I am just wrapping up the Embrace the Grain workshop. As I may have mentioned, during the workshop I let myself try all of the film stocks I was interested in, and buy a medium format camera, and send my film to a few different labs. I really have fallen in love with film, and am so happy I immersed myself in this experience. As the workshop draws to a close, I will have to slow down on shooting film. I need to commit to fewer film stocks and master them. Also, it is expensive. Very expensive. Since all of my film work is personal work, I need to set some kind of limit on how much I am shooting. Three rolls a week is probably not reasonable. During all of that experimentation, I didn't settle on a lab. I tried FIND, and I don't really have a reason not to stick with them. I am guessing that I will probably end up using them. I tried Indie Film Lab, and I wasn't impressed with the communication or follow through. I love that they send you a text message preview of your scans, but for one of my orders, the scans didn't follow for over 24 hours afterwards- and that was after I called and emailed them. The part of the website where you could check your order was not working. I think in the long run, I would get frustrated with longer and unpredictable wait times on scans. I do have a voucher for Richard Photo Lab, so I will try them. And I have some interest in trying My Film Lab the next time I shoot black and white film, as I have heard they do really well with black and white.
While I didn't find a lab for sure, I definitely found my favorite film stock, and that is Fuji Provia. It is gorgeous. I love it. It is slide film, and costs way more to develop than regular 35mm film. Of course. But I would much rather shoot less and be able to shoot the film I love. Other stocks I really like are Lomography 100 color film, Agfa Vista 200 and 400, and Fuji 400H. I really, really disliked Ektar. I don't really love Portra, but it could be the way I am shooting it (how I have rated it, and I may like it better pushed a stop by the lab). I want to try the Cinestill films, and I have one roll of Fuji Natura 1600 that I am saving for I am not sure what. After seeing the Provia come back today, I don't feel excited about loading anything else in my camera. That is all I want to shoot! I have a box of 120 Provia on hand, as well as some rolls of Fuji Velvia 50 and 100 to try.
Since I had such a happy day of scans today, I wanted to take this opportunity to share my favorites. And after this, I will be back to primarily digital for a while. I start the Light + Life workshop at The Define School on Monday, and a few weeks after that, I will begin the Off Camera Flash course through Click Photoschool. It isn't going to be practical to shoot film for workshop situations like that, so I suspect I will be back to shooting my digital and mirrorless cameras most of the time. I am thinking I can still squeeze in at least 3 rolls of film a month, though. Or four.
So first, these were all shot with my Nikon F100, various lenses, and Lomography 100 film.
And then here are some photos I shot with my Pentax 645N, the 75mm 2.8 FA, and Portra 800. I just got a new lens for the Pentax today that I am so excited about using, and I think it will be great indoors. It is the FA 45mm 2.8. I was struggling with the 75mm because of the very long minimum focusing distance, and this will give me a wider perspective as well.
And finally, the Provia. I love these so much. This roll was 35mm, shot on my F100. The remainder of my Provia film is 120, so I can't WAIT to see how it will look coming from the Pentax. I really needed to see these after feeling so disappointed with the scans I got back the last time I posted.