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Medium Format Film

collinf 18 1.2k
17 Apr 2003 9:21AM
Ok, I've been reading on the net and in mags about what print and slide film people use.

Most seem to use one of the Fuji variants, Superia or Velvia, I think. I have very nearly got my 645 camera and have a couple of questions:

I've been given 5 rolls of Kodak 160NC (Neutral). Will this be any good for landscape, or should I go for the 160VC (Vivid). Are there any other recommendations ppl can offer?

I will be looking to buy in both 120 Roll and 35mm formats.

Ooh, one more question - and a daft one at that - how do you load film in a Medium Format Bronica??? I know, I don't have the camera yet so why should I worry? Well, I'll hopefully be collecting the camera on the way to Scotland on Holiday, and am intrigued. The box for the Kodak film suggests handling unexposed film in TOTAL darkness. How necessary really is this? Will low level light (very low!) be enough?


Confused Collin!
cool cat 19 145
17 Apr 2003 9:52AM
Hi colin,

Films depend mostly on personal preference. I use mostly velvia for outdoor and landscape work and I use provia and occasionally kodak portra for portraits. I know a lot of people prefer the Kodak for people / skin tones but I find the fuji suits me the best.

I prefer looking at a positive rather than a colour neg. The fuji is better suited to long exposures and does not produce the horible cast that some of the kodaks do. I used to love k25 but alas it is no longer available. k64 is also a superb film.

I am not sure which Bronica you have but if you have interchangeable backs you can take the same shot with two / three films and compare later.

Buy a selection of films and then see which suits you the best.

Get the shop to show you how to load a film.

Total darkness is not required, although roll film is more suceptable to light leaking onto the edge of the neg. I have never had a case where this has ever gone onto the image itself.

Cheers, Rob
J-P 18 396
17 Apr 2003 11:07AM
Hi Colin. I've never loaded 120 in darkness. I've never had a problem even with 400 asa in the snow.

Velvia is very popular for landscape, I use nothing else except when I have a very long lens on when I use Provia 400. Velvia gives bright punchy colours and is very fine grained. I sometimes push it to 100 with very acceptable results.

Neg film is only better if you want a print off every frame in which case it is more economical than scanning/cibachromes. Portra 160 NC is not a good choice for landscape, particularly in the UK where the colours may lack impact. If it's at all possible that you'll be submitting to an agency you'll need to be using transparency.

Not sure how to load a Bronica as I've never used one. In general 120 isn't too complicated, just make sure that the emulsion side is facing the lens !
collinf 18 1.2k
17 Apr 2003 11:30AM

Thanks for the replies!

I think I'll save the Kodak film for some portrait work I want to do later on.

I'm gonna go look at the Fuji films now! Probably a selection of reala/superia. I might even get adventurous and try the new ACROS b&w film :o)

I will probably stick with Neg at the moment, I want to see all my prints so I can see what I've done right/wrong, then move to slide film later on.

I think the camera I'm looking at will come with the instruction manual, it's a Bronica ETRS.

Thanks again for the info - it has helped much!

spartacus 18 31
17 Apr 2003 12:55PM
If you have a 35mm camera then put a few different films through this first to see which you have a preference for.

Loading film on the bronica can be a wee bit tricky and it is best to get someone to show you how to do it the first time.

You can do everything in light so don't worry about having to stumble around in the dark. Take the back off, and open it up.

Take the plastic spar from the previous film off the top part of the insert and put it on the bottom. Place the new film in the top of the insert with the black paper (emulsion) side facing forward then pull the film over the front of the compression plate and insert the film into the old plastic spar. Roll the film on until the arrow on the back of the new film is facing you. assemble the back and put it on the camera. Advance the film until the winder sticks. You should now have advanced past the paper start of the foll and have the film in the correct place ready to use.

When finished taking your 15 pics the camera will allow you to advance the film for about 15 turns or so, untill you have past another paper part at the end of the roll. On opening the back use a bit of tape to seal the roll film which amazingly doesn't let any light in. You should now have the a new plastic spar at the top which you move down when you are ready to use another film.

I'm very sorry for making this sound a lot trickier than it actually is.
lightweaver 18 481
17 Apr 2003 4:40PM
loading roll film is not as bad as it sounds. I was mystified by the whole process, but managed it first time without a problem. The instructions Sparticus outlined may seem complicated, but once you have the film back in front of you, they become quite simple.

Have fun

collinf 18 1.2k
17 Apr 2003 6:39PM
Excellent replies, thanks folks!

All I gotta do now is get the camera Smile

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