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  1. #21

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    The most important thing to remember is to have fun.

  2. #22
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    It will all depend on personal taste, and only you can develop and ascertain that.

    Different films will give different results -- you use each for different reasons. Faster films are grainier...maybe you and your vision like that. Slower films are sharper and finer grained...ditto.

    Part of the joy of using film is this process -- finding out for yourself and evolving your artistic vision through experience.

    Learn the rules, then you can ignore them. 8^)

    For example, shooting street scenes hand-held one would think you'd need a reasonably fine grained film showing detail. Yet, it's not always so: http://www.lensculture.com/zuili.html

    Good luck. It seems at this stage for you, you need to try some different films and see their effects first-hand. Then you can move on and make the process your own.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    I agree with that as well, but look at 2F/2F's list in post #12. How long would it take just to try them all? After I got started and went on the hunt for the ideal film soon after, I got he following advise from a great photographer who took pity on me:

    ‘Pick one film, one developer, one paper and work them over
    and over again, until you have a true feeling for how they work individually and in combination with each other.’


    This may sound a bit pragmatic, but it is good advice, and if it makes you feel too limited, try two each. The point is that an arsenal of too many material alternatives is often just an impatient response to disappointing initial attempts or immature and inconsistent technique. Unless you thrive on endless trial and error techniques, or enjoy experimentation with different materials in general, it is far better to improve craftsmanship and final results with repeated practice and meticulous record keeping for any given combination of proven materials, rather than blaming it possibly on the wrong material characteristics.
    None of those films were ever "tested" by me specifically for landscapes, or in one fell swoop.

    I have gained experience with them bit by bit over the years, and have come to know what they are like.

    I have used all of the ones I listed for "landscapes", and for other things.

    There are other films made that that are not on the list because I do not use them for landscapes...because I really do not use them for anything (e.g. Ilford Delta 100 and 400).

    But, my point was that any film you might want to use for one thing, you can certainly use for another. There is no film that is specifically for one type of photography (except maybe scientific films or the like); just films with certain characteristics. You should learn these characteristics, and decide whether they will work for each pic.

    IMO, good starting points for color negative landscapes are Kodak Portra 160NC and VC.

    For black and white, I would suggest Kodak Plus-X or Ilford FP4 as good starting points.

    After these, I would move on to 400 films (Portra 400NC and 400VC, Fuji Pro 400H, Ilford HP5, Kodak Tri-X), for times when you want a grittier look and different tonal characteristics.

    After these, some Ilford Pan F.

    That gives you a good basic palette. Then, move on to toy with transparency films and other b//w films (T-Max, Delta, etc.)

    Do not discount high-speed films for landscapes. Their look is unique, and cannot be attained with slower films.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 03-14-2010 at 12:48 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  4. #24
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedidiah Smith View Post
    Ralph,
    thanks for replying the way you did, and not biting my head off for saying what I did! You've got more photographic experience in one little finger than I do in both hands put together.
    I just wanted to let the OP know that it's OK to shoot 35mm, and there have been a lot of good landscapes taken with it. Of course larger format will give you greater enlargments options!
    Best,
    Jed
    Jed

    No problem, to me APUG is a community of friends.

    I don't see film formats as a degree of photographic experience or progress anyway. Some of the greatest photographers have used 35mm exclusively and used them to leave us with iconic images.

    To me, film format is a tool, and one needs to pick the right tool for the job. If someone with a 4x5 camera, on his way to the Olympics, would ask for the ideal film to shoot the sporting events, I would suggest that he picked the wrong equipment and point him towards a 35mm camera. If someone in the 35mm forum asks for the best film to shoot landscapes, I like to at least hint at a larger format, following the same logic.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  5. #25
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    ...There is no film that is specifically for one type of photography (except maybe scientific films or the like); just films with certain characteristics. You should learn these characteristics, and decide whether they will work for each pic...
    I fully agree. However, are the differences between film characteristics significant enough to justify such a large portfolio for any one photographer?
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    I fully agree. However, are the differences between film characteristics significant enough to justify such a large portfolio for any one photographer?
    Yup!

    A lot of it comes down to what I happen to have as well! Sometimes things come along for a deal, or are given to me.

    The list can certainly be narrowed down to my handful of main films. I am not saying that I use all of these films all the time.

    However, I consider all of the films on the list to be well-known enough by me, and different enough, that I could use them for whatever comes along.

    My "short list would be:

    Ilford FP4
    Ilford HP5
    Ilford Delta 3200
    Efke IR820
    Fuji Reala
    Fuji 400H
    Portra 400NC
    Portra 400VC
    Fuji T64
    Fuji Velvia 100F
    Kodak EPN or EPP (EPN if I can find it, EPP if not)

    As I stated, the purpose of the list was to state my desire to avoid the ghettoization of certain films as "landscape films" or "portrait films", etc. It was not to suggest that the OP try all of them.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  7. #27
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    I agree with that as well, but look at 2F/2F's list in post #12. How long would it take just to try them all?
    Ralph, I agree that jumping around looking for a magic bullet is fruitless but knocking a few of the big questions out with a few test rolls is prudent.

    One of the questions even before film choice though is, where is the film going to be processed?

    The OP is obviously paying a lab so, at least for now, that is the back end process. The OP is in good company in this respect, lots of great photographers did and do this. I'm not inclined to talk the OP out of that.

    Using a good lab does something almost magical, it provides the consistency in the process that allows the photographer to concentrate solely on camera work and film choice.

    Trying different films with a good lab behind you is pretty easy, just bracket the shots on the first roll, ask the lab questions about what you do and don't like in the results, and you can learn just about all you need to know to make really nice photos.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #28

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    The thing to do, i think, is select one (1) film.
    Get to know that,. Get to know hwo it behaves. Get to know what to do to coax the best out of it. What what you like about it. What you don't like about it. Try to find out what to do to get rid of the less likeable bits.

    If you can't make it to do what you like (and you may arrive at the decision that you can't sooner, later, or never), then and only then look at another film.

  9. #29
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    ...The OP is obviously paying a lab so, at least for now, that is the back end process. The OP is in good company in this respect, lots of great photographers did and do this. I'm not inclined to talk the OP out of that...
    I am. Because it's worth it, and he'll never look back.

    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    ...Using a good lab does something almost magical, it provides the consistency in the process that allows the photographer to concentrate solely on camera work and film choice...
    That's how it was in the good-old-days. With labs closing left and right, consistency is hard to find. The 'good' labs lived off professionals. With them going digital, goods labs are going out of business or are getting very rare.

    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    ...Trying different films with a good lab behind you is pretty easy, just bracket the shots on the first roll, ask the lab questions about what you do and don't like in the results, and you can learn just about all you need to know to make really nice photos.
    I agree, but the OP does not want to do that (cost prohibitive). Remember,
    £7 a roll. That's why I suggested self-processing to begin with.

    Argh... we are going in circles.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  10. #30
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    The thing to do, i think, is select one (1) film.
    Get to know that,. Get to know hwo it behaves. Get to know what to do to coax the best out of it. What what you like about it. What you don't like about it. Try to find out what to do to get rid of the less likeable bits.

    If you can't make it to do what you like (and you may arrive at the decision that you can't sooner, later, or never), then and only then look at another film.
    That's exactly right.

    It's the same advise I received early on (see post #20), and it's the best advise I've gotten so far. Jumping between films is not the answer.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

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