13 Color and Black and White Film Stocks Compared


Jay: Here’s a comparison of all the different
film stocks we could find. Somewhere around here is my model, so, if
you see her, let me know. [00:00:06]
[silence] [00:00:22] So we’ve shot all of our film stock now. It’s time to get it all processed. We’ll send it out to Richard’s Lab, where
they’re going to process it for us, then we’ll get all those scans back, and we’re going
to put all those up, and just compare them and look at them. I’m going to sit down, I’m gonna look at each
one, and give you my thoughts on what I think works, what I think doesn’t. I’m excited to do this because I love the
look of film, so let’s get back to the lab and see what we got. Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan Kenneth: And this is Kenneth Merrill. Jay: Today on The Slanted Lens we’re going
to take look at film stocks. Kenneth: Film stocks. Jay. Not soup stocks. Kenneth: People don’t know what soup stocks
are. Jay: I know. They don’t know what film stocks are either. Kenneth: That’s true. Jay: But here we are, film stocks. It’s a different kinds of films you can shoot,
all in 120. So, we’re looking at the different film stocks
that are available that you can shoot in the 120 format. Kenneth: 120 being medium format. Jay: Medium format, both color and black and
white. And so we’re going to take a look at those. We went out on location, we have a model we
set up there, we did the same model, same lighting [SP] situation, and just shot through
every one of the different stocks we could get. Different films we get. I always call them film stocks. Kenneth: Stocks is fine. Jay: So, anyway, take a look at all those. We want you to look at the comparison of each
of those on different ISO levels, on which one would you choose for what you’re doing,
and just give you a good perspective, because if you don’t know, it’s kind of daunting. There’s a lot of them out there. So we definitely want you to take a look at
those. We’re going to put them up over at The Slanted
Lens, theslantedlens.com. There’ll be a tab there where you can download
these images and really take a look at them and play with them, do whatever you want. The scans is what you’re looking at. We sent them out to a lab, they were processed
and scanned then sent back. So we’re going to take a look at film stocks. Before we get started with that, just a little
thought. If you have not checked out our download for
stop motion, go to theslantedlens.com. Trisha Zemp is a master at stop motion. She’s done stop motion for many, many, many
major brands, and she has great tutorials there that will teach you how to do stop motion. So, go over to theslantedlens.com and check
that out. And right now, we’re going to check out film
stocks. Kenneth: Let’s do it. Jay: So, number one. We’re going to start with our low ISO. So this is Fuji Acros, is that how you call
it, what do you call this? Kenneth: I don’t know actually. I have never shot this film before. Jay: I have not either. I have not. But it was out there, and I thought it was
interesting. So there’s 100 ISO, just to get a quick look
at this. My sense about it, there’s two things that
I immediately kind of feel. It has a nice black, it has a nice open shadow,
it’s holding the highlights in the background really nicely. We don’t have much grain, it’s just a clean
film Kenneth: To me it looks like it has a very
linear response, you know, so like a very smooth transition from the…so it has a deep
black, and then it immediately goes into this nice darker shadow in the mid tones and just
straight up. Jay: In the background, you see this…the
highlights are very strong back there, but it’s giving us, and that’s what giving us
a little bit of that, kind of, flair into the hat, and the top of her hand a little
bit. I think it’s the white in the background. Kenneth: But it’s not like punching you in
the face, you know? Jay: No, not at all. Kenneth: It’s really nice roll off. Jay: It’s a very pretty film. When she turns into the light, especially
to her left, camera right, and just gives us a nice highlight. This is kind of lit by the natural light,
this coming in from the camera right side, then we have a reflector kind of opening up
the shadows. Kenneth: Yeah you have Silver Lake. You were next to Silver Lake. Jay: We’re right next to Silver Lake there,
so we had all of Silver Lake lighting us. All right, so now we’re on the Ilford 100
black and white. Kenneth: Way more contrast. Jay: Way more contrast immediately. And the grain is even a little harder. I mean, I see it in her face. Kenneth: You see it in her arms. Jay: Yeah, you see it in her arms. Kenneth: A lot more texture. Jay: Yep. A lot more texture in that [inaudible 00:03:38]. Kenneth: What I do like about this, I like
how the mid tones are pulled up a little more, you know, so her face is a little brighter. Jay: Well you see that in that full body shot. Because just the hair and the hat just kind
of blend together. So there’s an Ilford 125. Why would Ilford make a 100 and a 125? But [inaudible 00:03:54]. Kenneth: I don’t know, but they look super
different. Jay. They do. The 125 is really contrasty, and this, the
100 is way more open. It’s just, it’s in all of her hat and her
hair separates, there’s nice fall off, it rolls off much nicer. It’s just very different. So their 125 is kind of the equivalent of
what we saw with the Fuji 100, Fujifilm 100. Kenneth: Yeah, they look very similar. Jay: Very similar. Kenneth: I’d say this is a little bit softer,
the tonaility is a little softer in this, it’s not quite as even. But real nice. Good for portraiture. Jay: So let’s jump now to what’s considered
the T-Max 100, which is kind of the go-to film forever. And you see it in this, you can see why. Kenneth: Oh, so clean. Jay: It’s so clean, and the shadows are so
open, it’s not too contrasty. Kenneth: Butter is like the word I’d use for
this. Jay: Yeah. It’s just really pretty. When you get the right highlight with this
film, it’s just really pretty. Kenneth: Wow, yeah. Jay: So, what would you choose, the Ilford
125 or the… Kenneth: That’s tough. Jay. That is tough. Kenneth: I…man, that’s hard. The thing is, the situation, you know, that
Ilford 100 look, it’s very contrasty, but it could work for the right thing. It’d work really great for a lot of fashion
stuff, I think. Because they kind of like that high contrast. If you’re doing the more editorial style fashion. For portraiture, though, it’s hard to beat
the T-Max 100. Jay. T-Max 100 is fabulous. I think the Ilford 125 is a pretty close second,
man. All right, so let’s take a look at the medium
ISO. We’ve got first the Ilford Delta 400. Which starts off with, you know what, from
a grain perspective, I see the grain in your face, you see it, really see it through her
skin tones. You see it in the background, always just
see it in the shadows. You don’t see it in the highlights, obviously,
because…but you see it in these grays, these transition areas, by her arms and the grass
in the background. Kenneth: To me, this is like classic street
photography, war photography kind of look. Jay: All right. Now we’re going on to Ilford HP5 400. So it’s…I’m just curious, we look at those
compared to each other. So there’s the Delta 400, and the HP5 400. Boy, the HP5 is far less contrasty. It’s very, very open. It’s almost flat flat. Kenneth: Yeah. Looks to be a little less grainy, but not
too much. You know, some people like to shoot film because
they don’t have to manipulate it as much. Jay: Well, the reality, you love shooting
log, so the reality between those two films is that I would choose the one that’s a little
more flat because on the scan, you can now go in and you can punch the contrast, you
can play with it. Because you’re going back to a digital format. If you’re just doing straight up prints, that’s
a different story. Kenneth: Yeah, absolutely. Jay: Yeah, I think if you’re doing this and
you’re going to go to a digital format to do your finish work, then the 400 gives you
more options. This case right here, when you look at these
two side by side, there’s just a crispness about the Delta 400 that you don’t get… Kenneth: With the HP5. Jay: Yeah. Kenneth: That’s true. Jay. All right. Let’s go on here to Ilford XP2 Super 400. Kenneth: This is interesting because this
film is meant to be processed in a color process, right, C-41. Jay: It is, C-41 process. Kenneth: So this is almost like cross processed
black and white film. Jay: And it looks and feels like that, [inaudible
00:07:15] to me. It definitely does. Looks like that’s processed. Kenneth: Oh yeah, absolutely. Has that really punchy…I mean, this to me
feels more punchy than even the Ilford 100 felt. Jay: It does, yep. Very, very punchy. It’s still holding…look at the whites though,
it doesn’t blow the whites out. There’s kind of almost a sepia cast to the
whites that you don’t get in the Ilford HP5 400. Boy, I mean, that… Kenneth: You look at the wide, the blacks. Jay: So contrasty. All right, this is the 400 TMY-2 by Kodak. I tell you a couple things going on, it’s
contrasty and almost flat at the same time. The mid tones are up and… Kenneth: Well, the blacks, it doesn’t have
a true black. It just levels out, you know. Yeah, it’s so interesting. Jay: Not near as contrasty as the Ilford or
Ilford XP2 Super. Kenneth: Yeah. The whites are a little strong for me. You know, I wish there’s a little more gradation
in the highlights. But that’s kind of nice. Jay: Okay, Tri-X 400. This is tried and true 400. Tri-X is kind of the film, or was for a long
time. And I can see why. You’re not blocking up in the blacks, the
mid tones are pretty bright. Kenneth: Pretty bright. Jay: And you’re holding your highlights, which
is really interesting. Kenneth: The thing I don’t love about Tri-X
is I feel like the mid tones are almost held back at a certain point, you know? So it’s this really nice, smooth gradation
until you get to the upper mid tones and that kind of flattens out and jumps up to the whites. Let’s compare the Delta 400 close up to the
Tri-X close up. Jay: Okay, here we go, so there’s the Delta
400, and there’s the Tri-X. As just the two images side by side, I take
the Delta 400. But I would shoot the Tri-X, because I know
I can get it to the Delta 400. Kenneth: Right, all you have to do is increase
the contrast a tiny bit. Jay: Just a little bit. Kenneth: That’s true. Jay: And you would have that option, but you’re
gonna have… Kenneth: But I think you’re right, I feel
like the Delta’s a little more crisp. Jay: Look at the grain, though, of the Delta. Look in her cheeks, above her cheeks, across
the bridge of her nose, look at here, the Tri-X is much… Kenneth: Little less clean. Jay: …nicer, much nicer, much cleaner. So I’d say the Tri-X 400 is…I would probably
shoot the Tri-X 400, but I certainly love that Ilford Delta 400. Kenneth: I’m team Delta. Team Delta all the way. Jay: To our High ISO black and white. Kenneth: Really have one film in this category. Jay: But look at that 3200, the grain is in
full play. But, you know what, it’s interesting, and
pushing that to 3200, even though the grain is so strong, it is interesting that you’re
really not blocking up the blacks like I thought you would in this. If you look at the close up, it’s much more
open, but it’s just, it’s very grainy. The grain looks prominent, so prominent. Kenneth: Yeah, the blacks look really good,
actually. It’s the mid tones that suffer. Jay: They do. Kenneth: I mean it turns out grainy, you have
to push it a little bit but… It’s kind of there if you need it. Jay: All right, let’s take a look at our low
ISO C-41 color, or color, it’s the process in C-41. Portra 160 is kind of the standard for all
this. Kenneth: Yeah. I mean Portra is beautiful. Jay: It’s just so beautiful. Kenneth: The skin tones are just always look
perfect with Portra. Jay: Just a little bit of sun got on the corner
of her shoulder, but the balance is still coming in on her face. Kenneth: I mean, the skin tones are perfect. Jay: That’s just a beautiful image, and it
feels so vantage. It feels like that, you know, that film era. It’s just so pretty. Kenneth: Well the colors are so rich. Jay: They are. So now, here’s an Ektar 100 color. It’s so interesting because this is a way
different look. Kenneth: Yeah, that’s crazy. Jay: It’s crazy contrasty, it’s just, it’s
very hard. Yeah, so that Ektar 100 is a pretty heavy
handed… Kenneth: Seems like a real specialty. Jay: This, definitely the Portra 160 is the
quintessential of that era, but this, the Ektar, is what people think is [crosstalk
00:11:17] for that era. It’s like that era on steroids, you know? Kenneth: That’s so true. Jay: Now this is a CineStil 50D, which is
a very… Kenneth: Specialty. Jay: Specialty. Kenneth: So, CineStil film is Kodak motion
picture film, and they’ve taken it, they’ve stripped off a layer so that it won’t ruin
the C-41 chemicals, because you can’t process motion picture film in C-41. So, you’ve stripped off a layer, and then
processed it in C-41. It has this really dreamy soft, and there’s
something nice about it. I don’t love the red halation you get around
her hat. Jay: Boy, it’s amazing how strong that is. It’s all the way around her hat. All right, let’s go to the mid tones, mid
tone colors. Do you know what I love about the Fuji? It just pops. Kenneth: Yeah, that’s true. Look at that red, the red on the chip. Jay: Yeah, it just pops, and there’s something
so clean about it. I just really kind of love it. Kenneth: I’m a fan of the Portra, because
I think the skin tones are a little more realistic. Jay: Mm-hmm. They are. Kenneth: More flattering. Jay: Boy, both of these are pretty nice. Look at the shadows on this, they seem very
red, and then her skin tone seems kind of yellowish on the Kodak Portra 400. Yeah, those two are interesting. So which of those would you choose? Kenneth: I’d probably still go with Portra. Feels like the safe choice to me. Jay: It’s a safe choice. It really is. And you’ve got some options to work with there. And the color rendition has a nice color gamut,
has a nice fall off on the skin. Kenneth: I got to say, for 400, this seems
cleaner than the black and whites did. Jay: It really does. Didn’t gain near as much. All right, let’s go on to our high ISO color. Okay, so we’ve got two of these films as well. We got the CineStill, look at that one last. And then we’ve got your Portra 800. Which is kind of, Portra 800 is, again, if
you’re going to higher ISO, it’s pretty much a standard. Boy, when I look at the Portra 800 compared
to the CineStill 800, look at that CineStill 800, there is an openness. There is just a pretty…and the grain is
very clean. Kenneth: Yeah, this is probably the cleanest
800 I’ve ever seen. The CineStill. And this CineStill 800 is a tungsten stock,
so that all of these, when they’ve scanned them, they adjusted the light balance. I mean, the Kodak’s really nice, it’s kind
of what you expect, but the CineStill almost feels like more organic. Jay: It really does, there’s something…I
don’t know, I just I like it. Actually, I like both these film stocks in
a way I didn’t think I would. I didn’t expect to respond to them like we
have. And that’s at an 800, that’s really nice. Kenneth: I got to say, even these, both of
these 800 feel, again, better than, you know, the Ilford Delta 400 in terms of grain. Jay: All right, so there’s the film stocks. So we looked at low ISO, medium ISO and high
ISO for two different film stocks, black and white and color. There’s some great film stocks there to work
with, but it seems to me like it boils down to kind of where I’ve always boiled down to,
you know? Kenneth: What are you shooting? Jay: Yeah. I mean, it ends up being a lot of Kodak products,
I still feel like are very strong. Kenneth: Yeah, absolutely. Jay: Ilford has a great place and there’s
people out there that are diehard Ilford fans. And Fujifilm as well has a great look. So download those, take a look at them, see
which ones you love, give some comments, give us your perspective in the comments, you know. We’re glad to hear about it. So click on the three dots in the corner,
you’ll see an option to help translate. We’re looking for people to help get our body
of lessons translated into Spanish, and I’m hoping we’ll have some great followers who
would love to do that for us, and will participate. And I think the person who translates the
most for us will probably be rewarded. And make sure you subscribe to The Slanted
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white, give us perspective about what you think about the images that were shot in black
and white. Love to have your comments on this video because
we really want to get the perspective on what you’re thinking these film stocks look like. So keep those cameras rolling. Kenneth: And keep on clicking. Jay: If you love the content that we’re giving
you here at The Slanted Lens, subscribe to The Slanted Lens. Even if you don’t love the content, you should
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