Looking for neg film recommendations

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by ssloansjca, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. ssloansjca

    ssloansjca Member

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    I am looking for recommendations for a C41 film. I have been shooting Ektar 100 in 35mm and 120 and while it does a good job it seems a bit contrasty. I am mostly shooting moving trains in daylight with good glass.

    I want a long tonal scale, so it maintains shadow detail as well as detail in the highlights. I want good color reproduction in daylight, few of these photos have skin tones. I want it to be easy to color balance. Of lesser concern is grain.

    I don't want coarse grain; but the other considerations are more important. ISO 100 ish is preferred. Exposure latitude would be nice. My favorite E6 film for this kind of shooting has been Astia, some of the Ektachromes, etc.

    I shoot 35mm and 120 and am open to ideas. What I do not want are blocked up highlights and inky black shadows. No C41 Velvia equivalents for me!

    Your suggestions are most appreciated.

    ~Steve Sloan
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Fuji Superia, great all round film, I prefer the 200 ISO film.

    Ian
     
  3. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Try Portra 160 NC. You aren't going to find anything with better resolution or lower grain than the Ektar.

    How are you getting them printed? If it is a digital system - Fuji Frontier or the Noritsu equivalent - they can dial down the contrast for you.
     
  4. cbphoto

    cbphoto Member

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    I haven't shot Ektar, but my understanding is that is meant to be chrome-like (like the old Agfa Ultra 50), so almost any other 100 speed film will give you better latitude and tonal scale. Reala is particularly good, and any of the Fuji or Kodak 160 speed pro films are good as well.
     
  5. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

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    I like Kodak Portra 160 NC. I've also had good luck with Kodak Ultramax 400 when I had no Portra 400 around :D
     
  6. steelneck

    steelneck Member

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    Try Reala. There is nothing outstanding with it but that also means that it is not bad at anything either. Really a good all round iso-100 film. Not as fine grained as Ektar, but no one would call Reala coarse, not by a long shot. It also deals with flourecent light quite nice, not as good as superia 400 in my opinion, but better than Ektar that is very daylight oriented.
     
  7. Colden

    Colden Member

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    A key thing here is 120 availability. For example, I was recently searching for 120 Reala and found it to be discontinued (again?!) in the US. So, if you want to maintain a look between 135 and 120, that could be a concern.

    Otherwise, I'd have picked Reala for sure. Locomotives have a lot of black parts and when I took pictures of them I ended up overexposing a bit. Reala and other Superia blends preserve the highlights well.
     
  8. ssloansjca

    ssloansjca Member

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    Thanks for the tips. From what I have read it sounds like Reala might be my best bet (remember, no skin tones) for Daylight outdoor work. I may want to test it shooting at ISO 80 for shadow details. One person asked about my workflow. I do my own work and use an output method I should not mention here. I did not think that necessary since I outlined what I want in a neg film.

    I have had good luck in the past with neg film, so this sounds like a good bet! Too bad the Ektar 100 didn't work for me. Perhaps I will save my stock for overcast days where I need a contrast boost or scenics where I can expose for the highlights and let the shadows go black.

    ~Steve
     
  9. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Reala isnt discontinued.. dont know where you go that from..

    I recommend Pro 160S, cant be beat.
     
  10. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Yes, pro s.

    If that's till too contrasty you might try pro h. I find pro h generally more suitable for any shots with high contrast and if skin is involved. You get a bit less primary saturation and contrast.
     
  11. cmo

    cmo Member

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    If you like Astia, a good tonal range, moderate contrast and very fine grain Portra 160 NC is probably your best choice.
     
  12. ssloansjca

    ssloansjca Member

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    Thanks for the tips; I will try Portra 160 NC as well. Skin tones don't matter to me for trains but a long tonal range is critical. I can mask and punch contrast locally in areas that I need it in post processing. For B&W my favorite films are Plus-X and Tri-X for the tonal range. Ektar 100 would likely be nice for overcast days as long as I keep the sky out of the picture.

    ~Steve