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  1. #11
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    What happened to the Lucky Black & White films?

    I lived in China from 1996 to 2001 and tried Lucky, Shantou and Shanghai films. Was not overly fond of the B&W Lucky much preferring the Shantou ERA 100 which some speculate is a version of Plus-X. The Lucky color was not too bad after I found a decent lab in Beijing. Heavy on the saturation of reds though (imagine that). I've been back a few times and loaded up a few years ago on a few hundred rolls each of 35mm Shantou ERA 100 and 120 rolls of Shangahi GP3 (65-75 cents per roll). Keep it on ice and am still working my way through them.

    Some discussion of GP3 on another recent thread but overall, like most B&W emulsions, the Chinese films are capable of very good results once you get them dialed in. Last time my wife went back to Beijing to see her sister we asked her sister to snag some more film for me for when Amy got there. She did track down a little more of each but it was harder to find and was told more than a couple of times by employees at the shops that the films were no longer being made and that what was left was simply remaining stock. Maybe they did some huge runs like Agfa did at the end and we'll still see it for some time...
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    Richard S.
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  2. #12
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    What happened to the Lucky Black & White films?

    Quote Originally Posted by ParkerSmithPhoto View Post
    We used to shoot some Lucky Color back in college. The joke was, you were Lucky if anything came out.
    Just curious, when was this? I shot a good amount of it when I lived in China for 5 years and it was a pretty decent color film.
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    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
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  3. #13
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    What happened to the Lucky Black & White films?

    Quote Originally Posted by desertratt View Post
    Please permit an Old Timer to put in his two bits worth. I took a lot of photos in the 1960s and 1970s and am now making large prints and displaying them in galleries. I sold one yesterday. The idea I am trying to get across is that you should think before you go for the cheapest film. Film lasts a heck of a long time and you may want to go the gallery route in 50 years. I have a photo I took with a Brownie Reflex box camera in 1947 and it is dynamite! Think about it.
    I agree wholeheartedly in the overall spirit of this but its hard sometimes to remember in the exuberance of an exciting new hobby when young or otherwise, and perhaps having limited funds but wanting to shoot as much as possible. In such circumstances it's hard to not be attracted to the cheaper emulsions. With chrome films the long term lasting of the dyes can be an issue I imagine but your old school B&W emulsions are basically quite similar and fixed and washed properly should last as long as any I would think. But I could be wrong... :-)
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    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  4. #14
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    I was gifted a brick of Lucky Color film this past summer when I went to china as a going away present. It was an older sealed brick, and the damn TSA agent ripped it open and ripped open one of boxes and canisters to check. =[

    I havent had a chance to try the BW from them, but I should soon just to see.

  5. #15
    Toffle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by desertratt View Post
    Please permit an Old Timer to put in his two bits worth. I took a lot of photos in the 1960s and 1970s and am now making large prints and displaying them in galleries. I sold one yesterday. The idea I am trying to get across is that you should think before you go for the cheapest film. Film lasts a heck of a long time and you may want to go the gallery route in 50 years. I have a photo I took with a Brownie Reflex box camera in 1947 and it is dynamite! Think about it.
    Agreed, but my use of the Lucky films was specifically for the lack of an A-H layer. There was another thread recently on the topic of films without the A-H backing. It's an acquired taste, but a look that can be exploited nicely in the right photo.

    Cheers,
    Tom
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

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  6. #16
    Ricardo Miranda's Avatar
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    China Lucky had a cooperation agreement with Kodak from 2003-2008. "Know-How" was exchanged and Lucky improved their production methods. Kodak pulled out of the agreement as they no longer saw China as a large market for traditional films. Lucky films of today, especially the colour ones, are very good.

    At the moment, my Ebay sources for these films only have the Colour 200 in stock. SHD 100 is out of stock now. But, I'm sure production hasn't ended. A member here at APUG wrote to them last year for clarification and the answer he got was that B&W films are still in production.
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  7. #17
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    What happened to the Lucky Black & White films?

    Quote Originally Posted by desertratt View Post
    Please permit an Old Timer to put in his two bits worth. I took a lot of photos in the 1960s and 1970s and am now making large prints and displaying them in galleries. I sold one yesterday. The idea I am trying to get across is that you should think before you go for the cheapest film. Film lasts a heck of a long time and you may want to go the gallery route in 50 years. I have a photo I took with a Brownie Reflex box camera in 1947 and it is dynamite! Think about it.
    I actually agree with you, but find this particular statement and example to be ... Ironic... You talked about how important it is to shoot quality film and then mention a brownie camera which is like saying "I shoot tech pan on my holga"

    I exaggerate but had to poke fun at you a little bit

    I think it's more important to take good pictures, and if good film is bought, that could help, if spending more on more expensive films forces you to be more selective about your images, that's also not so bad.

    Quality control I think is more important than film grain, if there are empty white spots because of crappy emulsion, that's WAY WORSE than a grainy film IMHO...


    ~Stone

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  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toffle View Post
    Agreed, but my use of the Lucky films was specifically for the lack of an A-H layer. There was another thread recently on the topic of films without the A-H backing. It's an acquired taste, but a look that can be exploited nicely in the right photo.

    Cheers,
    Tom
    Agreed. I have used SHD100 like this, and have made some nice portraits with it. In very low-contrast lighting the halo effect is much reduced, and the film can be used to get more or less normal results. But for harsh lighting and graphical sort of photos it is definitely not the film to use.

    I have also used ERA and it is a much better film overall, quite akin to FP4 or Plus X Pan, to my eye at least. I got 20 rolls of it in 35 mm, and haven't been able to source more of it. The frames are not numbered, so to find a negative out of several similar ones is sometimes a slight pain. So I just number them on the outside of the sleeves with a permanent marker. As long as they go back in the same place - problem solved.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by desertratt View Post
    Please permit an Old Timer to put in his two bits worth. I took a lot of photos in the 1960s and 1970s and am now making large prints and displaying them in galleries. I sold one yesterday. The idea I am trying to get across is that you should think before you go for the cheapest film. Film lasts a heck of a long time and you may want to go the gallery route in 50 years. I have a photo I took with a Brownie Reflex box camera in 1947 and it is dynamite! Think about it.
    In my view the ERA and Shangai films are not bad films. They may have idosyncracies like the lack of frame numbers etc, but they are decent emulsions. Lucky SHD100 lacks an AH layer, as others have mentioned. It is neither good nor bad, but what you make of it.

    It was a packet of 10 rolls of Lucky SHD100 on one of our local auction sites that enticed me back into film photography. I hadn't touched my film cameras for 8 years. When I saw the listing, I took the bait, and two years later I have added Mamiya RZ67, Mamiya 645AF and Pentax 6x7 systems as well as two 4x5 cameras and about 8 Nikon SLRs to my toy collection. So in a sense Lucky has been the most expensive film I ever bought. Also ironically, my favourite photo of my daughter was taken on the very first roll of Lucky film, the first B/W film I had shot and developed in something like 16 years. I have shot hundreds if not thousands of photographs of my children since, and that one still stands out for me. When I printed it about a year later, once my darkroom was set up properly, my wife pounced on it and had it framed. It now hangs in her office at work, where I never get to see it. What I can tell you is that in spite of them being inexpensive, very nice prints can be made from these films. So one should not discourage their usage based on price alone. Heck, for years Acros was the cheapest 120 film, by a country mile. By now it is back up with the Ilford and Kodak films in price, but I stocked up on 100 rolls when it was $2.68 or thereabouts. Glad I did, as it is not a bad film for that sort of price. I do have a pet peeve with low quality films that cost significantly more than comparable high quality films, e.g. Lomo and some of the eastern European films. Newbies that do not know what quality they get will infer that the more expensive the film, the higher the quality. That doesn't apply to most experienced users, and if it does, then it is certainly no-one's fault but their own. But I am not sure that such films selling on hyperbole and fashionability is good for the overall industry in the long run. I am also not that sure that many Holga and Lomo shooters make the transition into more serious film photography. If anyone has this statistic, then I would love to know the figures.

  10. #20

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    Another special-purposes SHD100 user here. I actually got ten rolls free as a customer-loyalty bonus from an online supplier in Germany. I found the minimal anti-halation properties of the 35mm stock give an interesting extra effect to contre-jour shots. The stereotyped misty-morning shots look to glow nicely, for example.

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