Why doesn't fast tungsten film exist?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by steven_clark, Jun 29, 2003.

  1. To me this seems a no-brainer. For indoor pictures without flash ISO
    400 or faster is recommended. Indoor lighting is either going to be
    flourescent, or tungsten. Why the heck isn't there a fast tungsten
    film then? Slow and tungsten to me seems to be the exact opposite of
    what you want.
  2. jbq


    What about Superia 1600 rated at 400 with a 80A filter as recommended by Fuji? BTW, the spec sheet for Superia 1600 claims that it is usable under fluorescent lighting without filters.

    (BTW, sorry for nitpicking, the correct spelling is fluorescent, not flourescent).
  3. Because in order to balance a film for tungsten lighting you have to reduce the sensitivity of the film layers that correspond to tungsten lighting. This is why you have screwball ASA ratings for tungsten films because they are really nothing more than daylight films with their own built in sensitivity mask.

    A high speed tungten film would have to be inherently much faster than it's tungsten rating resulting in a film with grain like marsh-mallows.

    A 'no-brainer' to me is to simply get a 80A filter which turns any daylight film into a tungsten one without the resulting grain-up of tungsten films.
  4. You would think tungsten films were used by point-n-shooters for normal indoor pics. However, those pics all get taken by flash anyway, and leaves probably portrait work as the main use of tungsten film.

    Scotch formerly sold a 640 speed tungsten slide film- i never used it, but read that it had grain like marshmallows, or something to that effect.
  5. Tungsten (3200 K) None 800
    <br>Tungsten Photoflood (3400 K) None 800
    <br>Daylight (5500 K) WRATTEN Gelatin No. 85 500
  6. You mean like Kodak Ektachrome 320T (which pushes very nicely to 640)?<P>
    There are several slow speed fine grain tungsten films made because they tend to be
    preferred by professional architectural photographers and some still life
  7. Actually, EPJ320T@1000 with +2 processing works for me. Mike Dixon turned me on to the stuff. He uses it for night time street shooting. Yeah, the grain is big, but then my "normal" film is Kodachrome 200@+1.3.
  8. Here's an example of EPJ@1000(+2):
    And you can always correct color casts in Photoshop:
    It ain't cheap, but it is creepy looking sometimes:
  9. And what Stephen H. says about flash is probably the biggest reason. Between the films with 4th layer color correction stuff and cameras that can detect when the ligting is fluorescent or whatever and fire the flash to get some correctly balanced light on the subject, the film manufacturers are only keeping the tungsten films in the lineup for photographers who like to use hot lights.
  10. Lots of architectural photographers like Tungsten for low light (evening/night/dawn) shots because of how it behaves under extreme reciprocity conditions. It's not that the behavior is different but the color shifts are more preferable to that when shot with standard daylight film. If I remember correctly the sky holds up better and well lets just say I know quite a few who use it.
  11. Before 1961/1962; Kodachrome Type A was at asa 16 in tungsten. This allowed two #1 photofloods; at 6.5 feet; with an F2.8 lens; at 16 frames/sec.....At a neighbors birthday party; the bulbs exploded; and got into the cake...which was then thrown out.......Using Daylight Kodachrome (asa 10) with a filter; gave a whopping asa of FOUR..........
  12. This is all fine and dandy, but it still doesn't buy the groceries if you ask me.

    First, conventional, mainstream, daylight balanced color films are going to have the best grain/speed ratio of all sensitized materials. Take Konica 1600, or Fuji 1600, or NPZ, or Portra UC, or 400F, slap an 80A filter on your lens, and you'll get images that are superior to the dedicated tungsten based films. Far superior in fact. Motion picture film; {gag}{laugh}{cough}.

    You can either lose film speed and gain grain by using tungsten balanced film, or lose film speed with a filter. You can't get something from nothing, and you either have a choice of having the film use a built in sensitized mask to make the color correction, or use a filter in front of the lens. Personally I'll take the filter because it allows me to use better films and keep control.

    If you want lots of grain and f^cked up prints from the lab because they have no clue what channel to print this junk on, then use tungsten film.
  13. Scott E.,has answered you very accurately.The only pro use of tungsten films Im famliar with is with chrome stocks,not negatives.Motion picture neg films are all tungsten balanced.This is because if they are going to add a filter,it is best to add it outdoors where the light is not provided by a generator and the light is brighter to allow loss of f stops(or T stops in cine).It should also be pointed out that movie negative films are very grainy.It is by virtue of the 24 FPS it flickers past at,that subsequent prints from these negatives dont appear grainy.Lastily,you need to shoot test film & use a color tempurature meter to balance film exactly under any light source.These meters are expensive,but provide exact filtering info for correcting light sources.Generic FL filters are a joke for example.There are 20 different companies that make fluoro tubes,and none of them have a standard color temp.The biggest variable though is the film's sensitivity.Daylight film isnt always balanced exactly for 5500K,nor is daylight itself always 5500K!
  14. You can't truly put a color balance on fluorescent tubes because their output isn't continuous spectrum.
  15. In other words, the reason there is no fast tungsten film is because tungsten sensitive film doesn't exist, only daylight film with a built-in filter. I think that answers my question quite nicely. It does mean there is probably room for improvement but it might require something other than c-41 development.

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