Slide and Print Films - Best Options

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by danny_weiss|2, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. I am resurrecting my old 35mm film cameras and was wondering what the best options are for current 35mm slide and print films. In the past, my preferences were high speed Ektachrome for slides (often pushed to 400) and Porta 400 ASA for prints. In both cases, I shoot and shot more often indoors (preferably without flash) than out and my preferred subjects are people, as opposed to objects and landscapes.
    My understanding is that Ektachrome is no longer available, so I would definitely need a substitute for my slide work. I always liked the results I got with the Porta, but am open to other possibilities if there is now something better. For whatever it is worth, I will be having the film scanned when processed, so if a particular film or format (slide vs. print) is better in that regard, please let me know.
    Thanks,
    -Danny.
     
  2. Still lots of color print film. For slides it's pretty much only Fuji left and limited to ISO 50 or 100.

    There is some Rollei ISO 200 slide film and I like it but it isn't Fuji or Kodak quality.

    Try some good old Kodak Gold/Max 400 or Fuji Superia Xtra 400. Both are beautiful films and cheap.

    Processing isn't as easy as it was and beware that Walmart and drug store send out now discard your negatives and you
    won't get them back, only crappy grade scans.
     
  3. The Portra films are really the best general-purpose C-41 films out there. Fuji has stopped trying to compete with Kodak in professional C-41 films.
    The selection of Fuji slide films is narrowing fast. There's Velvia 50, Velvia 100, and Provia 100F. All the others (like 400X) are gone.
    You should definitely try Ektar 100 if you want a high-color-saturation film. It was Kodak's product to replace the "look" of Ektachrome, but in a film compatible with the C-41/scan workflow.
    Be sure you have access to a good C-41 lab. There's not many of them anymore. Processing prices are going up.
     
  4. For slides, I'd recommend pushing Fuji Provia 100F to 200. Your options are extremely limited but fortunately Provia is a great film. (Velvia 50 is great as well, and it's my favorite film, and Velvia 100 has its uses, but they are not really suited to your stated purposes.) I personally prefer slides because I like the format, but if you are going to work from scans anyway, you might be best off just shooting negatives. The Portras are all good.
     
  5. I should clarify something from my original posting: in the past my preference for slides came from the logic "that I could ultimately print what was worth printing or desired to be shared that way, so it was cheaper to work in the slide format when doing a lot of shooting, much of which never needed to be put on paper; and I could get higher speed slide films than print films." The fact that films such as Porta now exist which either come in high speed versions or can be pushed when needed might be a good reason to change my thinking on that issue. As well, scanning has sort of replaced the logic of proof sheets or proof prints as a way to choose which photos are desired for printing.

    Also, there seems to be a consensus that modern print films are more forgiving than slide films with regard to exposure flaws, which I should probably also consider, particularly when using camera meters in the 20 to 40 year old range. Or, am I mistaken in that regard?
    -Danny
     
  6. I like the -1 stop. I think in low contrast conditions, -1 would be the way to go.
     
  7. Ektar 100 is a lovely print film when you need fine grain.
     
  8. If the goal is scanning, color negative films are a good choice.
    They naturally have more exposure latitude. The gamma is somewhat lower, assuming that they will be printed with an appropriate higher gamma. A scanner should be able to do autoexposure to compensate.
    Masked negative films allow correction for imperfections in the dye absorption. Then again, you can matrix them out at scan time, though I don't know if scanners do that or not.
    C41 processing is cheaper and more available. Also, cheaper and easier to do at home, if you decide to do that.
    But there is nothing like looking at slides by hand, on a slide sorter, or projected.
    As far as I know, light meters were invented for slide films, which are considered to have less than a stop of exposure latitude.
     
  9. From personal experience, my favorite current films for prints/slides are Agfa's Precisa CT100 and Kodak Ektar 100. Both have great colors!
    http://www.agfaphoto.com/appc/content_manager/page.php?ID=193738&dbc=dda5a
    I have never seen the Agfa film for sale locally, but I ordered some online and the colors were really great (very vivid); Its my next favorite film to Ektachrome Extra Color 100, which is sadly gone.
    Kodak Ektar, of course, is a very fine film with softer colors that are more true to life in my opinion.
     
  10. You said you prefer shooting people indoors without flash. Portra 400 and 800, which are made for scanning and flesh tones, still seem your best bets.
     
  11. Thanks to everyone for the comments and advice.

    To further clarify an issue regarding the Porta film option, I understand that there is more than one version of Porta film these days; any thoughts on which is best?

    It also seems that it makes the most sense, and that it is generally cheapest, just to have the entire roll scanned when processed, or do people think otherwise?

    Thanks again,

    -Danny.
     

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