Recommended film for MF people photography?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by haring, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. haring

    haring Member

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    I am totally new in the world of film medium format photography...

    What film do you recommend for people and wedding photography? What is your favorite film for these purposes?

    Thanks!
    Otto
     
  2. st3ve

    st3ve Member

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    B&W - Neopan, most likely. Tri-X is also popular, but IMO that's a personal choice. I like Acros 100 if I can get away with it, but regular Neopan (400) is quite nice too. Very creamy tones, might as well not have any grain on 120. Tri-X is still the look we love with a fair amount of grain. Don't be afraid to use it by any means, because the grain is less pronounced in 120 Tri-X vs 35mm, but Neopan is my first choice. Others will chime in and probably suggest an Ilford film, and a Foma film, and so on. I'd say just use whatever you would in 35mm. Every film looks better in MF.

    Color - something like Astia for slide, Fuji Provia or Kodak Portra (Kodak 160/400 NC is the portrait emulsion, either one in a "VC" is for vivid color) for color neg. Again, the same emulsions as 35mm.
     
  3. haring

    haring Member

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    WOW! I have a lot of choices! :smile:
    Where is the best (and cheapest) place to buy them? Ebay?
     
  4. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    You have LOTS of choices.... I perfer Kodak products so I use Tmax 100, 400, Plus-X, and Tri-X. For whatever reason, I have issues with Tmax in 35mm but not so in medium format. I like 'em all.

    edit - sorry, I just assumed you meant b&w. I only shoot b&w so I have no opinion on color films.
     
  5. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    I have never shot a wedding, but I know what I like. For 100-speed, I like Fuji Acros, and for 400 speed Ilford HP5+, though Kodak Tri-X is nice as well. Both can also be pushed to 1600 easily if you have low light. I wouldn't worry too much about grain on 120 film.

    For color negative, the latest Kodak films are my favorite - Ektar 100 and Portra 400.

    Freestylephoto.biz is my go-to vendor for film. It's actually cheaper than eBay for most new films. To me, eBay is only good for the occasional expired lot of film.
     
  6. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    Freestyle.
     
  7. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    The new Portra 400 is very nice, so is Neopan 400, but Fuji have made 120 size Neopan 400 unavailable. :sad:
     
  8. st3ve

    st3ve Member

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    Have you tried 400VC? I just sent out a roll of it in 120 recently, just a roll of shots from an outing one eve, actually I did quite a bit of experimenting... I'm somewhat eager to get it back but not so much as my Velvia 50 120 :D
     
  9. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I like Fuji Reala but for a wedding you'd probably want a 400 speed such as 400H or the new Portra 400.
     
  10. st3ve

    st3ve Member

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    I think it's fair to say you have a lot of options here.
     
  11. thegman

    thegman Member

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    I second the Portra recommendations, if you over expose it you get paler, more pastel-like colours, and it's looks great for skin. Also I would imagine that the wedding dress would look pure white, not grey-ish.
     
  12. pentaprism

    pentaprism Member

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    Another vote for Portra. And i'd go with Tri-x for b/w(but that's just because it's my favourite film).
     
  13. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    for slow film i will go with Acros and Ilford FP4+, TMAX and TriX are both great in medium speed films.
    For color, i will go with Reala, Porta, and Fuji Pro films, if i shoot outdoor with some nature and things surround the bride or groom then i can include velvi as well.
     
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  15. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    eBay? I suppose there are actual retailers on eBay too but I wouldn't trust questionable film if I was shooting a wedding professionally, I'd buy from a reputable dealer to ensure the quality of the film, good storage techniques and so on. If you're just a guest taking pictures then by all means buy on eBay.
     
  16. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Fuji Reala was my father's choice for weddings for many years. Accurate skin tones whilst keeping the wedding dress white (assuming it was to start with!).

    Fuji Press film is similar emulsion but in 400 and 800 speeds if you think you will need a faster film.


    Steve.
     
  17. Rolleijoe

    Rolleijoe Member

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    The best b&w for skin tones are Ilford HP5+, or even XP2-Super. Ilford has always had a certain element in their films to hide blemishes in skin, it's wonderful. For color Just about the only choice left is Portra 160NC or 400NC.


    Some of the other films suggested (Neopan 400, Plus-X) have long been discontinued in MF. Which is a shame, I used to like Neopan 400.


    Try checking out the options at Freestyle in Hollywood. They carry fresh, and unique films.


    Good luck with your shooting.
     
  18. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Changing the subject temporarily, three consecutive Gretsch avatar images!


    Steve.
     
  19. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    +1 Ektar and Portra 400, or Pro 160S and Portra 400.
    Ektar is great on skin tones and is not "garish"

    B&W.. FP4+ and Tri-X, something cheaper, then Shaghai GP3.

    The highlight detail isn't sacrificed on Ektar either.. it just goes on forever.. using Sunny-11 (which i prefer to Sunny-16 in most situations for daylight, even on digital), I had some shots I accidentally overexposed at least 4 stops from the sunny-11 choice.. the nice bright clouds still held contrast/detail.. grainy sure.. but its there whether you want to burn it in while printing or another method, or if you want to reign the highlights in after scanning/copying, the point is there is a lot of highlight room :smile:

    Ektar 100
    [​IMG]
    Me Aerial Filming by athiril, on Flickr
     
  20. Rolleijoe

    Rolleijoe Member

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    Just goes to show we have good taste!
     
  21. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Indeed. I have a Rollei too!


    Steve.
     
  22. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I would go for T-Max 100.

    Jeff
     
  23. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Long discontinued? We just got notice that Plus-X is going away in 120, but plenty is still available. Which probably just goes to show that it's not a big seller.

    I'd stick with Portra 400, Tri-X, or T-Max 400. The Portra 400 is a great film. You could try 160VC or NC if you want something slower, or even Ektar, but I think Portra 400 is where it's at.

    Tri-X or T-Max 400 for B&W film. The T-Max is going to be finer grained and sharper. Both are wonderful films and it's really up to your taste.
     
  24. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Very few couples want their weddings shot these days on transparency film or in monochrome that some members are suggesting, I would stick to to the films that are made for social photography Fuji Pro 160S Fuji Pro 400H Fuji Reala or Kodak Portra 160, or Portra 400 NC or VC .
     
  25. st3ve

    st3ve Member

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    To those upset about certain films being discontinued in MF, it is sad, but I suggest you buy enough short date / out of date film and freeze it. You'll have enough film, in good enough condition to use forever.
     
  26. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Or better yet, continue to purchase fresh film, to help insure the longevity of your favorite films.
    I am a very keen advertiser for using the same film over and over and simply change your technique to alter the results.
    For weddings, you want high speed films, so Kodak Tri-X, Ilford HP5, Kodak TMax 400, Ilford Delta 400, or even Foma 400 would be good choices in black and white. They all exhibit fine enough grain (if used fresh, and exposed, processed, and printed with enough skill). For color, I can't help but like Kodak Portra 400 NC. I am yet to try out its replacement Portra 400, but am eager to. Their grain in 400 films will enable some very large prints these days.

    When shooting a wedding, always use what you are familiar with. never test film at weddings. Use fresh film, so that you don't have weird color shifts. The fewer unknown variables you introduce, the better it is.

    - Thomas