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Best negative film?

Discussion in 'Film Forum' started by shanelu87, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. Even though I just started into film, and I'm most familiar with negative film I really wanted to try out slides. However, the cost of the film paired with cost of developing them AND the extra cost of having them printed on photo paper professionally if I wanted does not justify my budget.

    My question is simple: Is there a negative film that nearly resembles Velvia 50 for landscapes? Right now I use Kodak 400 Ultra Max for people and general photography.

    Bonus: THis film must be able to be developed at a Costco/Walgreens/etc.
  2. rotxlk82


    Jul 20, 2007
    I've heard that the Kodak Porta VC films have some pretty loud colours, however I've not tried them myself.

    I have shot a fair bit of Velvia 50 however.
  3. Taylor


    May 21, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    Portra VC colours aren't like Velvia. There's nothing that emulates it, you can do some post-processing after scanning but it's just not the same.
  4. So what do you recommend?
  5. Taylor


    May 21, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    For neg film? I like Pro 400H, Reala, Natura 1600, Portra 160NC, Portra 400... Superia is quite sucky compared to the pro versions.

    I prefer shooting slide film though.
  6. Thats quite a list, you'll have to forgive me for not having experience in film. Which of those will have good landscape saturation, and which ones for portraits? Sorry for all my troubles. I never ventured into film much.
  7. Taylor


    May 21, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    Depends on what kind of landscape you want to capture... the lighting conditions, the colour palette of the scene... it's hard to say, and also your own individual taste. I suggest you start off with Reala.

    Slide film would be good too, but it's harder to meter for landscapes.
  8. Thanks, Taylor. I'll try Reala first then.
  9. Kodak Porta will give you the closest results to Velvia 50 (but not exactly the same). I believe Porta comes in 160 and 400. Then you have to decide whether you want to use NC or VC. And that will depend on the lighting over the landscape, time of year and weather. The ISO 160 or 400 and NC or VC gives you the flexibility to cover landscape variables. Since you also have those save variables when using a single film, Velvia 50, you may want to disregard the variables and use just one film. My suggestion then is to go with the Porta 160 NC.
  10. Taylor


    May 21, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    I have never seen Portra look like Velvia Bill...
  11. I think I'm going to stick with Reala film for landscapes and I may try portra 160VC for skin.
  12. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    Shane, check out my F100 goes to the beach thread. I posted a ton of photos with various film types, all straight from Costco 6MP scans.

    Kodak Portra is nice, but the NC (Neutral Color) was a bit flat for me. I liked the VC (Vivid Color) better but need to see if it makes faces look weird or not. I think it'll be OK. I really liked Fuji Superia Reala 100. Very fine grain and nice color too, and leaves faces looking natural. For 400 speed the grocery store variety Fuji Superia 400 seems to work great and still has a pretty fine grain, finer than the Kodak 400 speed films I think. Some sample here

    I shot a roll of Velvia 50 but haven't gotten it developed yet.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  13. Thanks Steve. Please do post your Velvia scans when you develop them. I'm still going with Reala now. I'll have to try slides one day .. when I have the money :X
  14. Hi guys

    I'm doing quite an extensive use of both Portra and Velvia, they are really different!
    Velvia 50 is the non plus ultra for landscapes and there's NOTHING like that.
    Yes, you can use very saturated negative rolls like also the Agfa Ultra 200, but it's a completely different thing and this depends also on the sensitivity and the medium: a slide of 50 iso is of course much more vivid and detailed than a negative roll..
    About Portra, well, yes, NC is more neutral and you can use indoors or when you want to emphatize soft and natural skin tones, while using VC (done just a few days ago) you have to be VERY careful about colours around you, especially indoors, otherwise even a white ceiling bounced flash (but yellow walls) can get results like that (Portra 400 VC)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Outside is much better (same roll)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Well, not sure how it displays on your screen, the original file on smugmug is definitely better, resizing gives it a weird aspect
    Here's another example of the ethnic party in my town some days ago (always 400 VC)
    Unfortunately the one which processed my pictures scanned negatives at a very low quality (files of about 500 k or so)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  15. Thank you so much, Dino for your help. I will make a note VC is for skin outdoors and NC is for skin indoors. Seems like there's no getting away from Velvia!
  16. cotdt


    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    closest to Velvia 50 would be Velvia 100. they are different but there is still a resemblance.
  17. cotdt, I'm really trying hard not to bash you here. You often read half the question and reply without giving any thought to your replies or explaining them. Velvia 100 is still slide film. If you couldn't tell, my question was asking for negative film. Learn to read, then get back to us.
  18. cotdt


    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    sorry but what you're asking for doesn't exist. even digital looks much closer to slide film than does negative film.
  19. Well if it doesn't exist, please don't waste my time saying something I've already stated I'm not going to buy. Next time, just say "I don't think such a film exists because...". How hard can it be?

    Edit: Another dumb newb question. ISO 160 and 50 aren't represented on my Pentax ME Super. It goes from 32 to 64, 100-200. What ISO should I place it on for the best exposure?
  20. Hi Shane

    I mostly replied to the questions about Portra that came along the way, but I want also to stress again the fact that like a slide roll as Velvia 50 there's nothing.
    About exposure, usually slides works better if stopped down half stop or so, in this case if you have a 50, I'd say to use a 64 and if you have a 160 (but this is only negative film, I think, I've never seen a iso 160 for slides) you could use 200 so that the camera uses a faster shutter time (less light entering = darker and more saturated colours); keep in mind that with slides 1/3 stops has a certain meaning, with negative rolls it has not, since they are much more able to manage over and underexposure.

    If you try by yourself, you will see that going over / under 1 stop with slides is practically spoiling everything, with negative film you have just started having fun, since there's no that much difference.
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