Films for portraiture


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Deep5

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Nov 26, 2002
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#1
Hi all,

I'm a newbie and I want to try doing portraits of people.
Can anyone please give suggestions on what types of film are most suitable for portrait shots? Both slide and print films.

And if possible can please advise on where to buy and how much, also where to process and how much.

Thanx,

Deep5

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Nov 6, 2002
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Fuji Astia is quite a good portrait slide film. Colours are well-balanced and not as saturated as velvia or for that matter provia. Less contrasty than provia and velvia too. Good smooth tones... Haven't used print films too much but Fuji 160 NPS and Kodak Portra 160 NC are supposed to be the best for portraits.
 

Deep5

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#3
Thanx Radix,

Gonna try first wif the print films u recommend.
But wif these films u cannot process them at small neighbourhood labs issit?

Deep5
 

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#4
Oh you can! These are no different from the normal films that you generally use. Just that the quality is a bit better and charateristics are more suitable for portraiture. Also, are slightly more expensive than the normal consumer-grade films.
 

mpenza

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#5
would it be better to develop at the pro labs or at least send them to a shop that does? think cost need not be much more expensive and you may get more consistent results...
 

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MingGuan

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#6
2 cents worth.

When I'm doing freelance photography for wedding functions before I went to UK, I sweared by Fujifilm NPH400 professional portraiture films only. This is a professional film and it cost $7 per roll then (2000), abit expensive. I heard of numerous unfavourable comments about this film but it's all boils to personal perference. "Either you love it, or hate it". I usually set my camera to ISO320. I find that the colors tone suits asian chinese skin tones. And as a ISO400 film, the grain size is comparable good. Another reason why I use Fujifilm NPH400 is because it's a fast film and coupled with my f2.8 lens, I can use more nature lighting than use my flash, which I preferred while doing wedding functions.

Another film that I sweared by it is Kodak TMax100. This is a true black & white film which gives very high contrast. More like the good old days photos were taken before the 1960's. Can be developed to sepia color too for that aged look. For clients who request for photo-journal wedding function, this is the film that I'll use. But to develop and print a true b/w shoot, the cost is simply too expensive now. Easily 2-3 times more expensive than a color photos.

Originally posted by Radix Lecti
Fuji Astia is quite a good portrait slide film. Colours are well-balanced and not as saturated as velvia or for that matter provia. Less contrasty than provia and velvia too. Good smooth tones... Haven't used print films too much but Fuji 160 NPS and Kodak Portra 160 NC are supposed to be the best for portraits.
 

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Ming Guan - you are right about Tmax. As for cost, it is costly only if you get it done outside. If you don't mind doing it yourself, the cost can be as low as $1-2 per roll! And the initial outlay isnt that much either - 150-200 SGD. And anyway, learning to do it isn't that difficult really. Of course, all this is provided you do have the time and the interest to do it on your own! At an amateur level, I find that it adds to my pleasure if I can control the entire chain of photo-taking/developing/printing myself.
 

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MingGuan

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#8
Thanks for the advice. During my JC days, I used to do my own B/W developing and printing in my JC's photography lab. Subsequently I did the developing and printing in SAFRA photography lab. However, as time passes, I got lazier and decided to let professional labs do the work. Sometimes I do miss the thrill and excitment in doing the developing and printing myself! Especially so when I can control the amount of developing in different portion of a potential "award-winning" photo! Those good old days..

Anyway, I noticed that UK'ers are still crazy over b/W photos. Partly to save cost and partly creativity, they like to develop their own photos too, at least that's happening in my university. I don't see much digital geeks around except for those guys in the graphics design discipline and yeah, Singaporeans ...

Originally posted by Radix Lecti
Ming Guan - you are right about Tmax. As for cost, it is costly only if you get it done outside. If you don't mind doing it yourself, the cost can be as low as $1-2 per roll! And the initial outlay isnt that much either - 150-200 SGD. And anyway, learning to do it isn't that difficult really. Of course, all this is provided you do have the time and the interest to do it on your own! At an amateur level, I find that it adds to my pleasure if I can control the entire chain of photo-taking/developing/printing myself.
 

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