The right film for my new Point & Shoot : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

I just bought a new Point & Shoot Camera and started to play with Black & White "Street" shots. I think that I am getting hooked. I realize that a P&S camera may not be so "professional", but it is easy to use and to carry around with me for that spontaneous shot. What kind of film would you recomend for my new Olympus SuperZoom 160. IN addition to a large array of reatures, it also has: a 38 - 160mm f 5.7 zoom lens, with fully automatic operation, including: Auto Focus, Exposure and Film Handling. Paul

-- Paul Simington (, January 12, 2002


Paul - do you have your own darkroom? If not, I would strongly recommend Ilord's XP-2 S chromogenic film. If you plan on doing your own developing, I suggest you try:

Kodak Tri-X [ISO 400]

Fuji Neopan 1600

Kodak T-Max 3200


-- Christian Harkness (, January 12, 2002.

For P&S use I recommend a film with wide dynamic range and latitude. I definitelly prefer no-shoulder films like HP5+ in XTOL 1+1 or Microphen 1+1 (though this is grainy). Even when camera decides to overexpose by a few stops, all I need to do is to expose paper for minutes and then boost shadow contrast to taste.

On the other hand, John Hicks seems to prefer and to be very experienced in taking advantage of mild shoulder of new Delta 400 so he might have something to say here. But I think it's more of a printing style though. (and it may be that shoulder is way too high out of any usable density range, or things like that)

-- Ryuji Suzuki (, January 12, 2002.

For starters, I'd stick with the chromogenics(XP2, T400CN, B&W+). Reasonably good C41 processing isn't very expensive and you'll get feedback quicker with 4x6 prints.Anything worthy of enlargement can be taken to a pro lab for printing.Naturally, access to a darkroom also opens up even more choices.

-- Gary Watson (, January 12, 2002.

If you are going to be developing your own film, I would start with Tri-X. The film base is considerably thicker than Ilford HP5+ which makes it much easier to load onto a reel. This is especially critical if you are using a stainless steel reel.

-- Peter Schauss (, January 12, 2002.

I'm a very happy Ilford Delta 400 user (I don't develop the film myself though) On my P&S (A contax T2 with 38/2.8 Tessar) I mostly always overexpose 1 stop so I have a dense negative which gives me more opportunity to play with in the darkroom. with your F5.6 on the street you might get long exposure times if you overexpose a whole stop, so you probably want a faster film (I wish there was 800 delta)

-- Sil Stranders (, January 20, 2002.

In response to Sil,"I wish there was 800 delta" I think most people would agree that delta 3200 has a nominal EFS of 800 in most developers. EFS= effective film speed

On the subject of film for P&S cameras follow a few simple steps

a) If you are uninvolved in the process completely start with kodak chromagenic films, T400cn and they also sell a consumer film that should be just as good (B&W+?) this should give the best results from a mini lab.

b) If you're printing your own work but don't develop film try ilford xp2 super. This is easier to work with in a conventional B&W darkroom. c) If you want to develop your own film try a fast (400 ISO) older film HP5+ Tri-X etc in the manufacturers recomended developer and then start experimenting with different emulsions/developer combinations. Forums such as this one are a good source for inspiration regarding chemistry and film.

d) buy lots of film and shoot shoot shoot, never go without shooting for too long.

-- Steven Crabtree (, January 31, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ