what film would you recommend

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by cyberspider, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. cyberspider

    cyberspider Member

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    what is a good film for landscape i was told ILFORD DELTA 400 PRO is good
    any advice welcome
    thank you
     
  2. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    what film is good for a landscape? ...how do you want the landscape to look?
    why not go out and buy a range of films, test them and see which one you prefer??
     
  3. cyberspider

    cyberspider Member

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    i dont go out and buy a few as its £7 for developing 24exp
    so i thought that some people on here would have an idea of a good brand
    and what iso rating would be good

    and i want it to be bright and good colour representation
     
  4. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Alright, I'll bite. :D
    First off, welcome to APUG! Second, Ilford only makes B&W film.
    Third, for landscape use, you typically want as low speed of film as you can get; the 400 speed film is going to be excessively grainy. Unless that's what you're going for, of course.
    Do you want negative film for prints or slide film?
    Color negative: try a roll of Kodak Ektar 100.
    EDIT: after reading your post again, I think you should just try the Kodak Ektar. It almost has the saturation of a slide film, but is easier to get processed for you, it is new (therefore will be around for a while, and you can learn it), an will give you the smoothest, brightest result of any color neg out there right now. Be sure to give it plenty of exposure.

    Color slide: Fuji Velvia (any flavor is fine for your first roll, honestly) or Kodak E100G / E100VS.

    Just in case you did want a B&W film, and you want "good" color rendition as it applies to the film detecting various colors as certain shades, then you will have to be a little more specific and tell us what you're looking for. My suggestion for a landscape B&W film would be Delta 100, T-Max 100 or maybe even PanF - but that might be a little tricky for your first roll. Stick with the first two, give generous exposure (maybe rate them at 80 ISO for your first go at this) and develop acording to manufacture time to start.
    Then come back and tell us how you did!
    Best of luck,
    Jed
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2010
  5. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    These types of questions always end up with the same kind of answers. You will get more film suggestions than you can find in any one store or mailorder catalog. The real answer is that any good film will give you excellent landscape photographs if properly chosen and processed.

    What is more important than the type of film is the camera format and the film processing. Medium and large-format cameras have the edge over 35mm, because a larger format is less 'sensitive' to the grain issues of faster films. However, faster films are preferred by some landscape photographers for their smoother tones. Consequently, large-format cameras are best for landscape photography, not to mention their adjustment capabilities.

    Having said that, most important to me is film and print processing. Leaving this to a lab is an absolute no-no if you aim for peak performance. You must learn to do it yourself or you won't be satisfied with the results. By the way, film processing won't cost you £7 a roll either when you do it yourself.
     
  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Couldn't have said it better myself Ralph.

    Rick
     
  7. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    //Begin Rant
    Not to be disrespectful, but you didn't really help answer the question, either. Yes, I agree with everything you said. But, and this is a strong "but" here: we're trying to HELP new film shooters get shooting! Analog photography is only going to grow if we're willing to share our knowledge with the up and coming photographers who ask, " what's a good film for... "

    Larger format is better for most landscape, true. This was posted in the 35mm section. I will take some flak for this, but to the OP: grab that roll of 35mm film, even if all you can get where you live is a "lowly" roll of Gold 100, load that baby in whatever camera it is that you have now, and spend your money on a good day trip or fuel money to get you out in nature on a good hike.
    You'll come back with something of more worth, shooting that 35mm, than you would if you sat there waiting and wishing you had money for a 4x5 rig.

    OK, End Rant//
    :D
    Jed
     
  8. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Sorry, I thought I did. If not, let me summarize:

    1. Any name brand film is OK for landscape.
    2. Exclude fast films, if you are limited to 35mm.
    3. 35mm and landscape is not an ideal combination.

    BTW, I appreciate your goal of supporting analog photography, but it will only be recognized for what it is if we at least aim for perfection. Mediocre compromises may be counter-productive if they create more disappointment than satisfaction. We ow it to the OP to show interim containment actions as well as outlining long-term solutions.
     
  9. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I would go with Ektar 100 or Velvia for slides.

    Jeff
     
  10. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    cyberspider

    Do you prefer peas or corn? :wink: Picking a film is a matter of taste.

    Delta 400 is a great film to start with especially if you are hand holding or doing low light stuff, makes life a lot easier.

    I agree with Stephen Frizza though, you should experiment and play.

    I was in Death Valley National Park at Scotty's Castle and loaded a roll of some expired Fuji 800 color negative film for some dark interior shots and finished the roll up with a few broad daylight landscape shots. Surprised me a lot, it is by no means a standard looking "gallery style" shot but the color palette is absolutely gorgeous, the texture is beautiful, and the detail is all I would expect, truly special in my opinion.

    "In my opinion" are the three key words there.

    You need to taste the various varieties before you will know what tastes best to you.
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Delta 400 is an excellent film, I use it in 120 and wish it was available in LF sizes, but I think if I was using 35mm again I'd use Delta 100 or Tmax 100.

    Why don't yo try doing your own processing, it's quite easy to buy all you need second hand for next to nothing in the UK, I picked up complete enlargers etc for free (donated to the APUG Irish Workshop contingent).

    Ian
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Just one landscape? Which one? What is the light like? What do you want in the print?

    This is also in the wrong forum. Try one of the film/paper/processing forums.

    Films I use for landscapes are:

    Fuji Reala
    Fuji Superia/Press (all speeds, 100 to 1600, 35mm only)
    Fuji Pro 400H
    Fuji Pro 800Z
    Fuji Pro 160S
    Fuji Pro 160C
    Fuji Provia 100F
    Fuji Provia 400F/400X
    Fuji Sensia (all speeds, 100 to 400, 35mm only)
    Fuji Astia 100F
    Fuji Velvia 100F
    Fuji Velvia 100 (my least used of all three Velvias for landscapes)
    Fuji Velvia 50
    Fuji T64 (for night shooting in city light: "cityscapes")
    Fuji Neopan Acros 100
    Kodak Portra 160NC
    Kodak Portra 160VC
    Kodak Portra 400NC
    Kodak Portra 400VC
    Kodak Portra 800
    Kodak EPP
    Kodak EPN
    Kodak E200
    Kodak Elite Chrome (all speeds, 100 to 400, 35mm only)
    Kodak Tri-X 400 (small and medium format)
    Kodak Tri-X 320 (medium and large format)
    Kodak Plus-X
    Kodak T-Max 400
    Kodak T-Max 100
    Ilford Pan F
    Ilford FP4
    Ilford HP5
    Ilford Delta 3200
    Ilford SFX 200
    Ilford Ortho (sheet film only)
    Efke/Adox 25/50/100
    Efke IR820C
    Rollei IR 400

    ...depending on what I want, what the shooting conditions are, what the light is like, and what I happen to have.

    The best advice? Ignore generalizations or absolute statements of opinion as fact. Think about what you want, and pick a film that will give it to you in each particular situation. Ask people to describe films and compare films, rather than asking what is "best". If you are letting anyone tell you what "A Landscape" should look like, you have no business fooling with an artistic medium in the first place, IMHO. If you are letting yourself be told things like this, why are you taking pictures at all? What is the point? Really think about that.
     
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  13. TheSohnly

    TheSohnly Member

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    Keep the ISO low if you want really good tones.

    Just try something until you like it - you pretty much cant go wrong.
     
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  15. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    With respect Ralph, perfection by who's definition, yours, mine, Ansel Addams' or Miroslav Tichy's?
     
  16. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Perfection as in 'the best one can do' to improve it until it is as flawless as possible, Miroslav included.
     
  17. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    A newbie's opinion....

    I have been playing with B&W film for about 6 months. During this time, I found, using "the best" film is one thing but getting the result I was promised is quite another. For example, based on reviews and recommendations, I started with Tmax400. Fine grain, nice tones, etc, etc, etc.... I have been struggling with getting nice tones. On the other hand, "the old stand-by", TriX400 has been giving me what I want.

    I was told, when done "just right", Tmax will give me far above and beyond TriX ever can. While I don't doubt it is possible, I personally have not seen it come out of my own dark room.

    I don't know the experience level of OP and he may very well be way ahead of me. But I just wanted to throw this in here to show the other side of the equation.
     
  18. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    tkamiya

    You make a great point. Everybody needs to find what works for them.

    When I first came back to film I started with E6, gorgeous to project but, for me, too big a hassle to print.

    I do enjoy traditional B&W films and printing, but the more I use it the more I like C-41 and RA-4. I've yet to meet a C-41 film I don't like.

     
  19. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Ralph,
    thanks for replying the way you did, and not biting my head off for saying what I did! You've got more photographic experience in one little finger than I do in both hands put together. :D
    I just wanted to let the OP know that it's OK to shoot 35mm, and there have been a lot of good landscapes taken with it. Of course larger format will give you greater enlargments options!
    Best,
    Jed
     
  20. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    Don't forget to use a tripod.

    Maybe even a shutter release cable.

    And perhaps flipping the mirror up before exposure.


    I've got several 40" x 30" prints that I've made for clients and the equipment was set up like I just described. Also things like lighting, composition and things like tic-tack-toe (rule of thirds & leading lines) also help. There are others but forget those for now.

    Just get started. Enjoy & have fun.

    For 35mm I'd recommend using slide film. I like Velvia. That's just me!
     
  21. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I agree with that as well, but look at 2F/2F's list in post #12. How long would it take just to try them all? After I got started and went on the hunt for the ideal film soon after, I got he following advise from a great photographer who took pity on me:

    ‘Pick one film, one developer, one paper and work them over
    and over again, until you have a true feeling for how they work individually and in combination with each other.’


    This may sound a bit pragmatic, but it is good advice, and if it makes you feel too limited, try two each. The point is that an arsenal of too many material alternatives is often just an impatient response to disappointing initial attempts or immature and inconsistent technique. Unless you thrive on endless trial and error techniques, or enjoy experimentation with different materials in general, it is far better to improve craftsmanship and final results with repeated practice and meticulous record keeping for any given combination of proven materials, rather than blaming it possibly on the wrong material characteristics.
     
  22. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    The most important thing to remember is to have fun.
     
  23. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    It will all depend on personal taste, and only you can develop and ascertain that.

    Different films will give different results -- you use each for different reasons. Faster films are grainier...maybe you and your vision like that. Slower films are sharper and finer grained...ditto.

    Part of the joy of using film is this process -- finding out for yourself and evolving your artistic vision through experience.

    Learn the rules, then you can ignore them. 8^)

    For example, shooting street scenes hand-held one would think you'd need a reasonably fine grained film showing detail. Yet, it's not always so: http://www.lensculture.com/zuili.html

    Good luck. It seems at this stage for you, you need to try some different films and see their effects first-hand. Then you can move on and make the process your own.
     
  24. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    None of those films were ever "tested" by me specifically for landscapes, or in one fell swoop.

    I have gained experience with them bit by bit over the years, and have come to know what they are like.

    I have used all of the ones I listed for "landscapes", and for other things.

    There are other films made that that are not on the list because I do not use them for landscapes...because I really do not use them for anything (e.g. Ilford Delta 100 and 400).

    But, my point was that any film you might want to use for one thing, you can certainly use for another. There is no film that is specifically for one type of photography (except maybe scientific films or the like); just films with certain characteristics. You should learn these characteristics, and decide whether they will work for each pic.

    IMO, good starting points for color negative landscapes are Kodak Portra 160NC and VC.

    For black and white, I would suggest Kodak Plus-X or Ilford FP4 as good starting points.

    After these, I would move on to 400 films (Portra 400NC and 400VC, Fuji Pro 400H, Ilford HP5, Kodak Tri-X), for times when you want a grittier look and different tonal characteristics.

    After these, some Ilford Pan F.

    That gives you a good basic palette. Then, move on to toy with transparency films and other b//w films (T-Max, Delta, etc.)

    Do not discount high-speed films for landscapes. Their look is unique, and cannot be attained with slower films.
     
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  25. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Jed

    No problem, to me APUG is a community of friends. :smile:

    I don't see film formats as a degree of photographic experience or progress anyway. Some of the greatest photographers have used 35mm exclusively and used them to leave us with iconic images.

    To me, film format is a tool, and one needs to pick the right tool for the job. If someone with a 4x5 camera, on his way to the Olympics, would ask for the ideal film to shoot the sporting events, I would suggest that he picked the wrong equipment and point him towards a 35mm camera. If someone in the 35mm forum asks for the best film to shoot landscapes, I like to at least hint at a larger format, following the same logic.
     
  26. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I fully agree. However, are the differences between film characteristics significant enough to justify such a large portfolio for any one photographer?