Film curious

Discussion in 'Film Forum' started by peterparker, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. peterparker

    peterparker

    461
    Jun 2, 2006
    Houston
    What do you recommend for somebody that hasn't shot film but wants to do so? 35mm, medium? I don't even know enough about it to know what to ask.

    Thank you,
    David
     
  2. Hi David,

    Starting out with 35mm slide film (color reversal is another name for it) is pretty inexpensive. You can pick up a decent film body for around $100-300 (like an F100 or N90s), buy a few rolls of film for about $6 apiece and shoot. Then look for a camera shop/developing center that does "E-6" developing for about $8/roll and you're on your way. An inexpensive viewing loupe will allow you to look at your slides at close detail if you don't have access to a projector.

    Sean
     
  3. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    Hi David - Film curious... I like that.. A term for someone who is questioning their photographic preference. :Crunk:

    Let me answer your question with more questions. What do you want to shoot - color or black & white? Many people who are dedicated digital photographers still use film for their black and white work. On the other hand, as Sean recommended, slide film does produce some fantastically saturated color shots. Personally I prefer digital for color and film for monochrome.

    Next question: what subject matter do you want to shoot, and what kind of camera do you have/want? If you have a bunch of non-DX Nikkor lenses, it would make sense to get a Nikon film body. The F100/N90s end of the spectrum has some fine cameras, but you can also use less expensive cameras like the FG or FE or Nikkormats. If you want to dabble with medium format and have an experimental mind, try a Holga, or look for an older folding camera.

    For film, if you have never shot film before, I recommend using chromogenic film. Kodak color negative films and B&W film that can be processed with C-41 chemistry (that's the name for the thing one-hour shops and others use for film) are all chromogenic, AND they have a decent latitude. That means that you can make exposure mistakes and not lose the picture. My favorite color film is Kodak Portra NC for people or VC for everything else. Use 400 speed in the early evening and late afternoon, use 100 speed for midday. I can't recommend either Kodak's (BW400CN) or Ilford's (XP2) C41 black and white films because I have never used either.
     
  4. peterparker

    peterparker

    461
    Jun 2, 2006
    Houston
    Thanks for the great info guys. The F100 looks good. Most of my lenses are non-DX.

    At this point it could be color or B&W. Is one or the other easier with the F100?
     
  5. TechPan

    TechPan

    114
    Oct 5, 2006
    Los Angeles
    Looking at your cameras I recommend a F100 as it will work with your lenses...even with VR, I would get the film developed neg only and have them scan to a CD. Some places do the low rez scans...others like A&I near me will do scans up to 100mb. But last I checked will do neg only and 25mb scans for around $18 for 36. If you get the film bug then you can get a scanner and then do develop only.

    I have been shooting only color neg film atm, but did try some Ilford C41 B&W. I really like shooting color neg and converting to B&W when needed. Out of the films I have tried I really like Kodak 100UC for B&W conversion. For straight color I have really been liking Fuji Pro 400H and 800Z. I also just shot a roll of Rollei ScanFilm and really find the color and depth really cool...it reminds me of the old Scotch color neg film from years ago. Currently I have some Portra 400NC in my F4s and am looking forward to that. Film for me is like trying new beers....some are damn tasty. Digital is like drinking the same beer over and over...It might taste good, but it still comes out of the same can.

    Film makes me giddy and recently sold my D200 and have gone pure film except for my Ricoh GR.
     
  6. TechPan

    TechPan

    114
    Oct 5, 2006
    Los Angeles
    Nope...they will work the same. B&W can be pretty economical if you develop yourself. The trick is getting the image in the computer. I bought a Nikon Coolscan V-ED and love it. Scanning negs is pretty slow...but worth it.

    One of these days I'll start developing B&W negs again and someday getting a darkroom for prints...but for now I just do color neg.
     
  7. David, the F100 is a nice camera but for the price of one, around $300, you could buy an N80, $100, (has 90% of the functionality of the F100) and buy an Epson 4490 scanner, $200! I can recommend both Kodak and Ilford chromagenic B&W films (Kodak is smoother and Ilford has slightly more pronounced grain). By the way, I really recommend enrolling in a class at your local community college if you have the time and really experience wet room work.
     
  8. dabluedevil

    dabluedevil Guest

    I'll second the idea for enrolling at a community college. I took a class this semester - Photo I. It's just the basics, but the best part was that I got the access card to the darkrooms and everything. They have so much nice equipment, the cameras they rent out are Hassys!
     
  9. peterparker

    peterparker

    461
    Jun 2, 2006
    Houston
    What is the other 10% that the F100 has over the N80?

    I do have an Epson Perfection scanner. It's not here at the moment, so I'm not sure which model. 2480 or 2580, would that be good enough?

    Yes, a class would be great. I'm gonna check Leisure Learning here. I know they have a 35mm class.

    Thanks,
    David
     
  10. peterparker

    peterparker

    461
    Jun 2, 2006
    Houston
    So if my scanner will work with it, what do I need to do with the film to be able to scan it?
     
  11. Well, once you have some negatives you just scan them in with either the scanner's software (download the latest version from Epson's site) or directly from Photoshop, which is what I do. Apparently either the 2480 or 2580 will work.
     
  12. peterparker

    peterparker

    461
    Jun 2, 2006
    Houston
    Thanks, no problem with that part. Just wondering best way to get the negative slides, but I think that was answered earlier.

    Thanks,
    David
     
  13. Dave, you're welcome. And don't be shy about posting some of your first efforts!
     
  14. peterparker

    peterparker

    461
    Jun 2, 2006
    Houston
    What will be the difference in print vs. slide film? I still plan on scanning myself. Also, I haven't seen any B&W slide film, is it done?

    Thanks
     
  15. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    Hi Peter, uh, David :Wink: :smile:

    Ilford's Delta 100 film claims to be ble to be processed to make black and white slides. I'm curious though, why do you want b&w slides? Are you planning on projecting them? I think there is no better way to see a photograph than to view a properly projected slide!
     
  16. peterparker

    peterparker

    461
    Jun 2, 2006
    Houston
    Nope, no plans at the moment. Just going to get some film for the first time and the first choice I hit was slide or print. And the first recommendation I got in this thread was for slide. Slides seem easier to handle from looks? But I have no experience with either.
     
  17. Print film is developed into a negative which can then be used to print the image onto paper. Slide film creates the image as a positive transparency - you can view the image itself when it's shot on slide film and viewed with a light source behind it. Slide film has more contrast and color than print film and your images will be sharper although it affords you a little less latitude for exposure error (read: bracket your shots!) Yes, there is B/W slide film.

    Sean
     
  18. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    I've used it, but that was back in the day. What's available now, is it full range or high contrast, and where can I get it?

    Thanks!
     

  19. Agfa Scala is the only one I know of that is still available - my comment would have been better phrased as "b/w slide film exists." It has high contrast which makes it a good choice for astrophotography:

    moon.
     
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