What happened to 400-speed film?
I've followed this forum for a number of years, but only joined last spring. I've finally decided to start posting.
Basically, I'm more of a snap-shooter. I doubt I'd qualify as an hobbyist, let alone amateur.
To me, photos are my memories, and I prefer film. I've taken pictures since I was a child, and my limited processing/dark-room experience started with a "mini-course" in the 8th grade. My senior year at the University of Toledo I took a photo-journalism class, and since the professor was more photographer than journalist, we fortunately spent a lot of time in the dark room.
Since then I've done periodic black-and-white processing at home, but have recently been gearing up for full-blown color and B&W processing and printing.
The thread title is more of a rhetorical question as an excuse for an introduction. Improvements in chemistry and production methods are obviously what happened, not unexpectedly. However, recently I had a pleasant surprise.
I'd been using 110 until, many years ago, a college skiing accident destroyed my camera. It fell out of my pocket and was combed into the slope. It was succeeded by a cheap manual point-and-shoot 35mm.
When I had the 110, I used what film I could find, but upon entering the 35mm world I stuck to 100-speed consumer films. (As of 2009 I started using professional films as well, and like them both, but money can be an issue at times.)
I rarely used any type of 400-speed film; only when desperate. At our local department/drug stores, it has become difficult to find 100-speed, so lately I've settled for 200. My source for the "good stuff" (pro film) is online, as I am boycotting our Cleveland area pro-shop chain.
Anyway; last fall I won a near-mint Realist 45 on ebay. Patience is not one of my virtues - I just _had_ to test the camera the day after it arrived. It was a positively dreary day, so I bought a pack of Fuji 400-speed consumer film and shot some boring 3d pictures during my lunch hour. I was very surprised with the "fine" grain and sharpness relative to the last time I used 400-speed 35mm film, which was a _very_ long time ago.
So, when did this happen, and how (in general terms) does the modern 400-speed compare to 100-speed of, say, the past two decades?
Oh, one more question...
Is magenta a color?
Last edited by Truzi; 01-13-2013 at 02:42 PM. Click to view previous post history.
magenta is this weird chick in "Rocky Horror Picture Show."
One could get philosphical about that... But as this is a colour impression our brain gives us, it is a colour to me.
Originally Posted by Truzi
You might refer to it as a "colour that isn't"...
I'd ask which weird chick if I'd not memorized Rocky Horror. Great memories of weekend nites blowing off steam at the theatre.
The thread with the magenta argument was quite interesting (I also remember someone jokingly ask if fog was a color). I've a twisted sense of humor, sorry.
My 110 is one with the attic at the moment. It had been a Christmas gift from my grandparents when I was a child, so I retrieved it and packed it away. It could probably work again if I tried - the door had come off and there was some broken plastic, but it wasn't reduced to pieces.
The college ski trip was to Crystal Mountain in Michigan. Crystal Mountain is better than Brandywine here in Ohio. Someday, however, I hope to ski a "real" mountain.
The camera had come out of my unzipped pocket during a fall, and I'd not noticed 'till I wanted to use it when on another slope. Figuring where it was, I could actually see it as a black spot when we were on the ski lift to retrieve it. The cartridge was unscathed. Had I been a 15 minutes earlier I'd likely not have moved to 35mm until 110 was difficult to source.
Hello Truzi and welcome to APUG.
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Take Kodak ASA 400 Tri-x and their ASA 400 Tmax B&W films, completely different grains. Same goes for Ilford, since they have more types of film you can even take the fine grain Delta 400 and the not much (if even) finer grained ASA 125 FP4. This doesn't make one film better than the other, I for instance prefer the general look of the bigger grained FP4.
Grain size wise the Kodak T-grain probably was the biggest revolution in grain size during the last few decades, you can still debate if it produces the best films, many different views on that here on APUG
To some extend the developer influences the grain as well.
Hello and welcome to APUG!
Long live Ed "Big Daddy" Roth!!
"I don't care about Milwaukee or Chicago." - Yvon LeBlanc
I'm not complaining…
Back in '07, I shot some Fuji Neopan 400. Beautiful film. Of course, the last time I'd used Tri-X was when I was shooting 35mm, and even then I had started moving over to TMax. The only thing I can figure is that manufacturing and chemistry techniques have evolved in a manner similar to that of computer technology. Smaller, faster, better.
Originally Posted by Truzi
I'm looking forward to what comes out of the roll of Ilford 3200 I picked up yesterday. I'm thinking of using it in my Box Tengor at night. Should be fun.
Welcome - in Pro films try some Portra 400 and you may never see a reason to shoot slower film again, unless you want really intense saturation and then Ektar is the current king in C41.
Welcome to APUG! There is a lot of decent 400 film out there.