Good (slide?) Film for surfing shots?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Jedidiah Smith, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Hello everyone, it has been a long time. Life has been full of ups and downs since we moved to SoCal, and I am finally able to even think about spending $ on film and such things again. Considering how tight things are, I am loathe to waste film in "testing" right now, so that is where I'm coming from with my question. Just kind of need a ball-park idea of what to expect.

    We live in Ventura, California now, and I would like to try my hand at some surfing shots, and general shots of the pier and ocean, etc. However, nearly all my previous shooting was done in Alaska. My favorite films were generally Velvia 100 and E100GX up there. I tried nearly every slide film I could get my hands on back then, and to be honest, quite a few of them are very close with just minor differences.

    Thing is, the light is very different down here, and with big swings, too! For example, in the morning it can be overcast and grey looking for hours, almost foggy, and then the sun burns it off and all of a sudden it's bright daylight and contrasty as heck! ;-)

    I'm just looking for some feedback before I go plunk down what money I do have for say 10 rolls to get me back on my photographic feet. Do I go with Velvia, or is that going to be insanely contrasty down here in SoCal light, and I would be better off with E100G or something like that?
    Or- please be honest- am I crazy to want to shoot slide film down here, and should I relent and somehow learn to love a color neg film like Ektar or the new Portra 160?

    Thanks for any tips. I'm just at that re-entry stage where I need a little discussion, some comments and then a kick in the booty to go shooting again, and then I'll get the confidence to go stick the gamer in everyone's face down at the beach. :smile:
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    See my "surfers at sunset" photo in the gallery. I used Ektachrome. That was years ago, but I still feel that it gives a nice ambiance to all of my shots on the beaches of CA and FL while I was there. And, it does sunsets particularly well IMHO.

    PE
     
  3. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    I'd use slide film, preferably something lower contrast, really your only options now are Provia100F(my favorite, and if the lighting is right, can be very bright color-wise, in a good way :smile:), or E100G.

    Provia has a UV filtering layer built in, and I've found that its a touch warmer in broad sunlight vs E100G, which has a tendency to have a slightly bluish cast. Not always, but 80% of the time for me. I kept on finding myself putting an 81A warming filter when shooting E100G to combat the bluish cast, with Provia, no need for a filter, unless shooting in the shade.

    Provia is a little cheaper $$$-wise too, and since most labs now are using Fuji E-6 chems, I've found I get clearer, less color-casted results using Fuji films w/ Fuji chems than mixing Kodak films with Fuji chems, just my experience...

    best of luck!

    oh... will you be shooting from shore, or from out in the water with a housing? If from shore, you can probably shoot at like f/3.5 or f4 if using a long 2.8 prime, so a 100 speed film should work fine

    best of luck

    Dan
     
  4. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    I've shot surfers with Velvia 100 while vacationing, mostly at Huntington and San Diego, and it turned out pretty well, but not really well enough. Next time I will be switching from Velvia to Ektar or Portra because they are just so much easier to use - it has much to do with my own lack of skill.

    From shore in the Ventura/SB area you will be looking south so late afternoon will give you nice side light. Like you say, morning is dodgy all along the coast. If you get down to anywhere that the coast line has turned south, late afternoon is pretty tough because of the shadows. I never have been able to get any facial detail. I guess I need to get up in the morning.

    The Santa Barbara breakwater is a fabulous place to shoot, with the action happening within 15 yards or so. Take advantage of the late afternoon light. But watch out, it's likely you, and more importantly, your gear, will get wet.
     
  5. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I would go for Velvia 100 also.

    Jeff
     
  6. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    OK, thanks for the tips. At least in the beginning, I'll be shooting from the shore until I can afford a housing. One of the guys in the equipment forum suggested a Nikonos- hadn't thought about that. I will check them out.

    Looks like I'll have to give the Velvia 100 at least one try and see. :wink: If it is just too contrasty, which is quite probable, looks like my only other option is E100G or Provia as you say.
    We shall see what the outcome is, and thanks for the goos discussion!
     
  7. pukalo

    pukalo Member

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    Jed, if things are tight, you should consider picking up an Arista E-6 home DIY kit from freestyle phopto. Get the 1 gallon kit to get cost down to around 2/roll. I have been shooting E-6 for about 10 years now, but only recently got into home developing. Was lucky enough to pick up 4 Kodak 5L home dev kits last fall before they canceled them, but it wasnt until this summer that I actually got around to trying home dev.
    It was/is SUPER EASY !!! and the results, fantastic - clean pristine slides, with never a scratch or blemish. The cost, also fantastic - about 2 dollars a roll with the Kodak kits. Bear in mind, you do need to invest about 2 hours total into each processing run, but if you get a Patrerson hand dev tank that holds 4 rolls (costs about 40-50 bucks), it makes it much more time efficient. Anyways, I find the dev process enjoyable, and the thrill of seeing your slide shots come to life is incredible. It becomes almost real time feedback, like digital. You can see the results of settings you used just hours before when you were out shooting.
    Start up costs are very low. The Arist kit is about 80 bucks, and you will also need: a Paterson dev tank (20-40$), a styrofoam cooler (2-3$), a digital cooking thermometer (10), some rubber dishwashing gloves, and a digital cooking timer (10). Given the high lab costs for E6 now, you will quickly make back your investment, and begin saving on dev costs.
     
  8. pukalo

    pukalo Member

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  9. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    "Jed, if things are tight, you should consider picking up an Arista E-6 home DIY kit from freestyle phopto."

    Freestyle being a relatively short drive from the OP's home.
     
  10. nickrapak

    nickrapak Member

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    I would recommend Elite Chrome 100 (not Extra Color). It's very similar to E100G, but with a slightly warmer cast. It's not as warm as E100GX was, but it doesn't go as blue in the shadows as E100G. Not only that, but it's half the price :D
     
  11. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    ^I'm with Nick on that.^ It's a very nice film at a very nice price.
     
  12. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I would use Fuji Provia 100F or Fuji Velvia 100F

    P.S. The O.Ps question was about slide film, I presume he wants to project them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2011
  13. rphenning

    rphenning Member

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    provia 100F for sunny days, FP4+ or HP5 for the overcast ones; both of which can be made into slides by Dr5 (to keep my answer relevant)
     
  14. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    It also included this sentence:

    Or- please be honest- am I crazy to want to shoot slide film down here, and should I relent and somehow learn to love a color neg film like Ektar or the new Portra 160?
     
  15. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Thanks for all the tips, guys! I am really itching to get out there shooting again. I will take a look at that other Kodak film you recommended for the better price. I don't mean to sound cheap, but right now, well, that's where I'm at. Provia - I just don't know, I always liked the Velvia 100 (not F) better back home, and thought that Provia was more "colder" colors. But, looking at it, maybe E100G is the same problem then, because I was shooting the E100GX back then. Why did they drop the GX version and not the other way around? :D hehe....

    I don't mind the recommendation for neg films - Ektar is a nice film from what I can see - I very well may have to switch to neg film if I can't get the contrast tamed in the slides. It is just that I love the way slides look. Something very cool about them. And, now that I don't have a darkroom, I'll be scanning to print anyway at some point...may as well use slides since I like them, right? At least that is my reasoning at this point. Is it faulty logic?

    Lastly, about the home developing - didn't realize it was so easy. Always thought I'd need a Jobo or something, but that looks fairly simple, as long as I could waste a roll or two figuring it out. :smile: With the way lab prices are, it just might be the ticket to let me keep shooting slides and not have to go neg only or 100% digi... :tongue:
     
  16. AlexCave

    AlexCave Member

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    I'd recommend using E100G with a polarizing filter (if its high noon) or sticking with fuji. I prefer the tones brought out in the water when I shoot with fuji. Try driving south on the 1, once you get south of the venture county line there's alot of spots to turn off the highway and photograph perched up on some rocks. I also love cross processing surf shots!
     
  17. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Alex, thanks for the tips on where to shoot. Not having done much down here yet, I appreciate it. When you say Fuji has good water colors, do you mean Velvia or Provia? If I am understanding correctly, E100G is going to be like Provia, more cool in color temp, right? I sure liked the GX version back in Alaska.

    At this point I'm thinking I should just purchase 2 rolls of Velvia 100 and see if it works for me down here. If it does, then great; if not, back to the drawing board. Or, that cheaper Kodak one sounded interesting, of course...but probably pretty different than Velvia 100. :wink: Does that sound like a reasonable approach?
     
  18. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Well, I was just looking real close at a roll of Ektar my wife shot through a friend's camera last month. Seems like it's a pretty good overall film, I can't really fault it much. I will have to at least shoot a roll of slide film to compare, but for a neg film I am very impressed.

    Does anyone know of a link to a good Velvia / Provia / E100G compared to Ektar type shootout or anything?
    Thanks!
     
  19. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Wish we could simply edit our posts here. Oh well. As a follow up, it seems the price of slide film is going up and our last pro-lab in Ventura just quit doing E6 in house and now sends them out. Suppose it may be a good time for me to learn color neg, unless I want to mail off my slide film... :sad: