What film to count on being available for high quality architecture and landscapes?

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by Meirronaldi, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. Meirronaldi

    Meirronaldi Member

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    I have come back, or want to come back to film photography to gain large image quality. After an absence of a couple years I decided I want to use my Sinar 4x5 to shoot architecture and urban landscapes. The images I get from my DSLR's just are not cutting it and I don't have the cash to shell out for a pro digital back. I thought why not get a decent scanner, break out the film camera and go to work. I have the equipment why not put it back into service? But now am discovering that the films I wanted to use are almost impossible to get? I am looking for suggestions on which products are available and may remain available for the foreseeable future? I used to shoot Ektichrome, Tri-x and do Polaroid test shots. I would like to shoot color transparency as my main format. I would really appreciate your suggestions for film, processing and sources? Thanks!
     
  2. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Ektachrome 100G 4x5 is still around, Tri-X 4x5 too. Fuji Instant 100C and 3000B in 4x5 as well (Polaroid is gone). I'm in Canada so not sure about processing, sorry.
     
  3. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I would use Fuji Provia 100F, and Fuji Provia 400 X.
     
  4. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Is 400X available as 4x5 now? If so, I am buying a stash of it!
     
  5. thrice

    thrice Member

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    Alas, no, it is not.
     
  6. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Sorry I'm not a L/F user I assumed it was.
     
  7. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    It's really too bad it isn't. It is a great film. With the discontinuation or Portra 400NC went the last fast color 4x5 film.
     
  8. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Untrue I believe. New Portra 160 and 400 are both available in 4x5. Freestyle seems to have both in stock.

    Sadly I think chromes are just about dead in any size. C-41 hopefully will last a while longer. Smoke 'em if you got 'em...
     
  9. sandholm

    sandholm Subscriber

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    I have pushed Portra 400 to 3200 with excellent results, best fast color film ever produced, I would say its even better at 1600+ then 400 ( a bit more color punch)

    I havent any scanned (that I can put online) but a bit google gives:

    Big review (get a coffee but its worth it) http://figitalrevolution.com/2010/12/08/another-kodak-portra-400-review/

    @3200: http://www.camerasandfilm.com/archives/418
    @1600: http://www.camerasandfilm.com/archives/409

    and on flicker: http://www.flickr.com/photos/phloodpants/sets/72157626086079045/

    love the new Portra, i would say its the best color negative film ever produced
    (and its even exist in 8x10)
    cheers
     
  10. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    You are correct! I was thinking of 5x7 format, not 4x5.
     
  11. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Ektar.


    A flatbed will pull out a sharp 30-40mp equivalency of 4x5" if that's the road you're looking at and are keen on detail level. The sensor output is also trash and cannot compare to a dSLR in other arenas of quality, the only advantage here is the larger size vs smaller size.

    Don't want to see you invest and then get disappointed. I'd suggest finding someone who shoots 4x5" and scans, and getting to look at their images and see if it's suitable for you.
     
  12. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    If you with to use slide then let me suggest Astia 100F for this kind of work, it has the best highlight-shadow range /tolerance that I've witnessed in a slide film.

    Will it be around long? Well I have a stockpile in my freezer in all formats... :smile:

    I would also consider a neg film like fuji 160s. Really depends on your lighting conditions, of course, but if you routinely see a lot of contrast and mixed colour balance then I'd just go with a neg film. These will also be around much longer than slide, in my (unhappy) opinion.

    If I had to do this purely digitally then I'd just stitch smaller-format digital files. The software has gotten very good now.
     
  13. segedi

    segedi Member

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    For product availability, processing availability, ease of scanning and cost, negatives are to way to go. Kodak Ektar and Portra are my favorite films. Great color rendition with Ektar being more saturated, a neg film that has slide film characteristics. And really easy to scan with no fiddling with color or saturation for the most part.

    The last place in Calgary that developed 120 E-6 decided not to replace their broken machine. I see slide processing being a big problem soon!
     
  14. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Perhaps unfortunately, this is true - color neg for future availability of color film. Black and white is no problem at all with plenty of choices.

    If you do want to shoot transparencies, Astia is already discontinued. Probably E100G is the closest thing to it and a really good film. I like it a lot, but who knows how long any E6 will be available? For more saturation there's Provia and the family of Velvias. Unfortunately no E100VS anymore in sheets, at least not new (I scored some stashed in my freezer.)

    To the point about scan quality not matching DSLR except in size - yes and no. Mostly true of flatbed, though the quality may well be "good enough." But get an excellent professional drum scan of your best images and you will blow any DSLR and everything but the very expensive digital backs out of the water.
     
  15. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    Are you sure re discontinuation of E100VS in sheet film sizes? I had a momentary panic attack and went to check the EK website; no mention of the emulsion being discontinued.
     
  16. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    At a modest 2400 DPI 4x5 is 115 MP and there is more than megapixels to imaging as we should well remember.
     
  17. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Well a check of usual suppliers didn't turn any up. Can you actually find some to buy?
     
  18. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I wouldn't count on any color transparency film being around into the future. Color negative is the way of the future. :D And even it won't be around that long in the grand scheme of thing, in my best guess.

    For black and white, I personally prefer T-Max, but Kodak's film division has been doing poorly for many years, so if longevity is the main goal, I would use Ilford Delta 100 or FP4. Or just use T-Max until it is gone, and then switch to Ilford when Kodak goes away, as I plan on doing. Or Ilford could just make Delta as good as T-Max...and start making Delta 400 in sheet sizes again.
     
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  19. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    Did the same. Maybe you are correct (sad to say) on this one. I have just begun using E100VS in my Blad for landscape/nature work and was going to shoot some in the old 4x5 on my next trip over to Pacific Rim. Odd: I cannot recall any notice in any of the photo mags or on the EK website. Maybe this one got by?
     
  20. Meirronaldi

    Meirronaldi Member

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    Film available in the future.

    Thanks to everyone for all the advice and discussion. At this point I have located some e100g which will get me through one project and will be my film of choice till it is gone. I have placed another order for more will see if it actually gets shipped. Ffor the time being out dated or even not yet out dated Velvia seems to be able to be had on eBay. For the time being at least a few places are still getting shipped fresh from Kodak. I assume it must be coming out of inventory. There are labs still doing processing E6 processing. The local lab is doing runs once a week for the time being being but may stop at any time. I have to wonder about quality of the chemicals. May force me to do mail order guys because the are still running more consistently. I am having a hard time understanding how ther is not enough market out there to support a cottage industry in color reversal film. Even if Kodak no longer has the financial ability or interest you have to wonder why they would not sell the patents and some equipment to others who are structured to profit from a smaller market/operation.