Boy oh boy, this part of the forum is virtual morgue! I have a small, but faithful palette of film that I use depending upon the subject. It took me a while to arrive upon these films. I assume I'm not alone. I thought it might be worth while for us to discuss what films we use and why. I am hoping that this might at least get the colour forum's heart beating again.
As your host I will, of course, let you go first.
When I shoot color, I like relative neutrality. Kodachrome 25 is the only color film I really like, but alas there are only 20 more rolls in the freezer, and I shoot less and less 35mm (except for birds, which require faster film). If I'm going to bother to carry a tripod, I might as well carry a bigger camera.
So I use Kodachrome 64, Provia 100F pushed one stop in flat light, and Provia 400F in 35mm for birds. I like RMS and Provia 100F for medium format landscapes, birds that can be photographed with medium format, and such, and some Porta 160NC for people photos. In large format I like Astia for portraits, and I have some VPSIII in the freezer also for portraits (when that runs out, I'll move to Portra 160NC), Astia or Provia 100F for landscapes, still life, and architecture.
Portra nc films for people.
C41: Portra 160 VC seems to come closest to the late, lamented Pro 100T which to me was the most phenomenal color print film ever made. Why does Kodak always discontinue things when they finally get everything right?
E6: Kodak EPY 6018, aka Ektachrome 64T. The king of kings. Responds beautifully to zone system control, has a contrast scale as long as Tri-X and perfect, I mean PERFECT color balance.
With this winter we've been having I smell a glorious Springtime a' comin'. You guys have reminded me that I need to begin stocking up on color film.
8x10 - Portra 400 NC. Good color and grain is not a problem and because you can use higher shutter speeds, it's great film for the real world (where things move). I have a nice picture of a Norwegian Line ship passing in front of the World Trade Center, which I couldn't have gotten with an any other film.
5x7 - Portra 160 NC. this is my primary format. Great color and excellent reciprocity (a 30 sec exposure is no problem). It's also the only color neg film still available as 5x7 (meaning I don't have to cut down 8x10). It's cheap too, at $3 a sheet.
4x5 - Portra 400 NC. Primarily used with a press camera for people pictures.
6x9 - Fuji NPZ (ASA 800) with a Fuji 690 rangefinder. Excellent film for the speed, though with slightly magenta skin tones. the camera itself is the ultimate Leica killer. Big negative, x snyc at any speed. At $650 used I don't have a qualm taking it on family vacations.
They have color film now? http://apug.org/forum/html/emoticons/smile.gif
My list is a bit different -
4x5 - Velvia. Mostly because it seems right to use it with a 4x5. Although I think the next film I will get will be different. I need to branch out a bit in my LF films.
120 - Mostly Portra 400 and 160. NC for portraits, VC for some portraits and "general" shooting. I have been trying UC and don't really see much difference with it. Then again I only get the negs developed and scan them at home to save money. I am finding that my scanner (Epson 1660 w/the 4x5 adapter) and VueScan do NOT like the blacks that any of the Portra films give. They tend to be very weak and they break up a fair bit. Some Photoshop work will fix it, but this seems to be a scanner issue as opposed to a film issue. So maybe UC is vivid. I don't know.
I also shoot E100VS when I want chromes. I just love the stuff. Great film and it scans well for me. I also use it as a X-process film. It works well for that.
35mm - E100VS and Portra. Again for the same reasons. When shooting outdoors I tend to go with the Portra 160 since it is very bright here most of the time and some of my 35mm cameras only go up to 1/1000. I like to be able to have a full set of apertures to work from and I hate using ND filters if I can avoid it.
Black and white
Ilford FP4 (my favorite of the day)
Kodak TMax 100 (before the recent changes?)
Kodachrome 25 (can't get it anymore)
Kodak E100S (a touch less saturation than VS)
Kodak Royal Gold 100 for 35mm (discontinued???)
I used to use nothing but Velvia.
But now I find myself using 160 VC more and more, when I use color. Part of the reason is the palette, part is the wickedly wider contrast you get from c41 films, and part of it is the fact that I have a rental darkroom with a C paper developer machine available. It's much easier than BW, once you get the filter pack right. ANd I have not seen a cibachrome machine in 20 years. Also, it seems that the Lighjet process is as easy with c41 as it is with e6. And I have a feeling that I will be doing lightjest work long before I will be doing digital BW work.
PS for BW:
8x10: HP5 in ABC
4x5: Bergger and HP5 in PMK
6x17/35mm: HP5 in PMK
Velvia: For total over cast days, and very drab/flat lighting conditions. The pop it adds is
helpful, but otherwise, it can produce some very strange colors that never
appear in nature.
Elite Chrome 100 General use.
Elite Chrome 200: Star trails and astro work.
Kodak E100S: My main landscape film. Lower, more realistic colors, and easier to work
Gold 100: General use print film. Available anywher, cheap!
Tri-X 400 (everything/everywhere! I just love the look of this film)
NPH 400 (portraits, high contrast days, indoor shooting)
Afga Portrait 160 (portraits, strong on the reds)
Velvia (low contrast days & landscapes)
Provia (don't really shoot this for landscape, more general purpose outdoor)
HIE (mainly summer/foliage, but anytime I want real character and funky results)
Plus-X 125 (trying it out in my YashicaMat)
I just ordered some Kodak Portra (VC & NC) to try out on an upcoming ski trip.
I used to shoot Sensia for landscapes, but after using Velvia, the price difference seems worth it. I also get weird results with Provia sometimes - I seem to get low tonal separation in a lot of landscape shots (which is why I don't use it much for landscape anymore).
Been meaning to try EV100, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Have tried Ilford SFX, but it's really not much different than regular B&W, at least in my experience - if you're going for the infrared look, HIE gives it, albeit at the cost of mucho grain.