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Thread: Films recommendation

  1. #1
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    Default Films recommendation

    Hi, as i'm quite new to film photography, I would like to seek some expertise in this area (: Can anyone recommend me some films to try out, and let me know where can i get those films? so far i've only tried Kodak 400. I'm currently using a vivitar and is considering to get a supersampler.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Films recommendation

    Each film has its own unique characteristics.. usually the best way to do is sample them for yourselves and find out. I would go and buy one or two rolls of each kind

    The number after your film is the ISO speed and that indicates sensitivity of film to light. ISO 100 good for outdoors in good light, 200 good for cloudy days, 400-1600 good for lower light, evening, indoors, etc. your knowledge of how ISO works with digital cameras will give you a good idea of how it works for film. Except with film cameras, you change ISO by changing your film.. no such thing as menu or dials

    Three kinds of film:
    - slides/chromes/transparencies, developed in a process called E-6
    - negatives, developed in C-41
    - black and white film, developed in B&W chemicals

    You don't need to know exactly what goes into the process unless you do your own developing, but it helps to know if someone refers to it.

    Cross processing: developing the film in the 'wrong' chemistry (putting slides into C-41, for example, instead of their normal E-6). Makes for very interesting effects.

    Types of film:
    120 - medium format film for medium format cameras (ie. Holga, Mamiya 645, etc.)
    135 - this is "35mm film"


    I'll recommend a few to start with. There are many other brands which I have not yet tried so if I leave something out it is because I have no personal experience with it, not because it is 'bad' or anything like that. I'm sure there are lots of GREAT films which I haven't yet had time to play with.

    If I'm shooting color I prefer slides because of their brilliant beautiful colors.


    Slides:
    - Fuji Velvia 50, Velvia 100, Velvia 100F: very VERY saturated and brilliant colors, good for landscapes. May be too saturated for people and may make skin tones appear red
    - Fuji Provia 100F: slightly less saturation but still very strong colors. Color balance a bit more 'natural' compared to Velvia. Personal preference, I like Provia a lot

    Negatives:
    - Fuji Pro 400H: good for lower light
    - Fuji Superia 400: cheaper version ('non-pro') of 400H. Good if you want to play with. OK colors, all round general purpose film like the Kodak stuff

    Black and white:
    - Kodak Tri-X 400: the great classic black and white film
    - Ilford HP5 400: Ilford's competitor to Tri-X
    - Kodak Plus-X 125 and Ilford FP4 125: slower speed films but less grains. Good for landscape work (but obviously not limited to landscape)
    - Ilford Delta 100 and 400: good stuff.. I like
    Last edited by sloth; 6th January 2008 at 08:04 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Films recommendation

    Thanks so much for all that info!

    but just to ask - what do u mean by 135 = "35mm film"? does tht mean i can use 135 films for a 35mm film camera?

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    Default Re: Films recommendation

    oh! and where can i get all those films? only saw fuji superia in my area.

    and have you tried Agfa CT Precisa before? haha.. just wondering if i shld get tht too.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Films recommendation

    hi.. 135 film is 35mm film..

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Films recommendation

    ohhh okay (:

    just to clarify, is it tht the type of chemical used is the only difference between slide & negative films?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Films recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by sheree View Post
    oh! and where can i get all those films? only saw fuji superia in my area.

    and have you tried Agfa CT Precisa before? haha.. just wondering if i shld get tht too.
    can try checking at peninsular plaza a shop called ruby has quite a large amt of film or go to sim lim square 6th floor a shop called Orient photo has some. You can get agfa precisa at Triple D at burlington square but it limited

  8. #8

    Default Re: Films recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by sheree View Post
    ohhh okay (:

    just to clarify, is it tht the type of chemical used is the only difference between slide & negative films?
    yup, the processing differs.. C-41 for negs and E-6 for slides..

    that and the processed media looks different.. ie, negs you get negative/inverted colours and slides you get the actual colours of the scene..

    plus the different image characteristics associated with each..

  9. #9

    Default Re: Films recommendation

    Do take note that there are two different kinds of slides, Kodachrome and Fujichrome which uses different processing methods. Fujichrome uses the easier E-6 process and Kodachrome the very complicated and tedious K-14 process. I don't advise you to use K-14 process Kodachrome (if you can even obtain it) for that reason.

    If you get taken aback by the price of slide film, try a roll first and compare it against your negs. After that, you woder why you've been wasting your time with colour negs all this time. You might feel that your Vivitar is a bit inadequate then, even though it's a fun camera in it's own right.

    B&W is a great medium as well. You get to see the world in the different light and it's certainly not just clicking the "convert to B&W" button. It's much more then that.

    Samuel
    Last edited by alternatve; 7th January 2008 at 12:19 AM.
    f/8 and be there.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Films recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by sheree View Post
    Thanks so much for all that info!

    but just to ask - what do u mean by 135 = "35mm film"? does tht mean i can use 135 films for a 35mm film camera?
    You're welcome

    You're correct - 135 film for 35mm camera. I should have been clearer about it, 135 is the code number for normal 35mm film. Very few people use the number nowadays. We should just call it 35mm film

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/135_film

    Cathay Photo has a good stock of film, just bought some Tri-X from them. If you find Kodak T-MAX black and white film, you can try that too. Available in ISO 100 and 400.

    Also near Cathay there is a shop called Konota, they sell all kinds of Fuji film. Same building, 1st floor.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Films recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by sheree View Post
    Hi, as i'm quite new to film photography, I would like to seek some expertise in this area (: Can anyone recommend me some films to try out, and let me know where can i get those films? so far i've only tried Kodak 400. I'm currently using a vivitar and is considering to get a supersampler.

    Thanks in advance!
    Hi Sheree,

    like the others have mentioned, cross processing slides will be interesting. since you are using a vivitar, i don't think what type of film you are using is exactly the most important factor. such toy camera doesn't do justice to some of the films out there. for example, the fuji reala is known for its excellent skin tone and punchy colour rendition. however, its difficult for a vivitar to bring out such qualities of the reala film.

    instead, just take note of the condition you are shooting in, and buy film of suitable speed to suit the shooting environment. with a vivitar, you can then concentrate on making full use of its wide angle characteristic to 'make' your pictures more interesting.

    if you haven't try cross processing before, i strongly recommend it, its fun and its a must for all lomographers! buy a roll of cheap slides like Fuji Sensia 100.

    you can cross process at the following labs.

    Triple D at Burlington Square
    Kim Tian at Hong Lim Complex
    Grace Digital Lab at Sunset Way (Clementi)

    you can also visit www.lomotionsg.com check out the forum there. great community of lomographers

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Films recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by jamie-vai View Post
    Hi Sheree,

    like the others have mentioned, cross processing slides will be interesting. since you are using a vivitar, i don't think what type of film you are using is exactly the most important factor. such toy camera doesn't do justice to some of the films out there. for example, the fuji reala is known for its excellent skin tone and punchy colour rendition. however, its difficult for a vivitar to bring out such qualities of the reala film.

    instead, just take note of the condition you are shooting in, and buy film of suitable speed to suit the shooting environment. with a vivitar, you can then concentrate on making full use of its wide angle characteristic to 'make' your pictures more interesting.

    if you haven't try cross processing before, i strongly recommend it, its fun and its a must for all lomographers! buy a roll of cheap slides like Fuji Sensia 100.

    you can cross process at the following labs.

    Triple D at Burlington Square
    Kim Tian at Hong Lim Complex
    Grace Digital Lab at Sunset Way (Clementi)

    you can also visit www.lomotionsg.com check out the forum there. great community of lomographers
    Thanks! Actually i'm into alternative photography, but by the nature of this topic i guess it got moved here =p haha.

    Just wondering, where can i get Fuji Sensia?

    meanwhile, thanks so much for all the info!

    Quote Originally Posted by sloth View Post
    You're welcome

    You're correct - 135 film for 35mm camera. I should have been clearer about it, 135 is the code number for normal 35mm film. Very few people use the number nowadays. We should just call it 35mm film

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/135_film

    Cathay Photo has a good stock of film, just bought some Tri-X from them. If you find Kodak T-MAX black and white film, you can try that too. Available in ISO 100 and 400.

    Also near Cathay there is a shop called Konota, they sell all kinds of Fuji film. Same building, 1st floor.
    I'm so sorry to ask but where's Cathay Photo? Thanks a lot for all that info!

    Quote Originally Posted by alternatve View Post
    Do take note that there are two different kinds of slides, Kodachrome and Fujichrome which uses different processing methods. Fujichrome uses the easier E-6 process and Kodachrome the very complicated and tedious K-14 process. I don't advise you to use K-14 process Kodachrome (if you can even obtain it) for that reason.

    If you get taken aback by the price of slide film, try a roll first and compare it against your negs. After that, you woder why you've been wasting your time with colour negs all this time. You might feel that your Vivitar is a bit inadequate then, even though it's a fun camera in it's own right.

    B&W is a great medium as well. You get to see the world in the different light and it's certainly not just clicking the "convert to B&W" button. It's much more then that.

    Samuel
    Haha i'm more into lomography/toy cameras than the mainstream film photography. By Kodachrome do u mean Kodak elitechrome (if i didnt get this wrong)? Thanks for the information!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Films recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by sheree View Post
    Just wondering, where can i get Fuji Sensia?

    I'm so sorry to ask but where's Cathay Photo? Thanks a lot for all that info!

    Haha i'm more into lomography/toy cameras than the mainstream film photography. By Kodachrome do u mean Kodak elitechrome (if i didnt get this wrong)? Thanks for the information!
    Konota might have Fuji Sensia (haven't checked).

    Cathay and Konota are at ground floor, Peninsula Plaza. Over time you will become very familiar with that place.. a lot of good camera shops there (probably make you spend a lot of money too )
    http://www.streetdirectory.com/asia_...el_site_12884/

    If you cross the road to the Peninsula Excelsior Hotel, Ruby Photo is on the ground floor. I recently bought some film developer and fixer from them... quite a pleasant buying experience and good service.

    Kodak Elite Chrome can be processed in regular E-6 chemicals. Kodachrome 64 is a rare film that needs special K-14 processing. Not sure if there is any place in Singapore that does K-14 (correct me if I am wrong). You're unlikely to encounter Kodachrome because of the special processing requirements.

    Also, you may notice some places keep the film in fridges. This is good for long term storage, in order to prevent color shifts and the film from expiring. Generally I do not bother to fridge my film for short term usage. There are no perceptible color shifts even after a few months. I have two rolls of Velvia 100 sitting around for six months.. no difference.

    Alternative photographers would probably enjoy the color shifts (if any) so even less need to store in the fridge. Just leave it in your bag or on the shelf.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Films recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by sheree View Post
    Thanks! Actually i'm into alternative photography, but by the nature of this topic i guess it got moved here =p haha.

    Just wondering, where can i get Fuji Sensia?

    meanwhile, thanks so much for all the info!



    I'm so sorry to ask but where's Cathay Photo? Thanks a lot for all that info!



    Haha i'm more into lomography/toy cameras than the mainstream film photography. By Kodachrome do u mean Kodak elitechrome (if i didnt get this wrong)? Thanks for the information!
    Cathay photo is located at Peninsula Plaza, near to cityhall mrt station. It's opposite the St Andrews Cathedral.

    Kodak Elitechrome is "normal" slide film, which means it uses E-6 processing. You would have to send your K-14 film to the kodak labs in the US to process it I think... o_O

    Well, alternative photography doesn't mean lousy photography eh? I don't believe that slides can "only" be used in "good" cameras. I was just concerned about the prices. A roll of 35mm slides already cost more then a three roll pack of fuji superia 200. Of course, I prefer the slide film myself.

    IMO, Fuji Sensia 100 is too hard to get in Singapore. I see more Fuji Superia 200 in stores.

    Samuel
    f/8 and be there.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Films recommendation

    One of the 'non pro' Fujifilm negative that I like is the Reala. Find that it gives very vivid and satuated colors. Very nice for taking nature macro and landscape photos. Only thing is that it seems quite difficult to get nowadays. I have switched to DSLR now but sometimes I do have an impulse to get a few rolls to shoot some film again.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Films recommendation

    Oh yah.. just want to ask another very noobish qn - Am i able to process my negatives at any photo shop? Cus since a lot of people are using digital, im afraid that some shops dont develop photos from films anymore and have already switched to only printing digital photos.


    Quote Originally Posted by alternatve View Post
    Cathay photo is located at Peninsula Plaza, near to cityhall mrt station. It's opposite the St Andrews Cathedral.

    Kodak Elitechrome is "normal" slide film, which means it uses E-6 processing. You would have to send your K-14 film to the kodak labs in the US to process it I think... o_O

    Well, alternative photography doesn't mean lousy photography eh? I don't believe that slides can "only" be used in "good" cameras. I was just concerned about the prices. A roll of 35mm slides already cost more then a three roll pack of fuji superia 200. Of course, I prefer the slide film myself.

    IMO, Fuji Sensia 100 is too hard to get in Singapore. I see more Fuji Superia 200 in stores.

    Samuel
    Yeah i see superia being more common too.. Haha. Perhaps i'll wait for someone to organise priv mass order from lomography.com or something then i'll get sensia.

    btw i have always heard that peninsular sells overpriced photography stuff? is it true or is it just the polaroid films?

    Quote Originally Posted by cairocks View Post
    One of the 'non pro' Fujifilm negative that I like is the Reala. Find that it gives very vivid and satuated colors. Very nice for taking nature macro and landscape photos. Only thing is that it seems quite difficult to get nowadays. I have switched to DSLR now but sometimes I do have an impulse to get a few rolls to shoot some film again.
    for me, i already have a dslr, but i kinda want to explore lomo art for now. haha. Somehow i feel that theres more thrill to shoot in film, however i guess the price of film photography is the only obstruction. Will keep in mind to try Reala!
    Last edited by sheree; 7th January 2008 at 06:43 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Films recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by sheree View Post
    Oh yah.. just want to ask another very noobish qn - Am i able to process my negatives at any photo shop? Cus since a lot of people are using digital, im afraid that some shops dont develop photos from films anymore and have already switched to only printing digital photos.
    Most places should. Of course, ask the three important questions - whether they can develop medium format (E-6, C-41, black and white depending on what you need), how much $$, and how long before you can get your film back.

    For example the place I went to today did C-41 overnight at their shop, but sent E-6 and B&W elsewhere so the turnaround time was longer. I had slide film so I needed E-6, but since it wasn't VERY important I was ok with a few days wait.

    And also ask if they can scan for you and how much $$ (additional charges apply). You get a CD with scanned images. Or you can ask them to print the photos. I ask for no scanning and no prints because I do my own scanning.

    For reference, a Canon film flatbed scanner can range from $210-$350. If you intend to do a lot of rolls of film over the years, it may be cheaper to DIY compared to paying the shop for each scan.

    Quote Originally Posted by sheree View Post
    btw i have always heard that peninsular sells overpriced photography stuff? is it true or is it just the polaroid films?
    Prices vary, so shop around and ask at a few places before committing to a purchase.. but generally prices are OK, you get a feel for the average price once you've asked a few shops.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Films recommendation

    ohhh okay! haha oh man thanks so much for all these help! really cleared my doubts about a lot of stuff on film photography (:

  19. #19

    Default Re: Films recommendation

    it's quite true that a lot of neighbourhood labs dont do film processing i.e they probably send it to some other lab to process film and the turnaround time is likely to be one week. guess you just have to frequent the usual labs eg. konota, colourlab, ruby, fotohub (beach road), grace, kim tian, triple d and miao lan. most of these places offer discounts with the use of an in-house card or membership, just try asking for one.

    konota is a big supplier of fuji film. you can find most varieties of fuji film there...reala, acros, superia 100 to 1600, velvia, provia etc. last time i was there (probably a month ago) i saw stocks of sensia 100, 200 and 400.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Films recommendation

    ooh okay!

    where is it ah? i saw tht its in anson road, international plaza. sounds familiar but im still quite clueless where. can tell me any other prominent buildings near there?

    same goes for miao laan.. is it near bukit batok mrt station?

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