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  1. #1

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    Novice question about 35mm Camera

    Hi,
    Sorry for being so novice and I am not sure if it is the right forum to ask this question.
    I usually shoot in digital bit I am recently got interested on 35mm film camera and planning to experiment with professional grade films.
    I have used 35mm Film camera before (Pentax k1000) and used to shoot in consumer level films.

    But being interested about pro-grade films I am completely novice about it.
    So, my question is, is it possible to shoot in pro-grade films (like Fuji Velvia or Provia) using regular 35mm camera (Pentax K1000, Canon AE-1 or Nikon FM2)?
    IS the working model is same as the consumer level roll films? I am hearing about slides and kind of confused, about the overall concept:

    1. Does the pro -grade film have to be always slide films or is it possible to get as roll film just like consumer grade films?
    2. what kind of films you suggest to use with regular 35mm camera? I am not professional, just a hobbyist but I like to achieve quality in work.

    Please suggest and give your opinion.

  2. #2
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Hi pixelord,

    As I understand the difference between consumer and pro film was based on how long the film will be sitting in the camera. For the consumer who shoots only occasionally, this could be a long time.

    The pro, on the other hand, is likely to shoot and get the film developed the same day.

    So the color balance, which changes slightly over time, was geared for the expected behavior.

    Anybody can use pro film in any film camera it fits, you just have to behave like a pro and take it out soon and get it developed quickly. Some films specify keeping it refrigerated until just before use.

    ps I work for Kodak but not in film. The opinions and positions I take are my own as a hobbyist (like you) not necessarily those of EKC.

  3. #3

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    You're making it too complicated. 35mm film is 35mm film. Just load up and start shooting. The difference between consumer and pro film is mainly marketing blather to justify pricing. Each film has its own characteristics and should be judged only by how it works for *you*.

    Some people like eye-popping, jump-off-the-page colors that other people find garish and offensive. Some films are very forgiving of exposure error and allow great flexibility in use. Others reward spot-on exposure with extreme clarity and vivid color. Some show the colors you remember seeing, others show the colors you wish you had seen.

    You mention 3 wonderful cameras, all perfectly capable of taking the worlds greatest picture. Just use the camera you have and pick a film, any film. Shoot a roll and look at the pictures. Adjust your thinking to take better advantage of the camera and the film and shoot another roll. When you think you understand that film, start over with something else.

  4. #4
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    Any of those cameras are fully capable of shooting any type of film you want, as long as it fits. I shoot slides with my K1000 all the time and it works great.

    I use "Pro" level film and I use "consumer" grade films and to be truthful I probably couldn't tell the difference between the prints if I mixed them all up and then laid them out on the table in random. Some people probably can, but most will not be able to.

    I use a lot of Portra 400 and 800, both considered Pro films, because I like the color response and they work really well for birthday parties, holiday gatherings, and indoor school events. But I also use a bunch of Kodak Gold 100, 200 and Fuji Superia 200, considered consumer films, because I like their colors. I am finding that Kodak Gold 100 is a bit harder to find sometimes so it may be on the way out. Not too big a deal because I have lots of it (80+ rolls) in the freezer yet.

    But go buy a couple rolls of types you think you might be interested in and play around. Heck, that is one of the really fun things about film photography, finding a film or two you like. And don't worry about that camera. If you still have the K1000 it will work for all of this for a long time.

  5. #5

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    Thanks pbromaghin,
    I understand your point now.
    I was little confused about pro-grade films (as the manufacturers call them) with the format!.
    Thanks.

  6. #6

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    Thanks Pioneer for your suggestions! It certainly make sense to me!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelord View Post
    Hi,

    1. Does the pro -grade film have to be always slide films or is it possible to get as roll film just like consumer grade films?
    2. what kind of films you suggest to use with regular 35mm camera? I am not professional, just a hobbyist but I like to achieve quality in work.

    Please suggest and give your opinion.
    I'm a beginner myself but I'll take a shot at answering your questions.

    1. Pro grade doesn't always have to be slide film. There is also pro roll (negative) film. From what I gather slide film isn't as forgiving as negative film with regard to exposure mistakes. So starting with negative film might be better.
    2. If you're looking for B&W the Arista films are inexpensive but good quality. Arista Premium 400 ISO, which is suppose to be the same as Tri-X would be a good all around to start with. You get both inexpensive and professional. You can find the films here: http://www.freestylephoto.biz/index.php You could also try TMAX or Ilford B&W films. The only pro color film I've got experience with is Portra, which has a nice color pallet for portraits. The colors aren't as saturated as some films. Ektar will net you more vivid colors. Either of those films would be good places to start.

    Really, as has been mentioned, all the films are good. It mostly depends on what you like. The only way to find out your personal preference is to try them.
    Have fun!
    --
    Kenton Brede
    http://kentonbrede.com/

  8. #8
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Welcome to APUG!

    The other difference between Professional films and "amateur" films revolved around issues of distribution. Professional films used to be much less easily found, because amateur films used to be available in drug stores, supermarkets, gas stations - just about anywhere.

    Now it is much harder to locate amateur film, so that difference isn't particularly relevant.

    In addition, Professional films used to be available in large quantities for volume purchasers. A Professional photographer (or a serious amateur) could choose to buy hundreds of rolls at a time and be assured that each roll came from the same emulsion batch, with exactly the same characteristics for colour and sensitivity and longevity. Amateur films were never available in those large, custom matched batches, although the very minor differences one might encounter with films from different emulsion batches most likely wouldn't even be noticeable by anyone not set up to make very precise scientific measurements.

    Try out the amateur films. If you find something you like, feel free to buy a bunch!
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  9. #9
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    I don't think 'pro grade' means a lot now. It can be seen on all types of product.

    I have even seen chewing gum labelled as professional!


    Steve.

  10. #10
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    Coming from digital, the basic rule you should keep in mind is: with slides you expose for the highlights, i.e. you take care not to burn the highlights, just like you would do with digital especially if you use raw and the "expose to the right" technique which is somehow comparable.

    With negative film you expose for the shadows, i.e. you take care not to block the shadows. That's the opposite of what you do with digital and slide film.

    Also, digital has a very abrupt clipping in the highlight; slide film has a dynamic range slightly broader than digital and a less abrupt highlight clipping. Negative film has much broader dynamic range and much slower highlight "clipping".

    Slide film requires attention to exposure, and can give be unpleasant results in high-contrast situations (when the brightness range is high).
    Negative film is more forgiving but it does require you to think exposure "for the shadows".

    What above applies to professional and consumer film the same way.

    Both slides and negative can allow you to reach professional quality. Professional film is normally not a requisite for professional quality work. Exceptions apply.

    For "general purpose" I would start with 200 ISO negative film as negative film is more forgiving of exposure mistakes. I would in any case immediately try slide film also to taste it.
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

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