Trying 35mm film, advice would be appreciated

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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I don't have a lot of experience shooting 35mm film (or any film for that matter). Now that I have a dependable and wonderful Pentax ME I would like to shoot a bit of film. I have shot a few rolls of film, that part is not new to me, but I have not tried all that many types of film. Mostly Kodak Gold 100 and Fomopan.
I don't think I can afford more than 2-3 cans of film, for now. I would love to get at least one B&W film for some beautiful grain and contrast and one color with beautiful colors and saturation/vibrancy. Maybe try a film with high ISO for wildlife, I have a Sigma 70-210mm f 4.5 to try on wildlife (with no IBIS or OIS and no fast aperture and fixed ISO there is no option but High ISO to keep 1/250 sec or higher).
I can't wait to see the colors and rendition of Yashica Yashidon DX 50mm f 1.4 :)
 

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If you are looking for beautiful grain from B&W film, I would say to pick your film and your developer carefully as well as watch your exposure. In the right hands under the right conditions you can get amazing results. Randomly shooting it and randomly developing it can quickly give you mediocre or lousy results. IMHO, B&W films offer a somewhat narrow sweet spot for really incredible results. I love the results from B&W film when handled correctly, but when I shot in in the 90's, I was more often frustrated with the results. I cam to the conclusion that it required a lot of trial and error and discipline, and I was happy when I switched to digital in the early 2000's.

Good luck,

--Ken
 
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Fomapan is great, and the 400 version is grainy and contrasty. 200 is a classic look with nice tones and the 100 is a bit more modern. If you want to try a different B&W film, Kodak Tri-X is the go-to for grainy and contrasty.

Kodak Gold is wonderful in all speeds. Has a great warm characteristic. Looks like there's only 1 remaining option for outdoor >400 ISO color film: Kodak Portra 800. It's a great film.
 

Brownie

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I'm told Kodak Tmax has good tight grain. I just loaded a roll of 100 in my Maxxum. As soon as Mother Nature cooperates I'm going to try it out. This will also be the first roll I attempt to develop myself.

Remember, just as higher ISO's introduce more noise, faster films have more grain. Ilford makes a nice selection of B&W. Check out B&H's website for recommendations.

Find a developer that will give your negatives back, some of them don't. Ask for scans and you can do further processing on the computer. I use a place that provides scan uploaded to a folder you can download, and they mail back the negatives and a disc with the scans.

I am setting up to scan my own negatives with my camera so I'll have a negative RAW file to process.
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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I'm told Kodak Tmax has good tight grain. I just loaded a roll of 100 in my Maxxum. As soon as Mother Nature cooperates I'm going to try it out. This will also be the first roll I attempt to develop myself.

Remember, just as higher ISO's introduce more noise, faster films have more grain. Ilford makes a nice selection of B&W. Check out B&H's website for recommendations.

Find a developer that will give your negatives back, some of them don't. Ask for scans and you can do further processing on the computer. I use a place that provides scan uploaded to a folder you can download, and they mail back the negatives and a disc with the scans.

I am setting up to scan my own negatives with my camera so I'll have a negative RAW file to process.
I tried 3 different developers in the past and non of them have given me any useful or decent scans, 1024 pickles wide JPEGs. Snappy Snap will give me back the negatives, would love to scan them with Oly 60mm Macro and the 80 MP HR.
 

retiredfromlife

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If you want an all round film I used to use Illford FP4, you could process this push or pull and has a fair bit of latitude if you were developing it yourself.
https://www.ilfordphoto.com/fp4-plus-35mm?___store=ilford_brochure&___from_store=ilford_uk

If you are going to develop it yourself or thinking of that in the future learn to use the stainless steel spiral film holders rather than the the plastic ones that "walk the film in" [for lack of a better description]. Less chance of creasing the film, especially if you start to use 120 film that creases easier if the ball bearings in those plastic spirals jamb. Only takes a night of practice with a roll of film in the open first then in the bag to get the hang of getting the film on the spool. Then you will save heaps on developing costs.

And if you really want grain as previously mentioned Tri-X is the go, but I found that a bit too grainy for my taste.

Dont forget the paper you use has a big bearing on how the final print turns out. But I am not really up on available papers these days.
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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Suggest you consider Tri-X, a good all-around film. ISO 400, can be pushed to 1600. Not "fine grain", but classic grain. One developer, perhaps the old standard D76. Keep it simple. Online development times at Massive Dev Chart: https://digitaltruth.com/devchart.php
One film, one developer, learn them well before looking afield. Keep it simple.
Good luck!
I would love the idea of developing my own film, never learn that and it's one of my sad regrets that I missed the film generation. I hope one day I can dedicate space to develop 35mm and 120mm film, maybe get one of those self-contained boxes for developing.
 

Replytoken

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I would love the idea of developing my own film, never learn that and it's one of my sad regrets that I missed the film generation. I hope one day I can dedicate space to develop 35mm and 120mm film, maybe get one of those self-contained boxes for developing.
Even if you send your film out, good labs should offer a choice of developers. Different developers give different results, and then can be varied by development time, temperature and strength. Grain is just the medium, the look of the grain is what you need to decide upon. People mentioned classic and fine grain in the posts above for example. Tri-X and D76 1:1 was a classic for many years, but Tri-X did undergo some changes over the years. Ilford used to manufacture many great films and developers as well. Before shooting, I would find out what your lab offers and then work backwards from there. At least you will then have a fighting chance of knowing how to shoot the film and what to expect.

--Ken
 

Brownie

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I would love the idea of developing my own film, never learn that and it's one of my sad regrets that I missed the film generation. I hope one day I can dedicate space to develop 35mm and 120mm film, maybe get one of those self-contained boxes for developing.
You don't need any more space than a kitchen counter to develop a roll of film. You get a changing bag and once the film is in the little developing tank, the rest is done in daylight. You only need a darkroom if you're going to print. I have decided that while it may be fun to print, it's unnecessary. Develop the film, scan the negatives, and do them on your computer. If you need a print there are many quality online places. I use Nations Photo for prints here in the U.S.
 

Brownie

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I tried 3 different developers in the past and non of them have given me any useful or decent scans, 1024 pickles wide JPEGs. Snappy Snap will give me back the negatives, would love to scan them with Oly 60mm Macro and the 80 MP HR.
There's a place in California (not that it does you any good) that will give you 'standard', 'medium', and high-res scans each at a higher price. Standard is 4 MP, but that is plenty to look at the result and see if there's anything you want a better scan or print of. In that case simply send the negative to your processor of choice and have them scan and print. Or if you have the gear scan it yourself.
 

retiredfromlife

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I think one often overloked aspect of developing film is where you dry it.
You need a cupboard or something to keep the dust off the drying film.
I ended up with a Kodak drying cabinet, but for a 24 exposure roll, all i could get.
Using a good wetting agent in the last rinse helped dry the roll evenly and quicker

Before the drying cabiet i used a very slim pine cabinet, not perfect but better than nothing
 

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Ilford makes a nice full catalog of B&W films, if you take some time you can work your way through that and you'll find some favorites. FP4 is pretty good, and HP5 is one of my go-tos as I can easily push it, and even underexpose and still get results. It's not super modern though, especially when you get creative with the exposure. Delta 400 is a very capable modern film with super tight grain and high detail, but some developers don't handle it as well as others. There's a 100 version too. And don't forget XP2, a C41 process B&W film that is very contrasty and has nice rich darks and highlights.

I'm fond of Fomapan, I use a lot of 100 and dabble with the others. 400 is not a neutral film, at all, but it's got punch. I think I like 200 quite a bit, but I've only gotten my hands on a couple rolls.

For color, don't overlook Fuji Superia 400. It's a really capable and nice looking film. I like the looks of Fuji Pro 400H even better. Both benefit from a little overexposure, as the shadows can color shift a lot when underexposed, and people tend to like the pastel colors you get from slight overexposure. Some people go nuts and shoot a couple of stops over, but I usually just set my ISO part of a stop lower and take that slightly longer exposure. People also like Lomography color film. The 800 some swear by. I haven't tried it yet, I just got 3 rolls of the 100 color film from them.
 

Mountain_Man_79

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I’m going to second a few things @agentlossing mentioned -

I‘ve found in the US that getting B&W developed can be hit and miss. However everyone develops C41 process stuff. So the Ilford XP2 is a solid B&W choice, safe for your average developers, as it’s a C41 process.

Also, Fujifilm is abundant, and typically inexpensive. The cheap stuff, Fujicolor, I’d probably not bother with. But a step up into the middle(ish) grade Fujifilm Superia is well worth the extra couple bucks. It’s outstanding stock, and can rival digital!
 

agentlossing

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I'll give you some examples I've shot with some of these films. First up, Fomapan 100. I often shoot it at 200 and develop normally, which gives it a cool look.

2021-01-01_10-09-06.jpg
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2021-01-01_10-08-12.jpg
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Then here's a couple examples of HP5+:

2021-01-01_10-11-22.jpg
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2021-01-01_10-11-32.jpg
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In my opinion, HP5+ still has a very classic look, I like more imperfect B&W films. Many of the more clinical, modern ones are much more expensive anyway.

And for color, slightly overexposed Superia:

2021-01-01_10-11-55.jpg
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And lastly, a couple of Pro 400H. This film was expired, and I think I shot it a full stop over, so there's some level of overexposure in addition to possible color shifting due to age, but I like the results:

2021-01-01_10-12-17.jpg
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2021-01-01_10-12-30.jpg
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Sorry for posting so many images! I've been really into film lately. Going to attempt to develop my own C41 soon as well.
 

ac12

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My experience is that for a general purpose film, you want a mid-speed film, about ISO 100.
The reason for that is in full daylight, your exposure is 1/125 sec @ f/16. You have room to adjust your specific shutter speed/aperture combo and still get a good exposure.
If you use a faster film, like I did in high school, like Tri-X at ISO 400, your full daylight exposure is 1/500 sec @ f/16.
With some cameras you can't go faster than 1/500 sec, and some lenses could not stop down smaller than f/16. So you had a SINGLE shutter speed/aperture combo that you are stuck at. This is why I hated using Tri-X, my SLR was basically a box camera, shooting at 1/500 sec @ f/16. I had no exposure control during the day.

But in low light, ISO 400 or faster.

The problem is, you CANNOT easily change to a faster or slower film, in the middle of a roll. Basically you are stuck with the film you loaded, until you finish the roll. So advanced planning is required when selecting what speed film to use.

I would use whatever is available where you are and that the lab can develop.

As for shutter speed. The 1/focal length guideline is based on somewhat ideal camera/lens holding conditions. I sometimes have to double the guideline, based on environment/wind or how tired I am.

Enjoy the experience.
 
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If you're looking for a good lab in the UK, I use Photo Hippo in Burnley, www.photohippo.co.uk

They have options eg development only and send you the negs, or they will scan at various levels of MPx and you download the jpegs.

Hope this helps
 

Brownie

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If you're looking for a good lab in the UK, I use Photo Hippo in Burnley, www.photohippo.co.uk

They have options eg development only and send you the negs, or they will scan at various levels of MPx and you download the jpegs.

Hope this helps
That looks like the kind of place you want. Very similar to the Darkroom, which is the place I use in the U.S. The prices I pay are:

$12 per roll for developing, standard scan, upload to a folder, and return shipping of a disc and the negatives, plus $5.95 shipping for as many rolls as I send them. I usually send 2 or 3 rolls at a time to take advantage of that.

It should be pointed out that there is an outlay to start developing at home, but once you do that it can be less expensive. The purists here may scream, but I've purchased a packet of Cinestill Monobath, which is essentially a one-step developing process for B&W. It costs about $17 U.S. and is enough to do 16 rolls of film, so just over $1 per roll. There is a chart that shows test results with 16 different films and I've purchased 3 of them to try.

I also have one of the plastic reel Paterson tanks that @retiredfromlife warns against. I have seen his comments before, but like anything else there are cheerleaders for both types. I don't have a camera that shoots 120, but I do have one that shoots 127. The plastic reels are adjustable for all three.

Once I get used to this I am going to try C-41 also. More steps, but doable at home with almost the same equipment, just need more temperature control. Santa brought everything I need, jolly old elf that he is.
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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I'll give you some examples I've shot with some of these films. First up, Fomapan 100. I often shoot it at 200 and develop normally, which gives it a cool look.

View attachment 866149

View attachment 866150

Then here's a couple examples of HP5+:

View attachment 866151

View attachment 866152

In my opinion, HP5+ still has a very classic look, I like more imperfect B&W films. Many of the more clinical, modern ones are much more expensive anyway.

And for color, slightly overexposed Superia:

View attachment 866154

And lastly, a couple of Pro 400H. This film was expired, and I think I shot it a full stop over, so there's some level of overexposure in addition to possible color shifting due to age, but I like the results:

View attachment 866157

View attachment 866159

Sorry for posting so many images! I've been really into film lately. Going to attempt to develop my own C41 soon as well.
Thank you for sharing all the pictures and the info, it's very helpful :)
 

agentlossing

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The purists here may scream, but I've purchased a packet of Cinestill Monobath, which is essentially a one-step developing process for B&W. It costs about $17 U.S. and is enough to do 16 rolls of film, so just over $1 per roll. There is a chart that shows test results with 16 different films and I've purchased 3 of them to try.
I started developing with DF96, and I'm still all about finding the easy ways. What I've added to my bag is simply doing Rodinal semi-stand, which is grainier than DF96 but has the advantage of stable chemicals which last a really long time. DF96 often doesn't last me as many rolls as it should because I might go quite a while without developing, and shelf life on the opened bottle is supposed to be three months (though I've had it last longer).
 

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