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Thread: Hi-speed colour films for minimum grain & good skin tones?

  1. #1

    Default Hi-speed colour films for minimum grain & good skin tones?

    Would like to hear some comments from experience users regarding hi-speed colour films for best skin tones & minimum grain...

    Scenario:

    Environment
    Type: Indoor
    Time: Evening
    Ambient: Dim fluorescent/tungsten (multiple sources)
    Subject: People of different skin colour
    Event: Wedding, Bday, anything...

    Camera
    Type: Any 35mm or medium format
    Focal length: Any from 17mm to 135mm (No IS)
    Aperture: f/2.8 - f/8
    Shutter: Acceptable hand-held speed (min 1/45)
    Flash: No

    Choice of colour films
    1. Fuji Press 800 (push)
    2. Fuji Press 1600
    3. Fuji NPH 400 (push)
    4. Fuji NPZ 800 (push)
    5. Fuji Xtra 800 (push)
    6. Fuji Superia 1600
    7. KODAK MAX VP 800 (push)
    8. Others, pls specify

    The choice of films is subjective, u may pick more than 1 films, push, or re-rate...Pls state ur reason for doing so...
    Last edited by henavs; 9th September 2003 at 02:35 PM.

  2. #2
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    Just yesterday I used the following setup:

    Type: Indoor
    Time: Early morning
    Ambient: Tungsten
    Subject: People of different skin colour (Chinese, Indian, Malay, European)
    Event: Class outing to Goethe Institute

    Film Used: Fuji Press 800

    Type: Dynax 5
    Focal length: 28-70mm
    Aperture: f/2.8 - f/4
    Shutter: Aperture priority mode. Usually faster than 1/focal length.
    Flash: No

    Results, slightly underexposed, got a tiny bit of grain; I forgot to +0.5 EV again! ARGH! Yellowish cast due to the tungsten lights.

    But when used with flash, very very good. No grain, no colour casts. At least in 4R size.
    Last edited by alvin; 9th September 2003 at 02:53 PM.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by alvin
    Just yesterday I used the following setup:

    Type: Indoor
    Time: Early morning
    Ambient: Tungsten
    Subject: People of different skin colour (Chinese, Indian, Malay, European)
    Event: Class outing to Goethe Institute

    Type: Dynax 5
    Focal length: 28-70mm
    Aperture: f/2.8 - f/4
    Shutter: Aperture priority mode. Usually faster than 1/focal length.
    Flash: No

    Results, slightly underexposed, got a tiny bit of grain; I forgot to +0.5 EV again! ARGH! Yellowish cast due to the tungsten lights.

    But when used with flash, very very good. No grain, no colour casts. At least in 4R size.

    I guess u forgot one thing... "which film?"

  4. #4

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    One thing about colour casts. They depend on the developer as well, some can correct better for the casts compared to others.

    On the whole however, I find that the lower the light level and shutter speed used, the stronger the resultant colour cast.

    I've tried Fuji Xtra 800 and Press 800 under tungsten lighting, both came out with mild yellow cast and almost grain free if well exposed.

    Tried Press 800 pushed 1 stop, no colour cast and fine grain if used in daylight and well exposed.(but hardy anyone will used it as such). Under (sodium?) light, the result was rather contrasty and skin took on a unhealthy yellow/green tone.

    Btw, I thought NPZ800 isn't available here?
    Last edited by Zerstorer; 9th September 2003 at 08:34 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by henavs
    I guess u forgot one thing... "which film?"
    Opsie! Edited my post to reflect. It's Fuji Press 800.

  6. #6
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    Yups, NPZ 800 isn't available here, but if you are resourceful, there are mail order sites on the Internet which you can order from.

    NPZ is essentially like NPH 400, with one additional stop of speed, the grains are almost like NPH, it's low contrast and very nice natural skin tone.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerstorer
    I've tried Fuji Xtra 800 and Press 800 under flourescent lighting, both came out with mild yellow cast and almost grain free if well exposed.
    I guess Xtra 800 is the same as Press 800 only marketed differently.
    My experience with Xtra 800 also came out yellow cast and grainless.



    Quote Originally Posted by Zerstorer
    Btw, I thought NPZ800 isn't available here?
    Not so sure, but just 2 days ago MS Color confirmed the availability of the stock with me...

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prismatic
    NPZ is essentially like NPH 400, with one additional stop of speed, the grains are almost like NPH, it's low contrast and very nice natural skin tone.
    Haven't tried NPZ 800 myself, but from review and this, Fujifilm Portrait Films for Pro, it looks really good.

    The 1st time I saw the result of NPH 400, i was straight away... i'll never use any other film anymore

  9. #9

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    In my case, xtra800 oftens comes with a orange/yellow cast compare to press800. well it might be jus me=p
    would prefer NPH400 if light is enough and when i dun need to use a tele
    never tried pushing film b4 though.

  10. #10

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    Anyone kind to comment more?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerstorer
    On the whole however, I find that the lower the light level and shutter speed used, the stronger the resultant colour cast.
    Just to add a note to Zerstorer's comment.

    Colour cast is stronger when the shutter speed is slow as it allows more of the ambient light to come in...

    So one option to control any colour cast would be to use a higher shutter speed (which would result in dimmer background). When the situation allows, try to bounce off the ceiling to allow for more flash light in the background or carefully frame your subjects such that less of the background is captured, with your subject being illuminated by the flash.

    I can't really comment on high speed film though cuz the only high speed one that i've used is press 800 in really low light . But generally, the choice of skin tone is really subjective... Superia usually gives a more yellowish (can be interpreted as warmish), and NP* series gives more neutral "ang moh" skin colour.

    Blew a press 800 to S8R size before and the grain was acceptable (group shoot from quite a distance away). Light was pretty bad so i din had the luxury of overexposing to reduce the grain.

    Hope this helps... If its of any at all.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by henavs
    Not so sure, but just 2 days ago MS Color confirmed the availability of the stock with me...
    Are you sure that they have NPZ 800? If that is true, I will pay them a visit tomorrow and buy up all their stock! Wonder if they have Kodak Porta 400UC?

  13. #13

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    Called MSColour and they said that they do not have NPZ800.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parchiao
    Called MSColour and they said that they do not have NPZ800.
    Yup, apparently the guy that answered my call didn't know anything film...I called on sunday, maybe he was some part-time guy. I've confirmed yesterday with Ruby Photo again and they said no one brings in NPZ800 in Spore...

  15. #15

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    If shooting indoor, low light, my choice is either FUJIPRESS 800 or KODAK SUPRA 800. Both are superb. You can even push it two stop with still great result if lighting is really not favourable. Yes it is grainy when pushed 2 stops, but still looks okay to my taste. I did it when covering a stage performance where no flash is allowed.

  16. #16

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    Eh...just wondering...is there anywhere that sells Press 1600 in sg?

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