Recommend a Colour Reversal Film
I've jsut started shooting MF, mostly b&w, but now the negs are quite a bit bigger, I'd like to try shooting a few transparencies.
There seem to be dozens of available films. Which of them should I pick. I'd prefer something a little quicker if possible so I can hand hold. Sunny in England in October/November time isnt't very sunny at all really.
What about Kodak E200 or Provia 400x. I don't really shoot transparency film, so YMMV...
I would second Kodak E200 as your first try. I shoot 90%+ transparencies and like the rich saturated colours of the new Kodak transparency films such as E100VS for example. The E200 has a bit more latitude and even pushed a couple stops offers great results.
You really can't go wrong with any of the choices today.
I only use transparency film and do entirely landscape work. The bulk of my work is with a Pentax67 and I early on discovered that between obtaining maximum depth of field and the system's slow lenses, that I needed a faster film than my preferred choice (Velvia 50). For the better part of the last decade, I've used Provia 100 and push it two stops for an effective ISO of 400.
The color is not as punchy as Velvia, but it has a broader latitude, handling high contrast, midday scenes much better than Velvia. Since I am making my own prints, I appreciate the extra latitude the film provides, and I can always reintroduce the missing saturation in the printing process.
There is very little evidence of the push in the final results, other than I am able to freeze motion, or at least obtain the desired shutter speed/aperture combination more frequently than was possible with the slower emulsion. This is especially true when I employ a polarizer/warming filter.
Pushing typically costs more in most labs, but I have my film processed by Calypso in California, which offers free push/pull on transparency film.
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Provia 400x is a very nice option for handheld stuff. Excellent material.
My preferred variety of velvia is 100.
For b&w slides, apart from scala, look at the many options at dr5. There are quite a few b&w neg films that you can shoot at 200 or faster and generate slides.
I shoot a lot of trans. films, and I concurr with the previous poster, that they are all fine films, but here are a few of my choices. I love Fuji Velvia for the rich colours, and for some things in particular, like landscapes, nature and anything with bright punchy colours that you want to emphasize, but for some other subjects (and harsh light!) its' too much over the top. Then there is either the Fuji Provia 100, which is a bit less contrast and saturation, and the 400X is a good choice for higher speed, a bit more grain than the other two, but the colours are still good. There is Kodak's E200, which I don't like as much as the 400X, my opinion only, as there are some that like it a lot. Also, Kodak's E100S (saturated) and E100VS(very saturated) are a good choices if you're shooting 100 speed. Different from Fuji's offerings, but nice also. I used to shoot a lot of the Kodak (there also used to be a E100, that was less saturation than the "S", but I haven't seen it recently), but lately have "defected" back to Fuji.
You may want to try a slight warming filter if you are shooting in overcast conditions, as you may find the results a bit on the cold side otherwise.
My personal opinions only.
Go and shoot some, and enjoy!