Magazine Article


Pro Film Guide: Designer Emulsions


Pro Film Guide:

Everything you need to know about selecting the right film for the right project

Gordon Trice,
Fujichrome Provia 100F
TEXT BY DIANE BERKENFELD Click Here to view the FILM GUIDE Steve McCurry, Kodachrome 64 What's your photographic forte? Portrait, fashion, beauty, wedding, destination, photojournalism, architecture, advertising, sports—whatever your specialty, there's a film formulated to help you maximize your results under specific conditions.
New this year, from Fujifilm is the line of Fujicolor Press films, in 400, 800, and 1600 speeds, formulated for the low-light conditions and fast-paced action photojournalists often find themselves in. An enhanced gray balance makes them ideal for scanning. The film cassette features a blank area for writing down special exposure or processing information.
Kodak's Portra family of films is expanding, Portra 400BW is a C-41 process B&W film that can be printed on regular B&W papers, as well as Portra color paper. Portra 160, 400, and 800 NC and VC films all use the same printing channels, which makes it a lot easier for your lab to produce consistent prints.
John Running, Ilford XP2 Fuji's NPZ 800 Portrait film joins the NPC 160 and NPH 400 films, also designed for weddings and portraits. NPZ boasts a wide exposure latitude and enhanced color saturation in low-light situations.
Konica's Professional 160 color negative offers natural tonal reproduction and a softer tonal range under a variety of lighting conditions. Excellent rendition of blacks and whites makes it a favorite of wedding photographers.
Agfa's Portrait 160, also created with wedding and portrait photographers in mind, features softer colors, fine grain, and outstanding skin tone rendition.
Agfa's Scala 200x is the only B&W slide film on the market, and can be pulled to EI 100 and pushed to EI 1600. With Scala processing, offered only by authorized labs, this film is ideal for long-term archiving of historical originals. The film produces images with a wide tonal range, featuring deep blacks and crisp whites.
Kodak's Supra family, 100, 400, and 800 ISO films were created for photojournalism and commercial uses. Supra films are scanner-friendly and ideal for location photography, fashion, and spot news.
For photographers who specialize in forensic photography, the Evidence Pack of Fujicolor Superia X-tra 400 comes with a gray scale and is designed to produce extremely accurate colors. Kodak's Law Enforcement Film LE100 is a very fine grain film, LE400 a higher speed film; both were created for surveillance, crime scene, and forensic photography, where accurate colors are essential. Infrared and films with a high red sensitivity are available from Kodak, Fuji, Ilford, Agfa, and Konica for use in scientific and medical photography and are often adopted for use by photographers seeking a film to express their artistic visions.
Ilford is the specialist in B&W films and papers. Ilford's Delta 400 has been improved to deliver increased film speed and a wider exposure latitude. The new packaging of Delta 400 is important to notice because development times have changed with the new emulsion. By popular demand, Ilford has brought back HP5 Plus Professional sheet films in four panoramic sizes. This favorite of large-format photographers will be available up to 14 x 17-inches; with 16 x 20- and 20 x 24-inch sizes as limited stock by special order.
Sean Kernan, Polaroid Type 55 Both Kodak and Polaroid offer a wide variety of 35mm panchromatic and orthochromatic films for copy work, line art, title slides for presentations, and fine art.
Kodak and Fuji produce duplicating films for creating slide dupes, and are constantly improving the emulsions to allow dupes to mirror the originals in color, contrast, and tonal range.
Polaroid's variety of pull-apart films are available in a combination of film speeds, color balances, and sizes for medium-format or large-format view camera. Polaroid has introduced a Sepia print 4 x 5-inch film, which is reminiscent of old-time photography. Polaroid still offers SX-70 film and has no plans to discontinue the film that has had a resurgence in popularity due to its use as an artistic medium.
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