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View Full Version : Usage of color film / B&W film


JohnL
02-19-2007, 06:19
Some time ago, just for curiosity, I started a poll of relative usage of film and digital ... now I'm interested to know the relative usage of color and B&W among film shooters ... if you also shoot digital, please respond according to your film usage only. In no way is this intended to consider the relative merits of the different media. "Color" includes both transparency and negative film.

Pablito
02-19-2007, 06:27
:D Color is what they make DSLR's for..:D

Jeremy Z
02-19-2007, 06:43
:D Color is what they make DSLR's for..:D

Ditto. Since I got into digital, I don't shoot color film any more. (unless C41 chemistry B&W counts...)

I'm finding out that after learning in color, there is quite an adjustment to move to B&W.

FWIW, I think color print film is going to fall by the wayside. B&W film will keep on keepin' on, for the same reasons it survived the color revolution.

iml
02-19-2007, 06:57
As above. All colour is digital, about 80% of b&w is film at the moment.

Ian

peter_n
02-19-2007, 09:33
I have a little Sony digicam, not a hulking great dslr... ;)

Xmas
02-19-2007, 13:47
I can not do landscapes in B&W too often, they are terrible in colour as well but I can tolerate that. Round town B&W ok.

Noel

sjw617
02-19-2007, 15:51
100% color.

kshapero
02-19-2007, 17:07
I'm a color man, but Adobe Lightroom converts to B+W so nice.

Bryce
02-19-2007, 18:04
I generally shoot very little color, and nearly all of that happens with the dslr. A notable exception is wide angle shots, since the widest lens I have for the digital is 24mm, and that just doesn't cut it. So the Bessa L and 15mm see the odd roll of color film.

wlewisiii
02-20-2007, 09:42
Due to my current job driving truck, the proportion of color has gone way up. That's not so bad as I enjoy shooting both.

William

drewbarb
02-20-2007, 09:44
Me too. Before digital, I shot maybe 60/40 b&w/color film. Now my film work is easily 90% b&w- I prefer to do it all myself, so I don't shoot much C41 at all these days. If I shoot color film, it's much more likely to be chrome. Most color work these days is with the DSLR. Also- I almost never do digital b&w. If I want it in b&w, I shoot it on film.

Mikael.N
02-20-2007, 09:50
On a trip to india goa i had yashica gt with color i developt those film on location in minilab good Q and chep.And a folder RF Westex (super baldax)BW .you take different foto with different format.

Ewoud
02-20-2007, 13:07
I think in the 2 years I own a Dslr, my film bodies have maybe seen 5 rolls of color film.. so that pretty much sums it up..

dazedgonebye
02-22-2007, 12:00
I shoot all color.
With color I have easy access to fast (1 hour) C41 processing that costs me $2 ($5 with medium res scan cd).
I'm very comfortable making monochrome conversions in Photoshop and that's what happens to the vast majority of my shots.

I'm guessing that some time in the next 5 to 10 years, it may be difficult to find mini-labs for film processing. At that point, I'll start souping my own black and white. For now though, I really don't have time for the extra effort of developing.

steamer
02-24-2007, 02:26
Wish I could shoot more color film, love the look I get from my G2 kit, but the cost of color film and developing is getting away from me. Black and white is big fun too though and I can develop my own, so it's not so bad.

ChrisN
02-24-2007, 03:08
Due to my current job driving truck, the proportion of color has gone way up.

Why? No time for home developing? Or does it better suit the subject matter?

ClaremontPhoto
02-24-2007, 04:47
I use 99% C41 color and 1% C41 B&W and agree with the comment made before that we won't see minilabs in a few years. My minilab guy says that next time his one needs an expensive repair he won't bother.

That leaves us with mail order C41 dev and scan; which I think would soon go up in price.

wlewisiii
02-24-2007, 05:00
Why? No time for home developing? Or does it better suit the subject matter?

Lack of time for developing, mostly. I am also shooting more chromogenic c41 as well for the same reason.

William

georgefspencer
02-24-2007, 05:51
Canon 30D for color . . .

Leica M6TTL for B&W (C41) . . . . Although I might get back to developing my own B&W now that I am retired.

Rob Skeoch
02-24-2007, 06:40
I shoot digi colour everyday for work so when I get to shoot for myself it's b&w only. Have no interest in colour. I process my own film and make my own prints, just like a lot of you do. I've always loved the look of a great black and white fibrebased print.
Rob
bigcameraworkshops.com

DaveInDenver
02-24-2007, 06:56
I'm a 50/50, but we don't have a digital camera. From what I've seen it seems that digital color is pretty faithful, but many color films still have that little bit of something extra. Better saturation of Velvia, more satisfying facial tones of Portra, etc. It's a personal thing and honestly that's why I like color film, you can change the whole characteristic of your 'sensor' with a new roll. I'd guess that's possible in digital with Photoshop and all that, though.

rbsinto
03-05-2007, 09:31
I'm truly surprised by the number of people here shooting colour print as opposed to chromes.
I shoot virtually 100% colour, and of that easily 99% is 100 ISO E-6 with the odd bit of 400 ISO E-6 film pushed one stop for speed.
For me, nothing beats the vibrance and life of slides, and again, to me, colour slide beats any and all projected colour digital that I've ever seen.

kshapero
03-05-2007, 17:06
I'm truly surprised by the number of people here shooting colour print as opposed to chromes.
I shoot virtually 100% colour, and of that easily 99% is 100 ISO E-6 with the odd bit of 400 ISO E-6 film pushed one stop for speed.
For me, nothing beats the vibrance and life of slides, and again, to me, colour slide beats any and all projected colour digital that I've ever seen.

Totally agree, but I can't find a reliable slide projector anywhere.

rbsinto
03-05-2007, 19:11
Akiva,
First of all, define "a reliable slide projector". I've got three Ektagraphics that I consider to be reliable. I'm quite surprised you can't find one you like at a photo flea market or swap meet. Here in Toronto, you can practically buy Ektagraphics by the pound.

mfunnell
03-05-2007, 19:50
I said 50/50. I think I intend to shoot more BW than colour but that logistics often defeat me. I'd like to shoot real BW but don't develop my own (I know, I should change that) and am usually too impatient to have it sent out. So, I mostly shoot BW400CN, which is acceptable even if it isn't Delta 400. But I've only found one minilab which reliably processes that without nasty colour-casts, so I tend to use them - which builds in delays as I can't often get to them. With others I find it easier to get a good result doing my own BW conversion from lab scans of colour negs. (I'm trying to avoid the time taken doing my own scans, but often find I need to scan my own negs from colour-cast C-41 BW.)

Also, Fuji makes decent ISO 800 and 1600 colour film. And, finally, its often handy to have colour loaded if I only have one camera with me. For those shots that need colour, its there. And for those better in BW, well, I just convert the scans. Again, probably not quite as good as even C-41 BW but more convenient.

...Mike

shg005
03-05-2007, 20:13
Around 90/10 (bw/color)

amateriat
03-05-2007, 20:55
I think that my shifting to shooting mostly b/w helped me appreciate what shooting color can do if one is paying attention. Most of the color I shoot now is C41 (mostly Kodak Portra, with a bit of Fuji Pro 400/800 thrown in when desired), and Kodak E200 for slides (and, yes, I keep an Ektagraphic E-2 on deck for when I need it...wonderfully bulletproof machine, ever since I bought it new over 20 years ago). Having a film scanner that can handle all the above, of course, surely helps matters here.

As for the b/w I shoot, I have a serious love jones for Ilford XP2, which can do damn near anything I want, and scans and prints so easy. Besides that, it's a draw between HP5 and Fuji Neopan 400/1600.

- Barrett

DavidH
03-09-2007, 09:24
I started shooting b&w film again a couple years ago - as a break from digital - when the G2 system proved itself so excellent, i started using it for color too and then for work as well as leisure shooting. Having sussed C41 processing in a Jobo tank, I could then try XP2 as well - and that has proved itself a favourite for me...

So Ilford Delta 100, 400, XP2, HP5+ for b&w
Fuji Reala and Pro800Z for color

MikeL
03-09-2007, 09:33
HP5+ and FP4, with occasional Portra for color. Portra scans well in my experience.

ajuk
03-09-2007, 15:22
If I am taking photos of somthing particulaly colour full then I use colour. I think I am more B&W these days about 65% B&W to 35% colour, then I still mostly use SLRs, still not using my Canonet much.

BJ Bignell
03-12-2007, 14:56
I shoot mostly with b&w film now, as that's what I have in all of the cameras that I actively use. Today was an exception; I went for a four hour walk and shot three rolls of Kodak Gold 200. It was actually pretty fun! I felt a bit free, not worrying so much about colour, or the lack thereof, in the pictures... It'll probably pass. ;)

nrb
03-12-2007, 15:10
Most of my c-41 film I'm developing in d76 chemistry. Minilabs are now very careless with their color development, fingerprints and plain dirt being the hallmark of their activity.

peterc
03-16-2007, 18:31
I often use colour film as a cheap chromogenic B&W.

Peter

ForeverUnknown
03-17-2007, 00:03
I'm shooting 100% B&W. I would like to shoot a little color but the added cost per film and development holds me back.

pvdhaar
03-18-2009, 05:25
Almost 100% color, with an occasional roll of 1600/3200 ISO B&W thrown in..

B&W lab processing and printing is much more expensive than color around here. Besides, films like Superia-200 and Superia-Reala when scanned give very nice starting points for conversion to B&W if required.

ruby.monkey
03-18-2009, 06:20
Mostly B&W, but I like to throw some colour slide into the mix every now and again.

pesphoto
03-18-2009, 06:24
100%b/w....film only

novum
03-18-2009, 07:42
Mostly B&W, but I do C41, too, and develop all of that at home. Slides go to the pro lab. I have to disagree with the Nostradamus above who thinks color print film will die soon. That sort of comment was posited ten years ago. Film of all kinds constitute a shrinking, niche market, but there will be a demand for a long time to come. Ektar 100 is a good "development".

Gaspar
03-18-2009, 07:51
I use 99% C41 color and 1% C41 B&W and agree with the comment made before that we won't see minilabs in a few years. My minilab guy says that next time his one needs an expensive repair he won't bother.

That leaves us with mail order C41 dev and scan; which I think would soon go up in price.


What about home development C41? I never developed b&W and two days ago I developed a roll of reala on Tetenal- dead easy!

kxl
03-18-2009, 08:28
Like others, the only film I shoot is B&W. When I shoot color, I use a DSLR, an R-D1S or a digi P&S.

nitrogen28
04-17-2009, 11:22
I just sold my DSLR and gone fully to film. I don t know how to develop film by myself so I m shooting color most of the time. As soon as I learn to develop b&w I ll shoot it more often.

StanSmith
04-19-2009, 19:46
I am not into digital though I have a digital camera and I find the color from it so good and "subjective accurate" that there is no need to shoot color film. Besides, if I shot color film I'd end up scanning it for a digital file anyway. These days there aren't many analog choices for color. I like the look of 400x but there no analog output option now that Cibachrome (Ilfochrome) is dead. B/W film is what photography means to me now days.

peterm1
04-19-2009, 22:11
I mainly shoot digital now. But when I shoot film its mainly color. Previously (pre digital) it was mainly black and white film - color process (XP2 more often than not) due to the ease of getting it developed. But now as most negatives end up being digitised anyway, I prefer to shoot in color and then convert to black and white in post processing. This gives maximum flexibility both because it gives me a color version of the shot as well as a black and white version of the same shot and because I can get the nicest black and white version available by manipulating the conversion process.

Melvin
04-19-2009, 22:21
Now that it's spring I have color fever.

DRabbit
04-19-2009, 23:14
I'm only starting to get into film now (after 10+ years of digital) and plan to do only B&W.

amateriat
06-02-2009, 20:31
Okay, what did i put down...? Yes, 60-80% b/w. The rest is color, and 95% of all this is via film. I have two digital cameras at my disposal, but they don't get out much save for some basic, utilitarian stuff, or the very rare gig where the client insists (whether for logical reasons or not), where they need me to shoot digital.

Among the b/w stuff, over two-thirds of what I shoot at the moment is chromogenic, since I'm still sorting out my film-developing suite (can't do it in the kitchen, and the basement's being redone as I write this, so it'll be a while, and I have 30+ rolls awaiting souping). Lately it's been all Kodak BW400NC because (1) it's always available, and (2) it's a damn sight cheaper than XP2 Super at the moment, although I love XP2 enough to occasionally ignore that second factor...assuming Factor #1 doesn't intercede. :bang:


- Barrett

Max Power
06-08-2009, 14:28
Good poll!
I just realised that in the last 5 years I haven't shot a single roll of colour film, either 35mm or 120.

I think I'll do both in the next few weeks just to see the results!

benmacphoto
07-01-2009, 07:43
I shoot about 5-8 rolls of black and white film, then I usually shoot 1 roll of color.

Armoured
08-23-2009, 12:17
I'd love to shoot more B&W (probably running less than 20% now). Mostly shooting colour for reasons mentioned by others: convenience.

One point I haven't heard mentioned: I enjoy shooting most while on vacation and travelling. I easily find colour minilabs and colour print film while travelling, rarely do I find any kind of slide or B&W film.

I intensely dislike adding any additional hassles/uncertainty to airport security - I travel through some pretty annoying airports, far too often, in places not known for their (ahem) official hospitality. Protecting the film I travel with would add another level to that. So colour makes it possible for me to enjoy my hobby without aggravation.

I know there are a lot of caveats that could be added to this: most airport scanners are ok (wouldn't trust them in my case though), colour film not so readily available (my experience is decent), etc.

For example, I was just in the former Yugoslavia in a smallish city, granted, with a tourist industry (mostly local). Minilabs in several places, 5 Euro a roll for prints, developing and another (no-name) roll to feed my habit. Quality not bad. I saw the kind owners of the minilab every night after a day exploring, picked the prints up in the morning and pored over them with coffee at the cafe across the street before heading out again.

noah b
08-23-2009, 15:13
For film i choose b&w just because I can process everything myself in the comforts of my own home. I enjoy searching for contrast in images I want to take rather than the color arrangements. Although I'm beginning a color project for a dslr, color is nice in that but medium and large format films>everything else hehe.

Mcary
08-23-2009, 15:20
For 120 shooting currently shooting B&W (mix of Fomapan 200 and EDU 200
For 35mm doing test of B&W C41 films to see which I like best
For development/processing Snap shot go to Costco and the important stuff goes to a local photography chain, that send everything to a central processing center in Richmond VA, Turn around time is 1-3 days depending on what type of film/processing/scanning.

bwcolor
10-10-2009, 16:28
What differences do you see in the Costco vs. Photo Chain 35mm lab work?

I ask because I suspect that Costco work may vary. My Costco photo-manager is careful with keeping his equipment in good repair and chemicals up to spec. If you are doing machine prints, or develop only, or machine to CD, then I suppose a higher quality processing setup might do better than my local Costco's Noritsu (ten years old) processor. I don't know. Of course, custom prints are another topic.

youngmrcurtis
10-10-2009, 16:36
I shoot mostly colour negatives. I got into film shooting with toy cameras, and wanted to develop at home, so c-41 and cheap film was definitely my best route at the time. Since I've gotten into shooting 35mm(2 years ago or so) I've been trying to see in black and white, and shoot more, but I'm progressing very slowly. The almost constant disappointment in the results I get just puts me off shooting black and white more. I did recently get a second body though, which is constantly loaded with b&w, so it's no longer a mental competition that colour's just bound to win when I'm picking my next roll to load.

Brad Maestas
10-10-2009, 19:40
I have been shooting about 90% black and white for the last couple of years. Every once in a while I like to load in some funky color film just for fun, usually my still-formidable stockpile of expired Fuji reversal and transparency film. I had been using this local mini-lab for all my chromogenic B&W and for every roll I'd get developed, he'd give me a free roll of Centuria color film. So now I have about twelve rolls of the stuff and have added that to my rotation as well. I suspect that in the coming months I'll be shooting a few color rolls every so often so I voted Over 80% B&W. I do like the way my Summicrons can look with color negs, expired or fresh alike. Even when I have a DSLR with me the look I can get with color film is unique.

I finally got the materials to develop my own B&W at home again as well as a halfway decent scanner so B&W will definitely be the majority but I suppose I'll still want to run the odd roll of color film through my Leica every so often so there will be at least five rolls of some kind of color film in my fridge at some point.

Brad Maestas
10-10-2009, 19:52
I said 50/50. I think I intend to shoot more BW than colour but that logistics often defeat me. I'd like to shoot real BW but don't develop my own (I know, I should change that) and am usually too impatient to have it sent out. So, I mostly shoot BW400CN, which is acceptable even if it isn't Delta 400. But I've only found one minilab which reliably processes that without nasty colour-casts, so I tend to use them - which builds in delays as I can't often get to them. With others I find it easier to get a good result doing my own BW conversion from lab scans of colour negs. (I'm trying to avoid the time taken doing my own scans, but often find I need to scan my own negs from colour-cast C-41 BW.)

Also, Fuji makes decent ISO 800 and 1600 colour film. And, finally, its often handy to have colour loaded if I only have one camera with me. For those shots that need colour, its there. And for those better in BW, well, I just convert the scans. Again, probably not quite as good as even C-41 BW but more convenient.

...Mike
I thought Kodak's cast was intended to make it a breeze for mini-labs to print on colour paper? That's too bad. When I knew I was going to be getting a new scanner (and not paying for prints from the mini-lab anymore) I switched over to Ilford XP2 because it lacks the cast on the negative. Another reason was that it also makes it possible to do wet prints down the road, should you be inclined.

clachnacuddin
12-04-2009, 02:18
Just got back to photography after a long break and will be processing my first b&w film for years at the weekend! Been finding myself mostly taking colour film but converting the scans to B&W so will probably end up using 50/50....mind you haven't thought about slides yet!

oftheherd
12-04-2009, 03:19
Totally agree, but I can't find a reliable slide projector anywhere.

Granted, it's getting harder. I got one off ebay that sucked. Then I found one at a local ACTS type store that is fine. I just don't shoot that much slide film any more due to the cost. But I sure love a good projected shot.


In the poll I voted 60-80 % color. That is due to mostly convenience of the local CVS. Now that I have my own enlarger, I think that will change.

Roberto V.
12-12-2009, 04:37
I used to shoot 100% color because of availability, but since I started ordering b&w film from B&H my cameras have seen around 50% color, 50% b&w.

sara
12-27-2009, 18:20
I chose "Over 80% B&W".

For some reason, I cannot shoot in colour but I know it's probably my silly mind telling me I can only shoot in black and white, which is probably true.

I can't seem to capture the real deal with colour.

Friends tell me "just shoot in colour and change it to black and white in Photoshop"

Me: "WHAT?."

and no, I do love the real deal black and white thank you very much.

jtzordon
12-27-2009, 20:05
They make color?

Chris101
12-28-2009, 02:58
Rats!

I voted with the majority. And in fact, I am shooting color film right now - I am exposing a slow film (ei 80) through a stopped down lens (f/11) and an 85B filter - the exposure is calculated to be 12 minutes, and I'm a little over halfway done. But I do this so rarely!

I shoot almost all of my color on digital (and so my Color/Mono ratio would be more like 40/60 instead of the 80+/20- that I selected. With film, it is more like 250 monochrome photos for every color picture I shoot. I blame deuteranopia.

mhcfires
12-28-2009, 05:12
I shoot mostly B&W film. I too get asked if I am converting to B&W in Photoshop, I give people a blank stare. They don't make digital Graflex cameras. :D I do have a digital camera, which gets used occasionally, but I have my IIIf, my old Rollei and my Speed for my pleasure. :)

paulfish4570
02-04-2010, 15:05
i much prefer bw. but i do not process, and kodak bw400cn is all that is avalable out here in the country, and is well-processed by the closest walgreens. so i shoot some color because it is available, and less expensive. i just HAVE to shoot since the formerly dormant photo bear was awakened ...

thegman
02-04-2010, 15:07
Started off just doing B&W, tried some colour (Velvia) and loved the results, so I'll probably shoot a lot more colour from now on. Also, the scans I get some "real" B&W film have not been great, but the scans I've had from XP2 have been lovely, so when I do shoot B&W it will likely be XP2, Neopan 400CN etc.

johnny.moped
02-04-2010, 15:27
I shoot film BECAUSE of color print film.
just like the colors better. never got it the digital way.
fuji reala, kodak portra... never seen this colors with a digital camera.

Konvict
02-07-2010, 07:33
I'll usually shoot a couple of 120 B&W/E6 films when shooting models. I still get superior results with film even though I take many more digital stills at the same time. By superior it includes not only the film look but the photo itself is better. I'll use it more often as the main images of a series if not the only ones. Not demeaning digital,there are just some models and subjects I wouldn't bother wasting film on...lol. Less is more in my case.

ErnestoJL
02-07-2010, 08:13
I definitely prefer B&W over anything else either film or digital, but budgetwise... OK, I shoot C41 an get negs scanned then I can do whatever I want with the PS.
I leave pure B&W film for some situations and develop it at home just because I love a wet darkroom much more than any computer based editing software. Its the way I started in photography, and is the way I want it to be done.
OK, I know..Im an old dog...

Cheers
Ernesto

Becoming
02-07-2010, 09:11
80:20

Portra 400NC
Tri-X in Rodinal

funkpilz
02-07-2010, 09:44
I'm getting increasingly bored and annoyed with color negative film, despite attributes such as latitude and consistent development. I hate having to worry about white-balance, I hate having to drop film off at the lab for developing, I hate to actually pay for every roll of C-41 even though B/W costs me money in the long run as well, and I simply hate not being able to develop the stuff myself. Which is always lots of fun and a very good opportunity to experiment with different chemicals or just push/pull processing and various other things.
Slide film is another matter. Although it's very expensive, I occasionally and very enthusiastically shoot a lot of chrome in short spans of time. Mostly on travels, I love doing retro-style slide shows and I would love to get a medium format projector someday if possible.
Still, black and white is where my heart is. It's so easy and so hard at the same time, and it's got unique characteristics that I love and hate at the same time.