Films available and their uses

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by thisispants, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. thisispants

    thisispants Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi...new to film. Just wondering if there is a list of available films and their strengths/weaknesses and general uses available? I think it'd be pretty handy.
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,075
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you visit the manufacturer's pages you will find descriptions of typical uses for each film, including all their technical characteristics. You could also visit the galleries and see what people use for various subjects.

    http://www.ilfordphoto.com/products/producttype.asp?n=3&t=Consumer+&+Professional+Films

    http://www.fujifilm.com/products/films/color_reversal_films/

    http://www.macodirect.de/

    etc.

    Overall it is a very personal decision what to use for what subject and how to process it, And there are several holy wars that flare up now and then; e.g. t-grained versus traditional, c41 versus e6, staining vs. nonstaining developers.... the subject of developers and developing technique gets hashed and rehashed quite often. Best thing you can do is get busy experimenting :wink:
     
  3. jamesgignac

    jamesgignac Member

    Messages:
    281
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Beijing, Chi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This will either evoke long and helpful responses or comments like mine...not really knowing how to respond. Hopefully it's the former.

    Do you have any ideas in mind for what you'd like to start shooting first? What format would you be starting with, 35mm? What sort of material are you interested in taking photos of, portraits, arcitecture...? Maybe that would give us a place to start at least.

    There's lots of film out there!
     
  4. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

    Messages:
    370
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Thats a pretty broad question. Film emulsions are a many different combinations of different types of silver halides suspended in gelatin that react to light. Films can vary based on ISO, Brand, and Name, to name a few. No film has any strength or weakness except what the photographer desires. There is no right and wrong in photography so its best to get that idea out of your head and just spend your time finding what you need. What you need to learn with photography is what is right for you, especially with films, a film may be chosen because of one shot, or a filter may be desired due to visualization, its all situational. Yes a basic list of films will be helpful, but your not looking for pros and cons your looking for types of results. You will fully understand these more if you learn about the characteristics of film in its logarithmic curve and its spectral sensitivity. Personally i have to go to work now and don't have time to type anything major out so i thought id just give you a small heads up.
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    17,922
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    There have been such lists, but they usually go out of date fairly quickly as new films are introduced (yes, there are still new films introduced) and old films are discontinued.

    Best to think about what you want in general terms--B&W or color, negative or transparency, what format, what speed--then go to one of the major suppliers that carries most of the films available, like B&H or Freestyle or Samy's or Adorama, etc., to see what's currently available, and then search on APUG for discussions of the particular films that satisfy your basic criteria.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2009
  6. wogster

    wogster Member

    Messages:
    1,267
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Location:
    Bruce Penins
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Black and White or colour?
    negative or reversal?
    What format? 35mm, 120, Large Format?
    Outdoors on bright sunny days, outdoors on not so bright days, indoors, low light, etc.

    There are still hundreds of films out there, so you need to narrow it down a little.
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,235
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Here is some advice that will apply better when Sean completes his upgrade of the Gallery here on APUG.

    Become a subscriber here and start wandering through the Gallery. Many of the photos posted have the film used listed in the information that accompanies them.

    As you review the photos, you will probably find that you will like some more than others. Observe what films are used by photographers whose work you like and you may notice some trends.

    Matt

    P.S. Happy Birthday Sean :smile:
     
  8. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

    Messages:
    1,094
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Location:
    Belgium
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That is perfect advice...it is how I have settled on my combinations. The only qualification is if you don't do your own developing, the results may be different from your lab...Kal
     
  9. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

    Messages:
    2,893
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Location:
    Southeastern
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  10. StorminMatt

    StorminMatt Member

    Messages:
    257
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Just keep in mind that what you see in the gallery are going to be SCANS of films. Looking at a scan is NEVER going to be the same as looking at a film 'live in person'. So this is no substitute for either experimentation or looking at someone else's shots by traditional means.
     
  11. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,235
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I agree with Matt on this :smile:

    I would point out, however, that my original suggestion was oriented toward helping you define what types of photography you like, and the qualities of those photographs. Once you've got a sense of that, it becomes easier for you to get answers as to what films will get you where you want to go (by seeing what others use for that purpose).

    Matt