All posts filed under: Film Review

Review: Kodak Portra 160

To see reviews of the other films in the Portra family, go here for Portra 400 and here for Portra 800. To see a more formal comparison of Portra 160 with the other two members of the Portra family (Experiment 2), go here. In all honesty, I have a love-hate relationship with Portra 160. Every roll I’ve shot through is almost entirely full of shots I don’t much care for if not some of my least favorite I’ve ever taken. That said… The shots on a roll that I like are some of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken. So where do you go from here? I would really like to shoot through some rolls in a studio environment where I have much more control of the lighting. Perhaps there I will have more consistently desirable results… Color Compared with the other two films in the Portra family, it is by and large the least saturated when properly exposed. Even slightly overexposed and it gets a sort of a nasty looking warm tint to the …

Review: Kodak Portra 800

To see Portra 800 exposure tested, follow this link. As a reference for Portra 400 shot at 800, follow this link. To see a more formal comparison of Portra 800 with the other two members of the Portra family (Experiment 2), go here. I waited far too long to really give Portra 800 a fair shake. The main reason was the price – coming in at $15 more expensive for a pro pack of 120 and half again the price of a roll of 35mm, I considered more of a luxury than something I would regularly shoot. A couple months ago I caved and picked up a pro pack of both 120 and 35mm in order to write a review on it. I can honestly say that I won’t be defaulting to Portra 400 any longer. The colors of 800 are fantastic. The colors are quite punchy and given the additional speed from 400, the grain structure is minimal and pleasing. Color Much like Portra 400, this film stock is great for shooting portraits. The …

Review: Kodak Ektar 100

To see Kodak Ektar exposure tested along side 10 other film stocks, follow this link. To see my first (substantial) attempt at shooting Ektar while in Banff, follow this link. In the fall of 2018 I headed to Arizona for the second time and intended to see the Grand Canyon for the first time (btw, it was as grand as the name implies. Lots and lots of grand.) and when deciding what film to take, Ektar never crossed my mind. I thought to myself – I’ve shot a couple rolls of Ektar before and hated it. A lot. Then I found the work of Pete and David and decided I didn’t give Ektar a fair shake in my previous attempts. Albeit, I believe now that what I didn’t like was in fact the scans from the lab I was using moreso than the film itself. Color Ektar has bold colors that, coupled with the high sharpness, make it an incredible film for landscapes. Compared with Portra 400, I find this film to have a bit …

Banff (In Color): New City, New Film – Ektar & Portra 160

This article shows off some of the color negative film I tried out on my vacation to Banff, CA in April2019. To see some of the black and white negative work, please follow this link.  Several of this films in this article have exposure tested and compared to other color negative films – this article is located here.   The Canadian Rockies were calling and we answered. In a moment of spontaneity and luck finding round-trip tickets for only 18k points, we got our tickets and booked a hotel within a couple hours and I immediately started thinking about what film I was going to take. For ease (and out of pure laziness) I needed to make sure everything was ASA 400 or slower so I didn’t have to have the film hand-checked. For color negative film, I ended up taking a pro pack of Portra 400 (per usual), Ektar, and Portra 160. I also ended up taking a few rolls of Fuji Provia and Ektachrome. Portra 160 I gave this film a shot after …

Review: Fuifilm Fujicolor Superia X-TRA 800

One of the primary reasons I started this site was for a lack of a information on the web that provided film reviews from one person – I always found forums and flickr to have to much variety.  On filckr in particular, photos ranged from terrible pictures that makes one wonder if the photographer knew how to use a meter or if the photo was taken by a professional and all of their pictures look amazing.  One site I look to a lot is Alex Burke’s (his work is amazing and I have learned a lot from reading through it) but I sometimes found it frustrating that some film stocks he reviewed were discontinued. With all that said, let me talk about the film stock that got me back into film photography.  It was cheap, widely availble, and came in rolls of 24exp so I could shoot through them quickly and get them developed the same day.  Was great for someone transitioning back into film after owning a digital camera for years. I won’t talk …

Review: Ilford XP2 Super

Much like Illford Delta 3200, my feelings on this film are laregely dependant on whether I’m shooting 35mm or 120.  There are only a handful of shots I like that have been in 35mm format but I’ve mostly liked all of my 120 stuff. This film is, of course, the most peculiar to try and categorize.  It’s a B&W film that’s processed as color (C-41 processing).  I started giving this film a go when I was living in Charleston, SC and there was a film lab across the street but they could only do color.  Since I was shooting half color at the time anyhow, it seemed only natural that I shoot a B&W film that could be processed at the same place.  That said, after having a couple rolls get ruined at the shop across the street and already not being a huge fan of this stock, I moved on and haven’t used it in a while. In sunny outdoor conditions, this film is very boring.  Almost every shot felt like a grey blob …

Review: Ilford Delta 3200

To see Ilford Delta 3200 exposure tested and compared with other B&W film, follow this link. For my medium format cameras, this film has been in pretty heavy rotation for a while as there isn’t much competition for it.  The speed of it makes it pretty attractive when the fastest lenses for my 6×4.5 and 6×7 cameras are f/2.8 and f/3.8, respectively.  When you’re talking about using it in 120 format, it’s pretty sharp and not very grainy.  That’s of course thanks to a unique emulsion making it easy to push without getting crushed shadows. That said, I’ve shot through only two rolls in the 35mm format and was really disappointed both times.  I got a couple shots I liked out of both but really felt a bit let down – it was often way too grainy to make a decent sized print with and the tonal range is a lot more limited than Kodak’s conterpart.  I’ll continue to keep some in the fridge in 120 but probably won’t try any more in 35mm unless …