Kodak Murders Fuji in Tokyo

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by trex|1, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Wipes the floor with the Japanese brand on home turf. I shot four or five rolls of 220 Reala and 160 VC Portra over the weekend, and the results from the Kodak just killed the Fuji product.

    I am not any kind of pro, but like to shoot. I shot everything with a Pentax 645. The Fuji, developed by the Fuji lab is printed digitally, and (you have no other option) must have a white border around the print. The Kodak is printed traditionally, by their own lab, and has no border. It was very easy to tell the difference. Suffice to say that I will not be using any Fuji print film from now on in Tokyo. The Reala colors were oversaturated, the prints were blown out, and digital artefacts readily apparent from the printing process. I have become a complete convert to Kodak, and this comes from a Fuji man as well. I have always happily shot Fuji, but not any more, at least when it comes to making 120 color prints.

    I will try and scan the results to share later.
  2. Sorry, I should clarify. This is only for color print film. For black and white Fuji's Acros film is stunningly good.
  3. I like the fuji colour film when wet printed, but it just does not scan well for me (all I do now). I don't like the alternative and wet print to scan. The Portra NC/VC I use is nothing less than amazing, in comparison.
    For the BW world, I tend to lean towards the slower and older recipies like Foma and Adox uses.
  4. Both company's print films are good. The Fuji 160 speed print film seems over-rated to me where speed is concerned. If it is shot at 125 or 100 it's fine. I use Reala more in 120 and I like it. The Pro 400 is good when you want less contrast and my local lab does a great job with the regular Superia 400. I suspect that what you are having is a processing problem, not a film problem.
  5. So optically printed Kodak film beats indifferently done prints on (probably) a Frontier with all the auto settings? This says nothing about the film itself. You've got to get them not to jack up contrast with the Frontier.
    Scan the Reala or print it yourself and it will do fine. I use Fuji print and slide films myself.
  6. There's no science here. Hundreds of people on PN could(and likely will) offer contrary evidence. Nothing's proven, nor could we "test" your results for accuracy without access to the identical films, labs, light, cameras, etc. Happy that you're happier with Kodak materials but anyone could take Fuji+Kodak film to two labs with different C-41 lines and get different results. What's the point?
  7. Kodak is the way!
  8. Fuji 160 prints beautifully. It is their Frontier print machine that screws it up because they use paper that is too contrasty and the machines are programed to do it that way.
    My local Frontier closed and I went to one in a neighboring town. I fought with the first one for years and they kept telling me their machine was right. The new one did not do it at all.
    This was all Kodak Portra NC film too.
    I print my own 160S and it is similar to Portra.
    Like Gary says above, they need to reprogram the machine.
  9. You shouldn't be able to see digital artefacts in a small print. It says their Frontier is set to scan as fast as it can will a resulting small resolution. Fuji machines can be set for a much higher resolution.
    I don't know if the Frontier machines can be set for borderless or not.
  10. Frontiers generally default to borderless in my experience in the US and Japan. You can ask for borders.
  11. Unless the printing process from both film are identical you have introduced too many variable to make any credible claims that one is better than another.
  12. We need to see some scans off the film to really judge. I like Kodak's color film quite a bit, but never had any trouble with Fuji and prefer it for landscapes.
  13. The Kodak is printed traditionally
    If by "traditionally", you mean optical enlargement, i.e., where a light is shined through the film, then through an enlarging lens, and thereby projected onto the paper, I am highly skeptical of this claim. What is the evidence that this Kodak (or any major) operation still makes optical color enlargements for routine orders?
  14. Below is a 100% crop of a scan of two prints from two different one hour photo minilabs that shows it's not the film it's the scanner settings used.
    On the left is a print from a scan off my local Fuji Frontier minilab of Agfa negative print film. On the right is the original now 20 year old optical print from the same Agfa negative which is about what I get today processing on a Noritsu minilab.
  15. Dave, the reason I know is that the lab tells me this. I got the prints done at Bic Camera in Shibuya. For some reason, Kodak in Tokyo still does prints traditionally. In my experience they always look better than digital prints. I am much happier not having any electronic interfaces in my photography, whether a scanner, sensor or whatever, in the cases where I want the final result to be a print.
    Obviously if the end result should end up on a computer screen, just about any digital camera over 3 MP does the job flawlessly.
  16. Great comparison, Tim! There's something very wrong with those settings.
    That said I have Frontier prints that I compare to home scans of the same film printed on the same Frontier and there aren't artifacts like that for either under a loupe.
  17. Roger,
    I've gotten good prints off a Fuji Frontier at Walmart but from a digital test file. Didn't have film to scan and print. I was amazed at how sharp and clean the print was compared to what I used to get from Walgreens prints off their film scanner.
    Just to make sure it was the scanner at fault I asked the Walmart Frontier operator to show me a sample print from film scanned on their machine and sure enough it showed that odd herringbone texture but with better color than the Walgreens sample.
    I posted the sample to see if this was what the OP was getting when he mentioned digital artifacts. I've never came across any brand of film that would actually create digital artifacts.
  18. My issue is with a scan itself. I have found that Fuji (negs) do not scan well at all. I have prints made optically of some of my shots and they look just fine. The moment I throw the negs in the scanner (Epson and Plustek), they show high signs of grain that I can't get rid of. This has been discussed elsewhere. The Kodak film does not suffer from this.
    Knowing this and discovering "you lab scans to print" sort of "b lists" that lab for Fuji film. It's not a comment on Fuji film as opposed to the end result.
  19. Peter, you might find that the films you're using are sensitive to underexposure. Expose properly (or compensiate +1/2 to +1) and you shouldn't have objectionable grain. I've scanned a ton of Fuji negative film (Reala, 160C, 400H, 800Z, Natura) with a fluorescent lamp 4000dpi Canon FS4000US.
  20. It sounds like what you've learned is that optical prints are better than scanner/digital prints. The Kodak shop might just have a previous generation machine that automatically runs optical prints straight from the negatives.
    Do you have to have Kodak film done at a Kodak shop and Fuji at a Fuji shop? If you ran them at the same shop you'd probably find the results more similar than you're seeing, and you could choose the film based on the subject - maybe the Fuji for landscapes and buildings and the Portra for people...
  21. Hi guys,

    I just got back a bunch of prints, all from film scanned and printed digitally. I was not paying attention when I dropped the film off, and assumed the kodak would be printed traditionally.

    I just need to check from now on, and make sure I get my stuff printed traditonally. The digital prints suck. Not sure why, maybe the scanning process.

    I used the wrong word, it is not artifacts, but, the wierd 2D effect, and strange colors you get from digital that I was seeing in my prints.

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