What's 'wrong' with Superia?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Chris Nielsen, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    Hi all

    I live in a country where film is terribly expensive, so I normally shoot Superia 400 (I shoot 35mm mainly). Now I know that it's often looked down on, and I wonder why that is? I mean, I normally shoot it at EI 100 - 200, I find that at 100 it lifts the shadows and reduces grain and contrast considerably, and when I *do* try a roll of something expensive like Pro 400, I can't see enough of a difference to, in my mind at least, abandon Superia and buy film 4 or 5 times the price.

    Any thoughts? What am I missing here? Either in lab prints or my scans, at EI 100 I'm getting quite nice results, which I can post an example of if you would like to see what I'm talking about. Skin tones look okay to me, which is another accusation I've heard leveled against Superia.
    Oh, and I am judging this all from either lab prints or my own scans on a Coolscan IV.


    thanks!
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Superia 200 was my main 35mm colour neg film for years, only reason I'm not using it is I've not been using 35mm much of late.

    Great films for all-round use, so why think of changing. I've used Fujicolor 160S etc for commercial work in 120 but don't bother with 35mm.

    Ian
     
  3. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Superia is great IMHO. Tough to find a reason not to use it.
     
  4. Leighgion

    Leighgion Member

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    Because entirely too much of the population doesn't feel good unless they have something to trash talk and analog shooters are no better than the bulk of the population.

    There's nothing wrong with the Superia line. It's a good value for the money and if you're happy with the results you're getting, there's no reason not to continue using it. While I do feel that the pro films offer you very real benefits for the money, if you're just shooting to please yourself then nothing says you have to pay.
     
  5. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I like all the Superia flavours, especially the 800 and Reala. I've recently been shooting 800Z, but only because it's cheaper than Superia 800 here. If you're getting nice results with Superia 400, who cares what others think?
     
  6. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    There isn't really anything actually 'wrong' with any medium of photography. It's all a matter of opinion. I hate digital while some love it. I don't care for Fuji Velvia, I prefer Ektachrome. It's all a matter of taste.
     
  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    what mark said ...
     
  8. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    Superia 400 is my main colour 35mm film because it's very easy to find, inexpensive and very good. I like the kodak ultramax 400 too.
     
  9. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I don't think it's looked down on at all. If you google around you may find some old comments by a certain individual pronouncing it inferior to certain "pro" film twice as expensive. Too bad he never actually demonstrated what exactly was so inferior about it.

    Some more reasonable individuals say that the pro-level films have better tolerance for mixed lighting, and also were optimized for immediate use rather than being stored on shelves. That may well be true... but it is also irrelevant for many uses.

    Use whatever produces the images that you like!
     
  10. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    Thanks guys, that makes me feel a little better!
     
  11. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    The local minilab owner shoots weddings for an additional income and still uses Superia, having tried some others. That says a lot to me

    pentaxuser
     
  12. Leighgion

    Leighgion Member

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    Just did some price checking out of curiosity.

    Here in the States, Superia up to 400 can be had for about $2 USD a roll if you mail order, while higher end stuff goes from about $4.70 - $6.00 if the choice is confined to 400 speed film or slower. That's only a factor of about 2-3x, which while significant, is nothing like 4-5x Chris has quoted for New Zealand.
     
  13. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    I got 50 rolls for $3 a roll (US$2.13) from my local camera store when it closed down, normally I'd pay $10 a roll for 135-36 Superia 400 ($US7.00). Pro 400 costs $15.00 a roll (US $10.66) and while that's not 5x the normal price, it is 5x the price I got my 50 rolls for...
     
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  15. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    Oh, and that's the cheapest mail order place as well, I've seen Kodak Gold 200 135-24 going for $13 (US $9.25) a roll in a local pharmacy
     
  16. Leighgion

    Leighgion Member

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    Sounds like you've your local supply & demand well-figured out, Chris.

    That was quite a coup versus regular prices. You really do pay a lot more for film than here.
     
  17. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    Why do you think I bulk load!!! $17 for a roll of HP5 really hurts!

    Actually, I've seen worse.. A local photo shop tried to sting me $50 for a roll of expired Ektachrome
     
  18. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Superia is not looked down upon by anyone who has actually tried it, IME.

    There may be those who prefer the specific look of certain emulsions, which happen to be labeled as "pro" films, but those who actually "look down" on it just because it is not labeled "Pro" obviously haven't tried it.

    FWIW, I am biased. Superia Press 800 is my go-to film for nearly everything I shoot in 35mm color neg.

    BTW, if you buy the film in Press packages, it is a professional film. Almost all of the advantages of a pro film are there. You have a quantity of film from the same emulsion batch that has been stored identically, it has 36 shots per roll, and, presumably, any store that bothers to stock the Press packages will receive the film in a large shipment, having been handled exactly the same way during transport as are the pro films, and they will presumably continue to store the film alongside their pro films in the fridges.

    The only big advantage of professional films that Superia Press does not have is availability in multiple formats. However, that you can get Superia 100 and 400 in 120 is great indeed! Of course, you cannot get them at Freestyle anymore...nor Reala. CRAP!

    Whether Superia Press is color balanced for immediate use versus non-Press Superia (which is made with the "wrong" color balance in order to allow aging on shelves or in camera to the proper balance), I simply do not know.

    Occasionally I will get drug store Superia 400 if it is just too good of a deal to pass up...but remember, it is only 24-shot rolls this way, and the processing cost is identical if you use the 36-shot Press rolls. Make sure you calculate price per shot when comparing prices, and not price per roll.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2010
  19. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    Thanks 2F, good to know
     
  20. Frank Bunnik

    Frank Bunnik Member

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    Superia is great. I use it in 120 rolls, excellent quality and the price is very low.
     
  21. dfoo

    dfoo Member

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    Wow, I used to buy superia 400 at Costco for $10 for 5 25 exposure rolls. Although not my favorite (that would be Kodak Portra 400) Not a bad film at all, especially for the price!
     
  22. Steve Mack

    Steve Mack Member

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    I also like Superia (it's available even at Food Lion, occasionally:D) and when it comes right down to it, I will put any current brand of film and some off brands too, into my camera. I've always been pleasantly surprised, and when the pictures are crummy, I've decided that it was my fault, not the equipment or the film.

    With best regards.

    Stephen
     
  23. Matthe w

    Matthe w Member

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    i got some superia processed at my local asda (walmart) just too if they where any good and as i have just switched too shooting film i hadnt used it before and i found that some photos had a really warm tone and some loked cross processed, although its probably them not the film anyone else had this problem, sorry if this makes no sense i havnt had much sleep over the past week due too my one week old daughter (shes our first)


    thanks matthew
     
  24. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Congratulations!!
     
  25. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    where are you buying it? I used to buy Superia 100 in color but I haven't been able to find it in about a year.
     
  26. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    It's horses for courses of course, Superia in all it's guises is a great all purpose film, I do find the 100 a tad too contrasty though. My choice is usually the 200, which is fine at box speed.
    When I used to shoot weddings I used 160S with it's more muted palette and better skin tones, 400H is the same here. I later switched to Portra 160 and 400, I found these films a little better at skin tones.
    Lately I have tried using Ektar 100 for landscape etc, and am finding it to be really good, need to get the exposures right though. A good compromise between the extremes of contrast is, of course, Fuji Reala....still a really great film, but I don't know how it's priced across the ditch.