Q. Can you give me some suggestions about shooting sports and other action pictures? I am mainly interested in what kind of film to use. I have a Minolta 7000i and several lenses.
A. Your choice of film and the way you shoot will depend on whether the action is outside or inside.
Shooting sports outside during the day offers many choices. You should go for your fastest possible shutter speed, but with the slowest possible film that will allow that speed. On some bright days you may be shooting with ISO 400, or, depending on the sport, even a slower film.
It's shooting at night or indoors that gets tough. You need enough shutter speed to stop the action, but enough aperture for adequate depth of field. We now have the films to do the job.
For black and white, the T-Max 3200 has proved to be a useful tool. For processing, use either T-Max developer or Edwal FG7. I have seen results of T-Max pushed to 6400; in most cases it was very usable, but showed a good bit of grain.
If you are able to back off your guide number a little, the Fuji Neopan and Agfa 400 push well to 800. The Agfa 1000 develops well in D-76 and FG7.
If you are shooting color print film, you have lots of choices. Print films come in speeds of from ISO 25 to ISO 3200 and most can be pushed. The Fuji HG1600 is new and has the same formula as the HG400, one of my all-time favorites. The Kodak Ektar 1000 gives fine results, and I have found that it pushes better than the Kodak Gold 1600. The Agfa 1000 has good contrast and the Konica 3200 has shown me a remarkably good grain structure for its extreme speed. I have pushed it to 6400 and gotten very good prints.
For slides, try the Fuji P1600. I shot some of this at 1600 and 3200 and really liked the 11-by-14 prints made from it. The Agfachrome 1000 looked very good in the shadow areas. Kodak has an Ektachrome P800/1600. Several people who have used it report good quality results.
One of the main things I realized in these tests was that in most cases, especially when the ISO rating was pushed, I shouldn't expect to make prints much larger than 8-by-10 because the quality isn't satisfactory. But after all, eight inches is as wide as four columns on the front page of our newspaper.
Q. Since I live in the country, I send my film to Clark Color Laboratories to be developed. I have been very satisfied with their work. My problem is that they just stuff the prints in the mailing envelope and will not sell me any of those nice 4 1/2-by-7 1/2 envelopes with the flap to store my pictures in, though once in a while they send back reprints in these envelopes. Can you tell me why they won't and where I can get similar envelopes?
A. You're probably noticing that the plastic envelopes have all but disappeared. Clark's and other photo finishers have switched to paper envelopes, which are less expensive and better for the environment. Unfortunately, they just aren't set up to resell envelopes.
There are other ways to go: Camera and specialty stores have large selections of photo albums. I prefer the three-ring-binder type with plastic pages. Some of these pages even provide a place for negatives, but if not, just paste some letter-size envelopes on the inside back and front covers.
Q. I recently opened an old camera and found a roll of exposed film. The local Kodak lab returned it saying the chemicals used to develop it were no longer manufactured. It's labeled "Kodacolor-X 620 film -- Process C-22." Any suggestions?
A. I have looked around for a C-22 processing line, but without much luck. There has to be one out there somewhere. Anyone know of one?
Write Carl Kramer c/o Weekend, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, DC 20071.