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peylex 4:13pm, 11 October 2006
I know there are a few of use film geeks in this group...

I am heading down to the Smoky mountains to shoot the fall colors... I am not completely comfortable with color (usually happiest in black and white) but looking at this trip as a challenge for me out of my comfort zone.

Anyway - I am stocking up on supplies and about to cross film off my list - which brings me to my question: What kind of color film do you like? What have you had the most success with? I have seen some beautiful color shots in this groups pool (Mike)..... :-)

Thanks for your help
Stephanie

(Of course I'll post the photos here when I return....)
picsbymac 12 years ago
Funny enough, I'm happiest with colour film sold at the drugstore. Basic Fujifilm and Kodak Gold (all speeds) have been consistent and have helped produce Flickr favs. Tried Kodak Portra last weekend and the colour was both inconsistent from shot to shot, and not true to reality.

Melissa
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Michael Costolo 12 years ago
I'm a big fan of slide film. You can't beat it for color. I love Fujichrome Velvia and Provia. You won't find them at the drug store. And they won't process them either. Well worth the effort to find a pro lab. I have a quick meeting to run to now. Back in a while...
Bill Smith1 PRO 12 years ago
Question,

How good is your meter? I would give colour slide film a shot. I found Kodak E100VS to be really nice to work with. I found Fuji Velvia to be less forgiving. If you really want to go hardcore give Kodachrome 64 a shot but you will have to mail it off to Dwanes in Kansas for processing.

The upshot with slide film is more intense colour and not as much grain.

If you want to stay with colour negative film, go with Kodak UC100 or Fuji Superia 100.

The usual rule of thumb is slide film is more expensive up front but cheaper on the processing because no 5x7's are printed.

Bill
noicework 12 years ago
I always use Fuji (often the "Superia" because it seems the most readily available) and am consistently pleased with the color. Feel free to peruse my sets, as I pretty exclusively shoot with color film (shameless plug)....
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peylex 12 years ago
I have not used slide film before - is there anything I should know before I do? Fuji was recommended to me for slide film...

Noicework: I did look at your sets - great work. I'll have to come back and visit your stream when I have a bit more time...
picsbymac 12 years ago
Re slide, I read that there is less room for error. Evidently better colour though. Check out my fav colour shots to see what drugstore available film gives you ; )

www.flickr.com/photos/macphotos/sets/72157594248384702/
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Michael Costolo 12 years ago
Bill's question is appropriate. Slide film is less forgiving of exposure errors. And without a printing process to make corrections, you get what you shoot. You can, of course, scan them and make adjustments in the digital file though. But you get fantastic colors and no grain. You can make ENORMOUS enlargements from it because the grain is so fine.

But a good meter won't always save you. Some scenes are just too contrasty and you need tricks like GND filters, for example. Still, you learn to pay closer attention and recognize the shots you just won't get. Like this one:

Not quite

I stopped shooting color print film shortly after my love affair with Velvia began. My Elan's meter overwhelmingly gives me good exposures. And my medium format work is all metered using a handheld Sekonic. It isn't *that* hard to do.

I really did like Fuji's Superia Reala for color print though. Wonderful skin tones and nice saturated colors. Whatever you end up with, get good quality stuff.

And don't forget your polarizer. Oh, and a Tiffen Enhancing filter is great if you will shoot foliage with print film.
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peylex 12 years ago
So Slide film = be sure of your exposure - Maybe bracket my shots? and Fuji Superia for print film. Thanks all. Of course my polarizer will be with me. May pick up a gnd filter for my new lens too. Haven't used a Tiffen enhancing filter before - whats that all about? I am quickly running down my buget for this trip! AHHH!
Bill Smith1 PRO 12 years ago
As mentioned, slide film is not a forgiving medium. That being said, if your meter is accurate, then you are fine. When I got my first roll back ( Velvia by the way) I was blown away at the colour rendition.

I found I did not need polariser with Kodak E100VS, I got away with UV just fine. I prefer also to shoot in the morning mainly because the back roads are quiet with no day tourists.

Bill
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Michael Costolo 12 years ago
The enhancing filter cuts out orange. This makes reds redder and yellows yellower and makes for more overall color contrast. It's great for the lower saturation films.
picsbymac 12 years ago
@peylex: Tiffen is a brand name. They have a variety of filters & adapters etc. on the market, i.e to reduce haze, cut out orange etc. Some stores have a deal where if you buy a bunch you get a discount - that might be a Tiffen promo so it's worth looking for in your area.
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Michael Costolo 12 years ago
Bill: You can certainly get away without a polarizer, but nothing else will give you control over reflections. Just about any outdoor shot will benefit from a polarizer. It gives higher contrast and more vivid colors. Even in shady conditions the differences can be quite surprising. Paved roads become blacker. Reflections from windows disappear. Etc.

I always wonder about UV filters. Anything with glass in it will cut UV. I'll bet that even the LD glasses they use for lenses these days don't pass anything below ~370 nm.

I've got a bunch of Tiffen filters, but I just bought a B+W red 91 filter for my C330 for b/w work. Tiffen, Hoya, B+W, they're all good names and reasonably priced.
carnun 12 years ago
Just to add my voice to Mike's - Velvia is an absolutely beautiful film and it's probably well worth going through the learning curve. A few years ago I shot a spool of (then) Velvia50 and found such problems getting the exposure right that it scared me back to taking with Fuji Reala (BTW a really nice print film for colour landscape photography). About two years ago I tried a few spools of Provia and Velvia and haven't looked back. If you want something a little less expensive, but still really high quality you can try Sensia100.

Unfortunately we don't the distinctive autumn coloured leaves here in South Africa so I can't help there, but some of the flower shots I've taken on Velvia100 might have similar colours...

Yellow and orange
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peylex 12 years ago
Alison - I went back and looked over your stream again. Great work. You have a great eye for detail!
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Michael Costolo 12 years ago
Hendrik: You can still buy Velvia 50. Well, I can at least here in The States. And yes, there's a learning curve in shooting it. It isn't too bad if you do your homework. Provia is dreamy too. And has nice skin tones.
carnun 12 years ago
Mike: I've got somebody who's offered to bring me over some film from the UK at the end of the year - it's just way too expensive buying slide film in South Africa so I stock up lots from overseas (generally B&H;-). I think I might just see if they can bring me some Velvia50, I think I'm ready to give it a go again... and now I have a decent tripod!
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Michael Costolo 12 years ago
Hendrik: Why is slide film so expensive there? What would it cost for someone to simply mail you some? Whatcha get for a tripod? New gear brings me way too much excitement.
Alina Smith: Works 12 years ago
I've never had such great colors as when I'm shooting Velvia..even with the holga which is low on contrast and funny with the exposures. See:

hydrant4
noicework 12 years ago
Thanks Peylex! Flickr's been such a great motivation for me to sort through the stuff I've been working on over the last several years. It's nice to see it all in one place, and to hear from other people that they are actually seeing what I've been trying to do...
carnun 12 years ago
Mike: I think the problem with slide film in South Africa is the size of the market. I don't think there's a huge population of semi-pro or serious amateurs here (that use film). You are either a professional in which case the price isn't that important or you're a normal snap shot taker in which case you don't really buy slide film. (A roll of Provia400F can go for something like $12 while Velvia50 is at least $9 - it's way cheaper for me to just order 20 packs from B&H.)

About a year ago I bought myself a Manfrotto 055CL with a 029 head (I think that's Bogen 3021N). Very sturdy and I can fairly easily lug it around anywhere I go. I've also got a Manfrotto monopod, but that doesn't get used all that often.
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Michael Costolo 12 years ago
Ah, so you can buy from B&H. What a great store!
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peylex 12 years ago
O.k - just picked up some fuji slide film. (fuji print film too) Between film , filter and other odds and ends I managed to drop $100 at the camera store...jeeez it goes fast! Thanks for your help guys - I will be sure to post my stuff here when I get back from my trip. I don't leave until next Friday but lots to do before then! If anyone can think of anything else I should get or know about shooting in the mountains - let me know! :-)

Stephanie
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Michael Costolo 12 years ago
A tripod. ;)

You managed to *only* spend $100. Lucky. I have to work very hard to keep my orders under $100.
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