Comparing results from Color print vs. Slide film???

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by stradibarrius, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    With the color print film available today what are the main difference it the results between color print vs. color slide film.

    This assumes we are comparing the results from the same photographer, camera lens...blah, blah,blah.

    C-41 chemistry is much easier to find and have shipped than E-6 chemistry.
     
  2. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    They are very different films and have very different dynamic ranges and characteristic curves. Negative film generally has much more latitude, slide film generally has more contrast and more saturated colors though that will not necessarily be true from brand to brand. If you only intend to print and/or scan then it makes no difference but slides are best for project or viewing on a light table.
     
  3. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I'll sound facetious for saying it so apologies in advance, but the results are radically different because one is projected onto a screen and the other is printed onto paper.
     
  4. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    But you can make Ciba/Ilfochrome images of slides printed onto paper too.
     
  5. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Yes, I forgot about that. I suppose the answer depends upon the medium used to view the photo, then. Ciba vs RA4, or projection screen vs RA4 or even computer screen vs computer screen.
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Straight Ilfochrome prints are generally not as high in quality as straight neg-pos prints. You have to use contrast and color masking to give high quality pos-pos prints, and even these suffer some degradation.

    So, to the OP.

    Color prints from negatives are contrast adjusted and color masked from the start due to the orange mask. The films generally have finer grain (cf Ektar) and often are sharper. Color fidelity is high rather than exaggerated but you can find color negative films with high color saturation (cf the Gold family or the VC and UC films of the past).

    Printing pos-pos introduces inevitable reproduction errors as you are printing the toe on the toe and the shoulder on the shoulder which causes contrast errors. With neg-pos printing, you are printing a straight line onto a curve.

    It is for these reasons that motion pictures today are made using neg-pos systems. Color fidelity, good grain and sharpness, and good printability.

    Having made dozens of comparisons of just this sort, I can say that a good neg-pos print illuminated properly and shown next to a projected slide of the same subject will show about the same overall quality. This is due to the restricted tonal range of the paper print. If you project a slide next to a neg-pos transparency, the neg-pos will win hands down due to the huge tonal range and high overall quality.

    Most people never do this sort of comparison.

    In the end though, no matter what the original material, people love saturated garish colors and rather high contrast given a range of choices!

    PE
     
  7. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    Good answer...thanks!
     
  8. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Trannies (from any name) that are not masked (interneg'd) are just not worth printing to Ilfochrome with its trademark edgy contrast. This also wouldn't be helped though if the tranny is contrasty to start with: all the masking in the world will not make an excessively contrasty print a podium-finisher. Printing from negs is faster and easier, but not superior to chroming; RA-4 seldom has the punch and pizazz of a well-crafted Ilfochrome that has been assiduously masked by a skilled printer.

    PE, you know, I'd always lean to the saturated and garish colours (they are not always garish in the Vaudeville style) over than pale, insipid and hitherto unfaithful reproductions of the scene as I saw it through the viewinder. It's pretty darned testy to get one's hands on any quality C41 locally now. :pouty:
     
  9. Film-Niko

    Film-Niko Member

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    Advantages of slide film:

    - higher resolution, especially at low und medium contrasts
    - finer grain
    - the most brillant colors in projection (impossible to get this color brillance with prints)
    - in projection contrast of 7 - 10 stops can be managed (dependant on the used film), with prints the contrast is limited by the paper and about 5 stops
    - easier to scan, because you have your original colors, you only need to look at the slide on the lighttable. That is impossible with color negatives because of the orange mask (that is one major reason why slide film is prefered as base material for books by the scanner oprerators and printers, finer grain and better sharpness /resolution count as well).
    - versatile, usable both for projection and prints; prints via Ilfochrome or scanning and RA-4 printing
    - "what you see is what you get"
    - less possibilities for mistakes, only one developing; which CN sometimes problems occur at filtering for printing

    Advantages of color negative film:

    - easier to print, cn film is designed for printing
    - higher dynamic range of the film (but which has to compressed to the five stops of the print)
    - developing is a bit cheaper
    - minilabs can be used

    If you want big, sharp, high resolution and brillant pictures: Slide film and Projection (highest overall quality level achievable).
    If you want both prints and projection: slide film.
    If you want only prints: color negative film.
     
  10. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    So if I understand correctly...If I never plan to project the images, only print them there is no reason to shoot slide film?
     
  11. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Yep. Negative films are best for printing.