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Thread: New to color sheet film - which should I choose for my trip?

  1. #1

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    New to color sheet film - which should I choose for my trip?

    I'm not panicking yet, but we are planning an amazing trip from Australia to Canada to capture some of the most amazing landscapes on the planet. I have only ever used xray film for large format photography, and love the stuff, but for this trip I am going to have to enter uncharted waters and use colour film to capture some of those amazing colours of summer and autumn.
    Does anyone have any advice on what make of 4x5 sheet film would be most suitable?
    I will be using a Shen Hao with a super angulon 90mm f8, a topcor 210mm f5.6 and a Nikon nikkor 150mm f5.6, all proven to be excellent performers for xray. I will of course be taking nd, polarizing and uv filters with me.
    Thankyou in advance for any advice on film choice

  2. #2

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    Re: 4x5 color sheet film....help!

    As well as colour film, depending on where you're visiting, pick up some black and white film while you're here. I presume you'll be here in Sept/ Oct since you mention fall colours. Have u decided between negative or reversal ? I don't shoot much colour in LF but I'd be using Ektar for its saturation. If you need recommendations on labs for processing your film while here, we can help out with that as well.

    Do you have an idea how long will you be here and where you'll be visiting ? Late summer and fall is a beautiful time to visit. Enjoy your trip and if it's as wonderful as my trip to Kangaroo Island, you won't want to go home
    notch codes ? where we're going, we don't need notch codes.

  3. #3

    Re: 4x5 color sheet film....help!

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewch59 View Post
    Does anyone have any advice on what make of 4x5 sheet film would be most suitable?
    Personally, I like Velvia for landscapes. If you "know how to use it," it is an amazing landscape film. Alan Brock did a video on 4x5 landscape films. He covers Velvia 50, but Velvia 100 is easier to get (at least in the USA) and is a great landscape film, as well.

  4. #4
    SE Penna. chassis's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 color sheet film....help!

    You can't go wrong with Kodak Ektar 100 and Kodak Portra in either 160 or 400 speeds. I like the renditions of these three emulsions. These films, and C-41 color negative processing are easy to find.

  5. #5

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    Re: 4x5 color sheet film....help!

    I dont have experience with these stocks in large format, but i suppose its valid across sizes.

    Ektar is absolutely great for landscape work, sharp, lowgrain and great colours while still fairly realistic.

    Velvia is ofcourse incredible ifyou love super saturated high contrast look but exposing for it can be really hard with its narrow latitude, if you haven't shot much of it before and these are irreplacable shots i would not go for it.

    Ektar has a very large dynamic range which allows for far more leeway in exposures and gives room for 'fix in post' if needed.

    Bottom line; Ektar, recommended! :-)

  6. #6

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    Re: 4x5 color sheet film....help!

    Hi Fred L and thankyou for your prompt response, we have two years of planning but we are lying here with laptops open already entranced by the amazing scenery. It looks like it could be a motorhome start at Vancouver to whistler then on to Banff and then train it to Ontario for Niagara falls.
    I have no idea what the difference is between negative and reversal, sorry. I wanted a challenge when I started on LF so I used xray as it is cheap and have not ventured to use anything else.

  7. #7

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    Re: 4x5 color sheet film....help!

    Thank you Locutus, Ektar seems to be the choice so far with 100% score rate from both of you. Yes on a trip like this you cannot go back for a second shot, so a fairly forgiving film is required for me.

  8. #8

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    Re: 4x5 color sheet film....help!

    any that you can find.
    I shoot velvia mostly but I'd avoid it for a trip like this as shooting it leaves very little room for exposure error and isn't well suited for most sunny day work.

  9. #9

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    Re: 4x5 color sheet film....help!

    sounds like a long trip Andrew ! I'd also suggest that after Ontario, you keep going east. Definitely visit Montreal/ Quebec City and the Maritimes.
    notch codes ? where we're going, we don't need notch codes.

  10. #10

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    Re: 4x5 color sheet film....help!

    Hello,

    I shoot Agfa 100 and 125 color negative 4x5" film, but you can't get that anymore.

    Negative film gives you a negative that you print on approriate paper. It it sometimes called "reversal" film because it is a negative image -- just like X-RAY film. On the other side is "positive" film, typically called "slide" film. That produces a slide or positive image. You need a differnt type of paper to create a print.

    So you have:
    NEGATIVE / REVERSAL film
    POSITIVE / SLIDE film

    Either will create perfectly good results, but different people have different preferences for different reasons. I can't tell you which is best for you, but both Kodak and Fuji make fine films in both categories. The things to look out for:

    Make sure it is DAYLIGHT film. Many are designed for artificial light and are referred to as TUNGSTEN or "T" film. That is NOT what you want, although it can be corrected with the use of an 80xxx type filter.

    Look at the film speed. The LOWER the number, let's say ISO 100 vs ISO 400, will give you more resolution and more apparent sharpness and less apparent grain.

    The sheets come in boxes of various number of sheets. The larger boxes have more sheets but cost more. So try to estimate the number of pictures you will take, double that to handle errors, and don't buy more than that. This stuff ain't cheap. Keep any left-overs in the freezer.

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