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-   -   Film - What Type for Prints (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/film-what-type-for-prints-173690/)

Myer Aug 12th, 2001 01:38 AM

Film - What Type for Prints
 
I do not carry a flash. I will only take one type of film. I am partial to Kodak. <BR>I used to use ASA 64 film for sharpest photos. As time went on and technology improved I have moved on up to 200. <BR>Having just purchased a new camera with a 3.5/5.6 zoom lense, I will no longer be using my fixed f1.8 lense. <BR>What kind of experience has anyone had with 400 or maybe even 800 film? I would also like to keep the cost reasonable as I use on average a roll of 24 each day. <BR>While most of my photographs remain as 4x6 in size, I do enlarge a few from each trip to 8x10.

Gina Aug 12th, 2001 03:24 AM

Myer, I use simple Kodak 400 Max and always get great results. Further my enlargments 20x30 and 16x20 of the photos I took in Kenya are fantastic. And when on safari in Kenya I used 40 rolls during two weeks so it was important to get inexpensive film. I bought a few rolls of more expensive film but I did not see a difference. I travel often and I had similar results when taking photos in Paris, Rome, Florence, Sicily, Alaska. Always results are excelent regardless of a place but a time of the day is important.

Russell Wayne Aug 12th, 2001 04:24 AM

If you're willing to forsake your allegiance to Kodak, you'll find Fuji Superia 400 or 800 will suit your needs. I started using same on the recommendation of several professional photographers and never went back to Kodak. I travel with a similar camera and find it OK for most lighting situations. These films are generally available in bulk for less than $3 per roll. You can buy them for B&H or Cameraworld as well as local outlets. I buy them in packages of 10. Upon return home, I generally enlarge the better images to 8x10. That much said, think the days of film are numbered. Last month, I took my Nikon and a digital Olympus to France and Switzerland. Took about 300 images. The percentage of pleasing images was far higher with the Olympus. Plus, it's half the weight, you get the result immediately, and can print the positive very easily. In my less than expert opinion, digital will be equipment of choice for travelers very shortly, especially with four and five megapixels now coming to market. Good luck!

janis Aug 12th, 2001 05:48 AM

Because of the different color values - I try to use Fuji for outdoors (the greens are really superb) and Kodak indoors or at night. So for most Europeans trips I take 2/3 or 3/4 Fuji at various speeds and the rest in Kodak. If I have to buy film over there I get Agfa if Fuji is not available. <BR> <BR>If I had to choose, I'd take Fuji exclusively since it is better indoors than Kodak is outdoors. I take a lot of different speeds - depending on which camera(s) I'm using. I mostly use 28-200 3.5-5.3 and a 50 1.7 lenses. <BR> <BR>You will find Fuji 400 a good alternative that is useful in most situations and maybe a couple of rolls of asa 1000 for special low light situations. I have blown several up to poster sized and even the high speed films now are fine enough.

jw Aug 12th, 2001 06:16 AM

You all sound so knowledgeable. I'm going to purchase Fuji film asap to begin experimenting. Can anyone recommend what they consider to be the best film for slides? I'm very particular about color sensitivity -- I expect to see as many different greens in my pictures as I did on-site. Thanks in advance.

john Aug 12th, 2001 06:51 AM

it sounds like you're just beginning in photography, so for simplicity sake i'd take 400 speed kodak or fuji film. 800 speed should only be used for action or really low lighting. if you use it for standard outdoor shots of a statue you may find you've over-exposed you photograph. again, stick w/ 400 for all types of shots and you'll be fine.

Sally Aug 12th, 2001 07:08 AM

<BR>Last Nov. I took 1000 speed film to Paris in order to shoot the Tower and Arc at nite and the photos are great. I also used it in England when for one nite we were allowed to take photos inside Westminister those also came out really nice. I will be going to Iceland in Dec. and plan to use it there as the daylight hours will be few. Any add'l ideas about this?

BOB THE NAVIGATOR Aug 12th, 2001 08:00 AM

The pros all use Fuji Velvia for slides and so I do also. My slides are always better than my prints-- I often take both of the same scenes. I find Fuji to be better for outdoor color shots.

Myer Aug 12th, 2001 08:31 AM

Thanks. <BR>I have been taking photographs for years but am now switching from a 25 year old Canon AE-1 with a fixed f1.8 to a Canon Elan7e with a 28-105 f3.5/4.5. <BR>That's the reason I was wandering about higher speed films. <BR>I'll pick up and try a roll of Fuji 400 and see if I like it. <BR>Thanks again. <BR> <BR>

dan woodlief Aug 12th, 2001 08:31 AM

If you want prints, then shoot print film or else it will take mega bucks to get comparable quality prints from the slides. Generally, if you are going to do much with enlargements, I would stick to something in the range of 100 speed film (although up to 8x10 400 is probably fine). 400 is fine when you need it, but I think it is always a good idea to go with the slowest film you can use for the lighting that exists (unless of course you are using grain for artistic purposes). I am also very partial to Fuji, but Kodak has a new film that I really like. I use quite a bit of Kodak Supra 100 and 400 these days. My favorite film right now is Fuji Superior Reala 100, which is about the sharpest 100 speed film available. It gives a silky smooth look. Not everyone prints it equally, and it does occasionally disappoint, but I use a lot of it. I would recommend trying out different films to see what you like, and the above two would be great choices. Fuji Velvia is my favorite slide film. However, it is a 50 speed film (many choose to set their cameras to shoot it at 40 ASA), and it is high in color saturation. Therefore, it is hard to use well in many lighting situations without a tripod, and the colors aren't great for some things (skin for example). Kodak E100SW and Fuji Sensia (both 100 speed) are good slide choices as well. If I was going to use one film, I would go with a 100 speed film and just use a wider aperture in low light, and I would do little indoor photography. However, that is my personal preference. For you, just taking one 400 speed film might be better. The problem is that 400, without flash, often will do little good indoors, and you will increase grain for no reason in your outdoor shots on clear days. You can stay fairly simple by taking a mix of 100 and 400 (maybe Supra or Kodak Royal Gold), and taking only a couple of rolls of 800 or 1,000 for low light. One consideration may be where you are going as well and the nature of the subject. For general travel, the above recommendations hold. However, if I were shooting mostly nature like in national parks, I would likely go with the Velvia and tripod. If you are going to be on a boat, moving, or shooting animals in less than bright light, faster film may be needed.

dan woodlief Aug 12th, 2001 08:39 AM

Just saw your last post Myer. I think you will be very very very happy with your new gear. I use that lens for most of my travel photography. It is very sharp, versatile, and quite fast for the price. I use an A2 and EOS-5 (same as the A2-E basically). While I haven't used the Elan, from what I know of it, it seems like a very nice camera. If you find you miss the speed of the 50mm lens, just get a new one. You can buy a used 50 1.8 for your new camera for well under $100. It is available in autofocus but without the USM motor. I bought one off of the www.photo.net auctions, and I think you should see them often on Ebay. There are two versions. One has more metal in the mount than the other one and goes for maybe $100-$120. The other (like I bought) should cost you no more than $70 used. It is fast, sharp, and perhaps the best lens bargain available, period. I am taking mine to Europe for low-light interior shooting.

John Bermont Aug 12th, 2001 09:34 AM

Myer, <BR> <BR>You made the right move to the zoom lens for travel photography. I've been using a 35/105 on my OM-2 for years, with a fixed 21mm in the bag for tight places. Your 28/105 looks good. <BR> <BR>Kodak 400 Max is my favorite. Funny how several commentators recommended Fuji because of the greens; I only used it briefly - just because it was too green for me - and went back to Kodak. Personal taste. Both films are widely available all over Europe, but check the date on the box before buying. <BR> <BR>As for speed, most lenses will give you a better image at f5.6 than at f1.8. Go to f8 or higher for greater depth of field. The f3.5 zoom won't hurt you if you follow this practice. <BR> <BR>Though tripods are a pain, you can get mini tripods that are about the size of a large cigar. Some come with a velcro strap so you can tie them th something, and one I found in a Swiss camera store has a C clamp; that's very handy. <BR> <BR>For richer colors, use a polarizing filter; the results in sunlight when shooting at a right angle to the sun are dramatic. <BR> <BR>John <BR>

Myer Aug 12th, 2001 11:32 AM

Thanks Dan and John. <BR>I have discounted the idea of buying a second lense. I am not a pro on assignment. Rather, I vacation with my wife. While I average at least a roll a day when travelling, it really would not be fair to carry a camera bag, stop to change lenses, etc. I just snap anything I think might be good and then see the winners later. <BR>My AE-1 is still in perfect condition and is one of the first semi-automatic cameras. I couldn't find a moderate wide/zoom that I could focus as easily as the fixed lense I have. That and the need to buy a new toy played into the purchase of a new camera. I now have auto focus and moderate wide/zoom. <BR>That is also the reason I set a rule in my original post of carrying only one type of film. <BR>Now I'm going back and forth between Kodak and Fuji 400. I've used Kodak 200 and think it's fine. I do not take slides and print some. I use print film exclusively. <BR>Also, I will not carry a tripod. If I can't hand hold it, so be it. I have some great enlargements of the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, etc at night. All are hand held with the shutter speed down to 1/15th sec or even slower. At night and at that distance being totally steady doesn't seem to be a problem. <BR>

top Aug 12th, 2001 02:29 PM

Topper

nancy Aug 12th, 2001 03:05 PM

Good idea to try a roll of 400 before going. <BR>I took all 400, Kodak. <BR>My husband told me I should have taken along 200, but 400 was recommended for all situations. <BR>I was a bit disappointed with my prints, more times than not, they came out duller in color, <BR> greyish skies when I KNOW it was bright blue, colors generally not as sharp. <BR>BUT, this could have been the camera also, I have always used 200 prior to this with my Olympus. <BR>Anyone have an answer as to why dull /washed out color?

janis Aug 12th, 2001 03:17 PM

Nancy - you probably can blame the brand, not the speed for your prints being dull or washed out. If you read back through this thread - most professionals use Fuji, not Kodak. For outdoor shots especially - colors reproduce much better with Fuji. <BR> <BR>I took a trip to Hawaii a couple of years ago with a friend who had the same camera as I carried - we took hundreds of almost identical shots - hers were on Kodak, mine Fuji. She ended up paying me to make copies of most of mine since hers were washed our and mine were not.

Paul Aug 12th, 2001 05:41 PM

This will not be too popular but here goes. It probably does not make much difference what print film you use 100, 200, 400 and there is even a only a trace of difference between Fuji or Kodak since by far the weakest link is the printing of the negative. All of the film is good but printing is just the luck of the draw and to a great extent is not related to price. After years of shooting transparencies I was cajoled into shooting print film and putting the edited pictures into albums. I have had lots of problems. In general the film development is very good but the printing varies dramatically. Just note what happens when you decide to get reprints from the same negative. They never look like the original. I have also found that my results are better when I use either a point and shoot (Olympus 38-140 zoom) or either an old Nikon FE (with averaging metering) or my newer Nikon with somewhat centered metering. When I use the new Nikon with spot metering anything can happen and usually does (with horrible results) because the printing machines and/or printers use average densities. Good custom printing will work however. For you I would suggest the use of 400 speed film since with your slower lenses, f 3.5-5.6, you want the extra film speed to shoot at faster shutter speeds. Best of luck. <BR> <BR>P.S. What about focusing? Under low light conditions there will be 1/8 the amount of light coming through the lens at f 5.6 than f 2. Can you focus under these conditions and/or is your autofocusing up to the job? In sun light or even shade this isn't a problem.

John Bermont Aug 12th, 2001 05:49 PM

Nancy, <BR> <BR>RE: DULL AND WASHED OUT <BR> <BR>There are several possibilities, but the film is probably not the cause unless it was very old a/o had been exposed to excessive heat. More likely it is either underexposure, bad processing, or bad printing. <BR> <BR>On underexposure - you say you changed from 200 to 400 film; maybe you didn't change the camera setting, though most films will tolerate this latitude. On processing - when I lived in Holland I got so fed up with the mistakes of the Kodak lab (25 years ago) that I learned to process Kodachrome slides in my kitchen; it was easy, speedy, and I had excellent results. As for prints, my pictures covering a trip from Istanbul to Auschwitz were all horribly fuzzed; I inspected the negs (b/w Kodak) with a loupe and they were crystal clear. Don't use cheap a/o quick services if you expect the best quality. <BR> <BR>The photo chain has many links; it only takes one bad one to mess up the works. <BR> <BR>I'm not a professional but after reading all this on Fuji from the pros I'll try a roll again. <BR> <BR>John <BR> <BR> <BR>

dan woodlief Aug 12th, 2001 06:16 PM

Myer, from my experience using the lens type you purchased (for the last 3 1/2 years,) I can say that most of the time you will be fine with 100 speed film. If indeed you still want to use one film only, I would go with 400. It will focus most of the time, but with the camera and lens combo you have it should be easy to shift to manual when you need to (for example, with a surface with little texture on which the lens may sometimes have trouble focusing) (or in darker conditions). It will focus at wide open, so no worse than 4.5. That is certainly giving you a darker image than your 1.8 would. Still, when you shoot, most of the time you won't want to shoot at below 3.5-4.5 anyway because of the desire to get depth of field. I think the speed difference between this lens and a prime lens or pro zoom (e.g., constant 2.8 aperture) is most important in very low light, such as early morning wildlife photography, or in any conditions in which you really want to go with wider apertures in combo with slower film. I really don't think it is at all necessary to use 400 speed film with that lens in most conditions, but only if you just want the one film.

Myer Aug 13th, 2001 03:08 AM

I have a few rolls of Kodak 200. Also, I walked into the store yesterday and boxes of 4 (x24) Kodak 400 print film was on sale. I bought a box. I'll try both in the next few days. <BR>I'll report back. If I get a chance I'll try 1 roll of Fuji 400. <BR>Not being a pro I must find the time. <BR> <BR>It is quite obvious that there is a wide range of experience here. But my guess is that we all have one thing in common; we travel and want to have good memories of where we've been. <BR> <BR>Just to summarize the rules are: <BR>1 - one type of film taken on a trip. <BR>2 - no flash. <BR>3 - no changing of lenses. <BR>


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