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Coin Photography-SLR Camera


Basic Equipment | Film | Camera basics | Macro (full coin) photos | Micro photographs | Slides | Adding magnification | Other tips


The film you use can be as important as the camera. Film is available in different "speeds" (generally indicated by an ASA rating), which differs in the amount of light necessary to expose the film properly. Some standard speeds are 25, 64, 100, 200, 400, and even higher. Generally speaking,
each higher number requires half the amount of light as the previous number to make a proper exposure. For instance, if an exposure of one second is necessary for the ASA 25, an ASA 64 film would require an exposure of second; ASA 100 - 1/4th second; ASA 200 - 1/8th second; and ASA 400 - 1/16th second.

Many brands of film today are all quite comparable. For color, almost any of the major brands are suitable. For black & white, nothing beats Kodak T-Max. All of these are available in a variety of film speeds. However, the film I use most frequently for black & white print work is Ilford XP-2.

This film produces basically a black & white print but can be processed with C-41, which is the process used for color film in the convenient one-hour labs. It can be difficult at times to find a convenient lab to process black & white film.

Another plus of the XP-2 is that, although it is rated at ASA 400, the grain of the film is equal to that of ASA 100 speed film. Also, if necessary, XP-2 can be shot as if it were ASA 100, ASA 1000, or even ASA 1600. It is very versatile.

I do use Kodak Gold and Fuji for my color work. However, I also try other films from time to time. I have found that Konica is comparable to Kodak, and I can buy it for as little as half the price of Kodak.

The choices of slide film are almost as varied as the choices for color print film. However, when shooting slides, proper exposure is even more critical. I trust Kodak and Fuji and will rarely try other brands, although I am sure most are equally as good.