C41 film), and the colours in the tranny should remind you of the actual colour at the time of shooting.

Usual rules of tranny shooting apply ... like digital exposures, think of slight underexposure (you might do slight overexposure for negative films).

In fact, you might consider using a digital camera aslightmeter/Polaroid the better your chances of a proper exposure, no matter the film you choose!!

User_Removed 7 4.6k 1 Scotland
4 Oct 2011 6:47PM

Try the Kodak Ektar 100 I have sent with the camera.

Personally I would suggest sticking with colour negative film meantime because of the somewhat greater exposure latitude it has. Trannie film tends to be a bit less forgiving.

But the main advice I would give is this - if you are going to be scanning, rather than darkroom printing, then when you decide to try Black & White, still use colour negative film. You actually have much more control over the black and white conversion from a colour original in Lightroom (or similar) than you do from a B&W original.

But hey! Experiment freely and discover your own preferences.
joolsb 12 27.1k 38 Switzerland
4 Oct 2011 7:18PM

Quote:Personally I would suggest sticking with colour negative film meantime because of the somewhat greater exposure latitude it has. Trannie film tends to be a bit less forgiving.

Colour neg is also a lot easier to scan.
MickS 12 23 14 England
29 Nov 2011 10:50PM
For colour negs: Fuji Reala 100, Slides: Fuji Velvia 50 or Fuji Provia 100.
A good, all round B&W is Ilford FP4+ but I prefer the single emulsion Adox film, it's as sharp as the cliched razor, the light only has to work on one layer of emulsion so suffers less diffraction.

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