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Thread: For BW project, shoot color or BW?

  1. #21

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    Re: For BW project, shoot color or BW?

    I said you should try both color and BW film and see for yourself....

  2. #22

    Re: For BW project, shoot color or BW?

    Frank, then what the point of posting? But yeah, that's ideal. Ton of work....

  3. #23

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    Re: For BW project, shoot color or BW?

    You're a better photographer than 99.9% of the shooters on this site, just not with a large format film camera yet. Whatever project you do will probably be significant, so before you embark on all that work, why not blow off a couple of rolls of Portra 400, Porta 160, Tri-X, Ilford FP-4, Kodak T-Max 100 and 400? Each has a very distinctive look and appeal that will play an important role.

    It's not like a raw digital file that you can boss around, the film plays an important part of how your shadows and highlights render. That's why people get so bent over the Zone System and developers and such.

    Sure using color neg is an easy way out and I do it myself but I honestly can not make it look like real B&W film. It's definitely superior to digital capture and online you couldn't tell the difference, but once you start printing these images, you'll see. Or it sounds like you won't, because having not run a few tests, you'll never know.

    Think about photo school or books... if the instructor/author wanted to, they could simply give you a step-by-step recipe to do work exactly like theirs. But if they did that, would they be serving their students' best interests?

  4. #24

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    Re: For BW project, shoot color or BW?

    The BW movie, "The Artist," was shot on color film. At first I was quite puzzled. But I have my hunch that film cinematographers are already "dialed in" with color film. If that's the reason, it makes sense to me that they would want to stick with what they know, instead of ramping everyone up on old-school processes for a single project.

    I have "dialed in" an all-analog BW process -- film to prints, so it makes sense for me to stick with BW film.

    Have you decided whether you are going to develop yourself or go to a lab? When I shot both color and BW, I would send out my color. I found many labs that could do excellent color work. I never did find a lab that could do BW the way I like it. Whenever I did send it out, it took several weeks and came back grainy. (Competent labs exist. I just didn't want to pay custom processing prices).

  5. #25

    Re: For BW project, shoot color or BW?

    Going to a lab Bill.
    Frank thanks! you are so cool. I might call you later about this.... But that last answer sounded more definitive -- go BW if you want to optimal prints in BW. nice tips.

  6. #26
    Peter J. De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: For BW project, shoot color or BW?

    Quote Originally Posted by kevs-2323668 View Post
    Going to a lab Bill.
    Frank thanks! you are so cool. I might call you later about this.... But that last answer sounded more definitive -- go BW if you want to optimal prints in BW. nice tips.
    That's not exactly what he said. What he said entails that bw prints from color negatives look different from those made from conventional bw film. Different doesn't necessarily mean better or worse. As Frank said, try a few things and decide for yourself what suits you.
    "Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome." -- Samuel Johnson
    www.peterdesmidt.com/blog

  7. #27

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    Re: For BW project, shoot color or BW?

    And go work with your lab to see what they do best. I saw some amazing BW prints by the Icon and I believe they were shot on BW film.

  8. #28
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Re: For BW project, shoot color or BW?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    The BW movie, "The Artist," was shot on color film. At first I was quite puzzled. But I have my hunch that film cinematographers are already "dialed in" with color film. If that's the reason, it makes sense to me that they would want to stick with what they know, instead of ramping everyone up on old-school processes for a single project.
    The reason was far simpler.

    There was no more Plus-X film.

    Burbank man's '50s genre homage, 'The Ghastly Love of Johnny X,' is last to use Kodak Plus-X movie film
    Bunnell put in a call to his Kodak rep, who confirmed his worst fears. The company instituted a worldwide search, though, that netted some 90,000 feet of unexposed Plus-X, most of it in France.

    Bunnell said he got the stock just in time; the folks who made "The Artist," who wound up shooting the Oscar winner on color stock they digitally converted to black-and-white, came hunting for the last of the Plus-X right after he'd secured it.

    "If I had found my money any later, I would not have been able to finish the film on Plus-X," Bunnell observed.
    I had posted about it in the Lounge, but nobody paid any attention.
    "It's the way to educate your eyes. Stare. Pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." - Walker Evans

  9. #29

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    Re: For BW project, shoot color or BW?

    Just curious, what does 90K feet of general purpose color 35mm film stock run?

    They'd shoot that in about a month of production? Or is faster/slower than that?

    And what does a good 35mm movie camera cost to rent?

  10. #30

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    Re: For BW project, shoot color or BW?

    Surprised to hear the simplicity! The Kodak store sells film, and you can buy it in 1,000 foot rolls.

    I think I can maintain consistency in my portfolio by sticking with BW films having similar characteristics to the film I used to use. I can make prints from my inventory of vintage negatives indistinguishable from current work. Prints from 1980 vintage shots on 35mm Panatomic-X are compatible side-by-side with recent shots on the same film. Granted, it's the last batch and I will need to find a replacement soon or change my strategy as I continue shooting 35mm.

    When I started shooting 4x5 about 4 years ago I didn't have much of an inventory of vintage negs to be compatible with so I switched to 400TMAX. I swear I can see a distinct difference in appearance between traditional grain and tabular grain. My current 4x5 work has a crisper look than any of my vintage 35mm or 120 work. I like the new look.

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