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  1. #1
    A.Colden's Avatar
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    Fuji Reala Replacement Recommendation? (120mm)

    Hello all,

    I am a photographer working as a team with my husband, currently out of Boston. We are starting to get into medium format, and I would appreciate some advice regarding C41 film.

    For years our favourite colour film for 35mm has been Fuji Reala and I would be quite happy using the 120mm Reala. However, I am increasingly frustrated with how unreliable its supply has been. Sometimes it seems like every single supplier is on backorder - and of course those are the times when we run out of our own reserves as well.

    Have you any advice for a more reliably available alternative to Fuji Reala 120mm that shares its properties? Specifically, I am looking for super-vibrant, saturated colours, as well as smoothness. The film will be used for photographing people in tableau-style scenes, mostly outdoors. Our equipment is a Hasselblad 500CM and a Holga 120N. We will not be developing the C41 ourselves.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts. One film that seems to come up as a possible alternative is Kodak Ektar, so any comments on how that compares to Fuji Reala are particularly appreciated.

  2. #2
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    Quite possibly the best alternative would be Kodak Portra 160 or 400VC. Smoother than Ektar, but still has quite good saturation, and I find this film also has good skin tones.

  3. #3
    Alex Bishop-Thorpe's Avatar
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    Sorry to be "that guy", and I don't intend it to be rude, it's just something that I used to do and now know better - it's not 120mm, just 120. 120 is the product code, the same as 35mm is 135, instamatic format was 126, and the old 127 format. It's nothing to do with the size - 120 film is about 60mm wide. It's just Kodak's product coding system, which makes all of no sense at all.

    I havent used Reala in quite some time, but I'd reccomend Ektar as something to at least try for convenience's sake, I found it quite a nice film. As Kodak's new poster child, it should be readily available in most places.
    The Analogue Laboratory, or 'so you built a darkroom in an old factory in the industrial zone'.
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  4. #4

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    I also recommend Kodak Ektar and Porta 160. BTW welcome to APUG!.

    Fleath, since you're being picky, you misspelled recommend.

    Jeff

  5. #5
    Alex Bishop-Thorpe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Kubach View Post
    I also recommend Kodak Ektar and Porta 160. BTW welcome to APUG!.

    Fleath, since you're being picky, you misspelled recommend.

    Jeff
    Busted
    The Analogue Laboratory, or 'so you built a darkroom in an old factory in the industrial zone'.
    Blog thing!.

    Worry less. Photograph more.

  6. #6

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    I like both Ektar and Reala (shooting only 35mm, 135, whatever you want to call it). My limited direct comparisons of the two indicate that Ektar is a bit more saturated than Reala and will often give you wilder colors and ruddier caucasian skin tones. For this reason some people recommend against it, but I personally like the results and use it for general shooting. For strict portrait work you may or may not find it over the top.

  7. #7
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    There are dozens of websites in the US selling 120 Reala I've just checked, are you just trying to buy it in small quantitys locally ? why not buy a big stock and freeze it ?
    Ben

  8. #8

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    Benjiboy, which sites are these? I was told by Henry Posner at B&H that Reala has been discontinued in 120.

  9. #9
    A.Colden's Avatar
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    fleath - That's okay, you can be that guy : ) My mistake.

    Looks like there is a consensus re Ektar, so we'll give that a try. I am having a hard time imagining film that is more saturated than Reala, but for the kind of project we are doing I don't think it will hurt. We've used Portra 160vc in the past and I don't remember now what the issue was, but there was something about it we didn't like.

    benjiboy - Most of the usual suspects from whom we order are out. It may look like they have it, but when you go to order, the item is out of stock. Which dozens of websites have you found? - maybe there is a major source I don't know about. And yes, in addition to bulk ordering we would ideally like some immediately and several local shops are out, though I'll keep calling around. The point is, I have repeatedly found this particular film more difficult to procure than other films, so I'd love to find a more reliable replacement.

    Thanks again for the responses.

  10. #10
    BradS's Avatar
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    I have not shot Reala in a few years but my recollection was that it was certainly NOT "super-vibrant saturated color". In fact, it was quite the opposite. I always liked Reala for it more realistic color.

    I think the closest thing would be Fuji 160s.

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