The improved versions of NPC 160 Professional and NPS 160 Professional are called Pro 160C and Pro 160S, so they are easy to spot. Unfortunately Fuji appear to have done a simple renaming job on NPH and NPZ, now called Pro 400H and Pro 800Z, with no change in the film itself, as far as I know.
The Fujicolor Pro 160S and Pro 160C are new films as Helen points out. They are optimized for digital scanning and printing systems.
If you want to shoot slide, try Fuji Astia 100. Very good skin tone and latitude.
If you want to shoot film, try Fuji Reala 100, but make sure send your film to pro lab to process and print. You won't be disapointed.
As you can see, the choice of a film is a very personal thing. Your desire for very strong colors would lean toward Velvia, but that film can be tricky to use. I understand that the new Velvia 100 is easier and more predictable than the old Velvia 50 (which Fuji claims should disappear completely by around the end of the year). Kodak Ektachrome G100 is also a possibility. You failed to mention the format you will be shooting. If you are using 35mm, the amateur films are often more colorful than the professional ones. In 35mm you also can use Kodachrome, with its supurb color richness and accuracy.
Coming from black and white, be sure to take into consideration the restricted latitude of color transparency films. Highlights will block up and shadow detail will be lost unless you can control the light (which you can't in landscapes). You lose about a zone at each end. You may want to consider using a color negative film if you do not really need transparencies. These have huge latitudes and still retain excellent color rendition. The Kodak Ultra series of color negative films may be just what you need - high color saturation, excellent accuracy, wide exposure range. You can even have the lab make transparencies from the negatives. For high saturation, the amateur color films negative may also be interesting. They are very high quality, but they don't quite have the look may commercial customers want.
The photograph I just uploaded to the Critique Gallery was shot in 120 on Kodak Portra 160NC - its a scan (from a cheap scanner) of a 4x5 proof print, but I think it captures the subtle tones reasonably well.
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Thanks for all the input and suggestions! I'll be shooting some rolls you mentioned here this weekend to see which film I prefer.
Thanks again, kindest regards, Nicole
Just a further thought Nicole, about slide films and film formats. I collected a couple of rolls of Velvia 100 120 yesterday, and a roll of the same film in 35mm, many of the shots were taken in the the same lighting at the same exposure for comparison, on projecting them I saw something I had known for years, the tonality, colour saturation and placticity of the image on roll film is far better than 35 mm, and as far as digital is concerned. forget it. I was seriously thinking last night of selling all my Canon gear and giving up 35 mm, try it sometime. I only have Mamiya TLR stuff, projected 6x6 slides with your Hassy should blow your sox off.
Best Wishes. Ben
Bentley I know can see what you mean. I've been shooting some colour slide film (on location portraits though and not landscapes) on my blad and it is pretty awesome! Only thing is I'd have to hire a 6x6 projector (haven't seen one for sale around here for the past 2 years or more) and hiring is not cheap. Also I can't get hold of any 6x6 slide holders here either. So I leave the slide film in sleeves and get the lab to print the chosen ones for me.
If you're really interested in color work, then you need to define for yourself why you want color. This will help you in choosing the film. Choosing a film type is like setting up your color palette if you're a painter.
Each film has its own special way of rendering color. As you've seen from the responses, each person has their own favorite films. Negative films give greater latitude while transparency films compress tonal ranges.
Certain films give specific colors added emphasis. For example, Portra leans towards greens and blues very slightly and has a very "fresh" clean looking color rendering. If you were to shoot E100G, you'd find a film that has more latitude than Provia and gives a "thicker" or "meatier" color rendering.
Kodak's UC color negative film is probably the best color neg film Kodak has ever produced for general outdoor photography. Both the 100 and 400 versions give punchy, long scale renderings.
However, it's not the film I'd use on a commercial architectural shoot where absolute accurate color was a requirement.
I hope this helps you understand my comment that you really need to define the "why in color" portion of what you're doing. If you can understand why you're shooting a subject in color, then choosing the right film will enhance the color rendering which reinforces the image itself.
Why film rather than digital?
My personal problem with digital cameras is that they make everything look the same. In color, you're really imaging the color temperature of the light itself. Each film has its own personality that responds to color temperature changes in a unique way giving the image a specific "look."
That's what's missing from digital color work outdoors. How in PS do you make a digital camera image look like it was taken with Provia using an 81A filter at a color temperature of 4137?
You can take a digital image, go into PS change the color temperature to 4137 and apply an 81A filter - but, it won't look like it was taken on Provia because there is NO WAY to duplicate the film's unique response - which includes some unequal color response because the film's spectral response in each layer.
Likewise, if you shot the same scene with E100G with an 81A filter it would look nothing like the Provia, and you couldn't make that difference in PS without first SEEING the difference as it was rendered on film.
It gets back to the color palette of the film and being able to use that palette under different types of light to show the light color qualities and NOT just an image in color.
Another vote for Kodak E100G. You may want to use a warming filter if the picture contains a lot of shadow area. In all other aspects, an excellent all-around film with a good neutral color balance. ......but, as you can see elsewhere in this thread, it's a really personal thing.