You should probably try all of them.
You should probably try all of them.
B&H is a little less expensive for some color but I usually use Freestyle. B&H has terrible customer service. I buy my Elite Chrome from Dwayne's Photo (www.dwaynesphoto.com) since it is only $4.69/roll.
The most sensible thing to do would be to run a roll of each film from Kodak and Fuji through your camera in various conditions (flat/diffuse light, early morning and evening light, bright sun etc, with and without polariser, etc.). Then critically examine the results to determine what film does what, when and why. Ultimately disappointment is part and parcel with the enjoyment of getting the results spot on, meaning no one type of film will be ideal for all situations.
Actually that shot looks fine on Astia, and yes, Velvia would indeed up the ante, but it depends on what you are doing. I've personally found Astia, mentioned frequently, to be bland and unserviceable for landscape when printed to Ilfochrome, thus Velvia (EI40) or less commonly, Provia (100F) is used for that. Credit where due, Astia excels for skin tones, while Velvia does not. :)Quote:
And Astia captured it nicely for me. It just looks *good* - everyhting I shoot with it. IMHO of course. I bet you could find ten guys here that look at this shot and say wow... bet that would have looked awesome on Velvia! Or Provia, or whatever. Your opinion is all that matters in these things, so try a few and see which one captures things the way you like.
Normally, if I read such a question, I'd assume that people would point the TO to a variety of film lists online, where one would find comparisons and parametrized decision charts. But these lists do not exist, instead I see the question "which film?" posted over and over again, and multiple answers of the "I use XYZ and it works great" or "ZYX looks like crap!" kind. Many hobbyist photographers start a new venue when an important moment comes. I got tons of gear shortly before my first kid arrived, now that my second kid is about due, an RZ67 is on its way. Testing 20 different films is great in the long run, but doesn't work when someone just wants to get started quickly.
I see two possible ways for us to help newcomers with their film decision:
- We could start galleries for different film types, either here or in the gallery section. These galleries would not focus on artistic composition or dramatic captures, but on the qualities of the film in question. If other forums can do this with lenses and cameras, we could do it with films. Questions specific to one film could be posted here and the answers can be found easily by later newcomers.
- We could start a sticky thread which lists films based on their measurable qualities: latitude, contrast, skin color reproduction, color saturation, grain, ... Obviously, each film entry could point to its associated gallery if available.
Welp, being the OP and all, and wanting to make some sense of all the suggestions, I made a tally of the film recommendations. Those folks who mentioned more than one film, I tallied the first one they mentioned.
And guess what? It's a dead heat between Kodak Elite Chrome 100 and Fuji Astia 100F. So the only sensible thing to do will be to buy at least one roll of each, and put them through their paces. I imagine I'll like both, albeit for different reasons. Ah, such is life, eh?
But y'all keep your suggestions coming, by all means. I'll wager I'm not the only one who's faced with this quandary, and this thread may be of some use to a future (or present) member.
Fred, Michael, Rudeofus, the obvious problem with pbase and other non-APUG resources is that some folks can take great liberties with their scanned slides. What would be helpful would be a representative scene taken with all the various films, and then scanned identically and displayed side by side. At least for the velvias, this was done recently in View Camera. IIRC the article showed significant difference between velvia 50, 100, 100F, and the original 50 in terms of colour rendition (esp. in the yellows) and overall shadow detail. Alas it did not make a comparison to Astia, Provia and the Kodaks. And I don't think 400x was available at the time, too bad because that is a very interesting film- extremely versatile. IMHO astia/400x are a very good 'neutral' combo. Actually, I see more similarities between astia 100f and provia 400x than, 400x and provia 100f.
Wikipedia has a neat little list with basic info regarding saturation, grain, etc.