Pros: tight grain, awesome color, BEST IN CLASS reciprocity characterstics.
Cons: unforgiving with exposure error, poor skin tones, not a good push/pull film
First off...this review applies to Fuji 64T in 120, 35mm and 4x5 sheet formats as I have used this film extensively in all those sizes. I have not used it in Quickload format.
I normally would not do a film review since film is such a subjective thing. Slight differences in saturation or color rendition in each type of film allow one photographer to love one film but hate another...and each photographer has a different opinion. So I will try to stick to the physical properties of the film and how I feel it works for my given subject matter...in this case night photography.
Here is the basic blurb you will find on the Fujifilm website regarding the film
"Medium speed, Tungsten-type, fine grain reversal film is highly suited for product photography, interior, and architectural work. RTP II provides faithful color reproduction, smooth gradation, fine grain, and excellent color stability."
As a Tungsten film it works best at a color temperature of 3100 K. In other words... it is designed to be used with artificial Tungsten lighting or very low color temperature natural lighting.
I have used it in many applications with great success: product photography, interiors of buildings that are largely artificially lit, night architectural photography and my favorite, general night photography that is dominated by artificial lighting.
I feel this film has the following characteristics that make it ideal for these purposes.
1. Rich color that is about as saturated, as you will get with tungsten slide film. It is dominated by the blue end of the spectrum...while Velvia gives rich reds and greens, 64T will wow you with its Blues.
2. Very tight grain for a tungsten film. I find most Tungsten films to have large grain for their speed but I think that 64T comes close to the tight grain of Provia.... for only a slight loss in speed.
3. Its reciprocity characteristics have got to be the best in class. Feel free to shoot this film up to 2 minutes without even worrying about reciprocity failure. I routinely ignore reciprocity with the night photography when using this film. Its characteristics are so good that they rival some black and white silver halide emulsions for reciprocity. Take into account the color accuracy with artificial light (vs. a filter needed for daylight film) and you will quickly realize that this ISO 64 film is actually FASTER than many 400 and 800 speed films for night photography and with much tighter grain and better saturation.
This film also has some negatives...
1. Color shifting is a real problem with underexposed shots and when shooting night work the exposure is often a guess at best.... so bracketing is sometimes required to control color shifting. You can use filters but I find it more convenient to just bracket.
2. Exposure latitude is about as bad as it is with Velvia. You really need to get close to the correct exposure or you will be disappointed with results. I also do not recommend that you push or pull this film as I have never been impressed with the results (color shifts and larger grain)
3. Dont bother shooting people with this film...at least not if you like accurate skin tones. Think of this film as tungsten Velvia... and you will be pretty close in deciding if it is right for you. Great colors on objects...but skin tones have that bluish cast.... that is just a tad "off".
I have used every Kodak Tungsten slide emulsion (160 and 320T) as well as Portra T and 64T is far superior in color and grain.
The bottom line? Well if you shoot slides you already know that exposure control is the single most important ingredient to success with the film. 64T is not as unforgiving as Velvia but it is close. Bracketing in half stop increments will almost always leave one images (the correct one) that stands head and shoulders above the rest. When shooting color night shots I feel this is the ONLY choice for the serious shooter. There really is no other way to convert those dingy yellow lights into bright white...and to allow the brilliance of a night cityscape to come to life. For product shots lit by tungsten or building interiors that are too large for strobe lights... it literally is the only way to get the shot. I wish I could attach images because you'd be impressed too. This film is literally in a class of its own since I truly feel no other film offers Tungsten light compatibility with tight grain and excellent color saturation.