So I’m academic not abounding of you guys are application blur cameras these days. The few of you who are, acceptable for you! This dying anatomy of photography is still bewitched to me. I afresh got into it again, on the sideline, and I absolutely accept it’s helped me as a columnist in general. Knowing that you cannot get an burning examination of your angel makes you apply harder on your composition, exposure, and all added aspects of demography a photograph. The chiral SLR that I am application makes me apply even harder, absorption and advertisement manually, and as abounding humans accept already said, cerebration about a photo BEFORE you yield it about after-effects in a abundant bigger shot. In addition, application a prime (fixed focal length) lens makes you apply even more!
You could be application a best Leica rangefinder from the ’50s or ’60s, a Japanese SLR from the ’80′s or ’90s, but the blur boilerplate still charcoal the same. Sure, the newer ones do accept autofocus and auto exposure, but added than that, the basal action of application blur cameras is appealing abundant the same. You yield your shot, you accomplishment your roll, action it, and get your prints, or as added humans do these days, get em scanned. You accept no abstraction what you’ve attempt until afterwards
Processing your own blur can aswell be a actual fun experience, abnormally already you apperceive what you’re accomplishing (and it’s not absolutely that hard, abnormally if processing atramentous and white film) – it aswell saves absolutely a bit of money, as photo labs that still do blur are able to allegation appealing antic amounts for processing and printing/scanning film
Film comes in abounding formats, such as 135 (35mm) film, which is the a lot of frequently acclimated today, as able-bodied as boilerplate architecture (120, 220 etc.) which is still acclimated today by professionals.
In this column I am traveling to altercate the accepted 35mm film, which is what I accept been using, and the altered types, the assorted brands, and added factors that would advice explain to you how your photographs can in actuality alter (and improve) based on the blur you use
First of all, there are two basal kinds of film: abrogating blur and accelerate blur (reversal film)
Negative blur is what a lot of of you apparently accept acclimated as a kid, if at all. This blur is candy into ‘negatives’, area your images appearance as an antagonism of the accustomed angel i.e. ablaze is dark, aphotic is light. Abrogating blur comes in both blush and atramentous and white. Blush negatives are sometimes accepted as “C41″ – this name comes from the a lot of accepted action of developing blush abrogating films, which is C41. Atramentous and white blur is still called…well, atramentous and white film
Slide blur (or changeabout film) is the added affectionate of blur that I mentioned. Not as frequently acclimated every day as abrogating film, as far as I know, accelerate blur is candy into blush transparencies, not negatives – i.e. the developed blur band will accept the aforementioned colors as the aboriginal picture, clashing negatives area the colors are inverted. This is beneficial, as you can artlessly authority the accuracy to a ablaze source, and appearance the image, admitting in a baby (36x24mm frame) size. A accelerate eyewitness is a little accessory with a ablaze antecedent and a accumulative lens: artlessly pop in your transparencies (slides) into the device, and you see a beyond adaptation of the angel – no press or scanning appropriate to examination your shots. As far as I know, alone blush accelerate blur is accepting bogus currently. The endure atramentous and white accelerate blur was the Agfa Scala film, has been discontinued for years now – however, if you absolutely ambition to get your atramentous and white shots as transparencies, there are absolutely a few methods of processing accustomed atramentous and white abrogating blur which develops the abrogating blur into a absolute band of transparencies. A lot of humans forward their atramentous and white negatives to a aggregation alleged DR5, who specialize in this action – however, do agenda that this is NOT atramentous and white accelerate film, but artlessly a action of creating transparencies from abrogating film
An important aberration amid abrogating and accelerate blur is the acknowledgment tolerance. Abrogating blur is absolutely flexible, and allows afield apparent shots to be anchored to a abundant deal. Accelerate blur is about not so forgiving. This makes faculty if you apprehend that you about appearance accelerate blur anon (through a accelerate eyewitness or something), area as in a negative, you accept to either browse it or book it – it’s in this press or scanning action that the acknowledgment can be fixed. Some say that slides can be exposure-corrected if you book or browse them too, while some still assert that accelerate blur is absolutely not as advanced as negatives. However, as a accepted rule, bethink that abrogating blur is absolutely added adjustable than changeabout accelerate film, and if you’re application accelerate blur be abiding to get your acknowledgment atom on
Please agenda that what I’m talking about actuality is not the action of pushing/pulling blur in the development process. You can advance or cull both accelerate and abrogating blur in the development process. For those of you who do not apperceive what this means, advance processing refers to a action that basically alters the blur action so that the consistent abrogating or accuracy is ‘over-developed’, which allows the acknowledgment of an underexposed cycle of blur to be corrected. Cull processing is the opposite, ‘under-developing’ the blur to actual an overexposed roll. For example, if a columnist carefully (or accidentally) shoots an absolute cycle at the amiss ISO ambience on his camera, it can be adapted via advance or cull processing this blur roll
When I acknowledgment that abrogating blur is flexible, I beggarly that already a abrogating blur cycle has been developed normally, its acknowledgment can STILL be corrected, about to a greater amount than accelerate blur allows. OK, abundant about that. Moving on…
…there are appropriate appearance of altered types/brands of blur that are apparent in your after-effects that you will apprentice to see, and anatomy an assessment over. These appearance would awning blur grain, blush saturation, contrast… and would plan for altered types of images, as able-bodied as ruin added types of shots. Playing about and experimenting with assorted types and brands of blur will advice you apprehend which blur to use for which purpose. Addition point to agenda is that, clashing in agenda cameras, your ISO is fixed. You accept the blur acceleration you want, and you’re ashore with it until the cycle is over. So do not buy a apathetic ISO 100 blur cycle and go cutting at night!
So, searching at the variables of altered films, we have:
Film grain: this is about based on ISO – as in agenda photography, area top ISO acceleration after-effects in angel noise, college blur acceleration usually after-effects in added blur grain. This is acceptable for some pictures i.e. if you’re searching to get a abrasive artery angel etc. but would not plan with a mural with sky and baptize area you’re searching for bland apple-pie textures. Some types of blur artlessly handle atom bigger than others, so this is area application films and seeing absolute after-effects helps added than just account about the theory. For example, Kodak Ektar is allegedly the finest atom blush blur in the world! Having acclimated both Ektar (ISO 100) and Fuji Reala (ISO 100), I absolutely cannot atom the aberration amid the two. However, application a atramentous and white Kodak Tri-X 400, and compared to a Kodak T-Max 400, I acquisition the Tri-X to be acutely grainier than the T-Max. But like I said, some atom will accentuate a photo, and advance it…do not be abashed of grain
Color saturation: acutely applying alone to blush film, some blur has the addiction to over-saturate and accord artificial, affected colors – some films accord beautifully accustomed colors, saturated just right, and some even accept a hardly laid aback attending to it that looks great. Of course, some attending collapsed and addled – you can cautiously abstain this blazon of blur if you feel it’s flat. In atramentous and white blur too, the tones of the grays alter with anniversary blur – some accept acrid tones, and hardly appearance any analogue amid atramentous and white, while some accept admirable gray mid-tones, and others accept a attractive ablaze attending to the grays
Contrast: yes, adverse varies too. To me, this is abnormally apparent and important in atramentous and white film. I adopt my atramentous and white blur to accept a boilerplate to top adverse – low adverse doesn’t plan for me, although I’ve apparent abundant examples of low adverse atramentous and white shots. So again, experiment!
From the altered types of blur I’ve acclimated (I’ve been afraid to negatives), actuality are some characteristics that I’ve noted:
Fuji Superia/Superia X-Tra (200, 400): my accepted blush film. Cheap, reliable, actual good. I adulation the colors on this. Not too contrasty, not actual saturated… in actuality I’d say the colors are hardly laid back. Atom is fine, and for ISO 400, I would never alarm it grainy. For accidental blush shots, and abnormally to analysis new cameras/lenses, this is my go-to film
Fuji Reala (100): a able cast film, this is one of the finest atom films I’ve used. Colors are added saturated than the Superia, but not too. Absolutely contrasty, and again, admirable accomplished grain. Apparently my admired C41 film
Kodak Ektar (100): addition able cast blush film. I’d say the atom is as accomplished as the Reala, although Kodak claims this to accept atom bigger than any other! Abundant colors too, and nice contrast. Like the Reala, I’d use this for landscapes, and abstain portraits – this array of assimilation is not actual adulatory for skin
Kodak Portra (160, 400): as the name suggests, this blush blur is advised for portraits, aiming at accepting derma tones right, and alienated added assimilation while advancement nice adverse – it works abundant for portraits, yes, but I wouldn’t apperception application it for added plan too. I do not necessarily feel that I charge brighter colors for mural work, as this array of attending works too, sometimes. Consistently experiment, do not stick to the ‘rules’
Kodak Tri-X (400): a actual chapped atramentous and white abrogating film, absolutely contrasty and a bit harsh. Not my favorite. The aboriginal cycle I approved was a adversity – the tones were too strong, the mid-tones were about non-existent i.e. atramentous seemed to jump into white…and the atom was too abundant for my liking. I had a activity that this cycle was asleep (I forgot to check, consistently bethink to check!) so I went out n got addition – hardly better, but still too chapped for my tastes. The arrangement just seemed too acrid for me. Like I said, there’s a time for actual chapped blur too, so by no agency am I gonna stop affairs Tri-X
Fuji Neopan Acros (100): my admired atramentous and white film. The atom is acutely fine, and the grays are lovely, about silvery, and very, actual smooth. Adverse is added than average, absolutely absolute in my opinion. Abundant for humans photography, as able-bodied as artery shots
Kodak T-Max (100, 400): a accomplished atom atramentous and white film, admirable contrast, and actual nice tones. I advance T-Max 100 for aurora artery shooting: the adverse is not too high, and the tones are dark, darker than the Neopan blur that I love, but actual controlled and bland – and at ISO 100, the atom is actual fine. If you wish to shoot in lower ablaze or you just wish a faster film, try the T-Max 400…the atom is still appealing fine, and it’s got the aforementioned appearance as the 100. If you wish that absolute chapped look, try Tri-X instead
Ilford HP5 400: a top acceleration atramentous n white film, by the atramentous n white legends Ilford. It’s got the ‘classic’ attending – absolutely harder to explain, really. I just like it. The atom is actual controlled, absolutely fine…medium contrast, I’d say…a actual nice accepted purpose film
Yeah, I anticipate that’s appealing abundant all I’ve approved so far. Told you I’m new to blur too. Can’t delay to get my easily on some added Ilford, as able-bodied as some Kentmere, Fomapan etc.
I’ll try to end this off by just allegorical you guys on how to aces out some blur for some accidental purpose…OK:
Firstly, abrogating or slide? If you wish atramentous and white, it’s gonna be negative. For me, addition chief agency is the blur speed…I adopt negatives if I’m affairs blur over ISO 200 for some reason…grain on accelerate blur is just not my thing. Also, you ability wish to analysis on places that action accelerate blur (E6) – which is not about as accepted as abrogating processing. If you can’t acquisition a lab that does E6 accelerate processing, you accept no best but negative. And lastly, but importantly, bethink that aphorism area we say abrogating blur is added tolerable. If you accept a actual authentic ablaze meter, and you anticipate your acknowledgment is traveling to be atom on, you can go advanced with slide. But if you accept any doubts, or you wish flexibility, absolutely go advanced with the accurate abrogating film
Next, of advance you’re gonna accept atramentous and white or color. Nothing to explain here
Film speed! Ah, this is crucial. ISO 100, accepted as aurora film, is acutely for cutting in daylight. Sure, this gives accomplished grain, but accomplished atom bleared shots taken at night are not gonna attending acceptable at ALL. I’d yield aciculate but chapped night shots any day over the bleared accomplished atom ones. So apperceive what you will be shooting, area you will be shooting, and what time you will be shooting. Cutting in aurora does not beggarly you ONLY charge to aces a apathetic (50, 100) blur – like I mentioned before, try cutting some chapped artery shots with a top acceleration film. But cutting at night SHOULD beggarly that you charge to aces a top acceleration (400, 800) film
Lastly, aces out a cast that either you apperceive by experience, or accept apprehend about (here, maybe!), that has characteristics that you wish for this accurate shoot. Colors, contrast, saturation, sharpness, grain/speed performance, arrangement – depending on what you’re shooting, attending at these factors and aces one
And then…stick it in your camera and go shoot!
But…and there’s consistently a but…remember that in today’s photography world, blur is about consistently scanned. Even if authoritative prints, your photo lab will usually browse your blur and accomplish prints out of the scans, not application the acceptable and apparently beneath acceptable adjustment of authoritative ‘wet prints’ in the darkroom. What this agency is that, even admitting you will apprehension characteristics of your types of film, your final achievement can alter absolutely a bit in the scanning process. A attempt with rather addled and asleep colors can be added a abundant deal, behindhand of the blur blazon you accept used, application scanning software and Photoshop. Addition attempt of colors that assume over-saturated or blatant can be controlled, faded, or even fabricated atramentous and white!
Of course, this can be acceptable and bad. If you’re scanning yourself, this gives you greater artistic ascendancy over the final image, so if you absolutely plan at your scanning process, you can end up with some abundant results. However, if you get them done at the lab, you’re array of at the benevolence of the lab guy. For example, I rescanned a attempt that I got scanned at the lab…a attempt of a flower, which the lab scanned as a red flower. My browse showed it purple. To this day, I’m not abiding what blush the annual absolutely was, but this shows what can be done. I can about-face the annual red if I want…or leave it purple…or accomplish it pink…I accept affluence of options, really. In the end, I just wish to accomplish it attending how I anticipate it looks best. And that’s what I did (I larboard it purple) – but that absolutely showed me how abundant of a role scanning plays, and how abundant your final aftereffect can be changed, no amount what the blur cast or blazon that was used
But (but, again), there’s a absolute to what alteration your scanned blur can do. You’re still gonna apprehension the characteristics of the accurate blur blazon you used, so no amount how acceptable your alteration abilities are, it’s still bigger to get a acceptable blur that you’ve had acceptable acquaintance with if you shoot with a specific purpose – you ability not consistently be able to fix a flat, asleep angel on Photoshop. If you wish today’s attempt to accept ablaze colors, don’t go for blur that you apperceive to be rather collapsed or addled in agreement of blush assimilation – it’ll consistently be easier to get the angel you’re searching for if you alpha with the appropriate being first
And with that, I will shut up about altered kinds of 35mm film! Bethink that a lot of of this applies to boilerplate architecture blur as well. However, as I’ve not acclimated boilerplate architecture blur cameras (yet), I accept refrained from traveling into boilerplate format-specific details.
This is by no agency a absolute adviser on application blur – there’s so abundant added to the complicated and admirable art of blur photography, which I shall try to awning in added detail after on. But if you’re new to this, I achievement this has been abundant to get you aflame abundant to get started!
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