4x5 Slide film vs Neg Film

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by EASmithV, Mar 3, 2009.

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  1. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    If I'm going to shoot color 4x5, is negative film even worth it, or should I just go whole hog and shoot Ektachrome of one of the Fujichromes? I have processed 35mm and 120 films in C41, but never 4x5 in either slide or neg film.

    So, when taking into account the learning curve of E6 development, is it still worth it to shoot slide film? Does Neg. film suck, or is halfway decent at a big enough cut?

    *edit* Also take into account base color balancing issues when scanning negative film
     
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  2. DJGainer

    DJGainer Member

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    If you are going to be scanning I recommend chrome. What application do you have in mind for your photography?
     
  3. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    I don't actually have one, I usually just do a scan and fool with the color balance in photoshop until it looks about right... :-/
     
  4. DJGainer

    DJGainer Member

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    Scanning is not an exact science. But I was asking more about portraiture, architecture, landscape, etc. There are many threads in the archives that discuss the benefits of slide v. negative, so give a look there for further information. I'm not quite sure when switching to 4x5 format should change your choice between color negative and slide when you've used color negative often in the past.
     
  5. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Would you still recommend it if I had to cross process, scan, and invert? I guess I could adjust the color changes resulting from the xpro.
     
  6. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you are looking for information on a hybrid/digital output I would recommend posting on hybridphoto.com for a complete discussion of the options available.
     
  7. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    K thx
     
  8. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    The nice thing about a sheet of slide film is that it is just gorgeous to look at. That alone would swing it for me :wink:
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    In the past I've nearly always shot E6 LF but now I'm contemplating shooting C41 because I have greater control at the printing stage, as I do my own RA-4 prints. There is something wonderful about looking at a 5x4 Transparency though.

    Ian
     
  10. OldBikerPete

    OldBikerPete Member

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    I shoot landscapes in Australia and because of the extreme contrast which is so common in the lighting here, I work with negatives - Portra 160VC. I am more often able to control the contrast down to a printable level in the printing stages (although I use a hybrid workflow). but if you are happy with your subject matter and transparency in 35mm then you probably will also be satisfied in 5x4.
     
  11. Bruce Watson

    Bruce Watson Member

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    I disagree with your supposition. I think it's negative films that are superior to tranny films, not the other way around.

    The only thing you loose when when shooting negative films is the instant gratification of the film on the light table. If that's what drives you then tranny films are where you should be.

    The big gain with negative films is the ability to record considerably more subject brightness range (SBR). In my neck of the woods that means I can work in any lighting conditions. I don't have to wait for the golden hours or for heavy overcast.

    Negative films are excellent for scanning. I drum scan LF negative films, color and B&W, all the time. I actually prefer negative films for scanning. It's a little more work (you do have to know a bit more about what you are trying to do) but the results I get are just outstanding. Enough so that I haven't used any tranny films at all in the last six or seven years for my personal work. All I shoot these days are 5x4 160PortraNC, 400PortraNC, and 400Tmax. It's a good time to be an LF photographer!

    There are of course scanners and software that have a hard time with negative films. Part of the problem is the variable density and color of the orange contrast mask. Part of the problem is having to invert the colors. If you are stuck with such a scanner, then you'll probably want to stick with tranny film.
     
  12. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Despite efforts this thread continues to want to be a hybrid subject and so without further ado....
     
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