Colour Neg. film - which one?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Allan Swindles, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Allan Swindles

    Allan Swindles Member

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    I haven't shot colour neg. material for many years, the last one I recall was the old Ektacolor. Obviously things have moved on and I need help. I have been using Velvia 50 for C/U and macro natural history work but now need to find a suitable neg. film for similar and general subjects. The new Ektacolor seems to get good reports for small format but how about Kodak's Portra for medium format as Ektacolor does not appear to be available in 120 in the UK?
     
  2. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    Try Ektar 100 for scenery, Portra 160 for portraits (either the VividColor or NormalColor flavors to your liking), or Portra 400/800 for more versatility and fun.
     
  3. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Hi Allen, try Mailshots the have tons of it http://www.mailshotsuk.co.uk/acatalog/Kodak_Ektar_100_120_roll_Colour_film.html
     
  4. kivis

    kivis Subscriber

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    I shoot Fujian 400 & 800
     
  5. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    When I switched over from transparencies last year, I also chose Ektar 100 for general outdoor / landscape / street shooting. Portra 160NC does wonders for skin tones, though. You'll probably love it for sunny-window lit portraits and the like. Extrememly fine grain for a 160 ISO emulsion in my view.

    Jed
     
  6. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    The Portra's are excellent films, in both speeds and varieties. You really cannot go wrong. Same is true of Ektar, when you want really saturated, almost over-the-top color.

    It really depends on how your tastes run. I've kinda standardized, sort of, on Portra 400NC for just about everything on bright or sunny days when shooting handheld; Portra 400VC for cloudy or overcast, duller days or when I just need a boost of color. Portra 160NC when I'm shooting on a tripod or with studio flash; and Ektar when saturation and/or fine grain are important.
     
  7. mts

    mts Subscriber

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    Fuji 160S compares favorably with Portra 160NC. Fuji does a fine job rendering green and works well for landscape and general scenes. Portra 160NC is equally as good so use whichever your budget and preferences select.

    Here are some Fuji 160S examples. The Farmer's market shot in Hilo was made on a rather gray and rainy afternoon. It was taken under the tent that covers the vendors.

    The Lili'uokalani garden picture was made in between rain showers--it seems to rain in Hilo as much as in London in winter.

    The Haleakala crater picture was made in late afternoon as the Sun was setting. In my opinion, the sometimes subtle crater colors are a good match to the rendering given by both films.

    The last picture is a view of the Sangre de Christo Mtns. It was made looking southeast from near El Rito, New Mexico on a sunny fall afternoon.

    My results with both films have been quite good under a variety of lighting conditions. I do not think you will be disappointed with either one, as they (again, my opinion) are state-of-the-art in the mature technology of chromogenic films. We will likely not see further improvements from either manufacturer.
     

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  8. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I agree Kodak Portra and Fuji Pro Neg films in all their types and speeds are all wonderful films, if they ain't good enough for you, you must be some photographer.
     
  9. marylandphoto

    marylandphoto Member

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    I find Ektar to be an extremely exciting, inspiring film. There's something about it that goes beyond just being a new emulsion, it has a certain "look" to it, that I can't quite put my finger on. In 120, it clearly beats out Portra (to my eyes). I'm an E6 guy and now that EPP and EPR are gone, I'm even considering Ektar over switching to 100G or Provia for similar work. I can't wait to see what the 4x5 and 8x10 will look like!
     
  10. Allan Swindles

    Allan Swindles Member

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    Many thanks for you replies folks, I am about to try Ektar 100 with my OM-4Ti. I have ordered a few of the different Portra films to test and check my preferences.
    benjiboy, thanks for the link, I will order some immediately. I think I'm going to be quite busy!
    Thanks again.
     
  11. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I'm just trying Ektar myself Alan for the first time but it's still in my Canon T90, I haven't seen any results yet.
     
  12. Zuikopath

    Zuikopath Member

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    I've recently got back into film and got a good deal on some just out-of-date Fuji Reala 100 - I'm half way through my first roll so nothing to report...:rolleyes:

    I figured I couldn't go far wrong with Fuji film.

    Any thoughts on Reala 100 from experienced users...?
     
  13. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I use Reala in 35mm and I think it's great. It can be quite punchy when the sun is out but still quite nice for people. Doesn't seem to exaggerate reds in the skin like Superia often does. When the sun goes in (quite often in England) it gives quite a subtle look. I've printed up to 10x8 and there's no grain at all on my prints. I would say it's a good all-round film, but 100 can be a bit slow if you like to hand hold your camera. I use it more in the summer than the winter when I tend to use 800 films. Around the equinox is when one takes over from the other.

    But be warned! If you fall in love with 35mm Reala - you may be in for pain, Fuji are going to stop importing it.

    I should also say that I find it quite an easy film to colour balance in the darkroom, certainly easier than the 400H neg I worked on the other day.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2010
  14. Zuikopath

    Zuikopath Member

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    Cheers perks - I'm looking forward to seeing my first roll (hope my light seal replacement has worked).

    I reckon Reala will be available for ages yet - we can always import it if we're desperate.
     
  15. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Yes, I suppose you're right. I'm actually more concerned about the availability of colour paper at the moment.

    Maybe we could start an APUG Cooperative and import the Fuji films ourselves.
     
  16. Zuikopath

    Zuikopath Member

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    Ah - I don't do any developing myself so I can see your problem.

    A co-op - that is always possible...!