Good 120 film for outdoors and landscapes ?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by hammy, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. hammy

    hammy Member

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    I have a Hasselblad 500c that I'm dying to put some color film through.
    The area I'm wanting to photograph is countryside, strong greens from all the grassy hills and various streams and ponds throughout the area. Can anyone recommend a film ? I'm looking for high contrast and strong vibrant colors.


    Also, does anyone have a recommendation on a lab I can mail to? I need processing and would also like scans made. They don't have to be pro quality, just good enough to make some decent prints from.


    Thanks for any help. - Zach
     
  2. Where are you located? Which country? Without that information, telling you about processing labs is a waste of time.

    What types of landscape are you photographing? Fall colors? Red Rock in Utah and Arizona? Do you want neutral colors or saturated colors? Slides or prints?

    Prints: For I use Kodak UC 400 120 for Red Rock and Fall Colors. Kodak VC 400 for most other subjects. I have not tried Kodak Etkar 100 120 yet. I have the film processed by Samys http://www.samys.com/ in Los Angeles.

    Prints: For black and white I use Kodak Tri-X 400 120 in developed in XTOL for fine grain. I plan on developing with Pyro Roll one of these days.

    You do have an excellent taste in camera equipment.

    Steve
     
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  3. nuckabean

    nuckabean Member

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    Velvia 50

    I love it, it's my favorite film. It's a little tricky to shoot with at first because there isn't much exposure latitude (being a slide film) but I got the hang of it after my first roll. You don't have to mail it out, a recent(?) discovery as been made that if you take your 120 film to Walmart and label the envelope correctly, they send it out to Fuji and you get professional results for a cheaper price. I haven't tried having them scan but I'm sure someone else has. There's a whole thread in the product availability section about this.

    Here are some shots I took with Velvia on a Hasselblad 503cx
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    [​IMG]
     
  4. kevs

    kevs Member

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    Do you want print or tranny film?

    I'll recommend my new fave, Kodak Ektachrome 100VS; I love the way it renders yellows. the Velvias are nice too.

    Really though, there are *no* duff colour films on the market in 120; stick with 'Pro' films for more consistency.

    Happy shooting with your 'Blad.
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hi,

    I assume, since you mention printing from scans, you are using a "hybrid" preparation/printing method. In this case, you might want to consider transparency films. Although the current C-41 films also scan just fine, my little scanner does have a bit easier of a time with transparencies. The film makers' descriptions should give you a good enough idea of where to start to get the "high contrast and strong vibrant colors" you are looking for. You also have the option of shooting a more forgiving film in camera just to get as much raw material as possible on the film (more dynamic range and a broader, more "accurate" color palette), and then adjust it with the computer to have the contrast and vividness that you want. I definitely might choose a different film, maybe expose, and maybe process differently if I intend to scan instead of print. That is a discussion for Hybridphoto.com, however.
     
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  6. OP
    OP
    hammy

    hammy Member

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    My location is central California. The winter/early spring colors are dark green hills gray skies maybe some blue.

    Slide film would be my initial choice, i don't know much about print.

    Nuckabean your first shot captures a similar scene that I'm describing. Nice shots. Velvia 50, I'll check it out.

    Maybe I'll just try a mixture of films
     
  7. If you are willing to mail the film with in California, the I suggest:
    Samys http://www.samys.com/
    A&I Photographic Lab http://www.aandi.com/index.html - they also do custom work

    For custom prints:
    GoldenColor http://goldencolor.com/

    For choices of film for slides, I defer to the others who have more current experience than I.

    Steve
     
  8. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    If you want to start shooting color you'll love the look of slides on a light table. I'd start with that. Either a saturated film like E100VS/velvia or a portraiture film like E100GX/provia. If you want to try printing color in a darkroom you should switch to a print film like Ektar but try slides first. They look cooler, plus the increased contrast makes them scan with greater bit depth.
     
  9. E76

    E76 Member

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    Umm... I know this isn't the forum to get into this, but contrast has absolutely nothing to do with bit depth. Bit depth describes the range of colors represented in a digital image. Nothing stops you from making a a scan with high bit depth of a color slide or negative, and both types of film will yield excellent results. In fact, slides are sometimes more difficult to scan due to their high Dmax.
     
  10. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I am not to familiar with the 120 size as I shoot mostly 35mm. I have found the new Ektar a great print film so you may want to try that when it comes out in 120 in April
     
  11. Palantiri7

    Palantiri7 Member

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    Velvia for the types of scenes you describe.
     
  12. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    I used to use 400UC for western landscapes, but lately I've switched to Portra 400VC for scenes where I need saturation. The Kodak Portra series of films is really excellent. You need to experiment to see if the NC or VC version is better for the kind of scenes you work with. The 160 films have finer grain and are a bit softer than the 400 films, but all are excellent. I find that negative films are much more foregiving and easier to use than transparency films, and they generally give superior prints even compared to well exposed transparency films. But that is my opinion based on the way I work, and you might be happier with one of the Ektachromes. They are also fine films, and I have had good luck with EPP for western landscapes (others like VS better for these scenes). I really dislike Velvia because of the exagerated saturation and the off colors (mostly purplish) that it so often gives.
     
  13. DJGainer

    DJGainer Member

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    Velvia or Provia. Velvia is more saturated and many will say more suited for the beginning and end of the day; Provia is said to be best for the middle of the day. I personally prefer Velvia, and use Velvia 100 as it gives me an extra stop when shooting with small apertures on 4x5 and has excellent reciprocity characteristics.

    The only way to know is to do some testing of your own. Buy some Velvia 50 and 100, some Provia, and some Kodak 100VS and give them all a try.
     
  14. StorminMatt

    StorminMatt Member

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    On the other hand, I find that Velvia can often render greens in a rather sickening, unnatural way. When it comes to saturated films, I prefer the way E100VS renders colors. But generally, I prefer films that render colors in a more natural way, such as Kodachrome, E100G, or Astia. Of course, Kodachrome is not available in 120.
     
  15. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    I too would vote for Velvia 50.
    I have worked with some commercial photographers and this has been the film of their choice. The colors are wonderful and the grain barely there.
    However, maybe try out some of the suggestions put forward here, and choose which suits your subject - I often shoot Kodak for warm tones and Fuji for cooler tones.

    HTH

    - Nanette
     
  16. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    You're right. I just didn't feel like giving the whole explanation. You could also take a picture with a bit depth of 1 and expand it to 48 RGB, but the data aren't there. The way I see it, you would be utilizing a smaller chunk of the sensitivity of the CCDs given the lower amount of dynamic range. Most scanners w/o significant analog exposure correction just adjust the levels to stretch the bits (which cover only something like 1/3rd of the bit values) out along the entire range(0-255), thereby reducing the effective bit depth. That's what I was getting at, and that's what mine does anyway so I went and bought an enlarger.