Torn Between Fuji's NPS and NPC

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by vivaitalia, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. vivaitalia

    vivaitalia Member

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    Can someone give me thoughts/suggestions/recommendations on these two films? Characteristics of these two films. And can you verify that Reala is really NPS; any difference between these two films other than the packaging? Thanks.
     
  2. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    Reala is finer grained about as contrasty when shot at iso 80, more saturation a wider exposure latitude and better shadow detail than NPS. Reala can handle a 1/500 to 15 minute exposure, NPS might be able to handle a 15 sec exposure. Reala has a fairly neutral palette that leans toward the juicy side that, as exposure or scene contrast increases, goes down right plastic. NPS starts out neutral and ends there.

    Npc has about the same grain, more contrast, more saturation, similar lack of shadow detail, and can manage longer exposures better than NPS. I believe that all three films have the extra layer.

    IMHO
    NPC and Reala are great general purpose films with both being just okay to good for portraiture. NPS is probably better for in studio portraits.

    NPC and Reala are two of my favourite films. I prefer Kodak's 160NC over NPS -- Others would disagree. I find kodak's 400UC similar to or superior to NPC. It is about a stop faster, better in the shadows, as fine grained with maybe a bit more punch.
     
  3. Thilo Schmid

    Thilo Schmid Member

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    NPC is my favorite CN-Film. I like the color rendition very much. Unfortunately, it is not availiable as sheet film. It is a little more contrasty than NPS, which makes it sometimes more difficult to print, but the colors, the colors...

    I have not yet tested the new Kodak UCs. IMO, the colors of Kodak CN-Film have always been "american style", if you know what I mean.

    The papers might affect your results as well. There is almost one grade between AFGA Portrait and Kodak Ultra. But the color rendition of NPC is excellent on all papers. Which is, of course, a matter of taste...

    [​IMG]
     
  4. fingel

    fingel Member

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    Thilo,
    I actually don't know what you mean by "American Style" color. Could you please explain? I shoot mostly black and white film so color doesn't enter my thinking very often. When I shoot color film it is usually a snap shot of something and I'm not really thinking to critically about it.
     
  5. Thilo Schmid

    Thilo Schmid Member

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    Scott,

    please, don't take this too serious. I should have added a smiley to that.

    With "American Style", I meant that they tend to produce candy-like colors. However, real candy colors are a challenge for every film and paper.

    Of course, I reckon upon opposition now...
     
  6. vivaitalia

    vivaitalia Member

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    Mrcallow,
    In your comparison of the Kodak 400UC to Fuji 160NPC, how is it that 400 speed film has similiar if not superior grain to the 100?

    I am looking for the finest of grain negative film (how I miss Ektar) (this is probably the highest factor for me b/c I plan on enlarging these negatives to mural size photos). My other factors are warmth of color and contrast, as I will be shooting mostly landscapes and architecture (old world Italy). Finally, can someone direct me to an online vendor who sells Reala in 120 rolls? calumetphoto.com does not sell Reala. Thanks
     
  7. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    "Of course, I reckon upon opposition now..."

    Opposition, disagreement or lack of understanding what you mean...

    Most consumer films (including fuji's reala) have 'candy' colours (or a more plastic look). Kodak NC has very subdued pallette. I'm not trying to pick a fight or be a kodak apologist, but the characteristics of kodak's films can not be generalized along colour. NC, VC and UC are all different, with 100t being a tungstun balanced version NC. I have spent a good amount of time in europe the last few years and the colour work I have seen has shown no fear of stark, candy colours.

    I'll be the first to stand in line to pummel my country men, but either I don't understand the statement or find it indefensible.
     
  8. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    The apparent grain size of 400UC,as seen through a grain focus and upon enlargement, is similar to NPC or any of the pro 160 films by Fuji or Kodak. Neither NPC or UC is the finest grain film. Reala and Konica's Impressa (my spelling) are finer. I haven't shot a lot of the konica film, but it didn't seem very contrasty. Reala is not very contrasty either until you start to 'over' expose it. Warmth can be achieved at the enlarger (set your filter pack on the warm side) or with a warming filter when shooting. I don't know of a neg film that is inherently warm.

    http://www.bhphoto.com sells Reala in 120.
     
  9. Thilo Schmid

    Thilo Schmid Member

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    I was not refering to consumer film, which in some cases has a professional counterpart of the same making, but different quality control. I actually meant that Kodak NC, VC and (prabably?) UC tend to candy colors in comparison to the others. I do not mean that these are bad films. This isn't a matter of good or bad. Exact Color is somehow undefined for CN-Film, because of the impact the positive process may have.

    I agree.
     
  10. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    Thilo,
    I mentioned consumer film, because I was trying to understand were the 'candy' statement came from. The palette of Kodak's consumer film (as in most consumer films) can be very stark and plastic.

    Kodak's professional film comes in 3 flavours. You've never tried UC; you agree that NC has a subtle palette (meaning non 'candy'); and that the films can't be grouped by colour.

    What are you talking about? If I didn't know better I would think your comments were a simple attempt to insult American's, slam Kodak, and, in so doing, elevate your self.

    cheers

    Back on topic...
    I think its great for people to ask questions about film. It is far better when they just buy a few roles and figure out how to use it and whether it will work for them.
     
  11. vivaitalia

    vivaitalia Member

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    Claro que si! Of course. But it is always good to hear other people's experiences (and opinions) about film, paper, labs, and the like. I am not looking to instigate a debate. I am looking for other photographes' experiences and recommendations on

    1) the finest grain color negative presently available (as I have been away from photography for a long time and am clueless about choices out there). My primary critiera for quality of grain is because I have the goal of enlarging these negatives to mural sizes).
    2) secondly, in critiera, contract and color.

    Thanks, John
     
  12. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    I'm certainly no expert on color film, but I've often shot both Kodak and Fuji sheet film of the same subject to see which palette I prefered.

    In sheet film, I really prefer Kodak Portra 160 NC. Accurate, subtle color you can use anywhere with beautiful skintones. And no reciprocity issues. Much superior to the Fuji NPS I used in comparison, which seemed more pumped up (particularly in the greens), i.e., "American".

    For smaller formats, 35mm and medium format, I've fallen in love with Portra 400 UC. Despite the name, the colors are not "over the top" in terms of color saturation and the skin tones are beautiful. It is very fine grained. It's a film you can use anywhere, for any subject from portrait to landscape, sunshine to rain.

    Take care,
    Tom
     
  13. Ka

    Ka Member

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    When I shoot Portra 4ooUC, I do so exclusively for outdoor portraiture in the Autumn only. It enrichens Autumns deep reds, oranges, yellows and browns, ultimately warming the human subjects among the colour.

    I have heard that film producers customize film for different markets. i.e. the same Kodak Portra 400UC film for sale in the US will be different than the same film for sale in Europe, due to differences in light strength. Is this true?
     
  14. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    I don't believe there are any regional customizations done by the film manufacturers. It would be interesting to hear otherwise.

    I know that Fuji has a super saturated version of Velvia 100 available in Japan (in addition to the Velvia 100F recently introduced here) which is not yet released in the states.