Fastest colour films?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by RobC, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. RobC

    RobC Member

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    What are the fastest currently available colour slide and negative films available?
     
  2. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Fuji does a 1600 neg colour. Haven't seen any faster than this.

    pentaxuser
     
  3. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Kodak may still make epj 800/1600 speed 35mm slide film. Otherwise I think it would be Provia 400 as Kodak's 320 and 400 speed slide films are (i believe) gone.
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Most 800 negative films, can be shot at 1600 easily and either processed normally or pushed one stop. An 800 silde film could be pushed to 1600 but would not give good shadows and blacks. Generally, the fast slide films are inferior to the fast negative films IMHO, although Fuji slide films are somewhat better for some purposes than Kodak slide films.

    PE
     
  5. RobC

    RobC Member

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    I just checked the kodak and fuji sites and the fastest neg film is fuki superior 1600 but in pro films its 800 for both manufacturers. I rekon 800 should do it.
     
  6. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    PE Slightly off subject and I hope Rob doesn't mind - it hardly seemed worth starting another tread. What would happen to a 1600 colour neg pushed to 3200? Would this be as good or nearly so as 800 pushed to 1600? Not sure what Rob is going to do with the info that prompted the thread but if its of any value to you Rob., I have used Fuji 1600 several times at evening airshows with very acceptable prints at 5x7 and only a little "grain" at 10x8. However there were occasions where a one stop push to 3200 would have been useful, hence the question to PE.

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I've pushed the old Kodak 1600 color neg film to 3200 and to 6400. The results were muddy colors, bad contrast and very high grain. There was high fog. Other than that, they were great. :wink:

    PE
     
  8. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    neg:

    Fuji: Superia 1600 AKA Press 1600, Natura 1600 (Japan only), Superia 800 AKA Press 800, Pro 800Z

    I have shot a whole press pack of Superia 1600 trying to love it, but I prefer underexposing Press 800 instead, and adding 30-45 sec. to the development. Even pushing Press 800 two stops or more looks sharper and less grainy than the 1600 shot and developed normally. 1600 is truly mushy and grainy, which is great for some things, but not if you want any semblance of sharpness.

    Natura 1600 is great, but must be hunted down to some degree.

    I prefer Press 800 to Pro 800Z as it seems sharper and punchier. It is also cheaper. Pro 800Z has a different color response, though, which is really nice.

    And Kodak has its pretty-much direct equivalents, I am sure. I have used their Portra 800 in medium format only.

    pos:

    All the high-speed ones are gone, to my knowledge. Provia 400X is sweet, though...

    I still have a bunch of medium format MS 100/1000 that I shoot every now and then. It's a nice film in my opinion, and still decently fresh if you can find it for sale 2nd hand. Do you want a sample roll or two?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2008
  9. mabman

    mabman Member

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    I'm not sure Superia 1600 is being currently produced - my local shop had some last year, I bought their last 3 rolls, and they have since said they can't get any in anymore (if it's something they don't regularly stock but can still get they usually tell me it's available but I'd have to buy a brick of it, so I don't think they're lying to me). Incidentally, I didn't care for it much - it seemed to have a different colour balance than other Superia formulations, even the 800 ISO, which was a bit surprising.

    That said, apparently there is a Japan-only film (different than Superia 1600) called "Natura 1600" that has a cult following in Japan - lots of results on Flickr if you want to browse. Obviously outside of Japan you would have to get some via Megaperls.

    For colour neg 800 ISO is still fairly available - most photo shops around me have either Kodak Portra 800 or Fuji Pro 800Z (35mm for sure, not sure about 120), or Superia 800 for consumer film (not sure how it compares to 800Z, but it seems to be available in dep't stores/supermarkets around here). Last fall I tried shooting Portra 800 at 1600 ISO and pushing 2 (not just one as you would expect) in development - results were pretty good for that speed. I had read about that combo on another board - some shadow detail loss as expected, but surprisingly good for that speed.

    As for slide, I'm fairly certain 400 ISO is the fastest currently in production - I believe both Kodak and Fuji have offerings but I don't use slide that much.
     
  10. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I like pro z rated at 1600 and pushed to 3200. I think I posted an example here... yes, this shot is from that, in 645 format.
     
  11. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    I have pushed Kodak's Ektachrome 200G to EI 800 for some night images. Link to Kodak's site: http://www.kodak.com/global/en/prof...00/e200Index.jhtml?id=0.2.26.14.11.20.9&lc=en

    Kodak does not make a 400 speed slide film any more.

    Never tried Kodak's Portia 800 film: http://www.kodak.com/global/en/prof.../portra800.jhtml?id=0.2.26.14.7.14.22.7&lc=en

    On the consumer side, Kodak Ultra Max 800, which I have never tried either: http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=2/3/9/7010/6994/1094&pq-locale=en_US

    Regards, Art.
     
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  12. RobC

    RobC Member

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    Thanks for the offer but I'll go with the readily available Fuji 800 film for now and possibly try the natura 1600.
     
  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Sure thing. Let me know if you change your mind.

    For medium format, all you have is Kodak Portra 800 and Fuji Pro 800Z.

    If you are going to get the small-format stuff, try to get Press (AKA Superia in Press Package) instead of plain Superia. They are identical emulsions, but Press always comes in 36-exp. rolls, and also is "professional". This means that it comes in matching emulsion batches and is aged to optimum color balance before it is shipped. The matching batches helps a lot when shooting multiple rolls.
     
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  15. dmr

    dmr Member

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    I've shot the Superia 1600 with very good results.

    A local guy here said a camera shop told him that it had been discontinued. Checking on the web shows otherwise. It's on the Fuji site and I ordered some from B&H not too long ago.
     
  16. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Just for interest's sake it would appear that Konica once did a colour neg at 3200. There's a seller advertising it on the U.K. e-bay in the film section right now.

    pentaxuser
     
  17. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    I have a few rolls in the freezer....I think it was discontinued a while before Konica finished film manufactore altogether.

    It's obviously grainy, but interesting to use. I find that, with my equipment and working, a rating of 3200 is probably optimistic, and it seems to give better results at 1600. (Like most color neg, any underexposure seems to produce dull milky colors and clogged shadows). Best results seem to be with printing (or scanning) the negs yourself, rather than one-hour D&P.
     
  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    This film was made once each year, and a reservation was required with your local dealer to get some. It was very hard to get and in great demand.

    It was surprisingly sharp and fine grained. They had a great team working on it.

    PE
     
  19. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    That's interesting, I didn't realise that the film was scarce in its time.

    I was saving my cassettes for some suitable subjects anyway, but I'll treat it with particular respect as I can't see anyone else producing anything comparable in the future. :smile:

    Seems that a lot of special skills have been lost with Konica, with films like this and their infra-red materials. :sad:
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Yes, I tried to get some and my local dealers told me I had missed the deadline for ordering it. I had to wait for a year or more before it was manufactured again, as all of the current batch was pre-sold.

    I knew a number of Konica engineers, but never discussed this with them. They did acknowledge that it was made once a year and that it was rare.

    PE
     
  21. Maris

    Maris Member

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    I still have a few 120 format rolls of Konica 3200. It is seriously out of date and I don't intend to take pictures with it . What it is good for is airport x-ray negotiations. A few rolls mixed in with other film in the clear plastic bag can earn the much desired "hand inspection", .... sometimes.
     
  22. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    "I still have a few 120 format rolls of Konica 3200. It is seriously out of date and I don't intend to take pictures with it . What it is good for is airport x-ray negotiations. A few rolls mixed in with other film in the clear plastic bag can earn the much desired "hand inspection", .... sometimes."

    This is pointless. The hand baggage x-ray machines will not hurt your film.
     
  23. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Back when our paper shot colour neg, we routinely shot Fuji Press800 @EI1600. Maybe even a little beyond, as I often played a bit fast and loose with the development times on our old Wing-Lynch.

    The results were good - this film was essentially made to be pushed a stop. Sure it was grainy, but as colour neg film went it was very good.
     
  24. 3Dfan

    3Dfan Member

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    There are examples on rangefinder forum of Provia 400x pushed to 1600. The results looked good to my eye.
     
  25. accozzaglia

    accozzaglia Member

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    I love this topic, because it's totally up my alley.

    I love Fujichrome MS100/1000 (RMS), even when I'm dealing with questionable expired batches I've bought from eBay. I use it (and came to love it) for two reasons: available-light shooting in unanticipated circumstances and low-light grain. When fresh, RMS is astoundingly flexible with both contrast and colour rendition, though in my experience it tends to be a bit cooler in tone than the Provia stocks I've used. When the post-expiry storage is questionable, I've had hit-and-miss results, but probably no more so than with other expired-and-stored-dodgy stocks I've tried in the past. Where originally, I shot RMS in 135, I do most shooting in 120 (and would, if I could find some for sale, 220).

    Tagged RMS images from my flickr should give you an idea as to its latitude in freshness and staleness alike. Pretty much everything dated 1998-2000 was fresh stock and 135. Of the expired stock, all shot this year, those shot January 16th-21st and then July 2nd were stock where colours didn't drift.

    The biggest issue I'm running into, though, is having the rolls developed at the shot ISO speed I select (I tend to push it nearly always). The local pro lab destroyed three rolls from Earth Hour in March and then destroyed three more from June. Since then, they have bent over backwards to assure me this won't happen again, wherein the lab tech under-developed my RMS rolls shot at ISO1000 by three stops. The lab tech, while evidently "experienced", never saw this film before in his life and didn't understand the very clear instructions written by the customer service desk or the shot speed and number of pushed stops I wrote on the sealed roll itself -- causing extreme distress and tongue-lashing at the manager by me, while the manager apparently screamed at the lab tech so loudly the second time this happened that it freaked out customers and staff alike, given his ordinary quiet demeanour. Somewhere in there, I dryly said to the manager that "with recurring problems like this, it's small wonder people want to migrate away from film."

    So if you start liking this stuff, just be sure your favourite lab knows what you're giving them: an ISO100-rated film that can be pushed 3 1/3 stops to ISO1000. Otherwise you'll end up with a disaster area like I have (enough to shake confidence in using RMS if not careful).

    If I could, I'd spend money on a huge batch of RMS which I know for absolute certain hasn't been brought out of deep freeze in the entire time of its post-manufacture lifetime, since it's what I reach for first when going out on a shoot and would love it if a comparable stock were still commercially available new.

    But there is an exception I love as much that's even harder to come by: Konica SR-G 3200 (which was also noted earlier in this thread).

    I was only able to obtain two (new, fresh) 135 rolls of this stuff in early 1998 for that year's batch and chose it precisely because I wanted a strong colour grain texture. A few SR-G examples are also posted in my flickr stuff. Note: while all were shot in 1998, they were kept in the freezer until late 2006 before being processed at my nearby Shoppers.

    Results from shooting a well-preserved roll now with immediate processing may yield different results, of course, as I seem to remember that large-grain emulsion doesn't preserve as well in deep freeze versus finer-grained alternatives. Anyone know why this is?
     
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  26. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Lets look at this another way. Kodak has just finished implementing 2 electron sensitization into its films. What does this mean? It means that a 200 speed film looks like the last generation of a 100 speed film. It means that an 800 speed film looks like an old 400 speed film.

    OTOH, they could take an 800 emulsion (film) and creat a 400 speed film with 2x the sharpness or a 100 speed film with 2x the sharpness. So, it depends on whether you are looking for speed, grain or sharpness. Only tests will tell you what direction Kodak research took, but I do believe that since the motion picture industry is using this film in the form of their Vision film set, then the Kodak sharpness and grain outweigh any other product in negative films.

    PE