Finest, sharpest colour film in 35mm?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by snaggs, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. snaggs

    snaggs Member

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    So.. I have an F6 and 85mm f/1.4 in the mail. What is the sharpest colour film to run through it?

    Contendors would seem to be in order;

    Fuji Astia 100F (RMS 7)
    Fuji Provia 100F (RMS 8)
    Fuji Sensia (RMS ??)
    Kodak E100GX (RMS 8)
    Kodak Porta 160VC (RMS ??)
    Fuji Reala (RMS 4?????)
    Konica Impressa 50 (found this recommended in a thread!)

    My preference is towards increased colour saturation and a warmer balance.

    Daniel.
     
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  2. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Have you a preference for negative, or positive?
     
  3. snaggs

    snaggs Member

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    Well.. slide is nice in that you can view them through a projector on a big screen. Other than that no. One of the best shots I've ever taken was done on Fuji Reala. If Reala is really going to be so much better with an RMS 4, then it seems like a no-brainer. Can you compare print and chrome RMS?

    Every I do is scanned and printed on a Fuji Frontier by a very experienced local operator. The one in 200 shots which is stunning is then sent to a Pro Lab for a Imacon scan and print on a Lightjet.

    I got rid of my digital camera and 24" printer and outsourced it all again. So whatever workflow advantages there might be are not my problem.

    Daniel.
     
  4. snaggs

    snaggs Member

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    I just found this.. though its a six year old post..

    http://groups.google.com/group/rec....q=Comparing+films+by+their+specs&hl=en&rnum=1

    Brand Film Name RMS PGI

    Fuji *Provia F 100 3.20 15
    Agfa Portrait 160 3.50 19
    Kodak *Kodachrome 25 3.60 21
    Fuji *Velvia 50 3.60 21
    Kodak Royal Gold 25 3.83 25
    Kodak Supra 100 3.93 27
    Kodak Ektapress PJ100 3.98 28
    Kodak Royal Gold 100 3.98 28
    Fuji *Astia 100 4.00 28
    Kodak *Ektachrome 100s 4.00 28
    Kodak *Ektachrome 100sw 4.00 28
    Agfa HDC 100+ 4.00 28
    Konica Impresa 50 4.00 28
    Kodak *Kodachrome 64 4.00 28
    Fuji *MultiSpeed @ 100 4.00 28
    Fuji New Superia 100 4.00 28
    Fuji New Superia 200 4.00 28
    Fuji New Superia 400 4.00 28
    Fuji NPH 400 4.00 28
    Fuji NPS 160 4.00 28
    Agfa OptimaII 100 4.00 28
    Fuji *Provia 100 4.00 28
    Fuji Reala 100 4.00 28
    Agfa *RSX 100p 4.00 28
    Agfa *RSX 50 4.00 28
    Fuji Superia 100 4.00 28
    Fuji Superia 200 4.00 28
    Fuji Superia 400 4.00 28
    Kodak Portra 160 NC 4.08 30
    Kodak Portra 160 VC 4.22 33
    Agfa Ultra 50 4.30 35
    Kodak old Pro 100 4.35 36
    Kodak Supra 400 4.35 36
    Kodak old Pro 400 MC 4.39 37
    Kodak *Ektachrome 100 4.40 37
    Kodak *Ektachrome 100+ 4.40 37
    Kodak *Ektachrome 100vs 4.40 37
    Fuji *MultiSpeed @ 200 4.40 37
    Kodak Ektapr Multspeed 4.47 39
    Kodak Royal 400 Select 4.47 39
    Kodak Vericolor 3 160 4.47 39
    Agfa HDC 200+ 4.50 40
    Agfa HDC 400+ 4.50 40
    Agfa OptimaII 200 4.50 40
    Agfa OptimaII 400 4.50 40
    Kodak Ektapress PJ400 4.55 41
    Kodak old RoyalGold 400 4.55 41
    Kodak Portra 400 NC 4.55 41
    Kodak Royal Gold 200 4.55 41
    Kodak old Pro 400 4.59 42
    Kodak Portra 400 VC 4.62 43
    Kodak Gold 100 4.70 45
    Kodak Gold 200 4.77 47
    Agfa *CTprecisa100 4.80 48
    Agfa *CTprecisa200 4.80 48
    Kodak *Ektachrome 200 4.80 48
    Agfa *RSX 200p 4.80 48
    Kodak Max Zoom 800 4.80 48
    Kodak Gold Max 400 4.84 49
    Kodak Portra 800 4.87 50
    Kodak Supra 800 4.87 50
    Kodak Ektapress PJ800 4.97 53
    Fuji NHG II 800 5.00 54
    Fuji Superia 800 5.00 54
    Kodak Ektapress 1600 5.10 57
    Kodak Gold Max 800 5.10 57
    Kodak old Pro 1000 5.10 57
    Kodak Royal Gold 1000 5.10 57
    Fuji *MultiSpeed @ 400 5.20 60
    Fuji *Provia 400 6.00 91
    Kodak *Kodachrome 200 6.40 109
    Konica 3200 @ 1600 9.00 290
    Fuji HG 1600 10.00 393
    Fuji *Provia 1600 10.00 393
     
  5. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    No, you can't compare print and chrome RMS values, unfortunately.

    My personal recommendations would be:

    C41 - Fuji Reala 100
    E6 - Fuji Velvia 100F or 100. I haven't tested the new (old :smile: ) Velvia 50 but it should be similar; since it's really a re-release of an older emulsion I don't expect it to be less grainy, but you might like the tonality better.

    Experiment. You're buying a few thousand dollars worth of gear. Spending a few tens of dollars trying different films isn't too ridiculous an imposition!

    Enjoy your toys. I shall have to limp along with my F5 and 85/1.8 (non-D). :smile:

    Jim
     
  6. Petri

    Petri Member

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    Fuji Velvia 50. (I have only used the old version as the new version is not easily available in fotoshops here in Finland - actually the fastest way to buy it is to order it yourself from Germany).

    Fuji Velvia 100 (not the F-version) is also very good when it comes to sharpness, but not as good as the old Velvia 50.
    The exposure latitude is wider in Velvia 100, which is a good thing. Velvia 100 is one stop faster than Velvia 50 but if you have enough light or use a tripod, use Velvia 50. You won't be disappointed.

    -Petri
     
  7. tim elder

    tim elder Member

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    I recommend Kodak's new 160 VC / NC films as well as Kodak's 100 Ultra Color film, which I believe is still available in 35mm format, if you are leaning more towards negative film. While these films probably do not have as low an RMS rating as Fuji's comparable films, in real life applications they are very fine-grained and provide both more color saturation (100 UC and 160 VC) and a warmer color balance than Reala 100.

    Tim
     
  8. airgunr

    airgunr Subscriber

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    I've been impressed with Kodak Portra 160VC for print film. The Portra 400VC is pretty good as well. I tried some Portra 800 for a tricky Humming Bird mom and baby shot (didn't want to use flash to scare mom away from the baby). Worked OK but a bit grainy.

    I like Fuji Velvia 50 (still got some in the fridge/freezer) for transparency films. I haven't tried the Velvia 100F.
     
  9. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    Snaggs,
    In my experience the higher RMS values did not necessarily translate into sharper images. Velvia 50 and 100 always give me sharper slides, but Provia 100 is less saturated and more "neutral." I've seen very impressive 20x24 prints from deep scans of 35mm Velvia 50.
    Good luck.
    DT
     
  10. snaggs

    snaggs Member

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    I'm going to shoot nearly 100% portraits etc with the 35mm, so whilst I have done a portrait with Velvia 50, I'm not sure its always the best choice. I love Velvia 50 as well, but I'm curious that people think its sharper than Astia. Maybe the job falls on me to take some next shots and post the results!

    Daniel.
     
  11. sbelyaev

    sbelyaev Member

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    Kodak 160VC is very good for people and under controlled illumination. Skin tones are warm and glowing. Actually not only skin tones but colors in general. Try to use portra 160VC with your 85/1.4 with Softar I and fill flash (just a little but of fill flash).
    I tried it for landscape (high contrast) and didn't like the results. The dynamic range of the film is huge, but when all that range is compressed on the paper the results look funny. I have an impression that the film behaves like digital sensor when it comes to handling light.
    Kodak 400UC or 100UC are much better for landscape.
    I particularly like 100UC. The colors are terrific, grain is minimal. It is very easy to scan this film.
    I don't like 400VC/NC - too grainy, nothing special films. HD400 looks much better.

    I have mixed feeling about Reala. I like old version of Reala in 120 version. Superia Reala didn't impress me. In comparison with Superia Reala Kodak UC400 is as good or better film.

    For slides I'd use Velvia 50 (for its colors) and Provia 400x for everything else. For practical purposes 400x is as good as any ISO 100 slide films.
     
  12. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Daniel, I have used Reala since it was originally released and have lived with all of it's changes. The current version Superia Reala, doesn't cut it for me anymore.

    I now use Portra 160NC which I currently have in 30m bulk rolls in 35mm format. I do it this way for obtaining batch matching for 18 rolls for every 30m. I think for portrait work you really are looking at subtle differences and the ability to hold a great range of tones and colours, especially skin tones. This film is superb at doing this

    I also use the Nikkor 85 f1.4 with this film and it is very good, although in some ways, the sharpness of the lens can be a bit cruel with some of the subjects in colour with this film.

    Mick.
     
  13. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Second the motion for Kodak Portra 160VC (the new stuff). I just shot some and was very impressed. I have never shot a negative that I liked the prints from as much as I do slides...but the new Portra 160VC just might win me over and I'll be back to shooting negs.
    For slides - Try Velvia 100 (not 100F) and Kodak E100GX.

    EDIT: Don't use Velvia for the portraits! :smile: I meant that just for the "sharpest" 35mm film part. You definately want to use the Kodak Portra or if you prefer slides, Astia or Kodak E100GX do well with skin tones.
    Jed
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2008
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  15. snaggs

    snaggs Member

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    That is a good recommendation, I've actually been pretty impressed with Kodak's colour balance of late. I hope they revive their commitment to film, as its pretty nice stuff.

    Finally, you know I've never used a Softar filter.. can you post some example photo's.

    Daniel.

    PS. Here is a portrait taken with Velvia 50 (when I was a beginner to photography).. its not that bad!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2008
  16. sbelyaev

    sbelyaev Member

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  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    No-one has mentioned the 35mm Kodak Ektar 25 color negative film, this was superb and extremely sharp. I'm not sure when Kodak dropped it.

    I've always much preferred the Fuji colour films, C41 & E6. Usually we use (wife's camera) Superia 100 or 200 ISO and the quality of optical enlargements is outstanding. For commercial work then Fuji 50D E6 has to be my all-time favourite, followed by the 100D.

    Ian
     
  18. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    It came to mind, but there's no point falling in love with a film that's been off the market for 15+ years. :smile:

    I wish I had shot some of this in its day. I never did get around to trying it.
     
  19. Petri

    Petri Member

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    Kodak Ektar 25 (135) was easily available yet in 1998. It was very fine grained. Liked it a lot.
     
  20. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I still haven't forgiven Kodak for that! It was truly wonderful film for miniature format. Did Kodak make it in 120 too? Not that it matters at this point--I'm just curious.
     
  21. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Another vote for Kodak 160NC - because you are shooting portraits. I now use this (and it's sister 400NC when I don't have the light) exclusively for colour wedding work.

    It really does live up to it's name as "natural colour" and the 160 is very fine grained.
     
  22. snaggs

    snaggs Member

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    Well, I've ordered 10 rolls of Sensia and 10 rolls of 160VC. I'm wondering whether I should stick to keep buying Kodachrome 64. Anyone done a shoot out compared with modern E6 fims? Also, is it worth tracking down some K25?

    Daniel.
     
  23. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    Sharpest 35mm Color Film

    I thought portraits with the old Velvia were garish. If prints will be made digitally then the color cast can be adjusted but if you plan to project the slides I donlt think you will like the results from Velvia even if the grain is fine. The least expensive slide film I have seen here is Kodak Elite Chrome 100. It has very fine grain and a neutral color balance. Many of the older films mentioned are no longer made so it doesn't matter how sharp or fine grained they are. If you are looking only to get very fine grain then you are using the wrong equipment. By using a regular 100 speed Ektachrome slide film in 120 size with my Bronica SQ-A or GS-1 I will get finer grain than you would be able to get with any combination of 35mm equipment and fine grain color slide material.

    When you are shooting portraits, especially in available light, you will often do better with a faster film which allow a higher shutter speed and more depth of field than with a slower film and finer grain.
     
  24. snaggs

    snaggs Member

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    I really like E100GX, I think I'll give up on the Kodachrome. I also grabbed a Softar I for the 85mm f/1.4 after some recommendations on the Kodachrome mailing list. I'm really in awe of the F6 at the moment, it's just so well executed. The shutter and mirror flip-up are just amazing. Previously I've only had the Fm3a, F65 and D70. The F6 is just so responsive, the mirror black-out time is just so quick. The viewfinder is very clear, and I don't have any problems focussing my MF lenses with the bog standard screen. I'm looking forward to the 85mm arriving.

    Daniel.
     
  25. grayscale-berlin

    grayscale-berlin Member

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    portra 160 NC

    I would also vote for kodak portra 160 NC, with his higher-iso brother 400NC it´s all i need for my portrait work (and of course lot´s of b/w film).
    The tones are very nice, colours are awesome but realistic und always pleasing, and it´s sharp. went to new york just with some rolls of portra 160nc and it was a nice film for doing cityscapes and portraits, so i just stick with it.
    It scans good and it is really, and i honestly mean, really tolerant in terms of exposure, had a small shooting with a friend of mine, and was a little confused that day and grabbed in the bag and loaded some portra 400 nc into my camera, set the meter to 100 and shot happily without knowing..
    The next day when i took the contact sheets from the lab, i was quite suprised, because the images were well exposed, there was good detail in it, but on the negatives was written "kodak portra 400nc".
    I once tried using kodak E100G for some band-shots outdoor..
    the results where really good, but i´ll stick with negatives, because for me they are easier to print, and on my scanner almost the same pain to scan :smile:
     
  26. snaggs

    snaggs Member

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    Well, I got back the first set of chromes put through my F6 (the 2nd set of K64 will wait until I have a batch to send to Dwaynes). I loaded the Astia up into my Leica slide projector... and oh boy.. this is some pretty good film. I've been lazy and not done a shoot out yet.. but now I'm very keen.

    Daniel.