film stock shootout


New member
Which stock should I use for my 16mm film? I am looking for blown out highlights and shadows with no details. I am planning on shooting infinite black but am afraid the black paper background will show, and have white outlines simulating corners and I want those to be blown out. I am also looking for a lot of grain. Films whose looks I would like this to look like are probably something like Meshes of the Afternoon or Buffalo 66.

It is in color. My main concern is the different kinds of 500 asa film. I have heard that a higher asa doesn't necessarily have to correspond to high contrast and grain, and it's difficult to compare with all the writeups about these stocks that claim to have "even finer grain" and so forth. I am wondering if anyone has any experience with these stocks, what their differences are and which one would match my needs. Are there stocks of lower asa that would do the job even better?

I am looking at:
7218 Vision 2 500T
7219 Vision 3 500T

8673 Eterna 500T
8643 Vivid 160T
8692 Reala 500D


New member
go with fuji

I was thinking the same since it seems Kodak seems to strive for transparency and my experience with stills seems to suggest fuji film is better for my purposes.

Could you elaborate on any objective advantage of fuji rather than my subjective impressions? And which of the three fuji stocks would be best and what are the differences?


New member
Apart from the question "Kodak or Fuji ?", wich, I think, is meaningless considering your questions, I would say the following :

- Even if stock has made a lot of progress, you always have more grain and less contrast with high speed stock than loww sensitivity ones, go for 500 EI if you want grain ; Forget about daylight stock if you work indoors with tungsten lamps (that are cheaper to rent) and have no daylight coming though windows.

- The question of having crushed blacks has more to do with exposure and you defenetly need a spotmeter to make sure dark areas appear black, if you want them to. Make tests if you can but if you have a background metered, say, 5 stops under keylight with the spotmeter, no matter what it looks like by eye, it should be black and have no details ;

- Then, the look you need can be achieved in post, with Color, anyway. So if you can't get your blacks under 3 or 4 stops under keylight, don't mind much, you will be able to crush them in post, but 3 or 4 stops under is a minimum, anyway.

- You can even add grain in post, if you want.

- Mind that, apart from the background that you need to be really black with no details, having crushed blacks on the foreground is not a very good idea, since a bit of detail is always better, when you shoot. Consider these blacks 3 stops under no more and adjust in post.

Good luck !
Last edited:

Ale Reynoso

May be it´s too late but:

Not regarding personal preferences of stock: have you tried pushing your stock or using bleach-bypass?
This for shure will increase your contrast and grain (what you´re looking for). Bleach by pass will dramatically increase contrast and grain, plus desaturate a lot the colors (both could be done in post with more control, too, but I like it when chemical).
You shoul make some test, but the results could be very interesting:
I.E. I know a friend of mine used very saturated colours in a very specific color scheme. Let the other colors normal or used low saturated colours (in art and wardrobe departments). With the bleach bypass, the super saturated colours went normal while the others desaturated a lot. Some almost B&W. Very interesting look.
I used Reala 500D for a short some time ago. I wanted a warm, grainy, high contrast look (night). I used tungsten (it´s a daylight stock) and went bleach bypass.
For me it looks beautifull.
Another colleague used the same, 500D/tungsten, but developed normally. Desaturated a bit in post. Great look. And more subtleties in tonal range, especially in the shadows (than using bleach-bypass)

Best regards