Arrggh! Which ISO100 slide film?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by cooltouch, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    Okay, I'll admit it -- it's been years since I've shot with slide film, and I've recently been getting back into shooting film, and find that I miss slides. Back in the day, the choices were pretty simple if I wanted to shoot at ISO 100: Fujichrome or Ektachrome. And I usually just shot the stuff that was hanging on the racks -- I almost never bothered with pro films.

    But now, I find that there are at least ten different flavors to choose from, just counting Kodak and Fuji. And I haven't a clue which to use. They will probably all work well, but I'd like to know which will work best.

    In this case, I'm planning to attend an air show next month, and I want a film that will give me neutral, but saturated colors (i.e., I want the sky to be blue, not some turquoise variant), and as fine a grain as possible. I would like to try a test roll or two before the show, and given the lead time involved with getting slide film developed these days, I need to start soon.

    Anyway, after visiting Kodak's and Fuji's sites, I see that among ISO 100 slide films there are:

    Kodak Professional Elite Chrome
    Kodak Professional Elite Chrome Extra Color
    Kodak Ektachrome 100 Plus Professional
    Kodak E100G
    Kodak E100VS
    Fujichrome Astia 100F
    Fujichrome Provia 100F
    Fujichrome Sensia 100
    Fujichrome Velvia 100
    Fujuchrome Velvia 100F

    Based on descriptions at the above sites, I'm leaning toward Kodak's E100G or Elite Chrome 100, or Fuji's Velvia 100. I selected these three because they are reported or reputed to have extremely fine grain. That narrows it down to three at least. Whether you agree or think another emulsion would be a better choice, I'd love to read about it.

    Michael
     
  2. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    All depends on what your subject is.
     
  3. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Perhaps the best slide film on the market right now, IMHO, is astia 100F. That, velvia 100, and provia 400x are my standards.
     
  4. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    I don't think all of the Kodak films shown are still made. Some which are not still made may still be available though.
     
  5. nickrapak

    nickrapak Member

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    I like Elite Chrome 100. It is a nicely balanced film with a slight warming effect, similar to the old E100GX. It has nice grain, and a bit more exposure latitude (to my eye) than E100G. As an additional bonus, it's nice and cheap. I use it as my standard film, when no additional effects are needed.
     
  6. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    Which ISO 100 Slide Film?

    I have some EB and Astia on hand. My favorite 100 speed slide film for all subjects other than people is EBX. Someone has to have really good complexion to look good on EBX. Right now I can't say that any of these films is a bargain. A three roll pack of Astia is about $22 at Unique. If you don't have any Fuji (Dwayne's) mailers on hand it could cost $20 for a single 36 exp roll of slide film when you add film, processing, sales tax and postage. If I did not like to project slides sometimes I would just shoot print film. There are plenty of good 100 speed color print films.
     
  7. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Kodak Elite Chrome 100, Kodak E100G, Kodak E100VS, and Kodak Ektachrome 100 Plus are all really really good films but what is nice about the elite chrome is that if you buy it from Dwayne's Photo or B&H it is only $4.69 a roll so it is pretty economical. Elite Chrome is basically Ektachrome in an Elite Chrome box. Ektachrome/Elite Chrome in general are all really good films. As far as grain, E100G is has the finest grain so that may work best for you. It too, is a great film
     
  8. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    Thanks for the feedback and the perspectives, everybody. Back in the day, I preferred Fujichrome over Ektachrome, but to be honest, this was mostly because Fujichrome was cheaper. I was very satisfied with the results obtained, so I just stuck with it. When I wasn't shooting Kodachrome, I was shooting Fujichrome.

    Just took a look at B&H's prices. Yup, the Elite Chrome is the cheapest, but there are several Fuji flavors that aren't much more.

    So I think what I'll do initially is try out the cheap stuff. Order a couple rolls of the Elite Chrome, and a couple rolls of Fuji, probably the Provia 100F.

    I see the mailers are priced pretty reasonably also at $5.39. I'm assuming this is Dwayne's? Why the 12/09 expiration date, anybody know? Dwayne's is increasing prices?

    Michael
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2009
  9. Stephen Schoof

    Stephen Schoof Member

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    I would go with Provia, Velvia 100F, or Velvia 100 for your listed subjects. Actually, if I could get away with one stop less, I'd use Velvia 50, but you asked for 100 speed...

    I have no experience with E100G or Elite Chrome, so they may work fine, but if grain is important, avoid E100VS, as it has great colors but noticeably larger grain.
     
  10. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    Ektachrome 100 Plus is a first-generation E-6 Ektachrome, which doesn't use T-Grain emulsion, and is a lot grainier than E100G or Elite Chrome 100.

    I find that E100G is very neutral, with some of the saturation boost of slide film. Shadows can go blue, since they are lit by sky, which is blue (not white). E100GX had a warm color balance to counter that, but is discontinued. Elite Chrome is the consumer version of E100GX -- they probably aren't making any more, but there's plenty in inventory.

    Astia is the lowest color saturation of all these films. Probably best for portraits.
     
  11. StorminMatt

    StorminMatt Member

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    Astia is basically an E6 that behaves like a C41 film. If you like the look and latitude of negative film, but prefer to view your pictures with a slide projector or prefer to scan slides rather than negatives, then Astia is a good choice. But if you prefer the 'punch' typical of chrome, Astia is not for you.
     
  12. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    Which 100 Slide Film

    I have a correction to make to my last posting. Since then I was at Unique. Astia is $4.79 a roll. They had EB but no EBX.
     
  13. photomem

    photomem Member

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    If you like super saturated colors, go for the Kodak Ektachrome 100VS. Picked up some rolls at Dury's this summer and love it.
     
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  15. photomem

    photomem Member

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    Oh one more thing, if you decide to shoot some of the 100VS, try underexposing by 1/2 stop. The colors are amazing.
     
  16. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    You should try one of each some day soon. They are all good films, IMO.

    For what you want at the air show, I would try E100G (or Elite Chrome 100) or Provia 100 (or Sensia 100). Use exposure to alter saturation (underexpose a tad to raise saturation, at the expense of shadow detail). The E100VS would be nice too, but contrastier. I do not know if EPP is available in 35mm, but if it is, it is probably what I would use myself.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2009
  17. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Imo its been the best since it came out.


    Astia doesnt behave like a C41 film, it's the finest grained film in chromes, and has the most nautral colour, and Id also wager it handles true saturated colours better than anything else (such as colours already vivid and intense to the naked eye).

    Astia also has an amazing reciprocity rate, the opposite of C41 films :tongue:
     
  18. goldenimage

    goldenimage Subscriber

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    i really like provia 100f it works well for me
     
  19. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    Wow, I really appreciate all this feedback. It is an immense help, since I have zero experience with the new emulsions. I've been kinda busy with other stuff, so I haven't had the chance yet to act on your advice. Gotta make up for that, though -- I'll order some this week. Do y'all have a preferred seller? Freestyle? B&H? Adorama? Dwaynes? An eBay seller maybe?

    About the Astia, since it seems to have somewhat lower of a contrast and extremely fine grain, I'm thinking that it might be an ideal film to use if I'm planning to dupe the slides later. I've noticed -- and not just now using a digital duplicator, but back in the days when I'd dupe slides using film -- that the contrast increases with a dupe unless one used special duplicating film or prefogged their Kodachrome 25. As a result, the shadows tend to block up, and some detail is lost in areas bordering between midrange and shadow. Seems to me that Astia might be a viable option for this.
     
  20. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    Astia pleases me

    I've been in love with Astia from roll one. What always amazes me about it is how it makes me look like I'm an expert on some side-branch of photography every time I shoot something outside my norm. For example, while I seldom shoot cars, this yellow beauty caught my eye at a highway diner...

    [​IMG]

    And Astia captured it nicely for me. It just looks *good* - everyhting I shoot with it. IMHO of course. I bet you could find ten guys here that look at this shot and say wow... bet that would have looked awesome on Velvia! Or Provia, or whatever. Your opinion is all that matters in these things, so try a few and see which one captures things the way you like.
     
  21. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    Cool old '57 Chevy -- an American icon if there ever was one. So, Wolfeye, what did you use to digitize your slide with? Any post processing?
     
  22. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You should probably try all of them.
     
  23. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    B&H is a little less expensive for some color but I usually use Freestyle. B&H has terrible customer service. I buy my Elite Chrome from Dwayne's Photo (www.dwaynesphoto.com) since it is only $4.69/roll.
     
  24. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    Scanning

    I scan with a Nikon Coolscan 5000. No post processing, but I do turn on dust/scratch reduction. I'm lazy and too cheap to blow off all my slides with compressed air. :smile:
     
  25. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    The most sensible thing to do would be to run a roll of each film from Kodak and Fuji through your camera in various conditions (flat/diffuse light, early morning and evening light, bright sun etc, with and without polariser, etc.). Then critically examine the results to determine what film does what, when and why. Ultimately disappointment is part and parcel with the enjoyment of getting the results spot on, meaning no one type of film will be ideal for all situations.

    Actually that shot looks fine on Astia, and yes, Velvia would indeed up the ante, but it depends on what you are doing. I've personally found Astia, mentioned frequently, to be bland and unserviceable for landscape when printed to Ilfochrome, thus Velvia (EI40) or less commonly, Provia (100F) is used for that. Credit where due, Astia excels for skin tones, while Velvia does not. :smile:
     
  26. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    Normally, if I read such a question, I'd assume that people would point the TO to a variety of film lists online, where one would find comparisons and parametrized decision charts. But these lists do not exist, instead I see the question "which film?" posted over and over again, and multiple answers of the "I use XYZ and it works great" or "ZYX looks like crap!" kind. Many hobbyist photographers start a new venue when an important moment comes. I got tons of gear shortly before my first kid arrived, now that my second kid is about due, an RZ67 is on its way. Testing 20 different films is great in the long run, but doesn't work when someone just wants to get started quickly.

    I see two possible ways for us to help newcomers with their film decision:
    1. We could start galleries for different film types, either here or in the gallery section. These galleries would not focus on artistic composition or dramatic captures, but on the qualities of the film in question. If other forums can do this with lenses and cameras, we could do it with films. Questions specific to one film could be posted here and the answers can be found easily by later newcomers.
    2. We could start a sticky thread which lists films based on their measurable qualities: latitude, contrast, skin color reproduction, color saturation, grain, ... Obviously, each film entry could point to its associated gallery if available.