A curious case of film and skin tones

I've always been a fan of B&W film for portrait work. For many reasons I stopped using film altogether for past few years. It became very expensive to buy film, process (money) and then scan it (time). Digital is just so convenient. However last Christmas I managed to dust off my Hasselblad and I'm hooked again. I still use both however have started to use film more for personal work. Family portraits in particular. I've always liked the skin tones produced by certain color negative films such as Kodak Portra 160NC. Once you get a hang of processing and scanning results can be as good or better. And of course with B&W, if you are using larger format, tones are just superb. I will leave you with following images to ponder.

The following comparison is recently scanned film from 2009 with a digital image taken with a beautiful, small and fun Panasonic G1 camera.

Schwarzwald (Black Forest, Germany). Panasonic G1 + 14mm

Schwarzwald (Black Forest, Germany). Panasonic G1 + 14mm

Mamiya C220 TLR + 80mm Sekor Blue dot lens. Epson V750 with Vuescan software

Mamiya C220 TLR + 80mm Sekor Blue dot lens. Epson V750 with Vuescan software

Mamiya C220 TLR + 80mm Sekor Blue dot lens. Epson V750 with Vuescan software

Mamiya C220 TLR + 80mm Sekor Blue dot lens. Epson V750 with Vuescan software

Yours truly at work.

Yours truly at work.

 This is last week's portrait session done at home with one light. I've used a (almost) state of the art Sony A7ii with absolutely stunning Leica Summicron 90mm lens for digital capture. For film I used my Hasselblad 501C with 150mm Zeiss T* lens. Film is an expired Ilford PAN F ISO50. I bought it in bulk when Sauter in München (Munich, Germany) wanted to get rid of it. I think I took home some 45 rolls for less than 50€. It all got expired in 2007. Was kept in the freezer and then traveled in a container from Germany to UK. Ended up in our storage for a year or so before ending up in a freezer again. Until last week before it was exposed and developed in Ilford chemistry bough recently.

Sony A7ii + Leica Summicron 90mm designed by Walter Mandler.

Sony A7ii + Leica Summicron 90mm designed by Walter Mandler.

Hasselblad 501C with 150mm Carl Zeiss T*. Ilford PAN F 50 developed in Ilfosol for 7.5 min.

Hasselblad 501C with 150mm Carl Zeiss T*. Ilford PAN F 50 developed in Ilfosol for 7.5 min.