Film cameras and film

As many other passionated photographers, I began looking around and testing old used film cameras and having fun with them. I would like to share some of the good and bad points of these cameras and I thought about putting it all in a “page” (as WordPress designates it). However, several posts would be certainly better.

Update: Three years later, a slight reorganisation of this small site gives priority to posts, with pages that only contain links to the relevant entries.

First, my excellent impression on Fuji Superia line of films. I’ve used the ISO 200, 400 and 800 versions and I’m using actually mostly the Fuji Superia 200. This negative film has oversaturated colors with a greenish cast, small grain and excellent contrast and resolution. Just to give you an example (from a comparison of f/2.8 and f/5.6 images when using the excellent Olympus XA compact camera):

Olympus XA: f/2.8 vs f/5.6

I don’t have much of an experience with color negatives but I tested several rolls of Kodak Ektar 100 and Kodak Ultramax 400 and had various complains about them when compared with the Superias. First, the Ultramax colors are colder and light sources, especially red, tend to look very bad. I only have a relatively good example of a shot on an Ultramax, using a Contax Tsv II camera:

Reflections on rue de Rennes

Ektar 100 gave me very nice results but I had the impression that the images were soft even if full of details. I don’t really know if little grain is really important. I only have one example of picture taken with a Nikon FA SLR and Ektar 100 film:Traffic jam

On the black and white side of film, I shot with Ilford HP5+, its 125 ISO equivalent and Kodak Tri-X 400. In a Minolta X500, an Ilford Delta 400 awaits development. Only one concludion so far: for graphical work the high contrast of Tri-X is very useful.

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