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gteague

35mm b&w/color film recommendation wanted

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i'm trying something new since i'm annoying the folks on my normal cl thread (or the mods, at least) but what they consider dragging the thread away from the topic. and i'm guilty, of course. it's just like i know those guys and i don't know the rest of you so i stay in my neighborhood! :):)

anyway, one of the digressions was to a short discussion of the rollei 35 since a 40mm lens had come up in conjunction with the topic of the new cl firmware release. and see, i see a firm link from the new digital tele-ext function to a 40mm lens and thus to the rollei. but they've had their revenge, while on ebay shopping for a rokkor 40/2 lens i fell in love again with the rollei 35 as i've never owned one despite nearly literally owning one of everything over 55+ years. i did have a competitor though, the minox 35.

now, see how easily drift sets in? the ostentatious topic is film, but all cameras take film or the equivalent. but i'll quit carping about swimmers and lanes and the borderless internet.

anyway, a beautiful oak wreath model 35s is coming my way and i haven't shot film since perhaps the early 90s when the canon 30d (d30?) dslr came out. and i'm looking for either the cutting edge in film technology or a film suitable for the rollei to show off what it can do. i'm partial to the lower iso films for daily use. i'm very familiar with the film that was common back when i quit shooting it such as pan-x, plus-x, tri-x, tech-pan, the ilford b&w's, and one of my all time favorites as you can drop it into a c41 machine--ilford xp1 although it looks like it's called xp2 now.

i didn't shoot color as much. i shot ektachrome for color positive since it could be developed by the user. and mostly fuji 100 or 200 for color i think.

so here's some choices i've found by searching amazon and b&h:


kodak pro t-max 100
ilford xp2 100-1600 or 200-800 (which i will get regardless of recommendations for ease of processing)
ilford pan f plus 50
ilford delta 100
ilford fp4 plus 125

then for color we have:
kodak ultra-max 400
kodak pro ektar 100
fuji 200 (i ordered two rolls to get something on the way)

thanks mucho! /guy

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It is certainly worth taking the time to try out a few film stocks to figure out your preferences. For colour Ektar or Portra (160,400,800) are certainly worth exploring. Portra 160 often has subdued colours, whereas 400 is quite neutral and 800 a bit old timey (but nice), in my opinion. Ektar is gorgeous, some people don't like it for people, but I love it :)

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I agree Ektra and Portra 400 for color. Portra is better for people (skin tones), but I like the higher contrast and snap of Ektra. The new Ektachrome 100 slide film is also great.

Ilford PanF plus is one of my favorites for B&W for tonality and fine grain. I also do a lot of available light with HP5 and sometimes a TriX (for nostalgia - my favorite from the 1960s).

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that's good to hear! after posting i did some research as i knew the drugstore and walmart labs are total crap and the camera store i used to work at has closed due to the death of the founder and then his son. i used to work the night shift when they got the first 24-hour lab in west texas.

anyway, i found a place called 'the darkroom' i think which promises hi-res scans on cd and posted to a website and the option to turn down prints. i've sent for a mailer from them. and in the meantime i ordered some film from b&h so i could get it on its way while the camera is shipping. here's what i got:

* fujifilm 200 (i really really distrust fuji. i think the real fuji is long gone. the 'polaroid' film they turn out is total trash. but for nostalgia, i'm including it) 

and from b&h:

i got 24 exp rolls in case i didn't like it. i'm pretty sure i know what to expect from the xp2 and the ilford 400, but i'm really looking forward to trying the ektar and ilford 100s. i saw cheaper film around, but the porta and a couple others looked like they might be designed cheaply for overseas export.

the darkroom site had a very handy chart which is here:

https://thedarkroom.com/film-index/

and the users evidently really like the porta and i like that film speed, so it'll be the next i try.

thanks! /guy
 

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here's where i mistrust their chart though. unless xp2 has really changed since i used it, the user ratings seem wrong. xp2 is rated 4 out of 5 for saturation and for latitude when it has likely the most latitude of any c41 film and i've shot it from 50 up to 3200 although 200-800 is safer. but it has hardly any 'saturation' even if that can be defined in b&w terms. not much contrast either even if printed on the most contrasty filter and paper. 

/guy

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If you are going to rely on someone else (photo lab?) to develop the film,  you might want to stick to C41 films (avoid non-C41 B&W). I am also sure you will be frustrated by the photo labs for non-C41 development, regardless how good they are. 

If you are going to scan the film instead of wet print, then stay with C41 color negatives (forget the C41 B&W). You have much better control on the tonal appearance using the color channel of your photo processing SW. yes, this implies no E6 slide films.

Now, in terms of ISO, for your Rollei 35S, since the fast shutter speed is around 500th, you are facing the choice of ISO 100 or 400. With ISO 400, in the bright sun light, you are forced to use smaller aperture (16 and smaller) or ND filter (I doubt you will use polarizer since it is hard to judge the rotation), With ISO 100, the challenge is in the low light condition, I assume you would not carry a tripod. Me? after some struggling, I settled on ISO 100. The reason is, I don't think a camera like Rollei 35S is suitable for low light anyway, if it's not well lighted, I pull out my digital camera. 

I then find Ektar 100 the most suitable film for the pocket film camera. It also happens to be my choice on Hasselblad SWC/m. I shoot Ektar 100 in both 120 and 135: 120 for 6x6, 135 for 24mm x 54mm panorama. I shoot mostly landscape (non-portrait), but it also works great for B&W portraits (scan and post processing).  

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many thanks for this detailed info. i processed all my film back in the day. i worked at the local newspaper (as the computer admin) and i lived back in the photo dept. i would develop for the photogs so they could go back out on assignment quicker and in exchange i had the run of the lab for myself. xp2 was a pain in the butt in many areas as a b&w film, but it had huge latitude and could be thrown in our c41 machine and you weren't stuck in a darkroom for 20 minutes off and on. back in the day it was like voodoo to have a film you could shoot from 100-1600 and still pull images off the negs. but it took special filters (poly-something) and paper and i never got enough contrast out of it.

i was worried about the true b&w film processing, but some of the online labs i checked maintained they were good at it, so i'll throw a roll or two their way. i'm only wanting scans, not prints.

btw, i rarely go out in the direct sun (if you had experienced a texas summer, you wouldn't either!) and take my walks during magic hour and 400 should be nearly perfect as the light fades. i do hardly any low light stuff and even less now that i don't go out to structures during the plague. i agree that the rollei doesn't seem suitable for dim available light work. or for flash, for that matter, although i don't use flash.

tks agn! /guy

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I’m quite fond of Kodak UltraMax 400, as it has a very “nostalgic”, old school color palette. Portra 400 is probably the gold standard color neg film. 
For black and white, Ilford HP5 shot at 200 and developed for 800 gives really nice negatives with beautiful contrast. In Xtol 1:1 anyway. 

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I have a couple of Rollei 35s which I still use fairly regularly and also a Minolta TC-1 which makes the Rollei 35 look like a Hasselblad. I mainly use Ilford FP4 or Pan F which I usually develop myself and then scan. For Colour it is mainly Kodak Ektar and Fuji 200. (I also use my Leica M7, M5 and Konica Hexar RF on a fairly regular basis). I am in the UK and we still have a few very good labs but you can only find out which one suits you by trying them out, of course. I just wish that I still could do all my own processing as I used to, but I have no room for a darkroom at the moment.

 

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All are good for something. It will also depend on which developer your lab uses. For start - Ilford FP4+. Forgiving, works with a lot of developers, lovely tones and grain, sharp enough. My all-time favourite. There more people you ask, the more opinions you will get, though.
Think also if you want to use color filters.
Color...as others said, Ektar is nice if correctly exposed. If you can source Portra 400, that would be worthwhile.

Good luck!

Edited by Peter_S

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9 hours ago, Peter_S said:

All are good for something. It will also depend on which developer your lab uses. For start - Ilford FP4+. Forgiving, works with a lot of developers, lovely tones and grain, sharp enough. My all-time favourite. There more people you ask, the more opinions you will get, though.
Think also if you want to use color filters.
Color...as others said, Ektar is nice if correctly exposed. If you can source Portra 400, that would be worthwhile.

Good luck!

If rely on photo labs, and if they do B&W (non c41), Kodak Tri-X, Ilford Hp5, FP4 are almost always well handled. These are also chemical friendly. The best is to ask before hand their (specific) recommended exposure control (ISO). 

 

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^^^ what he said ^^^. if the film experiment fails and it just sits on a shelf for me to admire, it'll be worth it.

but today i found a lab much closer than 'the darkroom' in california--it's in fort worth about 150 miles away so the turnaround time should be shorter. they advertise that they do film and return scans without prints and do 'true' b&w processing. i'm trying to get them to send mailers.

?guy

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vor 1 Stunde schrieb Einst_Stein:

If rely on photo labs, and if they do B&W (non c41), Kodak Tri-X, Ilford Hp5, FP4 are almost always well handled. These are also chemical friendly. The best is to ask before hand their (specific) recommended exposure control (ISO). 

 

Absolutely! Just that those were not the list, but of course, they are just as easy to find and should be mentioned.
I find HP5+ a little "boring" (flat?) at ISO400, pushed it shines. That is another discussion though. 
 

Edited by Peter_S

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At least in B&W, If properly handled, there would be hardly any bad film. It is like shopping grocery stores, how you cook matters more than what you buy. But if you do not cook yourself, you want to know what dishes the cooker is good at.

There are actually many less known excellent films that I like a lot, but may not fit the wider range f taste, such as  Kentmere and Lomography Potsdam Kino 100. There are sort of in the nitch. I would rate Potsdam Kino 100 the best B&W films I have ever used. But It could be very selective in taste.

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i  noticed no one mentioned the ilford 'delta' choice. that's a film that wasn't out back when i was shooting. anyone know what it's distinction is? tks, /guy

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Delta is Ilford’s response to Kodak Tmax. It is some what between Tmax and HP5/FP4. 

Personally Tri-X, HP5, FP4 provide a comfort zone for hobbyists, easier to manage, but with traditional grainy characteristics. Tmax is a leap step towards super fine grain. But requires more careful handling. Combined with digital post processing, theoretically one can get any desired tonal appearance, except the color sensitive response and fine grain. 

One either bites the bullet and approaches to the learning curve of Tmax/Delta or stay with the traditional film. I have not, but I tend to believe there is tremendous benefit moving towards Tmax/Delta. 

Edited by Einst_Stein

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thanks, that's very helpful. since i'm basically starting from scratch, i might try the delta b&w first. and of course i don't know the quality of the lab i'm sending it to yet.

what happened to the ultra high resolution tech pan (25? 32?) film? it was a pain in the butt to work with, but was about as sharp as you could get back then. just curious, i doubt any lab would process it as any user wanting such results would want to process it themselves.

it's like going back in time even talking about film anymore. the folks i talked to at the lab said the film nostalgia has only cranked up enough for them to go all in on processing in the last year or two. 

/guy

Edited by gteague

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I have used the Delta 100, and liked the results after developing in DD-X instead of my usual Rodinal. The DD-X gave nicer tonality to go with the fine grain.

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