Introduction What is photography? The history of photography What this site will do for you Light: The most important element Why light is important to a photograph The many types of light Controlling light in your pictures The camera The basic function Types of cameras Choosing the right camera Putting the image together: the Lens How the lens bends light: a tutorial A brief introduction to apertures The variety of lenses Choosing a lens Exposure: a film tutorial How film records an image Understanding film speed Print vs. Slide film Film recommendations Taking Pictures Depth-of-field Apertures and shutter speeds Composition and experimentation: the basics Metering: when you can't guess The many types of picture-taking Photography with a point-and-shoot Accessories Tripods: for when you can't stay still Lens filters Post-processing: after development Scanning photos The digital darkroom Photo and equipment storage
Though you may think of using print film for everything, and not use slide film at all, or only when you want to give a slide show of your vacation. This should not always be the case. Here I will compare the two types of film.
This film is the least expensive, and also the most popular. When a picture is taken, it appears as a negative image until the image is placed onto photo paper. Because the picture is enlarged, sharpness is lost. Unless you develop the film at a professional lab, the picture will never match the quality of a slide viewed on a lightbox. The main advantage of print film is that it is very tolerant of exposure errors, so when the film is underexposed or overexposed, it will make no difference.
When a picture is taken, it appears as a positive image, uninverted. Besides being able to have slide shows, slide film has far more sharpness, color, and contrast than print film. Viewing a slide under a lightbox will show you extraordinary detail, as opposed to print film viewed on photo paper. Because of the quality, slides are the best types of film for photographing scenery and travel. Slides are what many magazines use for their pictures. You will also notice that most professional film is slide film. The only problem with slide film is that they are not very tolerant of exposure errors, unlike print film. Examples of slide film are Fuji Velvia (ISO 50), Fuji Astia (ISO 100) , Kodak E100 (ISO 100), and Kodachrome (ISO 25-200). In my mind, slides are the most influential type of film, which make me feel proud
as a photographer.
Which film to start out with
I would say slide film, because it is so easy to spot mistakes in exposure. When you are learning about apertures and shutter speeds, you will want to experiment with different stops, and see which settings work well in a scene.
Up next, I will give some recommendations for choosing film.