Help me choose color negative film, please.

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by tkamiya, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Please make a recommendation for medium speed color 35 negative film..... In my old days, I used to shoot almost exclusively Kodak products but that was 25+ years ago.

    I don't usually shoot color film these days, so I need APUGers to help me choose one. I will be shooting fall foliage in North Carolina area next months. I like crisp and colorful image, so I am thinking Kodak Ektar but I'm not sure if color saturation will be too over-the-top. I'm thinking Portra would normally be for Portrait or people photography? Would using Portra 160VC be apprpriate?
     
  2. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    Kodak Ektar has high saturation, fine grain, and an acceptable skin tone registration as opposed to films like velvia. I don't think too much color saturation will be a problem, especially in a world dominated by saturated digital images, plus the saturation of Ektar is not unreasonable.
     
  3. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I also go with Kodak Ektar.

    Jeff
     
  4. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    A third voice for Ektar. The saturation is not so unreasonable that it looses nuances in the midtones. How much of it ends up in the print also depends on the way you make that.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I'd suggest the Portra films - either 160 VC or 160 NC.

    I've never had difficulty getting good colour from either. The NC will give you more subtlety, whereas the VC will be more vivid. Personally, I lean toward subtlety when it comes to foliage.
     
  6. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I knew unanimous responses were impossible here on the APUG land!
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I haven't shot the Ektar - it might have been added to the list if I had :smile:.

    I have shot the older Kodak Ultra, and would have recommended it as well if it were easily available.

    I think that when you are dealing with strong and colourful subjects, your choice will be a matter of personal taste.

    IMHO it is the subtle shades that are more film specific.
     
  8. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Then your not disappointed.:smile:
     
  9. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Kodak Ektar 100 is great but would also recommend Kodak Gold 100 as well as Fuji 160C & 160S.
     
  10. frednewman

    frednewman Advertiser Advertiser

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    Hi tkamiya

    I've always liked Kodak Portra 160 VC. Very clean in the shadows.

    Fred Newman
     
  11. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Thanks everybody. I'll decide between Ektar 100 and Portra 160VC. I usually don't shoot color negatives, so this will be the first for me.
    My standard has been B&W = film, Color = digi. I just got a Nikkor 16-35 VR, so I'm very tempted to try it at the widest setting using full frame body so I can take the full advantage of the ultra-wide angle view. Wish me luck!
     
  12. Casey Kidwell

    Casey Kidwell Member

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    I haven't shot Ektar in about 15 years. Has the emulsion changed much? I'll second the 160VC. Easy to print and predictable.
     
  13. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Kodak recently (12-18 months?) released a new version of Kodak Ektar in 100 speed.

    I have yet to try it yet either but plan on testing some in 120 soon.
     
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  15. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I'm sure either film you have chosen will give excellent results. You may want to try a slight warming filter coupled with a polarizing filter for some of the exposures. It is my understanding that can make for a dramatic effect. I use B&W so I can't provide any examples and down here the leaves don't change.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  16. hrst

    hrst Member

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    It's a completely new film. See Kodak website for more info.
     
  17. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Best of luck and welcome back to color film :smile: I also second the choices of Ektar 100 and Potra 160NC or even the VC. With the great color products Kodak puts out, I find it hard to go wrong.
     
  18. mikecnichols

    mikecnichols Member

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    Can I ask y'all a question...why does it seem that y'all are partial to Kodak films? I understand the reason for films like Potra 160NC as they produce good skin tones and are suited for studio shooting, but why would you want to use such films for nature photography? I have always found that Fuji's products produce more stunning colors without looking fake (mostly).
     
  19. jpberger

    jpberger Member

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    If we are talking c-41, and especially in 35mm, for the OP's application, I'll go out on a limb and say that reala and 160vc are nice, but ektar100 blows the doors off of both of them. If we are talking any colour including chrome, or larger formats then it's a different ball game, but ektar would still be the prime contender imho. The one limitation with ektar for nature photography is that it doesn't have much latitude for a negative film so If you have sky in a scene with a low value foreground you might want an nd grad or some other way to keep the sky from overexposing. I also find it's more contrasty than I would like for optical printing.

    Don't get me wrong I like the 160 films better for most applications, but "horses for courses" as the Brits say.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2010
  20. mikecnichols

    mikecnichols Member

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    I haven't used this newer Ektar. I have used the Ultra Color line and was very un happy for the most part. There were a few shots that I am very happy with, but overall I was unimpressed.

    Thanks for the reply.
     
  21. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Precisely because Portra (the NC variant) produces real colours, and not "stunning colors without looking fake (mostly)".
     
  22. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    For what you describe, Portra 160VC or Fuji Pro 160C. Try some Ektar too, so you can see how different it is.

    FWIW, there is probably one thing I would seriously use Ektar for, and this is standalone products (i.e. with no people in the shot). I cannot stand the way it renders the average scene. It seems to be a few crayons short of a complete set to me. It looks like an amateur film to my eyes when used for people and landscapes. I noticed very bold, blocked up primaries, a lack of subtlety in the way it renders color differences, and a very sharp drop off in detail as you move into the shadows of the image. I use it when I want its look, but I would not consider it a good choice for a general purpose film for most types of photography.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2010
  23. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I was also very unimpressed by Ugly Colour.

    I have given Ektar a fair chance, and it left me as unimpressed as UC, for the same reasons: too much contrast, ugly colour.
     
  24. mikecnichols

    mikecnichols Member

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    The shot I have attached is the best shot from my usage of UC. I still wish that the tree trunk had better blacks, but it isn't too awful. As the other person was saying, I think it is the latitude of the Kodak films I've used that I don't like. I'm used to the way Fuji reacts and so I guess I can get disappointed easily with Kodak films....anyway, I just wanted to see peoples' opinions on the subject.
     

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  25. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

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    i usually use cheap film from a supermarket called shlecker and sometimes from Lidl, the film is almos certainly old agfa, from both of them! is normal saturated and in 200 ISO has an appealing grain! with dignan divided c-41 it has a little bit less speed but in normal c-41 is ok, i usually develop a bit longer since most of the times i find appealing some colour shift and more saturation!

    you can find that almost all films work ok, Ektar is great as is Portra or fuji´s 160 pro s or c! s for softer and c for contrastier

    good development and carefull exposure make better films even better


    Rui Lourosa
     
  26. Sysygy

    Sysygy Member

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    Mike,
    that picture is very good. I really enjoyed looking at it.
    I have a group on another website for Ektar portraits. Some are very good and interesting although not "traditional" but it is nice to have another medium to express oneself.