Film Guide




I really enjoy film and even though I tend to stick with my favourites I like experimenting as well, so below are some of the different films I've used and a brief description/review on each :)   

If you're thinking of scanning your own film (and mad like me!) I have two tutorial to help you out.
Scanning with your printer/scanner + vuescan -
Part 1 and Part 2.
Scanning using your DSLR - Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3



EKTAR 100
Film photography - Ektar 100
Description: Sold by Kodak as having, "ultra-vivid color, exceptional, sharpness and the finest, smoothest grain of any color negative film available today" - source.  

It's speed of 100 (sensitivity of film to light) means it has an extra low sensitivity and thus a lot of light is needed to exposure the film properly.   You can properly expose 100 film in a few ways, by having a wide aperture, slow shutter capabilities, using a flash or using the film with a bright light source such as midday sun.  100 films can be problematic with toy cameras that have fixed settings and would need to be used only on those super bright sunny days.  You can see below when I used the film with my Holga I needed to do a double exposure to get the lighting right and that was on a slightly overcast day - during midday sun.  The very first double exposure photo was taken at night with the camera's inbuilt flash.   Without flash, I'd personally only use 100 film for outdoor day time photos especially if using with fixed setting toy cameras :)

Review:  Having used Ektar solidly for a year with my OM1 I can report that it's a film I love. It gives predictable results (not a bad thing!) and you can buy a roll for under $10 (which may or may not be too much for some).  I think it falls short of Portra 160 (reviewed below) but not by much.  I'd say Portra has it over Ektar with skin tones and Ektar has it over Portra for landscape shots :)  

In short, Ektar is a lovely film.
Cost: 5 rolls for $40 via ebay


EKTAR EXAMPLES 

Used with Canon 1000F
Used with Canon EOS 3
Used with Holga 135BC
Used with Holga 135BC
Used with OM1
Used with OM1


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PORTRA 160
Film photography - portra 160 kodak
Description: Another Kodak Film this time sold as delivering "exceptionally smooth and natural skin tone reproduction" - source .  

Being 160 film, much of the above comments for the Ektar 100 speed apply. I'd consider Portra 160 a daytime film unless you can get away with the light limitations in other way (external lights/long shutters etc.) Portra in a nutshell gives you fine grain and not so crazy red and orange tones to allow skin tones to look natural :)

Review: Portra 160 is the film I trust the most, it's my go to film for weddings when I want to make sure I'm getting skin tones as true as possible.  Having said that I haven't tried all the high end film from other companies so I'm still open for a film to outdo Portra!  When I first tried Portra (after having Ektar as my long standing favourite) I was a bit dissapointed, I was expecting crazy exciting results but it seemed to fall short of such expectations.  I've since re-evaluated and have decided it gives predictable results (again not a bad thing!) and you also need to remember that your equipment, your camera (and most importantly the lenses) plays an important roll in the results you get. It probably goes without saying but if you photograph a boring scene you'll get a boring photo.
Cost: 5 rolls for $45 via ebay

PORTRA 160 EXAMPLES
Used with Canon 1000f
Used with Canon EOS 3
Used with Canon EOS 3
Used with Canon EOS 3

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PORTRA 400
Film photography - portra 400 Kodak
Description: The description on the Kodak website for Portra 400 reads, "the world’s finest grain high-speed color negative film. This film delivers spectacular skin tones plus exceptional color saturation over a wide range of lighting conditions."

Kodak is classifying 400 speed as "high-speed" which I think might be a bit of a push but it does help for those times you need a bit more light.

Review: I personally have never liked Portra 400, I don't know if I wrote it off too soon, I just felt it fell short of the results I was getting with Portra 160.  Was it the result of the slight extra grain? Who knows but after running a few rolls that was my conclusion and I've never packed 400 film for a wedding again.
Price: 2 roll for $40 via ebay
 PORTRA 400 EXAMPLES
Used with Canon EOS 3
Used with Canon EOS 3
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KODAK GC (Ultramax) 400

Description: The description on the Kodak website for Kodak 400GC reads, "KODAK MAX Versatility Film lets you take your pictures to the next level. Its proprietary technology delivers the world's most convenient 400-speed film, so you can capture more of your precious moments. Whether your subjects are still or moving fast, in sunlight or dim light, MAX Versatility Film gives you great results. If you currently use 100- or 200-speed film, switching to this amazingly adaptable film will improve up to 25 percent of the pictures you take. KODAK MAX Versatility Film offers improved performance in all key photographic features. It delivers a great combination of brilliant color saturation and accurate color reproduction to give you clear, crisp prints. Now the choice is simple. To capture your special and everyday moments with confidence, make your choice MAX Versatility Film."

So essentially it's a film marketed to the masses, sold at an affordable price and a jack-of-all-trades!

Review: First up a disclaimer, I bought one roll whilst thrifting so I can't state the age or how it was stored but my experience with that one roll (which you can view) is only positive. I'd say portra has finer grain but the colours and overall look of the GC roll would definitely see me seeking out the film in the future.  Another disclaimer is that I did rate the 400 roll at 200 ISO in my camera (1000f canon) and then had it processed at 400 ISO which may have resulted in a vastly different result to how the film normally handles - something to keep in mind!
Price: ranges extensively in price from a few dollars a roll to portra equivalent prices - it should definitely be cheaper than portra!

 KODAK GC (ultramax) 400 EXAMPLES


shoot using Canon 1000f
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LOMOGRAPHY 100
Film photography - lomography 100 color
Description: Lomography sells there own line of film with their 100 speed being sold as "expect vivid colors and fantastic sharpness!" - source.  

There is much talk of lomography simply re-branding other film, you can read discussions, here and here yet despite not knowing the origins I'm still a big fan of the film.

Review: Lomo 100 film is my go to film for everyday shooting.  Film is expensive (buying and processing) and if I were to shoot solely with Portra or Ektar I'd go broke so it's nice to have a slightly cheaper alternative with nice results :)
Cost:  6 rolls for $33 via lomography.com.au

 LOMOGRAPHY 100 EXAMPLES
Used with Canon EOS 3
Used with Canon EOS 3
Used with Superheadz - Ultra Wide and Ultra Slim
Used with Sunny Juice Box Camera
Used with Minolta Hi-matic F (rangefinder)

Used with Canon eos1000f


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LOMOGRAPHY 400
Film photography - lomography 400 color
Description: "You'll love the vibrant colors and stunning sharpness that the Lomography Color Negative 400 35mm film can give you" - source

Review: With a similar description to the 100 lomo film and same questions of rebranding I find myself unimpressed by 400.  The same thing happened with the Portra - maybe I just wasn't made to shoot 400 film :P  You can see I've only  posted one photo and that's because my results were awful.  I've also got rolls of this film still sitting in my film box waiting to be used.  For me it's quite simple, on a sunny day use 100 and on a not-so-sunny day use 800 (forget you 400!)
Cost via lomography.com.au

 LOMOGRAPHY 400 EXAMPLE
Used with holga 135BC
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LOMOGRAPHY 800

Film photography - lomography 800 Colour
Description: "400 ISO still not fast enough? The Lomography Color Negative 800 35mm film will bring you fantastic results at all lighting conditions." - source

Review: I like lomography's description of their 800 film, it's to the point and valid.  Whilst I won't say I'm sold on 800, I will say the results are okay and it's important to always have a high speed film for when light conditions are poor.  I'd personally love to try out Portra's 800 film but the cheapest I could find was 5 rolls for $80 on ebay and that gets a little too crazy for me!  So for now, lomo 800 is where I'm at until something else comes along in an affordable price bracket :)
Cost: 6 rolls for $37 via lomography.com.au

 LOMOGRAPHY 800 EXAMPLES
Used with Canon 1000F
Used with Canon 1000F
Used with Autoboy
Used with Canon EOS 3

Used with Holga 135bc
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FUJI SUPERIA 200 (expired)

Film photography -  fuji superia 200 Description: "Designed for flexibility and ease of use, SUPERIA 200 works equally well outdoors in daylight or indoors with flash. Enhanced color reproduction, sharpness, and smooth, fine grain." - source.

Review: I'm just going to come out and say it - I'm not a fan of Fuji.  Unfortunately and to make my claims discreditable, I've only ever used expired fuji film so feel free to discount all my personal findings.  The reasons I seem to dislike fuji is there seems to be this over sharpness to the photos.  The blacks in the colour film are what I dislike the most as I found them quite sharp and grainy and not dreamy! (oh la la)
cost: 10 rolls for $55 via ebay

 FUJI SUPERIA 200 (expired) EXAMPLES
Used with Canon 1000f
Used with Canon 1000f

Used with Sunny Juice (toy camera)
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FUJI SUPERIA X-TRA 800 (expired)

Film photography - fuji superia 800 Description: "A multi-purpose color negative film, with fine grain and outstanding color and sharpness. Ideal for fast-action sports, non-flash stage photography, and general use with compact zoom lens cameras." - source

Review: Only2 shots for the example proves there wasn't much success with the film.  Whoever writes the fuji descriptions obviously has never used their film (wait was that too harsh?) you get the picture though, I'm not a fan of Fuji but I do really need to try some fuji film that isn't expired!
Cost: 4 rolls for $9 via ebay

 FUJI SUPERIA X-TRA 800 (expired) EXAMPLES
Used with Canon EOS 3

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T-MAX 400 (b&w)

Film photography - 400 tmax b&w Description: "the sharpest 400-speed black-and-white film in the world, in addition to being the finest-grained" - source.

Review: I love t-max seriously it can do no wrong but I also think perhaps b&w film can do no wrong.
Cost: 5 rolls for $45 via ebay

 T-MAX 400 (b&w) EXAMPLES
Used with Canon EOS 3
Used with Canon EOS 3
Used with Canon EOS 3

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LOMOGRAPHY 400 LADY GREY B&W 

Film photography - lady grey 400 b&w
Description: "the perfect film to use if you’re looking for high-resolution, monochromatic fun. This lady promises smooth grain, stunning tones and all the speed you need to shoot even under unfavorable lighting conditions. This ISO 400 film adds class and elegance to your photos and is perfect for capturing action and great low-light shots." - source

Review: As I said in regards to T-Max I honestly don't think you can go to wrong with black and white film so I'm quite happy to use the lomo 400 :)
Cost: 3 rolls for $30 via lomography.com.au

 LOMOGRAPHY 400 LADY GREY B&W EXAMPLES
Used with Canon EOS 3

Used with Holga 135bc

Used with Holga 135bc

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FUJI SUPERIA 100 - 120 FILM
Film photography -  Fuji superia 120 film Description: "Try the Fuji Superia 100 film for beautiful skin tones and naturally brilliant colors! Yields top-notch results even when expired" - source

Review: My Holga 120N takes 120 film so it was fun to test out some medium format film.  This time I must say I didn't mind Fuji. Though it's hard to compare 120 film (of higher quality than 35mm) + throw in the fact that I was using it in a holga to say if my results were because of fuji or the other factors.  Would I buy this film again though? For sure :)
Cost: 1 roll $10 via lomography.com.au

FUJI SUPERIA 100 - 120 FILM EXAMPLES
Used with Holga 120N

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T-MAX 400 - 120 FILM
Film photography - 400 tmax 120 film Description: T-Max 400 "is an all-purpose panchromatic film for subjects requiring good depth of field and high shutter speeds, and for extending the flash distance range" - source

Review: I loved the results I got with this roll.  Normally film has to be exposed correctly to look good or over-exposed as is the case with colour film, but I find this film super flexible.  The day I was taking these shots were slightly over cast but I loved the result of the muted black and whites.  Again I'd happily buy and shoot again with this film.
Cost: 5 rolls for $43 via ebay

T-MAX 400 - 120 FILM EXAMPLES
Used with Holga 120N
Used with Holga 120N
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ILFORD DELTA 100 - 120 FILM (b&w)
Description: "For sharpness and freedom from grain, ILFORD DELTA 100 PROFESSIONAL is simply the best in its class - offering the photographer exceptionally fine grain and a level of sharpness rarely seen, resulting in outstanding clarity of detail and the most precise image rendition. Capable of superb image quality at its recommended rating of ISO 100/21, this film will also produce great results rated between ISO 50 and 200". - source

Review: Having only used Ilford Delta once with my Holga 120 I may be a little hasty in jumping to definitive conclusions but from my one experience, I really love this film.  Again I think it's hard to go wrong with black and white and the Holga does produce a certain look with it's light leaks but I'd happily buy more of this film and I'm pretty confident of getting great results again :)

Cost: 1 roll $12 (aus) ebay

Review Date: 19/01/2017


Ilford Delta 100 - 120 FILM EXAMPLES
Used with my Holga 120N
Used with my Holga 120N

Used with my Holga 120N

Used with my Holga 120N

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGFA CT PRECISA SLIDE 100 FILM
Film photography -  ct precisa Description:" CT precisa keeps the promise in its name. Because this film reproduces your experiences and impressions with exceptional precision, just as they happened. Every colour stays natural and undistorted – sky blue, sunny yellow or brick red. Another advantage: extremely sharp outlines in all gradations of light and shade. Ideal for sunshine and cloudless sky. Pure radiant colours, extremely sharp and fine-grained. Precise rendition of detail in all areas of light and shade." - source.

Review: I bought this roll of film because I heard good things about it's ability to be cross processed, aka, not processed in the normal slide chemicals but in colour film chemicals.  I have to say it was one of those rare rolls where I loved every photo.  It was also my first time getting my film scanned by the FIND LAB so I don't know how much of a part they played in the process but thumbs up all round!  Will definitely try this roll again using the cross processed technique.
Update: I scanned the film myself using my el-cheapo flat bed scanner and found the film turned up much less vivid and of lower contrast - oh film why must you be some complicated in the scanning process!!! :P :P

Cost:  Around $36 for 3 rolls (ebay)
Review Date: 01/05/2015

AGFA CT PRECISA EXAMPLES (cross processed)
Film Photography - Agfa slide film

Film photography -  slide film cross processed

Film photography -  cross processed

Film photography -  ct precisa Used with Canon 1000f
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2 comments:

  1. Were the examples from that Agfa roll cross processed? they are gorgeous!!

    ReplyDelete

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