All posts filed under: Film Review

Review: Fujifilm Pro 400H

To see Fujifilm Pro 400H exposure tested alongside 10 other films, follow this link. I have wanted so badly to like Pro 400H. My father picked up a Pentax Spotmatic back when he was in the service, living in Guam. Much like myself, he experimented with a lot of different film stocks to see what he liked best and eventually he settled on Fuji’s film over Kodak. To this day, he insists that Kodak still cannot mimic the beautiful blues and greens that you get with Fuji’s film. Though he exclusively shoots digital now, I still feel a bond with him over photography and film in particular. It’s because of that that I want to like Fuji’s fim. Being that Pro 400H is their flagship film, I really want to like it. I do not like it. Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H was released in 2004. Today, Pro 400H is often compared with Kodak Portra 400, though it has not reached anywhere close to the same hype. Color I think that what I dislike most about …

Review: TMax 400

The 400 ASA films that I’ve tried enough to have an opinion about include: Kodak’s Tri-X and TMax 400 and Ilford’s HP5 and XP2 Super. At this point, TMax has become a pretty clear favorite. It is without a doubt my most used B&W film in 35mm and in 120, though I explore more films more often in 120, it is the film I go to for consistent performance. While I do try to explore more and more films all the time, it is difficult to replace the flexibility and acutance of TMax 400 when it comes to shooting 35mm B&W. Tone If I’m being completely honest, this is where I feel TMax 400 disappoints me the most. It’s hard to explain why, though. Over every other film I’ve tried like it, I love the sharpness of this film and lack of pronounced grain. What’s different about this stock that I don’t love is the amount of middle grey and overall lack of contrast that photos have when taken in strong, daylight scenarios. In dimly …

Review: Kodak TMax 100

Kodak’s TMax 100 has quickly become my favorite black and white film I’ve ever shot. The slow speed of ASA 100 does prevent me from using it much of the winter here in Ohio so I started using it more in a studio environment and that’s where I’ve really fallen in love with it. Tone Being that this is a black and white film, there isn’t anything to say about color but there’s a lot to say about the tones of this film. Compared with some of its more muted tone Ilford counterparts, this film does a great job of covering more of the zone spectrum. My first experience with the film was in Banff in 2019 when I shot a few rolls of it along side a surviving roll of Acros. At the time I don’t think I truly appreciated the quality of this film. The lights are so bright and the darks are so strong – the contrast have been truly wonderful. Portraits This is where I’ve really taken a liking to this …

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 …