Film my first roll of film?

krugorg

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:
 

Andrewteee

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.
 

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.
 

Isoterica

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.
 

ajramirez

Hall of Famer
Jul 9, 2010
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Antonio
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:
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
 

Grant

Veteran
Nov 12, 2010
Lunenburg Nova Scotia
So... what film should I give a go first?
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.
 

arachide

Regular
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.
 

pictogramax

All-Pro
Aug 18, 2011
Zemun, 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.
 

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