Let The Games Begin: Film Shootout

Film is such an interested and complex (and fun) medium to work with for photographers; nothing makes your art more rewarding than developing a roll of perfectly exposed film.

Although the film industry has been in a decline for the past decade with the rise of digital cameras and cellphones with built in cameras, there is still a healthy community of film-heads and analog shooters who can't completely surrender to bits and bytes. For us, the choices are getting fewer and fewer, but the quality continues to improve as companies like Kodak constantly work to improve their films.

As film shooters we have to be willing to commit to a piece of film for up to 36 future images, so a lot of thought goes into selecting each roll or sheet we're going to shoot. Which is why I'm going to undertake a project to shoot as many different films as possible while providing detailed reviews and comparisons of each film.

Here's the thing - I'm not willing to waste a bunch of film to get "scientific" results by shooting the same scenes on the same shooting conditions. That's really not practical for real photographers who walk around all day in different lighting conditions with different subjects. So I'll shoot each roll like I normally would - for the purpose of making fine art prints - and I'll provide my comments and reviews as I go through the rolls.

I will develop all of these films myself, which can also introduce some variation in how a film looks, but I will only use the same developers and process to try and minimize those variations.

Here are the initial contenders for the review. I am going to start with the Ilford FP-4+ and will work through them one at a time from there - check back on my blog and to this post as I'll link my finished reviews on this page. Interested in seeing me shoot a particular film? Send me a note and I'll see if I can get it added to my reviewing list

  • Ilford FP-4+ (35mm and 120mm)
  • Kodak Porta 800 (35mm)
  • Rollei RPX 100 (120mm)
  • Kodak Ektar 100 (35mm and 120mm)
  • ADOX CHS 100 II (35mm)
  • ADOX Silvermax 100 (35mm)
  • Ilford SFX 200 (35mm)
  • Kodak TMax 100 (35mm)
  • Fuji Neopan Acros 100 (35mm)
  • CineStill Film (35mm)
  • Ilford Delta 100 Professional (35mm and 4x5)
  • Kodak Tri-X 400 (35mm)
  • Rollei Retro 80S (35mm)
  • Rollei Superpan 200 (120mm)