35mm film review: Kentmere 100
My name is Andrew and I am a fine art destination wedding photographer in Italy (Lake Como, Amalfi). On the weddings I also shoot 35mm film, mostly black and white. This article is going to be about 35mm film - Kentmere 100.
I found Kentmere 100 mostly by accident. Normally I shoot Ilford 100 or Kodak T-max, I trust these films and I was always happy with the results. However this time I decided to try something new so I searched for available film in my country and noticed Kentmere 100. Sample images were good so I decided to test it myself. I learned a very good lesson in the past - for 35mm black and white film I use ISO 100 or maximum ISO 125. This would guarantee the minimum grain and F/1.8 (which I adore) even in very sunny locations. And since we have very hot summers (I mostly shoot in Italy and Baltic countries) and my camera speed limit is only 1/2000 - the lowest ISO is a good solution here. And yes, I tried ISO 400 as well and I was not happy with the wedding shots - too much grain does not add any beauty to the bride.
So recently I have received my Kentmere scans, which you can review below. They are unedited, I only removed dust and micro scratches. On the bottom of the page I will share with you my personal opinion about them. And one more thing - you can always tell me "THANK YOU" by donating 2-3 euro/dollars, this would encourage me to write more articles as I have a huge library of various film scans and all what it needs now - a bit of my time. When I get no respond from my readers- I kinda feel that no one is interested in film photography anymore. If you think my attempts to share samples of film scans are worth a little tip - please donate. And now enjoy the shots:
Kentmere 100 35mm
Camera: Canon 300v
Lens: Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 II, Canon EF 135mm F/2.0 L
Location: Villa, outside area
As you can see, it was quite a sunny day. More sun - more stress with the film. In digital world, you would hide in the shadow and test exposure. In addition, nowadays digital cameras are excellent on spot metering. Not so good with the older film cameras. However, I cannot say I missed exposure or focus on any of the shots. I am happy with the results. But I had to work harder to get such shots. Spot metering is not that great in older cameras so I had to measure exposure on a shadow, then recompose and shoot. In the shot where the couple walks away in the woods, you can see how it looks when a bit too much light hits the film. Not too bad, but I would not keep such image if it was shot on digital Sony. Film gives you some extra value, you cannot reject that. I also was not sure what will happen when shooting in the sandy location. I felt like I am about to overexpose since it was quite a bright location and I always had to check on the exposure levels. However, the shot came great in that location. So the film managed to survive with some extra light.
That's a very cheap film, I should admit. Which is great. Did I like it? Yes, of course. However I think for the weddings I would prefer the film that would have a bit less grain than Kentmere 100. It reminded me of Ilford film, but it was not that grainy as Ilford Delta 400 (here is a sample):
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