finest 120 colour films

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by razocaine_07, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. razocaine_07

    razocaine_07 Member

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    ive been using Fuji Pro 400H recently and have found that the amount of grain is higher than i expected when using it in low light conditions,
    does anyone recommend a fine 120 colour film that would work well in low light conditions, Id prefer to stay around the 400 iso mark if possible
     
  2. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    Its a fine film with a lot of latitude, over expose a little. Any negative film will have that weakness.
     
  3. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    At what enlargement size are you experiencing unacceptable grain, and who's processing your 400H ?, because I've had 20"X16" prints from 120 film from this film with very little grain
     
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  4. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    There really won't be a much finer grained 400 color film. I would guess that your grain has to do with lightening underexposed negs during printing. Have you tried pushing the film to raise density in the mid tones and high tones? It increases grain a bit, but it allows you to print the shadows down darker, which gets rid of that washed-over grainy look in the shadows that you get when you try to lighten them in printing.

    FWIW, Pro 400H is probably the finest-grained fast color film I have used, and due to its fourth color layer making color balancing much more easy, it is definitely the best 400 film for low light situations, especially those in mixed light. I am happy with 8x12 enlargements from 35mm pushed two stops, but everyone has their own criteria for acceptable grain.
     
  5. Paul Green

    Paul Green Member

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  6. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Is there a possibility that some under exposure has crept in or maybe your are spotting grain in dark shadow areas? I ask because I've printed 10x8 from 35mm 400H and it's very fine grained. The same size print from 120 film shows no grain to my eye.
     
  7. thegman

    thegman Member

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    I find the Fuji Pro films a touch grainy too, and I over expose as a matter of course. For 400 speed the new Portra looks very interesting, or if you don't mind E6, Provia 400X. They say EliteChrome 200 can be pushed a stop easily too.
     
  8. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Overexposure increases graininess, since graininess is tied to density. IME, normal exposure and normal processing together are the best way to minimize grain in C-41 films.

    Pro 400H is just not a grainy film, and especially not in 120. The OP must be printing up thin negs, which makes the grain in the film more apparent.

    In low light situations, whatever advantages in grainlessness might be gained over the 400H by using new Portra 400 (and how big could they really be, given that 400H is not grainy?) would probably be overshadowed by the fact that the four layer technology of the Fuji makes it so much easier to color balance shots made in common low light color temperatures. I love Kodak's films, but Fuji's just plain balance easier when shot in foul lighting.
     
  9. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I thought it was the opposite and even got my info from Ilford, here's an out-take from the XP2 fact sheet.

    What am I missing here?
     
  10. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Try the new Portra 400 rated at box speed. It is an excellent film.
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    The last sentence that you quoted is what was missed. It states that XP2 is an exception to the norm. Why; I do not know.
     
  12. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    An increase in granularity is what should be expected when density is increased for classic BW films, those who form an image with metallic silver and it isn't bleached - fixed at some stage. Colour negative films on the other hand have the opposite behaviour and granularity is decreased when density is increased. Kodak has published granularity - density charts for their ECN negative films and an example can be found here. Scroll down to "rms Granularity".
     
  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I agree with these points entirely, I would still be curious to know what size prints the O.P. is experiencing unacceptable grain on ?, is it home or trade processed ?, and what is he rating it at ?
     
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  15. thegman

    thegman Member

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    I've always considered that over exposing a C41 film will decrease grain, and when shooting Portra I very much find that to be the case. I have found the Fujifilm C41 products to be a smidge grainy compared to the Kodak counterparts, this is based on getting them processed at some pro labs. It probably would not hurt for the OP to try shooting a frame or two of 400H at 320 ISO, and see if he prefers the results.
     
  16. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I'm going to have to experiment here more.

    The most stark measure I have seen are my Holga shots, given the lack of exposure adjustment possible.

    On any given roll the thick negs seem to print with less grain than the thinner ones.

    That may not be the best tool for measuring this but for me it seems to suggest grain decreases with exposure increases.
     
  17. AbbeyFoto

    AbbeyFoto Member

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  18. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Interesting. I always overexpose my C-1 film when I want more grain. It works great. I do use grainy films to begin with when doing this, however (such as Fuji Press 800). Since the dyes ride on the silver that is bleached, it makes sense to me that the characteristics of the silver will determine the characteristics of the dyes. That should include grain. In the graph of the ECN film, the granularity appears relatively constant throughout the density range. I am no expert in the technical aspects of photo emulsions, but I do know via experience that overexposing color film is a way to get more grain out of it.
     
  19. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    2F, it has been said previously by PE that C41 films are "coupler limited/starved". So, while increased exposure will increase the size of grain during development, the resulting dye clouds won't follow this behaviour. Since all silver must be removed, what matters is the behaviour of the dye clouds.
     
  20. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    The bit about pushing the film three stops without changes in grain, saturation or contrast was interesting:
     
  21. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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  22. jglass

    jglass Subscriber

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  23. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Not sure what this Canlas guy is saying, if anything, about this film. I decode it as saying he's underexposing it, which makes no sense. His shots look quite odd as displayed and nothing like anything un-postprocessed I've ever taken with the new Portra 400VC. Perhaps I'm missing something but he seems a bit disassociative on handling C-41 materials. Finding a lab capable of handling those pushes can be a royal PITA now. Besides, this isn't exactly a new film.
     
  24. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Just to be clear. Is this about push processing the film 3-4 stops* rather than just underexposing and then using software to make it look nice?


    * Are there many labs that will push C41 four stops?
     
  25. CGW

    CGW Member

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    That's the catch, isn't it! If this was 2000, I'd say yes, but with quality pro labs on the endangered list most places, I'm still dubious about the feasibility of this huge latitude that's totally reliant on labs with chronometer-like C-41 lines.
     
  26. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I agree that the lab business is becoming less "local" but even back in the 70's and 80's I was doing mail-order. It still works well.

    Also, having now built a bit of experience doing C-41 (and E-6 and B&W) developing at home, I have to say getting consistent results from C-41 is truly easy. The toughest part for me was simply honing the processing skills that apply to all my developing "lines". Beyond that basic learning curve it's just time and temp, agitate normally, dump and fill, next.