Film Comparison

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by polyglot, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I have here two photos taken with different films of the same scene (same camera, lens and CPL too - all I did was swap backs while it was on the tripod) about 1 minute apart:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    One is a chrome, the other is negative. Negative colours adjusted "to taste" and according to my memory, so there are some hue differences.

    What films do you think they each are? Which do you prefer and why?
     
  2. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Top is Velvia 100 and bottom is Ektar...

    I prefer the top because the water looks nicer.
     
  3. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    Is there a prize?
     
  4. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    The loss of shadow detail in both bothers me. The colors in the bottom one are nicer in my opinion. My guess is that the bottom is negative because of the lower contrast in the sky.
     
  5. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I'm also guessing the bottom one is negative, and I do like the color better, especially the rendering of the statue. But both could stand some more exposure, IMHO.
     
  6. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    eh, you're onto me... top one is RVP50 and the bottom one is Ektar. Clouds edges are blown in the chrome so I don't agree about more exposure despite the black-hole rock (it's really black and slimy and shaded; needs about 4-5 more stops before coming to Zone III).

    I have another Ektar frame that's +1/2 and a little better, shows a little more shadow detail. I picked this one for comparison because it was shot at Sunny-16 box speed just like the RVP.

    railwayman: merely your edification at having Beaten The Internets.
     
  7. cramej

    cramej Subscriber

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    Not my photograph and it's already been taken, but here's my take on it:

    I like the contrast from the chrome better, but why did you only tweak colors on the negative? If you're scanning then tweak colors as much as you want on both! Second, everything but the clouds is underexposed because you're on the shadow side. If you want the rest to be properly exposed, you have to let the highlights go. It needs at least 2 more stops to get it there. Everything that's not directly lit in these is a big black blob. Blown highlights are only a bad thing when they're in the wrong place. I've learned to let my highlights go when using rim lighting or back lighting on portraits.
     
  8. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    I prefer the first, as the second one has an overall blue cast to it. Of course that could have been introduced in the scanning process.
     
  9. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    What the... the Fuji looks loads better.
     
  10. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    I don't care for blown highlights, or blocked up shadows. I would just avoid the RVP or Ektar for this type of shot, and go straight to a low contrast negative film, like Pro160S or Portra 160. Then expose for the shadows.
     
  11. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Member

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    The upper one looks like having a green, or yellow cast, the colour of the sky looks wrong.
    The lower ones looks like having a magenta, or reddish cast, but overall the sky looks less unnatural.

    The sky to me is the ultimate benchmark of chromatic accuracy. There are many grass-greens, but there is only one sky-blue in my opinion. Tiny colour shifts are more evident in skies.

    The subject looks like an exercise in finding a film stress test.

    With slides for projections I would have opened more, if really the doc had ordered me to take that picture, accepting some overblown white in the sky in order to obtain some detail in the rock. More probably, I would have reframed the image excluding either the sky or the rock. With slides for numeric acquisition I would have exposed this way, tried to open the shadows in post-processing, and basically moan that I should have used negative film instead.

    With negative film I would have used some generous overexposure and than "extracted" detail from the highlights. Actually, I would expect this situation to be the typical situation where negative must perform better than slide film, but it doesn't show, and I suppose it doesn't because the exposure is the same ("for the highlights", correct for slide, a waste of dynamic range, in this case, for negatives).

    I suppose that with a different exposure (2EV or 3 EV more with the colour negative) the scene would have constituted a school case to show the differences in dynamic range between negative and slide film. With the same exposure it shows that negative film doesn't have much forgiveness in the shadows, which is in itself a case for those who routinely "overexpose" their negatives (rate them at less than nominal ISO speed in order to better exploit their dynamic range).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2011
  12. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Absolutely agree. The scan of the slide is possibly a little greener than the slide itself, which is also a little cool. While the black hole is annoying, the highlights (clouds, gilding) are the subject and therefore much more important than a slimy rock and I wouldn't give the chrome any more exposure. wrt "I like the chrome because more highlight contrast", that's obviously a post-processing decision for the C41. I'm pretty sure I could make the cloud edges blow out on that one in the way that they do with the chrome... but I'm interested in whether people prefer the restrained, detailed look or the blown, high-contrast look.

    I have extra shots taken there with the Ektar with more exposure and they can be fiddled in post to provide much more dynamic range. That's not the point of this comparison though; I was just wondering how obvious the differences in film behaviour were to people. Here's a (different) comparison where the extra dynamic range has actually been put to use: E6, C41. There's also the issue that adding more dynamic range inherently drops the overall contrast unless you apply HDR techniques (a dodge and burn, basically), so getting more shadow detail will inherently reduce the drama in the clouds.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2011