35 mm Postive or Negative Film?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by snegron, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. snegron

    snegron Member

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    Just for the sake of curiosity, common consensus, and the intent on sharing experiences with other fellow film users, which do you prefer and why? Which produces better results in your particular style or choice of subject matter? Have you gone from negative film to postive film or vice versa? Which do you prefer for scanning?

    I am currently experimenting with slide film and I find it easier to handle while scanning. However, the skin tones on negative film (Ports series) appear to be more accurate. The drawbacks I have encountered with negative film is that the grain is much more visible in just about every ISO sensitivity.
     
  2. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I use only slide film for color, aside from fuji 800z for reportage.
    i use negs for B&W, but i would one day like to develop FP4 as a slide
     
  3. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I use slide film for virtually every thing except images that contain people, I don't like the skin tone rendering on chromes, so use print for that, but everything else, landscape, products, commercial, wildlife, etc. is chrome.

    Dave
     
  4. celerystalksme

    celerystalksme Inactive

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    print film most of the time. why? because it has greater exposure latitude. and because i can get better prints from them...that's the most important bit because i like putting pictures in frames, physical albums, wallet, car, etc. and also, print film offers some nice 800 and 1600 speed films...even a 3200 b&w film. in addition, most of my subjects or people...and i like print film better for photographing people.

    however...if i know i want to scan them into digital format, i prefer slide film. less grain...and i just seem to get better results when scanning slides.
     
  5. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Reversal. I'm going to weep bitter tears when my stock of KM is exhausted.

    Why limit yourself to 35 mm?
     
  6. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Most of my shooting is B&W negative film in all formats through 8x10. I print it (contacts and projection prints) . I occasionally shoot color neg in 35mm.
     
  7. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Chrome for serious color work -120 and LF. I rarely shoot 35 for serious work. (unless a special circumstance dictates negative, 35mm or both)

    35mm negative for color snaps. C41 b&w for B&W snaps( forgiving latitude, price, and availability when traveling)

    Negative for serious b&w work- 120 and LF
     
  8. snegron

    snegron Member

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    Funny you should ask! I will be doing an informal experiment this weekend with Velvia 100 in both 35 and 120! For the 120 I am debating whether to go 6x7 or 645 (depends on how much weight I want to carry around under the sun). I have never shot slide film in 120. I am hoping to take two shots per image, one with the 35 the other with 120. I will be doing a combination of people and landscape just to see how this film measures up. I am assuming 120 will deliver better results, but the idea is to see what tonal range, grain, and overall color accuracy will be.
     
  9. bob01721

    bob01721 Member

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    I shoot negs... for all the reasons celerystalksme mentioned. I've only scanned negs, though, so I have no comparison as far as slide scanning goes.

    FWIW, I've been told that there're some significant differences among 35mm scanners regarding the way they handle slides. Apparently, some are more "slide friendly" than others.
     
  10. snegron

    snegron Member

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    Have you had much luck getting the correct skin tones with slide scans? For some reason I noticed that the skin tones look great on the transparency, but when I scan them the skin tones never match.
     
  11. snegron

    snegron Member

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    That seems to be the case with my scanner as well. It captures all the details and is great for landscape images on slides, but the skin tones lean more to magenta tones for some reason.
     
  12. bob01721

    bob01721 Member

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    Apparently, some 35mm scanners are better than others in this aspect.

    I have an older Minolta Scan Elite 5400. IIRC, I was told that the newer, high-speed, low-drag version (5400 II?) is better than mine in all regards except the way it handles skin tones on slides, where it's much worse. Since I shoot negs, I wasn't paying full attention, so I may have mistaken something here, but that's the impression I was left with. If you shoot chromes, it might be worth a look-see.
     
  13. bob01721

    bob01721 Member

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    That's exactly what I was told about the newer Minolta scanners.
     
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  15. kunihiko

    kunihiko Member

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    I use negative films, both B&W and color, because I print.
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i shoot some of each.
    i used to be b/w exclusive but not anymore ...

    i still print color slides on b/w paper from time to time and that is fun too.
    don't limit yourself, you could be missing out on somethings you might wanna try ...

    -john
     
  17. ben-s

    ben-s Member

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    I tend to use transparency for most colour work, and neg for b&w.
    I very rarely use colour neg film.
    As far as film choice goes, for colour it's mainly Velvia 50 and Provia 100, with a little bit of EIR and even less ektachrome 64 thrown in somewhere. B&w is mainly Neopan 400 and FP4+, although I'll try anything really.
     
  18. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Use 6x7, 645 isn't that much larger than 35 mm.

    Why do you think I went up to 2x3? Don't have to enlarge as much. Getting a good 8x10 from a KM slide is a real stretch, much less a problem from when starting from a good 2x3 tranny.

    Tonal range, grain, overall color accuracy? If you nail the exposures they won't change.

    Look, I rarely shoot flowers above 1:1 with 35 mm or with 2x3. What I gain from shooting 2x3 is the ability to keep the fine detail I can get only by framing tightly in 35 mm AND cram more of the bloom's setting into the frame.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  19. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    I seem to use col neg more these days, although I still use a lot of tranny film. Publishers always used to want slides, but now they want digits and I find it easier to get good scans off negs and a lot of my work also benefits from the higher exposure latitude, even if the resolution is a bit lower. In medium format I am almost wholly on neg film, but I still take 35mm slides for projection (I so hate Power point). In B&W I used to use a lot of Scala, and before that Dia Direct, but they have vanished and I am pretty much neg only now.

    David.
     
  20. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    In a glorious celebration of indecisiveness, I shoot both in just about the same frequency. Although since for many years I was almost exclusively a chromista, I guess you could say I've moderated.

    I use a Nikon 5000D scanner and would say it is equally respectful of both media (I do like this scanner - even if its software is poorly documented).

    I mainly shoot non-humans so the skin tone situation hasn't been an issue for me and, come to think of it, I more often shoot negative film in people-situations since they are usually socially-oriented and my better half likes to see prints! :wink:

    Now I have a problem. I'm adding Med Format to the arsenal - that means more choices. And a new scanner!

    Of course if I finally take that darkroom class next Spring - everything changes! :surprised:
     
  21. Hervé V.

    Hervé V. Member

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    Only B+W transparencys for me . They are pieces of cake to scan
     
  22. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I've used slide film very little. And I have some very colorfully vibrant images. But for me it is black and white negative film. The reason, It is all I have used recently and it hasn't bitten me yet. It has treated me well. I know how to use it and am doing some nice work. Right now there is no need for me to change.
     
  23. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    I shoot basically only transparencies in 35mm, medium format, and 4 x 5. I am partial to the colors I am able to record, the clarity and sharpness, grain, etc. My work is scanned and digitally printed. Love the final large prints coming off the Chromira or LightJet as does the public.

    Rich
     
  24. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    For colour work, I use print film only when I have to, i.e., for very practical reasons of higher ISO and better exposure latitiude. Otherwise I adore slide film, it's so sharp and easy to loupe through, when you look at the transparencies you know immediately what you've got. I like b&w slide film (e.g. agfa scala) as well, you can make gorgeous paper negs with that.

    I am a bit annoyed that the digital workflow is causing me to have to shoot print film more often. It's just too much of a hassle to get good scans off velvia.
     
  25. 3Dfan

    3Dfan Member

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    It's mainly slide film for me. Years ago I saw prints with decent sharpness, but since minilabs have converted to hybrid methods, they seem a bit less perfect.
     
  26. roteague

    roteague Member

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    It isn't the scanners, as much as it is the film.

    I shoot primarily transparencies, although I have been known to shoot a little B&W, from time to time (just keep this a secret though). My reasons for shooting transparencies are pretty much the same as naturephoto1, for prints.