Beach trip with Fuji 160S and 400H!

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by F/1.4, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. F/1.4

    F/1.4 Member

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    So i've never had much luck with 400H, and I had never tried the 160S before, but WOAH! When I got these back, I immediately ordered a pro pack of each for my trip down to Santa Barbara next week!!!

    160S
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    400H

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Scanned on a Frontier too, the the pastels are just incredible!
     
  2. faustotesta

    faustotesta Member

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    Nice pictures. Did you print them yourself ?
     
  3. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Those are very nice colors there. Is this in MF?
     
  4. F/1.4

    F/1.4 Member

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    Thanks for the commments!

    No I did not scan them myself, they were done at a Ritz Camera I used to work at. One of the guys I used to work with knows what I like and I make sure to let him know to turn on "All Soft", that way highlights don't blow out and shadows don't get blocked up. They have a Fuji SP2000, which I like, the Frontiers are really alot better than the Noritsu's. These are basically straight from the scanner, I did nothing to the color except burn in a little on the yellow thing in the first picture. Other than that, just resizing.

    And no, this is not Medium format, it's all 35mm, shot with my F100 and 50mm f/1.4G. The Mamiya was too big, and I didn't want to get sand in it. Also, It's WAY too expensive to shoot the Mamiya for anything less than paid work. I just got back 3 rolls from RPL today, and with the shipping costs included it cost me OVER $100 TO DEVELOP AND SCAN 3 ROLLS. That's steep when I can get just as good of color from my old work, for a fraction of the cost.

    Bummer is that they can't do Medium Format at Ritz w/o sending it out, and my old store is about to lose their C41 processor. BUT, as long as they keep that scanner and don't go out of business, I'm happy. And if they do, well than i'll sell my D700 and buy my own frontier scanner. I'm sure about $1500 can make a pretty good dent in the cost of one.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2011
  5. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    $100 wtf? Contrast and Saturation look like it's been punched up for 160S.
     
  6. F/1.4

    F/1.4 Member

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    The color and contrast are totally the way the Frontier interprets the colors. Noristu's would be totally different, same with Nikon's or Imacon's.


    oops! misread my order, it was actually 4 rolls. So my last engagement which was also my last order from RPL, was:

    to buy the film:
    Shipping to RPL =10.49
    3 rolls of 120 Portra 400@4.99 =14.97
    1 roll of 135 Portra 400@ 6.99 =6.99
    to develop the film:
    3 rolls of 120 @20.50/roll =61.50
    1 35mm@22.50/roll =22.50
    shipping back from RPL =8.99
    TOTAL =125.44

    OR, $1.84 everytime i hit the shutter. Spendy Spendy! I just can't afford to shoot the Mamiya and ship the film to RPL. After a few shoots with it, my income takes a nosedive compared to 35mm. Not to mention, off their Frontier, the 35mm i got back looks surprisingly not much different from the 120. The Mamiya was a little bit sharper and contrastier in the details, but the 50mm f/1.4G handled the flare alot better and softened skintones better.

    So with that in mind, Compared to the 645 AFD: I get over twice as many shots per roll (compared to 120), the film is significantly less expensive (compared to 220 with similar number of exposures), I get faster AF, exceptionally bright lenses (I use the 24,35, and 50 all f/1.4G's), faster loading times, soft tones or biting sharpness when I want it,and an enormous weight savings. I thought i'd use the Mamiya alot, but now I just don't know now.

    I would use the labs here in Portland but they all use Noritsu's and the scans look like garbage. Pro Photo is the best of the bunch, but their Noritsu blows out highlights worse than digital. Citizens doesn't do very well with color, and Quick stop..Oh god... I swear they have a monkey manning the scanner. Last time I dropped off film there... well, take a look:
    [​IMG]
    By far, the worst scanning, i've ever seen, from anyone. Last time I checked, the sun wasn't cyan. And the worst part, they're consistently abysmal.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2011
  7. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Good looking pictures!

    Jeff
     
  8. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Expensive! So cost wise, it may be a good decision for me to do color and BW on my my 35mm and only BW on 120 (not that I am a pro or anything). Again, nice pictures!
     
  9. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Scanning has gotta have colour balance applied. Regardless of the colour filters over the sensor in the Fuji scanner, I don't think 160S would have that much colour separation on the neg to be that saturated, so I still think it's being pumped up.

    In any case. The 645 can get the 80mm f/1.9 right?

    6x7cm costs me, 50 cents/exposure, plus maybe 50 cents/roll to develop in raw chemistry + my time, about 15-25 cents/roll in developer, 3.5-5 cents/roll in fixer, not sure on bleach, a bit more probably 50 cents/roll, but I've eliminated bleach cost.
     
  10. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    I like the beach shots. Coming down to Santa Barbara? That's quite a trip from Portland - you will have a beautiful coast to look at! I'm in Ventura these days, so just a bit further South than where you're headed. If you like your 160S souped up like that...have you tried some Ektar recently? Will be quite a bit finer grain than the 160S, and colors like that pretty easily achieved as well.
    Have a great time with that gear; I know some will say otherwise, but you can get a very nice 16x20 out of properly shot and processed 35mm...I have even had a few (granted, my very best) 35mm transparencies enlarged to 20x30 and they hold up well enough. Although, everyone has their threshold of quality. For me, it would be if I wanted a final print larger than 16x20, pony up for shooting the Mamiya if you have it.
    Or, if you don't mind shooting B&W, try some Adox CMS20 in that Nikon. I made a 16x20 true B&W optical print from a 35mm CMS20 neg my wife shot of the coast up HWY 1 with a Minolta XD-11, and most who are into photography think it's 6x7 MF when they first see it. I don't mean to ramble, but if cost is keeping you from shooting your MF gear, and you want super fine enlargement from your Nikon gear, a little of that film may help.
    Have a great trip down the coast!
    Jed
     
  11. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Surprisingly punchy colours from 160S on the beach hut & Bug shots. Nice photos all round but what an expense! Is home C41 and a scanner/darkroom not an option?
     
  12. F/1.4

    F/1.4 Member

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    Thanks for the posts!

    The Frontier applies a tone curve, no doubt. It's not designed to create files for tweaking, and if I wanted to tweak files, i'd shoot digital anyway. The frontier is designed to have a general tone curve and bump in saturation so prints and scans look as close to finished as possible. I guarantee the tech didn't apply any boost in saturation, simply because there is no option on an SP2000 (or any frontier i can think of). Just highlight/shadow recovery, C/M R/G Y/B, and density. Also, I had "All Soft" on, which bumps up the shadows, and tones down the highlights to reduce contrast.

    Now I can get the 80mm f/1.9 if I wanted shallower DOF or smoother rendition, but the bokeh on the 80mm f/1.9 is iffy alot of times and my scanning costs would still be there. I've thought about developing myself, but if i develop myself than take the negs to get scanned, I introduce opportunities for dust to collect and the negs to get scratched up from handling.

    It's a catch 22.

    It's going to be a drive, no doubt. probably in the ballpark of 18-20 hours, and my car has no cruise control :tongue:

    I've shot Ektar, and I don't like it. Sure it's fine grained and you can enlarge to whatever you want, but for my tastes it's way too contrasty, and always seems to have this weird brown tone to it. And i've scanned off the Frontier, Noritsu, and a Nikon, it was orange/brown in all three. I much prefer Portra 160 over Ektar for the highlight headroom, better skin tones, and lower contrast.

    Yeah the new Nikkor primes are truly out of this world amazing. The bokeh rendition on the 24 and 35 are almost perfect for being wide-angles. On digital they're brutally sharp, and on 35mm I can get 25MP scans easy and still be able to pull out detail.

    I don't usually print, most of my work goes up on the web, so 35mm is more than adequate for that. The only time I really print is when I'm in the darkroom, so I'll have to give that Adox a shot. I have yet to print any real B&W off the Mamiya, so I still have to see how that does in a Darkroom compared to my 35mm system.


    I also shot the 160S at ISO 80 to bring up the shadows, which bumps up saturation. That could have affected things.
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I understand the desire to minimize costs, but while historically the cost of purchasing and having a pro lab develop and proof 4 rolls of film was lower than $125.00, it was not lower by any large order of magnitude.

    $60.00 certainly wasn't out of order 15 years ago.

    Maybe the apparent "economy" of digital has skewed our perception of price vs. value.
     
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  15. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    the OP mentioned that he used Richard Photo Lab for his developing on an order.

    For one, they ARE NOT CHEAP. They cater to a lot of high-end wedding, portrait, and people photographers, generally, who have clients with lots of budget. People the likes of Jose Villa go to RPL for their processing(and I believe scanning as well) needs. But he's worked his way into a niche, that a lot of other photographers are trying to mimic.

    $30/roll for good quality, large-file scans, quality processing(they use a dip-n-dunk processor for all their film btw, at least the last time I was there 6mo ago) isn't all THAT bad. Well, when you consider overhead(they have a lot of full-time employees behind the scenes), you run your costs up quite a bit, and still have to make profit.

    160S and 400H are great films, and render skintones(of all ethnicities) beautifully, IMO. I have assisted a number of wedding photographers who have shot, are still shooting, or are returning to using film, and LOVE the 400H emulsion. I've exposed it at iso 25 before(just for kicks), and it still held detail! IMO, its probably the best CN film for people photography(other than the late 160VC, my favorite) still available regularly on store shelves. Shoot it while you can kids, fine detail, creamy contrast range, and will help you make better looking photographs!

    I like that shot of the VW bug btw, nice push in saturation, not over the top, but just enough. I've been shooting 160S in 35mm lately(taking a break from my normal 8x10/LF work), and its great to be able to take spontaneous photographs that only 35mm can allow.

    -Dan
     
  16. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    OP - the scanning is the problem/cause here, Ektar isn't brown toned and has a lot of 'headroom for highlights'. Same with the too contrasty bit about Ektar, it is not suprising you say that since 160S is way too contrasty and saturated for 160S. 160S is a low contrast+low saturation film. I've never seen an RA-4 of 160S look that heavy.

    +1 doesn't increase saturation like that.You admitted the scanner is applying a curve to the film. This fixed curve is causing all of this.
     
  17. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    I have to agree - the OP's 160S looked great to me - which is to say, it doesn't look anything like 160S that I shot before! :tongue::D
    What I meant in my earlier post, is that the couple rolls of Ektar I've seen now, look similar to what the OP likes; in fact, maybe not even that over the top.
     
  18. White Rose

    White Rose Member

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    Some nice photos there. I've just bought a couple of rolls of 160S to try out so I was interested to see your shots. I particularly liked the VW bug and the low down shot of the sand.

    I've been trying to do some contre jour stuff with my Olympus OM lenses but can't ever seem to get them flare free. I think that the lens coatings aren't up to it. What camera/lens combination did you use for the contre jour shots?

    Cheers
     
  19. Royalrat

    Royalrat Member

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    Great photos! I never realized how pro film can do the difference...
     
  20. stavrosk

    stavrosk Member

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    Amazing Colours! Fuji all the way is always a good combination.
     
  21. F/1.4

    F/1.4 Member

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    I think the economy of digital has absolutely skewed at least my perception of price/value. Cheap DSLR's have incredible performance for their price, and after you have a camera, lens, and memory card, you can re use and reshoot as much as you want. It's like reusable film. I started out shooting digital, like most younger folk nowadays, and the bills from RPL were a big slap in the face.
    I shot all of these on a Nikon F100+50mm f/1.4G. The 50G flares real nice, even with a filter on it (which i had because I was at the beach and sand/salt...uber destructive). Now you may have different results in your scanning depending on where you take it.
    When I shoot film, I actually like more pastel colors, which Ektar doesn't do, I think the color saturation in these has much to do with the Frontier.
    Exactly.
    400H has been temperamental with me in the past, but I'm going to keep tweaking it and see if I can get something at least consistent, like what Jose Villa does. In fact, the pastels he gets, is one of the reasons I've started shooting film. I've wanted to get color like that digitally, but just couldn't so I said screw it, I have a perfectly good F100 in the basement, I'm going to try it out! That was 4 months ago and I think i've used my D700 3 times since then. Everything has been done on film since, even paid work. Funny thing is using the D700 has been... disappointing since :laugh: Highlights just have zero headroom on digital.
     
  22. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    One thing to keep in mind with regard to the cost is what you get to do instead.

    For paid gigs like weddings and portraits I simply don't have enough time to do the backend stuff myself, I need to hire that out regardless of the medium shot.

    Given that need, RPL is dang cheap compared to the alternatives.

    The other thing I like about RPL is that they listen and remember. If I tell them I want my future orders to lean warmer or cooler or lighter or whatever its as good as done.
     
  23. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Have you tried any of the new Kodak Portra 400 then? Quite a beautiful film, seems to be finer grained than 400H and takes underexposure better, at least from what I can see. Fuji 400H was a good film in its day, not knocking it. I shot some portraits on it back in Alaska. I just think that if you're after "good pastel" type colors (i.e. the opposite of Ektar and your Frontier scanned 160S posted here), try some of the "New" Kodak Portra 160 and 400. It has to be the new stuff, though for the better grain/latitude that I'm talking about - no "NC" or "VC" designation. I must say, the 160 just looks nearly flawless to me for a portrait film.
    Too bad I REALLY like slides, LOL! :D:cool:
     
  24. F/1.4

    F/1.4 Member

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    I see what you mean no doubt, but i'm fast enough and good enough at the computer, not to mention when it's things like color correction, I don't have so much stuff where i'd have to contract it out.
    My main film of choice is Portra 400. Incredible stuff, but it's got a totally different rendering:

    [​IMG]
    Also, straight off the Frontier.
     
  25. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    dude, 1.4
    I think you will do well in the incredibly competitive field of wedding work.
    Nice comps.
     
  26. stavrosk

    stavrosk Member

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    I am not sure whether the Frontier helps or it is just the film but the colours are beautiful.
    The way you see lighting is also great!