Hi, New to film A few tips please.
Not sure how often this side of the forum gets looked at. But i thought i would try here first.
I bought a F4 yesterday as my first film camera. Shot digital for while and never tried film. $200 with 50mm 1.8 so i thought i would give it a try. Wanted pro-ish body that would work with most of my lenses. For a good price.
My main questing is what film to use. all the searches out there are just confusing me more. The guy i bought it from told me to get B&W film to start and learn with that.
2nd question do places still actually print these or is it all scanned now. I remember when i was younger and when the family got a one time use camera. We would drop it off, come back get pics and negatives. Does this happen any more. I live in SLC not sure what options are here.
Any other basic tips would be appreciated. I want to start shooting this weekend.
#1. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 0airgunr Nikonian since 05th May 2004Fri 25-May-12 01:29 AM
As is so often the case it depends on what you want to shoot. B&W is fine for many things. Color slide or print is my preference but to each his own.
Slide film is not as forgiving as print so you might want to shoot a couple of rolls first to try it out.
For developing you can try any place that is local to you including Wally World, Walgreens or a camera shop in your area. I live more rural and the local Wally World and Walgreens are less than satisfactory by me.
I send mine off to Dwaynes in Kansas http://www.dwaynesphoto.com. I've used A&I in California and DR5 Chrome in Denver as well. The latter also does infrared film.
Do a Google search for them. They will be happy to not only process and print or mount the film but scan to disc as well. The professional places will offer several levels of scanning depending on what you want to do with it and obviously cost.
If you get into it you will probably want to invest in a scanner but don't worry about that until you get comfortable with it.
The basics of photography are the same in regards to ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture, etc. whether you are shooting digital or film.
Good luck and most important, HAVE FUN! ;^D
William J. Slater
"The Historian who aspires to be a judge should not try his case by a code unknown to the defendant." - Herman Ausubel
#2. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 1Fri 25-May-12 03:15 AM
Thanks for the response. As for shooting. I do landscape and wildlife stuff. Though i feel for now landscape, flowers and macro will be my subjects until i feel more comfortable,
#3. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 0
I looked at the "General" and "Equipment" information in your profile, and you seem to have some experience already in photography, not to mention a pretty nice digital SLR (the D7000)and some lenses that cover the range from moderate to telephoto focal lengths.
For Landscapes, tho', your current best lens is the 35-70mm, f/2.8 Nikkor. You might want something a little wider than that, tho', and I highly recommend a clean, used 17-35mm, f/2.8 Pro-grade wide angle. It will work well on both your F4 and the D7000, as well as any other DX- or FX-body Nikon you might upgrade to in the future.
For film reviews and recommendations, start right here in Nikonians: go to the "Film & Film Processing" Forum. You can also do a search on any film or camera or photography topic that's been discussed in the forums right here, in the window located in the upper left of your Nikonians screen.
Your first search here and online should be on the keywords "Nikon F4 reviews". Print out the better ones...there are several. You can also look for used Nikon F4 "User Guides" to purchase, but you may also find printable downloadable Guides. Look for books on the F4...some are better than others.
In addition to the Nikonians' searches, you can find a whole world of information online by doing targeted searches in Google, or maybe use a multiple-search engine like www.dogpile.com. Try various keywords or phrases (enclosed in quotes) such as: "film photography", "film reviews", or "landscape photography"..., whatever. You will be overwhelmed by all the information you can find online!
Any decent library should have some old books on Photography, and there are some very good ones out there! The basics are still the same, that is: Composition, Lighting and Exposure ("f/8 and BE THERE!"), and Processing.
If you don't want to deal with all the fuss and fumes in a darkroom, you can have the film images digitized by the Processor, or find a good dedicated film and slide scanner (NOT a flat bed scanner..., get something like the Nikon Coolscan series).
If you live too far from a place that does competent film processing, then just buy a few A&I film processing mailers from B&H (online, go to: www.BandH.com). See their ads in Popular Photography magazine.
If you want to concentrate on landscape photography, use your sharpest wide-angle lens, with the F4 mounted on a good tripod, or braced if hand held, and try Fujifilm Velvia 100 until you have shot a few rolls, then try the fabulous Velvia 50 when you feel confident that you won't be wasting the slow film on poorly exposed images.
I have two hand-held lightmeters, and one spotmeter to help in getting the exposures right when I use my older cameras, like the FM2n. But the F5 and the D2X 3D Color Matrix metering do a pretty good job without any help, so I only use the lightmeters in tricky or challenging lighting conditions. The F4 probably could use a little help, so a good light meter might be worth having.
Being located in such beautiful 'landscape' country like Utah (Bryce Canyon, etc.!), you might have a problem with slide film because of the harsh, contrasty lighting conditions. The color negative film has a better ability to capture the wider Dynamic Range of your typical outdoor lighting. If any stores in your area who do processing or printing use a Fuji Frontier 370 machine, it is capable of producing really great prints! Just make sure SOMEBODY who works there knows how to use the machine!
Have fun with your F4! It's still a great camera, especially if you have any old AI or AIS manual focus lenses. It will teach you a lot!
Let us see your film images when you get some good ones digitized!
Aloha from Hawaii!
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#4. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 0
What film to use? As someone else said it depends on what you are shooting. I also depends on the "look" you wish to achieve. There is a lot of discussion about different types of film in the film forum. A lot of us like Fuji Velvia for shooting landscapes because it produces super saturated colors. You defintely do not want to shoot people with that film unless you wish to give them a very unnatural, glowy kind of skin tone. The websites for the film manufacturers are also useful for descriptions of the recommended uses of the various films. Once you have selected a few films to try, also Goggle for reviews and post in the Film Forum for the opinion of others who have used the film.
As for processing/printing film, it depends on what is available in your area. I am located in the Oklahoma City area. Here there are a couple of places that I use to process film. I do my own printing. However, there are a lot of places that still print film. As with other printing, the limitation of most businesses that do printing is that they are going to use their standard one size fits all adjustments, which often produce less than optimal results. So a starting point is to find out if there is a custom printing business in your area and see if it can do a good job of printing for you.
Good luck and enjoy your new F4.
#5. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 4Fri 25-May-12 07:04 PM
Thanks for the reply's guys. I hoped for easy answers, but they never seem to be . I will get doing research, and just take it a step at a time. Film seems a little over whelming and difficult compared to digital.
#6. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 5airgunr Nikonian since 05th May 2004Fri 25-May-12 10:11 PM
Don't be worried.
It is really pretty easy and you will get it very fast. Everything is the same as far as the camera goes. Just pick a place to get yours developed, ask for basic scans to disc and go from there.
William J. Slater
#7. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 0
I suggest shooting Kodak Ektar 100, and have it scanned when processed. You can also convert to b&w in Photoshop. You may also like to try Kodak BW400CN, a b&w film that is processed as C-41 (color) film. Again, have it scanned when processed. Find a good lab in SLC. The at-process scans will typically be smaller, and good for up-loading to your Nikonians gallery after any Photoshop work. Ask your lab tech what size prints you can expect to produce from their scans. They may use a Noritsu scanner.
Typically, the F4 has a very good light meter. You may want to have a "speeds and meter" test done on your F4 to be sure it is accurate. Read a John Shaw book or two. In his multitude of subjects, he usually includes a section on how to calibrate your meter to a specific film. When you have gained some experience, try shooting slide film. If it's Velvia, shoot early and late. Edit your slides on a light table, then carefully select those which you would like to have scanned. If you find a lab that uses a well-maintained Coolscan 5000, you will get nice 50 MB files. Tiff or jpeg? Talk to your lab.
Unless you have access to a darkroom, shooing film in the digital age usually means educating yourself on processing labs and scanning. Fully engage yourself, be selective, and you will greatly enjoy your new journey.
#8. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 7Sat 26-May-12 09:19 PM
Is $0.70 typical for good scan per frame? Seems expensive. I guess if i get into it I'll buy a scanner to save cash.
Didn't make it to the local photo shops in time to get any film. There is some stuff at Wal-greens probably not worth the cash. Though i may by it to put some frames through the camera. And just do cheap development to try it out.
#9. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 8Sun 27-May-12 03:13 AM | edited Sun 27-May-12 03:14 AM by hyalite
"do places still actually print these?"
Yes, it is still easy to get 4x6 prints from negatives when you process your film. You may like to go that way for a while. With negatives, you can always order an enlargement. Scan negatives if you want to use Photoshop, and upload to the web. High resolution scans are expensive, but don't think that buying a scanner is going to save money. That's why I mentioned being selective in your use of film: shoot, scan, and print selectively. If it takes a month to finish a roll of 36, that's OK.
#10. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 9Sun 27-May-12 01:41 PM
Thanks again. I think i will go the cheaper print/neg route for a while. I will have to plant the seed of being very selective in my brain when shooting film. Its much different over digital. But thats what im looking for and why i choose to try it.
I figure it will help me become better with my craft. And help produce more keepers with my Dslr's.
Plus it will be good to see what all you old timers went through back in the day. You know, before radio, cars and written language...
#11. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 10Mon 28-May-12 01:47 AM
Derek, I highly suggest that you pick up an old-timer's copy of "The Joy of Photography". It will help you to connect to film, and you can re-live photography from back in the day. And really, it wasn't so bad riding around in stage coaches too.
#13. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 0
First and foremost congrats on your F4 and decision to delve into film. You will enjoy the journey. I read through the other posts and you've already received some excellent advice so I wont repeat. I will add though, look into Kodak's new Portra. It's an exceptional film in both 160 and 400. C41 (color negative) processing is typically much less expensive than E6 (slides), I find the 160 performs especially well if you shoot it at 125. It likes a lot of light. Portra (not the NC or VC flavors but the new formula) was specially formulated with scanning in mind as opposed to the darkroom. I shoot 400 as a general purpose film regularly and have been very pleased with it. It also accepts flash well. Have fun, John Crane.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#14. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 13samrat54 Nikonian since 24th Mar 2003Mon 28-May-12 12:49 PM
To second JBCrane's remarks about Portra--it's great stuff! Shoot some portraits with the 160. After that, you may not be in such a big hurry to go back to digital. Wedding and portrait photographers have sworn by it--not at it--for years. And, congrats on the F4. I LOVE mine!!
A Georgia Nikonian
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#15. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 14Mon 28-May-12 01:29 PM | edited Mon 28-May-12 01:34 PM by DerekTV85
Okay cool, thanks. I will try to find some. I think one of my local shops have it.
Edit: yes they do have it at about $9 a roll in 160 and 400. Hows Kodak BW400CN 135-36 Film if anyone has tried it.
They also have Ilford B&Ws at the store. Some one along the line has told me to try one of those.
#16. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 15Lolrogge Nikonian since 12th Apr 2012Mon 28-May-12 06:31 PM | edited Mon 28-May-12 06:32 PM by Lolrogge
I find BW200CN gives very nice results. I have several rolls in the freezer but can no longer find it locally. Ilford XP2 is another B&W film that can be processed anywhere film is processed. Tri X is an excellent B&W film.
#17. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 0
99% of negative film indeed gets scanned and printed ususally via a photographic printer that exposes the paper using lasers instead of light. Same principle though as the traditional way. Same chemicals are used. For making your best prints, you can scan yourself and then have the file printed.
As far as film types:
-If you want to do landscape, nature, or buildings, I'd recommend slide film. For finest detail and bold color, Fuji Velvia 50. There are also three ISO 100 Fuji slide films you can try: Provia 100F, Velvia 100, and Velvia 100F. Finally, there is Provia 400F for when you need faster film. Kodak no longer makes slide film, but it is still shipping to stores as of now and still very much fresh.
-Color negative for all other color work seems to work well. Standouts are the Kodak Ektar 100, and the Portra films (160, 400, and 800).
-Black and white film for when you want to be creative and eliminate color. There are tons of types available, But I'd stick with Kodak, Ilford, or Fuji for now since they have the best quality control.
Nikon user since 2000
#18. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 0
This just occurred to me... another advantage to shooting negative film is that you are able to view 100% of the frame, unlike slide film (when mounted) crops in that few percent all around the frame.
I don't remember if the F4 has a data back solution or not. Me thinks it does... (My F4s did not). Anyway, if it does - and has the ability to imprint exit data between frames, shooting negative film retains the ability to view that data the slide mount conceals. Of course, you could also shoot slide film and not have the frames individually cut and mounted and accomplish the same thing.
Lots of detail to absorb ahead of you. Have fun.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#19. "RE: F4 Data backs" | In response to Reply # 18Wed 30-May-12 03:21 PM
John, yes the F4 has data back solutions. Chris
"there are a total of four versions of known film backs deigned specifically for the Nikon F4 thus far" Photography in Malaysia
#20. "RE: F4 Data backs" | In response to Reply # 19Wed 30-May-12 04:57 PM
>John, yes the F4 has data back solutions. Chris
Thanks Chris. I thought so, but never explored that option when I had my F4s. I'm hoping to pick up a nicer copy of it some day in the near future. What a fabulous camera.
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#21. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 0
I thought you'd like to see a few samples of different emulsions, just for kicks. I've been going through one of my galleries (specific to the F6) and labeling the different images with what emulsions they're made with.
Here's the new Portra 160:
Kodak Portra 400:
Kodak Ektachrome 100VS (recently discontinued... get it while you can!)
(there are many, many shots with Velvia in this gallery)
Fuji Provia 400X (great, high-speed chrome film from Fuji - but pretty expensive):
black and white negative:
Here's Kodak TMAX400:
and of course Kodak Tri-X (at rated 400):
Tri-X at 1600:
Hope that's of some benefit.
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#22. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 0
Hello Again Derek,
One of the posts mentions that mounted slide film blocks part of the image. For that reason I no longer have my slide film mounted. When I have it processed I have the film cut into strips (my storage system is set up to store 4 frame strips) as is done with negative film. In addition to the advantage of not losing the edges of the image the strips are also faster to scan. I scan them with a Nikon Coolscan 9000 scanner, after having them processed. I usually do not have prints made since I do my own printing.
Film strips also take up less storage space and are easier to handle than mounted slides. Of course if you plan to display the images using a projector this would not be a good plan.
#25. "RE: Filters" | In response to Reply # 24Sun 03-Jun-12 04:04 AM
"Filters, do i need to start using UV filters on my lenses for film shooting"
A: Yes, sometimes, it depends, etc.
UV and skylight filters are primarily for color film, to cut out the effects of ultraviolet light. We can't see the UV light, but the film can record it. Try photographing with and without a UV filter and compare the results.
For B&W film, you could choose a yellow, orange, red, or green, and more, depending on your intention and subject matter. A medium yellow filter is a common choice for general B&W photography to increase contrast.
#26. "RE: Filters" | In response to Reply # 25Sun 03-Jun-12 04:38 PM
Thanks for the reply.
I loaded the Ilford B&W film last night. Shot a few frames this morning. Love the sound and feel of the F4. Shutter + film advance makes a wonderful noise . And the feel in my hands is much better then my D7k or D80. Well balanced with the 50mm 1.4D. Even though heavier then my D7k it doesn't give me hand fatigue like the 7k. And i feel more sturdy with it.
Next digital will have to be bigger. I never held anything other then the D80 and 7k so i didn't know better comfort was out there. Though the 7k with grip is slightly better for my hands. I'm a landscaper so i have a natural curl because of tools and wheelbarrows. Especially after a long week. And the small grip can really start to hurt quickly.
#28. "RE: Hi, New to film A few tips please. " | In response to Reply # 0
Welcome to the world of film, and congratulations on your f4!
As for film, just buy any ISO 100 negative film you can easily find to start with, Kodak, Fuji - anything will do.
Go out and shoot, concentrate on exposure - now you don't have the convenience of chimping or histograms. Film is expensive, so set things up before pressing the shutter.
After finishing a roll of film make sure you rewind the film fully into the cassette before opening the back, if not light will destroy the unprocessed film.
Once you have finished the roll, drop it off at closest lab. Just get a set of 4x6 prints. If you have another lab close by, get them to print the images at the same sizes. It will take few dozen of rolls for you to find the lab you like.
As you get more comfortable using the camera and making exposures without digital tools, start experimenting with slides.
What I suggested was probably the most economical way of going forward, but if money and time are not objectives, you can start with whatever you want. What is really important is to start.....