The Tri-X of Color Films

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by arigram, May 1, 2008.

  1. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I am looking for a color film for street photography.
    Something in the 400 asa category, with gritty, unsaturated colors and look and strong contrast.
    I've used Fuji Reala in 120 because that's what I could find at the time and its a good film, but for one thing its 100 asa.
    I would take your suggestions seriously, but I don't have the luxury to try out different films as they are not sold around here anymore and I would have to order in bulk. If you can show me examples, that would be great.
     
  2. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    I fully concur with those who feel that Kodachrome 200 is THE Tri-X of color film. It's actually a b&w in basic structure. Unfortunately it's discontinued. You might want to try a couple of rolls of Fuji Superia or Press 1600 color negative pushed a stop and rated at EI 2000. I've had great luck getting a "color Tri-X" look with it.
     
  3. Admbws

    Admbws Member

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    I love the gritty look of Provia 400X pushed one or two stops.
     
  4. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Thank you for the suggestions.
    Maybe I should clarify that I am looking for a film available in 120 not in 135 format
    and that I won't be needing a higher speed than 400 iso.
    I will be shooting it alongside HP5+, maybe assisting with a bit of flash fill-in and
    using Hasselblad and Rolleiflex.
     
  5. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Is Kodacolor 800 avilable in 120?
     
  6. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    In 120? I love Ektachrome best. But face it, there is no tri-x in terms of flexibility, control, cost.
     
  7. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Could not find Kadacolor, but Fuji makes Fujicolor 800, I think this would be closest for a film with good exposure range, good in avialble light, but with reasonable grain.
     
  8. JohnArs

    JohnArs Subscriber

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  9. Admbws

    Admbws Member

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    ND filters are your friend.
     
  10. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It's tough to get unsaturated colour and strong contrast. I'd try Portra 400NC, butit wont be too contrasty unless you where to push it a bit.
     
  11. mabman

    mabman Member

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    For that speed and those parameters I think you're going to have some issues with colour film out-of-the-box as already mentioned.

    However, you might have some success with Kodak 160NC pushed 1 stop - it should put you in the 250-300 ISO range, the colours should still be OK, and the extra push will increase contrast.

    Oddly a quick search didn't turn up any examples - one would think this has been done before.

    If you're not comfortable with pushing, and still want both unsaturated colours and contrast, you may be stuck with 400NC and manipulate contrast after the fact using whatever method you're comfortable with.
     
  12. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Ok, forget my mention of the contrast.
    I am just looking for a 400 iso film in 120 with unsaturated color.
     
  13. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    I'd say Portra 400NC is the best bet for a natural look.
    Trouble is the grain is a fair bit finer than TX in my opinion.
    Portra 800 is available in 120 I have a couple of rolls but haven't used them yet.
    One film I have used and like is Fuji Pro 800Z which gives fairly natural results with quite a good grain pattern.
    Use it at 400 and just process a normal, as long as it isn't in bright light you'll be fine, over exposure by more than 2 stops seems to lower contrast and turn whites cyan/green in my experience.
    The film is a 640 in my opinion.
    Mark
     
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  15. Silverhead

    Silverhead Member

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    If you're open to using a transparency film I would really recommend Fuji Provia 400X. They have bumped the color saturation way up and the grain is the smallest I've ever seen in a 400 ISO color film, anywhere. I know you said you wanted unsaturated tones, but this film is truly gorgeous stuff. If color negative is your thing, then I agree with Mark about Kodak's Portra 400NC & Fuji's Pro 800Z.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2008
  16. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I can't see a comparison of grain between color negative and B&W films can be valid. For one thing, it's no secret C-41 and E6 films have no silver once processed and that the image is made of dye clouds. B&W negative films are made of metallic silver grains. So right there, you're looking at two completely different characteristics. Add to that the awful look of underexposed and noisy C-41 films. I think that the best you'll be able to do is to find a fairly unsaturated color print film and go from there. Unless you plan on printing yourself, you're pretty much at the whim of the lab tech. If you plan to go the hybrid route, then you can do anything you like to the image before sending it off to print. In that case, film choice becomes relatively unimportant.
     
  17. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    IMHO:

    Fuji Press 800. (AKA the emulsion-batch-matching, 36 exposure version of Superia 800.) Nice and realistic color, sharp grain, incredibly pushable, gives nice fast shutter speeds and/or more D of F...useful for almost any candid/fleeting situation. I have gone up to 9x13.5in. from this film and it looks great to me at any distance...and that series was shot with a 56-year-old lens (at the time) that was made before color film widely existed, and is not known for being a super sharp lens (Summitar 5cm). I wouldn't hesitate to go up to 12x18 with those shots, although I generally like my prints from 35mm to be 8x12 max. It is definitely a pretty raw look like a lot of classic street shots on Tri-X.

    The professional-series 800 films (Fuji Pro 800Z and Kodak Portra 800) are a little softer on grain, and therefore also appear less sharp and gritty to me. Not that they are poor films by any means...and the 120/220 availability is a huge plus. They have nice medium contrast and low saturation (whatever the heck "medium contrast" and "low saturation" mean anyhow). That stuff can all be tweaked anyhow when you expose, develop, and print. That's why the good folks at Kodak have given us Portra, Supra, and Ultra to work with (and then screwed us by discontinuing all but Supra).

    Or for transparencies: Provia 400. This is a great, great film, IHMO (though I have not tried the X version yet, as I still have plenty of the old stuff in my fridge to burn first). Wish they made an Astia 400, though. When I want to shoot for this look, I overexpose Provia 400 and pull development. Problem is that you have to be set up for Ilfochrome or gum-dichromate printing to get your end result to be a print...and most people are not set up for these printing processes; nor would they even consider being set up for them. Also, good luck finding a lab to make internegs for you. You have to do that yourself. Not even A and I does that anymore. Most who shoot transparencies these days do so to scan and then print. That is a good option as well...but then again, the "A" in APUG does stand for something, doesn't it?

    2F/2F
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2008
  18. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    Tri-X of Color Films

    Try Fuji Pro 400. It has lower contrast so it's suitable for the photo pf the groom in the black tuxedo next to the bride in the white dress. Once you scan the negatives you can use plug-ins in the editing software to get any look you like.
     
  19. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  20. Columbia_G

    Columbia_G Member

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  21. Thanasis

    Thanasis Member

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    Fuji Pro 400H gives a really nice low saturation print. It's my film of choice for winter street shooting. It gives terrific skin tones.
     
  22. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Unsaturated color, available in 120. 'nuff said,
    Steve
     
  23. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    "Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to you financial well being!"

    Yes it is.
     
  24. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Thank you.
    I will try to find Portra, but if not I will just use whatever I can get.
     
  25. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    Another plug for Fuji Pro 400H.

    Cope well with contrasty lighting, and copes well too with dodgy old shutters on dodgy old cameras :wink:
     
  26. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

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    Hi Ari, I am another supporter for Portra 400NC as the right choice. I don't beleive grain is a pre-requisite for street imagery. I could upload a recent image if you like....PM me and I will do it. Rgds, K