View Full Version : So lets talk about film...

07-11-2006, 07:37 PM
I haven't shot film in years, and I just bought a MF kit and need to quickly get up to speed. The one thing that confuses me pretty well is "which" film to use for a given application. Could someone give a good "film 101" tutorial here on what the top choices are, and which applications they are suited for. I am pretty sure that I'll probably scan a great deal of my work.... but may go straight to print on other.

07-11-2006, 07:48 PM
Well obviously you know the different ISOs so I dont think we need to get into that so much...just remember that anything over ISO400 will start to introduce grain... it wont be much at 640 but once you get to 800 and above it will have noticable grain.

MF film is comprised of two different amounts, 120 (15 frame) and 220 (30 frame)... you must have a 220 back to use 220 film as there is obviously more film and I read that the backing to the film is removed also.

I personally have only tried 2 different films, the Kodak UC and the Ilford series. I am not too fond of the Kodak, as it didnt really give me the type of image I was looking for... it was (in my opinion) less sharp than expected and color saturation was lacking. The Ilford stuff is top notch... there really isnt much I can say about it in the bad sense. But its only B&W... so that leaves Fuji as a contender for color... and from what I hear Fuji has a nice saturation and is good quality overall...

07-11-2006, 07:55 PM
The guy I bought my Mamiya from sent me a box of assorted films, and also the following information...

Reala----general purpose print film....fine grain, good skin tones..i like
Astia---fine grain sharp slide film with vivid natual colors

Triax---general purpose b&w film, can be pushed a great deal

FP4 Plus---good general purpose b&w

Other recomendations

Ilford XP2 Super- chromogenic b&w film that is processed in c41 color
chemicals so it can be processed at any lab that does color film. can be
printed in straight b&w and sepia without any manipulation

Velvia---fuji color slide film, great saturated colors, landscape,
commercial etc.

Also, with regard to the backs... the Mamiya 645 AF backs are 120/220 which is pretty cool... they go both ways.

07-11-2006, 08:05 PM
the backs are 120/220...but are you sure the inserts are? I know with both my MFs you had to have a different insert for the 220...

I am sure the guy that sent you the film has it dead on... but the only thing is for those films you are going to have to mail order most of them... I am not entirely sure what the Schenectady or Glenville stores have, but Stuyvesant has mostly Fuji, Kodak, and Ilford in 120/220...

07-11-2006, 08:07 PM
I think the AF backs/inserts go both ways. I haven't tried it yet, but I know the guy sent me both 120 and 220 film and I am pretty sure he used them both with the kit he sent me. Will let you know if thats wrong.

07-11-2006, 08:10 PM
You are good to go...


You just rotate the plate to change from 120 to 220... way cool... =)

07-11-2006, 08:11 PM
These are the ones I use...


and 220:

07-12-2006, 12:04 AM
If you haen't shot film for years, try the Ilford series. go with Ilford's XP2 chromogenic film Ist. It can be processed in C-41 chemistry. And since it's not true b/w grainy, It scans beautifully on a flatbed scanner. (no silver) Fuji Reala is a good people color negative film. especially in the studio. It works well outdoors also.
If you decide to go with Kodak's tri-x or plus-x, you need to process that yourself . but you need to test it and find out what your personal ASA (ISO) is. I shoot my tri-x at about 320 ASA and process it myself with D-76 diluted 1:1 to hold down the grain and get a smoother negative. Or have your lab process it with a 1/3 to 2/3 stop decrease in time. Ask your lab about a developer called extol developer. produces very fine grain.
I'll talk more about that with you.