Portrait film

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Edge100, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #1
    I'm doing a few family portrait sessions in the coming weeks, and while the majority of the shots will be taken with my 1DmkII and 50/1.4 and 70-200 f/4L, I'd like to do a few shots on a MF film body (Fujica ST-801, incidentally; I have some very nice Fujinon M42 primes that I'd like use). I have access to a good quality film scanner so that's not really an issue.

    Anyway, I'm looking for recommendations for 135, colour negative portrait film. I'm looking for daylight/flash balanced (I'll be using a bit of fill flash, but the shoots will mainly be outside).

    I'm thinking Kodak Portra 160NC, but I'm not really a portrait film expert.
     
  2. Acsom macrumors regular

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    #2
    For people I'm partial to Fuji Superia Reala 100, but everyone is different. Maybe you could pick up a roll of each, shoot some test shots and see what you prefer.
     
  3. NightGeometry macrumors regular

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    #3
    I was going to suggest Portra 160NC, but that's kind of redundant. Try it, it's lovely film.
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #4

    This is good but I prefer the Agfa version of the same. I think Agfa is a little less saturated, "smoother" colors and scans very well. You said you are shooing with an MF body. why then 135 I would think you'd want 120 roll film. try a few rolls of each.

    I key is going to be lighting. Keep the lighting ratio within the range of the film. Well exposed film is easy to scan Poorly exposed film need all kind of tricks, multiple passes through the scanner and a trip through photoshop, much like "HDR" photos. Use a hand meter or a gray card at the subject location.
     
  5. Edge100 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Sorry, MF = manual focus, not medium format. My mistake. It's a Fujica ST-801, incidentally.
     
  6. kreuzberg macrumors member

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    #6
    For a portrait film, my vote would go with Fujicolour Pro 160C. I use an ST-605 and I love it.
     
  7. tompon1923 macrumors 6502

    tompon1923

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    #7
    I use both the Fujicolour Pro 160S and 160C on my Bronica ETR-si, The 160S is a little softer compared to the 160C which makes it perfect in for portraits in my opinion. The 160C has a bit more contrast.

    If you have two film-backs (I'm not familiar with your gear) Just buy two rolls of each just for test purposes, they're something like $5 a pop.
     
  8. Edge100 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Thanks to everyone for weighing in. I'm going to buy a roll of Porta 160NC and a roll of Fujicolour 160S. These will all end up being scanned, so I'm going with the low/normal contrast versions since contrast can always be added later.
     
  9. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #9
    Portra 160 is excellent. I use it and like it a lot. When I'm not on my iPhone, I'll post some images.
     
  10. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #10
    As promised, a few images:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The first is actually the 160 VS, and the other two are NC.
     
  11. Edge100 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Nice.

    I was going to say that the first one looked a lot more contrasty and a bit more saturated, and then I noticed your comment.

    Very anxious to try out some Portra now.
     

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