Jack Schatzberg...photographs and talks about horses

Questions and Answers


I, luckily to say the least, came upon your web site today. I was searching for an answer to the question: "What is the 'best' choice of film to use to photograph a bay-coloured horse?" I'm not sure but I think I heard somewhere that Agfa film gives good colour rendition for this colour horse.

I will be outside and using a Canon A-1 camera. Any other suggestions, for example, on the best lens to use (I have 28 mm, 50 mm, 75-205 mm zoom) would also be appreciated.

Ken McGuire


Dear Ken,

The film that I consider to be excellent for the purpose that you describe is FUJI NHG 400. This is a print film, and it has a much greater exposure latitude then positive film has.

After speaking with many other professional photographers, I find that fewer are using film other then FUJI at this time. The reason that I suggest ISO 400, is that although 100 or 200 ISO is normally used, during daylight, the 400 ISO film will give you a smaller lens opening and therefor a greater depth of field. If you are going to photograph your horse in motion, you must of course pre-focus. The greater depth of field will help minimize any focus problems you might have.

I suggest using the 75-205 mm zoom lens at about 100 mm's. That will put you at a distance that will allow for the least distortion of the horse if you keep the camera at the level of the center of the body of the horse. Make sure that the actual image of the horse takes up at least 60% of the viewfinder.

For a little greater explanation of the above, see the November and December questions of the month in my website.

Subject heading: The right lens and film to use
Posted: Jan 1998
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