Each film has its limitations, and it’s confusing when you go to the local camera shop to pick up the film supply for that next shoot. What film do I get for this, and what film do I get for that?
I try to keep all film speeds the same, whether I’m shooting black & white or color. It keeps camera settings to a minimum, and means one less thing to think about. I would say that 98% of the film I use outdoors is ISO 100. The only time I might want to use a faster film is when I want to insure depth of field at faster shutter speeds. Some black & white films are better than others, and speeds range from ISO 25 to ISO 3200. All of these speeds are applied to Glamour Photography. ISO 25 is a beautiful film for that extra sharp image of a Glamour head shot.
Agfa is the only one that I know of making this film. ISO 100 is the all purpose film, capable of getting great image quality with today’s film technology. Today’s ISO 400 film has almost as tight a grain as ISO 100. Use this film when you want to increase your depth of field by a couple of stops. One of my favorite films is Kodak’s 3200, which I rate at 1600. This gives me fast shutter speeds at medium apertures and a wonderful soft grain that looks great in the image of a beautiful women. I call it feminine.
It is a good idea to use slide film when shooting color to insure that the skin color, clothing, props, makeup, etc. remain their true color. There are a number of great E-6 films on the market. It’s best to try each manufacture’s film to see which one you find works the best for your application. Kodak, Agfa, and Fuji, all make films in ISO’s ranging from 64 to 1600. These films can all be used for some wonderful Glamour images. Try the different films that are on the market so you can form your own likes and dislikes. Some films will give you images that others will not.
I’ll give you the films, both Black & White and Color, that I prefer:
Black & White Film:
Agfapan APX 25
Agfapan APX 100
Agfapan APX 25 for studio and good light outdoors.
Agfapan APX 100 for all outdoor shooting.
Kodak TMX 100
Kodak TMZ 3200 shot @ 1600
Kodak TMX 100 for times when Agfapan is not available.
Kodak TMZ 3200 shot at 1600 for that beautiful soft grain.
Ilford HP5-Plus (400) for shots that need greater depth of field
(A true 400 ISO Film).
Kodachrome 64 (gives true & sharp images).
Kodak 100 Plus E-6 film (gives true color & sharp images).
Kodak Gold print film. Great all purpose film, with good color rendition.
I keep all my film in the refrigerator before and after using it. It may be a good idea to take along an ice chest, when shooting in hot climates, to keep the film cool. When you have finished with each roll, drop it in a zip lock bag, and put it back in the cooler. That will keep your film safe.