I have posted this on Twitter. But I wanted to give my followers here a chance at answering this question too. In the future I will write an ‘article’ here on my feelings and the results of my survey. Here it is:
How many films is it really possible to be an expert at using?
While here in Arizona, I’ve been testing various films that I hadn’t used before (e.g. Silberra, Ilford FP4, the new Kodak E100), In most cases for B&W I use Kodak T-MAX 400 and Ilford SFX-200; for color I’ve settled on Kodak Portra 400 (pending my results for E100). I know these films well, and I usually get the expected results. When I experiment with new films, the results are up in the air. Yes with my ‘expert’ films I made early mistakes but worked through it. Now I wonder if it is worth the the time to learn about MORE films or stick with what works? So let me restate the question:
What films do you use and how many do you feel it is possible to be an expert with? Please leave a comment or vote on Twitter @AnalogPhotoBug, and look for the future article.
Kodak T-MAX 400:
Kodak Portra 400:
3 thoughts on “Film Expertise?”
I saw your tweet poll and I answered 3-4. But I don’t know if I’m expert in any films. I know 3-4 reasonably well, meaning I know what to expect from them and when I shoot one of them in a new-to-me old camera the film is not a variable in the image equation. My films are Fujicolor 200, T-Max 400, Kodak Gold 200, and Kodak Tri-X 400, in order.
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I’m at the 3-4 film level too. And that is where the survey seems to be landing. I think we all have a couple of favorite films (one color and one B&W) and a few additional films for special circumstances.
mmmm… Probably 2, but I’d hardly call myself an expert. XP2 and Superia 400.